Sea TREK Newsletter May 2016





Sea TREK Newsletter May 2016





Discover the Other
Half of Spain
 Underwater!

“Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more are you lookin’ for?”
– Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Sea TREK Spain, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

If you travel to Spain we realize you may be looking for “more” than the world on the ocean floor. We get it… the Seville Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia and the Guggenheim, to name a few, are all must see attractions. Not to mention eating paella, soaking up the rays on the Costa del Sol beaches, and drinking a refreshing glass of sangria. (Actually, that sounds amazing. Sign me up. I’ll be there tomorrow!) But, I bet you didn’t know that Disney’s Sebastian the crab speaks the truth; there is another world waiting for you, just beneath those cool, blue waves. And until recently, tourists seeking to explore the magical ocean floor off the coast of Spain had a limited number of options– primarily snorkeling or scuba diving. 

In 2013, a very eager and passionate gentleman named Filiberto “Fili” Medina approached Sea TREK with a dream of introducing the helmet diving experience to the Spanish tourism market. Located in the Canary Islands, a destination that receives 11 million visitors a year, Fili was confident that Sea TREK would be a hit.

   First breaths underwater, Sea TREK Spain

Having never tried the experience, Fili followed his intuition and opened Sea TREK Spain in Gran Canaria, the first location in Europe to offer open-water Sea TREK tours. He was not disappointed; Fili describes his first Sea TREK experience as “…an incredible sensation, the weightlessness was like nothing I’d ever felt before, I was totally in love…” 

Located at the luxury resort, Anfi del Mar, the Sea TREK experience is conducted within a protected canal bordered by large boulders which provide a perfect home for fish, crabs, sea stars and other marine life. Since opening, Sea TREK Spain has hosted a number of high profile guests– from famous windsurfers to mountain climbers and cyclists, TV personalities and local TV show hosts. The Sea TREK staff say the best thing about being a Guide is interacting with guests and sharing that emotional, “magical moment” during a first TREK.

  Nemo and Spongebob with young TREKKERs in Lanzarote

Spain’s second Sea TREK location opened in a dive shop (Native Diving Lanzarote) on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Owner Jose Luis Garcia Blanco is an avid diver (turned Sea TREK aficionado!) and describes his first Sea TREK as a “very rewarding experience… being able to walk naturally on the seafloor.” Native Diving collaborates with social organizations to accommodate tours for individuals with disabilities, and most recently had a surprise underwater marriage proposal. “The woman practically broke the acrylic lens from excitement,” says Jose Luis. 

  Love is in the water, Native Diving Lanzarote

One lucky TREKKER even found himself in the middle of a school of sardines. Wow!

Spain’s third Sea TREK location is situated in the beautiful Mediterranean resort town of Benidorm. Sea TREK tours are operated by local dive shop, Diving Stones, whose owner-operator, Jorge Palacios, constantly strives for innovation in his business. Sea TREK provided the unique activity he was looking for, and is the first activity of its kind in this area. 

One guest discovering his inner Jacques Cousteau, Diving Stones, Benidorm

The staff say that the most rewarding part of being a Guide is sharing the magic of the ocean with people who may have never gone underwater if it weren’t for the ease of the Sea TREK system. They’ve shared the experience with families, kids, couples who have proposed underwater, and elderly people who have always dreamed of feeling like Jacques Cousteau. In Jorge’s own words, “Sea TREK is a wealth of new sensations– colors, sunlight, fish surrounding you, walking on the seafloor in a different gravity, in a completely new dimension… it’s discovering a new way to walk and dive.” 

Sharing a new experience and a new world together, Benidorm, Spain

While Spain may boast some of the world’s best food and wine, historical landmarks, famous museums, wild nightlife, and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes… don’t forget that there is another world waiting to be discovered, right on the ocean floor. 

Inspiring the Next
Generation of Engineers

Design Engineering instructor, Matt Souza with local students from Golden Sierra High School 

Last year Sub Sea Systems challenged itself with creating a never-before-seen experience– the Clear Lounge underwater oxygen bar. Although this idea was conceived in imagination, it was made a reality through careful engineering and fabrication skills. Seeing an idea go from simple sketches on scratch paper to real life is incredibly fulfilling, and it’s a feeling we wanted to share with our local youth. If we can inspire just a handful of students to pursue engineering, a field that is exponentially growing, just imagine the unbelievable feats they will achieve.

We started the outreach program last fall and were thrilled with the results. Christina Azbill, Sub Sea Systems’ Graphic Designer, invited local high school instructor, Matt Souza, and his design engineering class to help create a 5% scale model of Clear Lounge. Using CAD (computer aided design) software, the students drafted 3D models of various Clear Lounge components and then printed their designs on 3D printers. Each 3D piece was incorporated to create a complete, life-like Clear Lounge model. The model turned out so realistic, that it’s been used in various sales presentations for potential Clear Lounge clients. (Check out our blog for photos of the Clear Lounge model.)

As a ‘thank you’ to the students for their hard work, the class was invited to visit Sub Sea Systems’ facility and see a life-size Clear Lounge in person. Hannah de Bie, V.P. of Marketing, hosted the tour which began with staff introductions, a quick video, and an opportunity for the students to see the finished Clear Lounge model they helped create. 

Students learning about Sea TREK mechanics

The tour included a “behind the scenes” look at each of Sub Sea Systems’ product lines– Sea TREK, FunCat and Clear Lounge. During the Sea TREK presentation, students tried on the Sea TREK helmet, learned about the intricacies of the helmet’s design and various components, and discussed the engineering evolution of the Sea TREK helmet, from the original version in 1999 to the future model (to be released soon!).

  Imagining how fun a FunCat really is!

Next up was FunCat, where Keenan Mayfield, FunCat Product Director, introduced the production process– from rotational molding, to stainless steel tube bending, finishing work and assembly. He explained our company’s core values and emphasized our common practice of locally sourced resources and purchasing “Made in the USA” components. The students went for a “land” test drive of the FunCat and saw how the electric motors and directional thrust worked. They also posed for silly photos in our photo stand-in. 

 Say cheese!

After that it was on to Clear Lounge where Kyle Mayfield, V.P. of Production, walked the class through the Clear Lounge system. The students learned about the engineering and development process for constructing Clear Lounge, and were able to walk through the finished briefing room, equipment room and smoothie bar, where they learned about components such as the oxygen generator system. The class played with bubble guns, underwater jenga blocks and photo booth props, and even picked their favorite scent used in the scent diffuser system. Before leaving the Clear Lounge production area, the students were treated to smoothies from the smoothie bar and goodie bags filled with Sub Sea Systems swag.

 Exploring the Clear Lounge “back-of-house”

At the end of the field trip, Jim Mayfield, President of Sub Sea Systems, spoke to the students about the industry’s need for engineers and the career opportunities available. He shared his experience of making ideas come to life and the importance of having the skills, knowledge and education to make it happen— he definitely inspired more than one future engineer!

 Jim Mayfield speaking to future engineers

The outreach program was a huge success and we look forward to working with Matt Souza and his incoming class on a future project.

Sea TREK in the Media

From TV shows to a “Best of” competition, the media has a heightened infatuation with Sea TREK recently. Check out some of these wonderful highlights.
 

The Amazing Race Season 28

The Amazing Race is a reality show that pits 22 teams of 2 against each other in a race around the world for a chance to win a million dollars. They have challenges, check points and have to keep up so they don’t get eliminated. In Episode 8 the teams must Sea TREK in an aquarium teeming with sharks at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Click the video above to watch the episode, the Sea TREK action starts at 18:28. The comments made by the participants are hilarious; it’s a must watch! You’ll also catch a glimpse of the famous Travelocity gnome in a Sea TREK helmet.

USA Today Top 10

After a two week voting period and a close online race between 20 competitors, Sea TREK at Miami Seaquarium was voted #8 in USA Today’s top ten underwater attractions. Congratulations to Miami Seaquarium and the whole Sea TREK team! Thank you to all who voted!

Mister Maker

Mister Maker is a popular kids crafting show on the BBC, and the host – Mister Maker himself, recently did Sea TREK at the SEA LIFE aquarium in Manchester, United Kingdom. Mister Maker is promoting a new experience called ‘Creature Makes’ that will be available at SEA LIFE centers worldwide. Children will collect materials they need for a project as they travel through the SEA LIFE center. Once all the materials are in hand, they will watch a Mister Maker video that walks them through the creation of a crafty little sea creature. An online competition will be held for the best creature! Check out what our Sub Sea kids created! #MiniMakers
 

One Magnificent Morning
Dream Quest with Evette Rios

Every week The CW, an American TV network, features a series of documentaries in a show called One Magnificent Morning, and in a recent segment (Dream Quest with Evette Rios) Sea TREK at Coral World St. Thomas was highlighted. During the show, a couple has a dream underwater wedding, while a young, up-and-coming movie director takes his first walk on the seafloor. 

36 days of Type

 

We recently participated in a social media campaign called 36 Days of Type, which challenges artists, designers and illustrators to artistically interpret the 26 characters of the alphabet and the numbers 0 through 9– one image for each of the 36 days. We were inspired by sea creatures and Sea TREK components, and each day posted a hand-painted illustration to our instagram account. (All images were hand painted by our talented, in-house social media manager, Andrea Murphy!) 

This marketing effort was not only fun and creatively stimulating, but it earned Sea TREK numerous followers (who previously did not know about Sea TREK), and gained attention from several potential new operators. For our marketing team, the exercise provided quantitative results from a social media campaign, and we learned about a new outlet to reach our audience.

We enjoyed the campaign so much that it has evolved into several other projects… We will soon be offering 11×17 printed posters of our alphabet, as well as a coloring book — adult coloring is a big trend right now, and we think these would be best sellers in Sea TREK gift shops. Look for an email in the coming months offering these new products.

Click the image below to download a sample coloring page. If you wish to preorder, email andrea@subseasystems.com

Sea TREK Postcards
Around the World 

De Palm Island, Aruba

A big thanks to De Palm Island, Aruba for submitting the first photo of a hand painted Sea TREK postcard! It’s just the message we needed to get through this busy day– just breathe

A couple weeks ago we launched our hand-painted postcard campaign and are sending postcards to Sea TREK operators around the world, with one simple request– take a photo of it! The operator who submits the most beautiful, unique, inspired photo will win a special prize courtesy of Sub Sea Systems. So keep an eye out for those postcards in your Sea TREK orders and submit all photos to andrea@subseasystems.com

Follow Sea TREK on Instagram or Facebook to see more Sea TREK postcards around the world!

Gone But Not Forgotten:
In Memoriam

In loving memory of Sea TREK Guide, Auchin Sookoo, who passed away April 19, 2016. “Chin” or “Uncle Chin” as his friends and family fondly called him was a veteran Sea TREK Guide at Sea TREK St. Maarten, and a well loved co-worker, friend and member of the community. He will be deeply missed. 

Just keep swimming
  
Just keep swimming
  Just keep swimming. Dory
, Finding Nemo

 

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