Dive Newsletter

Hello Divers!

To say that a lot of diving is going on would be an understatement. We usually average 50 group trips a year and it appears that we will have considerably more than that this year. As of this writing SSDS has taken 31 group trips so far and has at least one a weekend for the next few months. June had something for everyone with Artifact diving in the rivers of South Carolina, Red Snapper Spearfishing off the coast of Alabama and Pensacola, Wreck diving and checkout diving in Panama City, a week of Caribbean Liveaboard vacationing in the Turks and Caicos and our Gold Dredging near Nome, Alaska. The next few months offer more of the same!

One of our friends, Rick Dennis, just returned from our Turks and Caicos trip. Rick is a very experienced diver and is also very good at underwater photography/videography. Check out his site at www.rickldennis.com On this site you will see many images of the various types of creatures you will find on our international travel.

We have just announced a couple of additional Liveaboard trips to Belize and the Cayman Islands. Red Snapper season came and went in June. It was fun while it lasted and some impressive fish were taken but the Feds overestimated the amount that the Recreational Fishers were expected to harvest. Since that was the case, we will have the first 21 days of October to target Red Snapper again this year. This will be the only time this year that everything that we hunt, spearfishing, will be in season at the same time. You spearfishers need to take advantage of it and try to go dive in Oct!


Aug 2 & 3 and 10 & 11 and Sept 13 & 14 and every weekend in October -  Spearfishing in Orange Beach or Pensacola, FL

We have a couple of boats that SSDS keeps full most weekends during Spearfishing Season. Some of the best Red Snapper in the world is near the Alabama Artificial Reef System that was started in 1953. We have several trips during the Fall Snapper season but during the others all of the Triggerfish, Groupers, Amberjack, Flounder etc will be in season so there will be plenty to go after this time of year.

August 24 & 25 Gulf Shores, AL Wreck Diving 

Mark is taking this group to dive Alabama's newest artificial reef, The LuLu, and the largest one in the world, The Oriskany. All of you photographers need to get your cameras ready for this. Lately, we have enjoyed great vis on the Mighty O and we see all kinds of big animals out there too! In addition to these two sites we will probably dive the Navy Tug as well.

Every weekend in November - Panama City, FL Flounder trips

SSDS privately charters our favorite PC vessel for our annual Flounder harvest during November every year. These dives are great for anyone that enjoys excellent seafood! The dives are shallow so junior divers can participate. Also, a spear gun is not necessary at all. A pole spear is easier, quicker and cheaper and does a better job for these bottom dwellers. Sign up quick because they go fast!

Dec 28 - Jan 4 Belize Liveaboard

Spencer will be taking everyone on our "Dive the New Year in" trip this year. Every year after Christmas he enjoys taking groups all over the Caribbean and this year it is Belize. All of our Liveaboard Vacations include all diving and luxury accommodations on a diving yacht. It is not uncommon to have the opportunity to dive up to 5 times a day. In addition to private staterooms and diving, gourmet meals and beverages are included for your voyage too.

March 22 - 29 Cayman Islands Liveaboard

Next Spring Break SSDS has privately chartered the Cayman Aggressor. The only way to enjoy diving all three of the Cayman Islands is to go by vessel like we do. Forrest is taking this group. The Cayman Islands are great for families that dive since most of the best diving is above 60 ft of water. The water is warm, clear and usually calm. The dates are Spring Break for the area schools as well.

Continuing Education

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

August 24, 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.

August 24, 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.