Sea TREK Newsletter November 2015

Sea TREK Newsletter November 2015

November 2015

Thank you from Sub Sea Systems 

A Letter from the President

To our friends, family, operators, tour guides, employees, and supporters,

While contemplating what message I would share about 2015 I kept coming back to thoughts about the staff we have at Sub Sea Systems. If ever there was a year to challenge their collective abilities, and deliver on one of our most ambitious innovations, this was a year to remember. In the frenzy of business, I also know there are many times when I came up short in recognizing the exceptional efforts of my family, friends or business associates. This is a small opportunity for me to humbly express my appreciation for the service, dedication and talent of so many around the world who are delivering Sub Sea Systems’ exceptional products and services.

This year Sub Sea Systems celebrates 30 years in business. From our beginning, as semi-sub builders, to today — Sub Sea Systems has always been adept at applying the creative minds and talents of its employees and business associates. We are so grateful for everyone who has been a part of our company family. To celebrate this momentous achievement our corporate staff planned a surprise party, and in recognition of our 30 years we created a short video– 30 years in 30 seconds — it really does seem like it went by that fast!

We also enjoyed a memorable slideshow with some hilarious material that will work well for our #TBT (throwback Thursday) social media posts! 

In addition to celebrating our 30 years, 2015 also marked another significant achievement– we designed, engineered and delivered our first Clear Lounge, underwater oxygen bar, actually,  the world’s first underwater oxygen bar. We are now embarking on additional constructs of Clear Lounge systems; some destined for far reaching locations, while others are planned closer to home. 

This year has motivated our creative talents to re-invent the Sea TREK helmet. Beginning in early 2016 our clients and guests will be seeing the most ambitious transformation of the iconic helmet.

And, not to be outdone by Clear Lounge or Sea TREK, we have recently developed and introduced a new FunCat electric catamaran model that now includes an on-board solar charger — a system that utilizes the power of the sun and continuously charges throughout the light of day.

On a personal note, our family shared a memorable occasion this year with the marriage of our daughter, Hannah, who also happens to lead the creative team behind our marketing and graphics department. Very soon we will also be celebrating the marriage of our son Kyle — who who is the director of production for the company.

2015 proved to be a record breaking year for Sea TREK operations worldwide. The guided touring program continues to provide access to our oceans with the greatest of ease. And in case any of you decide to celebrate a bit over the top during the holidays….remember that the Clear Lounge underwater oxygen bar is known to be a great hangover cure!
With genuine gratitude & many thanks,
Jim Mayfield
President & CEO of Sub Sea Systems

  The 2015 Reef Alliance Day
Award Winner


Sea TREK De Palm — Aruba




De Palm Tours – Winner of the Reef Alliance Award,
2nd year in a row!


Every year people from around the world are inspired to participate in The International Coastal Cleanup — the world’s largest volunteer effort for our oceans. Ambassadors of the event — hosted by Ocean Conservancy — aim to turn the tide on trash and work toward the ultimate goal of trash free seas. The 2015 cleanup is expected to top the record-breaking effort from last year, which attracted more than 560,000 volunteers who recovered 16 million pounds of trash!

Among the volunteers is a group of dedicated individuals from the Aruba Reef Care Project, who celebrated their 21st cleanup in support of the international event.

Aruba Reef Care is comprised of Sea TREK Guides and staff from De Palm Island, staff from the Atlantis submarine tour and individuals from a local fly-fishing company. On September 20th, the group came together to cleanup the pier at Port De Palm and a nearby mangrove habitat.


Special attention was paid to the mangroves, which are located opposite the Aruban Dump. Plastic bags are frequently picked up by the wind and carried from the dump into the entwined maze of mangrove roots. Although the owner of the fly-fishing company diligently cleans the area every day, the coastal cleanup event allowed for additional volunteers to focus several hours on the habitat, giving it a good, deep clean.

Divers scoured the coastal water around De Palm Island, while other workers combed the beaches. In total, the Aruba Reef Care volunteers collected 92 bags of trash from De Palm Island and the mangroves, and 10 bags of trash from the area around Port De Palm. The debris was moved from the island to the mainland with the help of a tugboat from Atlantis.


“I am so happy with the outcome… the amount of volunteers and what they have achieved,” said Miriam van de Plassche, manager of De Palm Island. Miriam also shared the upcoming plans to ban disposable straws from the island: “We will sell reusable straws with the De Palm Island and Reef Care logos printed on them. Half of every purchase will be used to help fund Reef Care.” De Palm Island is dedicated to maintaining and protecting sea creatures and the environment, and they use creative ideas to achieve their goals.

This outstanding commitment and volunteer work has earned De Palm Island the Reef Alliance Award for the 2nd consecutive year. The annual award, presented by Reef Alliance, is exclusively for a Sea TREK operator whose staff is dedicated to proactive conservation efforts, such as those demonstrated by the De Palm Sea TREK team and their work with the Aruba Reef Care Project.

In addition to the cleanup, the De Palm Sea TREK staff is also committed to sustainable eco-tourism. Since 2002 the team has created and maintained an enhanced Sea TREK dive site with repurposed vehicles, such as an airplane and school bus. The manmade site alleviates pressure from the natural reef, providing additional homes and hiding places for an abundance of sea life. Unfortunately, due to recent environmental challenges associated with river runoff and poor water clarity, the enhanced Sea TREK site had to be moved and re-developed. After weeks of hard work, the Sea TREK team finally revealed their new Sea TREK dive site in early October. The site, which includes a bus and a Land Rover Defender, offers an excess of hiding places and homes for the local marine life.


Improve, Innovate & Enhance!

With the holidays and high season fast approaching, it’s critical that all aspects of our business are primed and ready to go! From thorough equipment inspections, to routine maintenance, Guide refresher courses, dive site enhancements and targeted marketing campaigns, not one aspect of our business should be overlooked. Discussions at the recent Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference reinforced this objective; as the cruise lines encouraged shore excursion operators to take a step back, re-assess their business, and determine where improvements, innovations and enhancements can be made to increase safety and offer an even better overall guest experience. 

Sea TREK operators are fortunate to already offer a unique experience that is highly focused on guest safety, quality equipment, and exceptional customer service. However, there is always room to improve. With that in mind, we’ve challenged ourselves (and we challenge you) to come up with creative new answers to the most basic questions– what can I do better? Where can my business improve? 

For example, Sea TREK at Jeanie’s Beach Club in Cozumel, Mexico is an established business who has been offering Sea TREK excursions to the cruise lines since November 2002. Like all Sea TREK locations, guests love the tour and it is an incredible way to experience your first breaths underwater, however, this particular tour was due for an update– a Sea TREK undersea renovation! So, we looked at the tour and asked ourselves, ‘what can be done better?’ The dive site where the tour takes place is not overly rich with marine life or natural coral structures, so an obvious first step was to enhance the dive site. This is a proven concept that has been accomplished at a number of other Sea TREK sites, such as De Palm Island in Aruba and Sea TREK St. Maarten. Jeanie’s will be introducing a unique statue resembling the Mayan god Chac Mool, as well as a longer Sea TREK path which will take guests past a sunken airplane that will attract an abundance of new life to the area, and stimulate a healthy, long term marine habitat. Now, not only will guests be taking their first breaths underwater, but they will also have the pleasure of exploring a uniquely enhanced dive site. 

On to the next question– ‘where can the business improve?’ As you know, Sea TREK’s limited capacity makes it a low volume tour, when compared to other shore excursion offerings. In an effort to increase the tour volume and attract more allotments, Jeanie’s has expanded its guest capacity from 9 helmets to 15 helmets. This is a significant increase that will benefit both Jeanie’s and the cruise lines. The transition is relatively easy as the EP Air Center and manifold that are currently in use are already equipped to accommodate the additional helmets. 

Similarly, at Sub Sea Systems we are also reevaluating our business, constantly striving to innovate and offer the safest, highest quality products. Recently, we have been working toward an improved Sea TREK helmet, a solution to better fit helmets to children and small adults, and an even more efficient EP Air Center. We’re testing extremely fun bubble guns– like those used in the Clear Lounge experience –in an open water Sea TREK environment; which will provide another level of fun to the underwater tour. We’re also several weeks into testing a wild, alligator print, graphically wrapped helmet. Our tech department is working on the 6th edition of the Sea TREK Manual – Operating Standards and Procedures, as well as additional translated materials for our ever growing market of diverse guests. The marketing department is preparing to introduce a new clothing line for staff and retail, as the team continues to support operators with a wide variety of custom designs for promotional items.  

We recognize it’s easy to be complacent with a Sea TREK business – the tour is unique and guests love the experience; and although the majority of our clients are new, we also have a growing number of repeat TREKKERs. However, this should not stop any of us from pushing the boundaries, it should only encourage us. 

Sub Sea Systems’ lines of communication are always open if you’d like to bounce around ideas to improve, innovate and enhance our business or the Sea TREK program in general. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson– “unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

The 2016 Sea TREK helmet 

Work is well underway on Sea TREK’s 3rd generation helmet; the design changes are both aesthetically noticeable and mechanically appreciated. These changes come after 6 years of production and extended use of the current, 2nd generation helmet, from which we have learned and adapted many of the new features on this upcoming generation. Several of the notable features include: a new O-ring sealing lens, an air delivery system aimed to reduce ambient sound in the helmet, and an improved overall fit. Production and testing is slated to begin early next year.

Order your custom Sea TREK map!


Sub Sea Systems is now offering complimentary graphic designs for customizable Sea TREK wall maps. Spruce up your operation with a 4′ x 3′ (1.2 m x .91 m) map displaying Sea TREK sites around the world, with a special highlighted area featuring your location, demarcated with a ‘YOU ARE HERE’ icon. Choose your colors and add your logo. Contact for your custom design.

Sea TREK Spain on Discovery Max

Discovery Max is a division of the Discovery network that offers programming in Spain and Portugal. From extreme sports to automotive reality shows, Discovery Max is the ultimate channel for …well …Discovery. Recently Filiberto Medina, our Sea TREK Europe representative and Sea TREK Spain operator, took part in Discovery Max’s challenge that requested people to film themselves doing their favorite activity while shouting “Mi territorio es Discovery!” (My Territory is Discovery). The best submissions are displayed on the Discovery Max website and will be aired on the Discovery Max channel… and Fili’s video made the cut! Take a look at Fili on Discovery Max

Welcome to the Family

Our newest additions to the Sea TREK family:

Sea TREK Vietnam by Cham Island Tourist Company, 
Cham Island, Da Nang, Vietnam – Coming Soon!
Sea TREK by Dive & Cruise Frankland Islands,
Cairns, Australia – Coming Soon!
And we’re excited to announce that there are just 229 days until the much anticipated OdySea Aquarium opens in Phoenix, Arizona. Click below to check out the progress on their live construction cams!


Copyright © 2015 Sub Sea Systems, Inc. / Sea TREK® / Clear Lounge™, All rights reserved.