Alaska 2011

Hey everybody! Steve recently returned from Alaska - his 19th year gold finding. This year he has written up a journal for us to enjoy. Great picture & great stories. Enjoy!

Alaska 2011
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Steve Live On The Internet! Say What?

On Monday Oct 10th, Steve was on an internet chat sponsored by Butch Holcombe, Publisher of American Digger Magazine and co-host of Relic Roundup

Butch says: 

Steve Phillips will be our guest live to talk about his successful gold prospecting, his knowledge of Selma Arsenal artifacts, and his fight that resulted in Alabama’s dive & archeology laws being changed.
Steve has spent many year prospecting, metal detecting, diving, researching and preserving relics. He has also been a leading force on legal issues on recovering artifacts.

You can listen to Steve's chat session HERE

Technology is cool, huh?


Spearfishing, Trips & Gold!

Hello Divers,

Well things have slowed down a bit at The SCUBA School since our last newsletter.  We are not teaching as much as we were a couple of months ago but are still taking groups diving every week somewhere when the weather allows. 

As most of you know, many of our longer vacation type trips are on luxurious live-aboard diving yachts.  We already have two of these scheduled for 2012 and just returned from diving on two others.

Forrest just completed a week of diving in the Turks and Caicos Islands, between the Bahamas and Haiti.  We were fortunate to have beautiful weather and calm seas the entire time.  We were diving just 4 days after Hurricane Irene was right on top of these Islands so the visibility wasn't as good as usual but the diving was still very good once you swam off the wall.  It is so easy to dive from one of these live-aboards you can usually complete 25 or more dives in just one vacation.

Here is Mark and the Fiji divers enjoying some kava one evening.

As soon as Forrest returned, Mark took a group to the Fijian Islands in the South Pacific.   Fiji is considered the soft coral capital of the world and from looking at some of Mark's photos I believe it is.  You can see some his most recent pictures at his website.

Every Summer, Spencer and Steve dive for gold near Nome, Alaska while staying in their camp.  Spencer spent 6  weeks up there this year while our dad Steve was there for 4 months.  This is their 19th year in a row and they get better every year.  There is a tremendous learning curve to this type of diving, in the ocean, in Alaska.

Steve & Spencer in the cabin with some of this Summer's gold

  Spencer, bringing in his dredge in the Bering Sea.

Many of our divers are currently competing in the Alabama Spearfishing Associations Pleasure Island Spearfishing Classic.  Grouper season just opened and early in the contest the weather was very good and we were all able to get some good fish to eat! 
Forrest and Spencer with some nice Grouper

Upcoming Trips
SSDS has many trip options in the next few months & you can see the dates here on our calendar.  All of these listed have availability right now.  If you are wanting to go, please let us know quickly because we are selling them every day. 

Continuing Education
October 8, 9:30 am 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 concerning 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.

October 29th & 30th - 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.

The program is about avoiding, recognizing and solving problems on the surface and under water. The course runs two full 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

Forrest Phillips
Southern Skin Divers Supply