Equipment, Travel and Training

Hello Divers!

Things are starting to get full speed here at The SCUBA School! We have already taken three trips in 2013 and it looks like many of you are already looking forward to the upcoming dive season. In this newsletter you will find all kinds of dive trips to take with SSDS and Continuing Education options but first we will let you know about some of the new gear available.

As you know, SSDS, is the oldest Aqualung dealer in the United States so we always have the latest and greatest from them. Anything that is dive quality gear that their companies (Aqualung, Apeks, Deep See, U.S Divers or Suunto dive instruments) make, we sell and can get. We have an exciting new Buoyancy Compensator from Apeks that has the same lifetime parts warranty if it is purchased here. It is called the Black Ice and is a rugged weight-integrated back inflation BC designed for advanced diving. Just like all of the gear we sell, you can come in and try it in our indoor pool to see how it feels in the water. Also new from Aqualung is the new women's line of equipment! Check out the new models, designs and colors here 

We also have a good selection in underwater photography equipment at great prices. All of our Sealife DC 1400 packages are still 15% off and include a photo class with Mark. We also have Ikelite housings available for your DSLR cameras and several strobes they make as well.

Spearfishing season is just around the corner and we just received a new shipment of guns including the new Splash Rhino guns from Spearfishing Specialties. They have a bluewater color mixed in with the original Rhino coating. We also have the original Rhino guns too in addition to pole spears, bags, stringers, tips and gloves designed for spearfishing. A lot of divers aren't into spearfishing but still want to help with the local Lionfish invasion. We offer several economical tools to help get lionfish safely.

We are now selling the Elite Coolers by Pelican. These are the best coolers on the market and will be a great place to keep fish in if you wait a while to clean them after they are caught. They make an even better place to keep clean fillets on ice for a few days prior to consuming them. These Pelican Coolers have the same warranty (lifetime) that the dry boxes and micro cases have that we sell.

Many of you have seen Spence and Dad diving in the Bering Sea near Nome, Alaska on TV. They have been doing this for 20 years now and several of you now join them in Dad's Gold Camp. We are Keene Engineering dealers and Keene is the leader in Gold Mining Equipment. They make the dredges, sluice boxes, pans and other mining equipment you have seen us use on the Outdoor Channel. If you are in need of equipment for finding gold, talk to Steve or Spencer and we'll get it from Keene for you.


February 22-24 Crystal River, Rainbow River manatee trip 
This weekend we will be doing two days of diving and snorkeling with the Manatee in Crystal River as well as drift diving down the Rainbow River. These giant Mammals enjoy the constant 72 degree water temp during the winter time, making this the best time of year to see them. Kids and non divers are welcome to come on this one.

February 22-24 South Carolina River Trip
We have had some great trips recently finding fossilized shark's teeth and other artifacts with some new spots and diving from our new boat! We generally do three or four dives a day on this swift/blackwater diving adventure. Bring your boat coats and thick suits for this one.

April 26-28 Wreck Diving on The Oriskany
Forrest will be leading this group to dive on the USS Oriskany, the largest wreck ever sunk as an artificial reef in the world. This trip will be in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area. We will be diving two days, one on the Oriskany, and the other on two additional wrecks. If you want to kill lionfish on this trip you may. No spear guns allowed and no other fish will be killed, just lionfish. The Oriskany is the largest vessel ever sunk as an artificial reef in the world. She was put down in May 2006 and now rests in 212 ft of water approximately 23 miles offshore. The top of the tower starts at about 80 ft. This is a deep, and big site and there are a couple of requirements that need to be met prior to this wreck dive so call us for more info.

Spearfishing every weekend from mid May until the end of June These trips are selling out FAST! Some of these will be during Red Snapper season and also during the Alabama Spearfishing Association's Red Neck Riviera Spearfishing Tournament. To find out more about this and other ASA tournaments go here  . This is a great tournament and spearfishing off the Gulf Coast of Alabama is second to none. Now is the time to start getting ready for spearfishing season.

June 8-15/ 2013 Turks and Caicos Liveaboard 
We have a great group going with us on this all inclusive 5 dive a day Caribbean trip on board your own private vessel. I had the opportunity to dive with this operation in September and it was one of the best overall crew, boat, food and diving I have been on. It also is a piece of cake to get to Provo from Birmingham or Atlanta. We are now down to one last spot.

Continuing Education

March 9th, 9:30 am at The SCUBA School
Enriched Air NITROX 

Have you ever dreamed of having longer no-decompression limits to take pictures or explore a wreck? Did you ever want to be safer while diving, reducing the potential risk of decompression sickness?  Nitrox is the key. Due to the reduced fraction of nitrogen in your breathing gas, your body will have less work and the de-saturation times will be reduced.  In your ENRICHED AIR NITROX program you will learn all the necessary rules for planning dives with Nitrox and using Nitrox in a safe way. An important key point in the entire program is analyzing your own tank prior to any Nitrox dive.

March 9th, 12:30 pm at The SCUBA School - Spearfishing Clinic
Those of you that are enrolled in the NITROX Course might want to consider the Spearfishing Clinic that starts immediately afterwards. NITROX works well with most of the spearfishing that we participate in. Forrest, who teaches both of these courses here at The SCUBA School, is ranked among the top competitors in the Alabama Spearfishing Association as are several of his former students. In this class you will learn skills necessary to participate in and become a successful spearfisher.

Open Water Diver Challenge
We have always taught a lot of new divers here at The SCUBA School but this year in particular, it's a good time for new divers to enroll in one of our Continuing Education programs. For every student that gets certified here in 2013 and takes a ConEd course, they will be entered for a chance to win a free trip on board the Sun Dancer Liveaboard Dive Yacht in Belize! We have taken several group trips on this vessel. It is an excellent boat with a very good crew and one of the best destinations in the Caribbean. Every time a new diver takes a new ConEd course, they are entered. The more classes they take, the better their chance is to win.

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Southern Skin Divers Supply
4515 5th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35222