Dive Newsletter

Hello Divers!

We have just completed our 20th group trip so far this year and are taking two or three every week for the next few months. Dive season is full speed NOW and you need to sign up quick if you want to go with us!

SSDS has the privilege of being the SCUBA Training Facility of Marion Military Institute. The first group of MMI SCUBA Tigers started their training with Instructional Staff of SSDS last September. After 4 weeks of training the Cadets earned their Openwater Certification where so many of you have with us for over half a century now, Morrison Springs and St Andrews Jetties. After that, the newly certified divers did some drift diving with us in the Rainbow River and Crystal River, FL. Many took advantage of our inshore wreck trips to Panama City and then learned about the benefits of Enriched Air NITROX and harvested some Flounder with Forrest in the Winter. Their progression led to diving several wrecks off the coast of Alabama and helping to eradicate the invasive lionfish population followed by their final dives with us on the USS Oriskany. Now these cadets have graduated and are off to the various military academies that they are attending or are now serving in a branch of the military. These students were an absolute dream to teach and now have become good divers. We look forward to the next group starting during the Fall Semester.

You history lovers need to check out the latest issue of American Digger Magazine. The centerpiece on the cover of the publication and one of the articles is about one of the rarest artifacts ever recovered with a metal detector. It is called a Coal Torpedo and was found by my dad, Steve Phillips. Until Dad recovered it, there were only three known examples in existence. To purchase a copy of the magazine go to American Digger or come by The SCUBA School.

In our last newsletter I wrote about the great deal we have on the Sealife DC 1400 camera packages that we sell. Not only do we have the best price ANYWHERE on this camera but now there is a factory rebate available too and Mark is also offering a class on it FREE to anyone that purchases it here. Class will be June 1st here at SSDS at 9:30 am.

There is lots of Spearfishing going on right now and for good reason. Fish are everywhere. We are seeing more big fish than ever and Red Snapper Season is just right around the corner. In addition the first Alabama Spearfishing Association Tournament of the season starts May 17 and goes until June 15. You can pick up an application at SSDS and leave it here if you want to participate. For more info about this contest go to Alabama Spearfishing.


June 22, 23 Spearfishing in Orange Beach and Pensacola, FLWe have a couple of boats going out for the last weekend of Red Snapper Season on the best habitat for them in the world. The Alabama Artificial Reef System was started in 1953 and has paid off! This is not during one of the tournaments so if you want some good spearing with out the pressure of a contest these will be good ones.

July 13, 14 Panama City, FL Wreck Diving
Mark will be leading this group on some of the inshore wrecks of Panama City. There are plenty of them and this is the next step for new divers to take in their training. Good divers are always learning and this is a good one to do it on. Also, Junior Divers can participate too since the dives are relatively shallow. Like all of our trips, SSDS, has privately reserved this vessel.

Continuing Education

June 1st , 9:30 am at The SCUBA School, Underwater Photography
Mark Tant is teaching another Underwater Photo Course. Those of you that purchased a new SeaLife C1400 or one of our DSLR Packages can take this course for free! We also have a good selection of new SeaLife cameras, strobes and lights and pre owned DSLR equipment from Ikelite. To see some of the kind of photos that Mark takes go to his website.

June 29, 30 Stress and Rescue Course
Stress is a major contributor to rescue situations and diving accidents. Through this course you will learn accident prevention, as well as how to handle problem situations if they occur.

Mark Tant will be teaching this program about avoiding, recognizing and solving problems on the surface and under water. The course runs two days in which you will participate in academic and in-water sessions in the pool and in the open water. As a prerequisite for certification you will also earn CPR & First Aid certificate during this course.


* What Is Stress?* Stress In Diving:Causes And Prevention* Detecting And Dealing With Stress* Accident Management* Skills Needed To Deal With Panic And Rescues* Conditions That Complicate Rescues

The Nitrox Course and Spearfishing Clinic have been very popular so far this year, and we currently have room in both of these.

July 13, 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.

July 13, 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.