DONE

ERIKA – fizzled out
SCOUTS – all summer adventures have concluded
CAPTAINS and SEASONAL STAFF – most are headed for home and/or school
FULL TIME STAFF – breathing a sigh of relief and preparing for their upcoming Staff Planning Conference at Northern Tier later this month

WEATHER

I copied this straight from the NWS graphical forecast for the Florida Sea Base:

Sunday, August 30 at 8am
Temperature: 82 °F Dewpoint: 77 °F Heat Index: 90 °F Surface Wind: SE 16mph
Sky Cover (%): 89% Precipitation Potential (%): 80% Relative Humidity (%): 85%
Rain: Occasional (80%-100%) Thunder: Likely (60%-70%)

Despite the 80%-100% chance of raining, it is not a constant rain at the Florida Sea Base proper although the Brinton Environmental Center has seen pretty significant rain most of the morning.

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Captains Mike and Kelley Lucivero report that the fleet and personnel at Sea Base St. Thomas survived Erika without incident.

Tropical Storm Fred has already emerged from the African coast.  However, it is likely to curve north and not threaten the Florida Sea Base.

IDC

The next event at the Florida Sea Base is the PADI Instructor Development Course that starts on 17 September.  We have seven instructor candidates and three IDC Staff Instructor candidates.  The Florida Sea Base is currently fortunate to have three PADI Course Directors (instructor trainers) on staff, Program Director Joe Angelo, Captain Bert Hubby and me (as a volunteer, of course).

DMA

There’s still time to submit your application for the 2015 Divemaster Academy and live the dream of being a paid PADI Divemaster at the Florida Sea for the summer of 2016.  Details can be found on the Scuba Training page of this blog.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

TROPICS

As of 05:00 EDT, the National Hurricane Center has nudged the official forecast track for Tropical Storm Erika slightly to the east, almost far enough to remove the Florida Sea Base from the dreaded “cone of death” (as the locals call it).

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This is good news for the Florida Sea Base for the moment.  The next NHC update will be at 11:00 EDT.  I will not have access to a computer until sometime this evening.  I will post another short update if the storm jogs back to the west.  This is one of those situations where it’s a relief to see the system possibly pass you by, but at the same time, you know many people somewhere are going to suffer because of your good fortune.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

26Aug

ERIKA UPDATE

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TROPICS

All indications (including an email from our favorite Nation Weather Service Senior Marine Forecaster Chip Kennard) suggest that SUNDAY is the most likely day for the Florida Sea Base to feel effects from Erika IF we get anything at all.

The good news is that the Hurricane Center is currently forecasting a 10% chance of tropical storm strength winds at the base.  I prefer to look at that as a 90% chance that we will NOT experience the 34 to 63 knot winds.

PROGRAM

As mentioned in my last post, the remainder of the week is expected to be soggy at the Florida Sea Base.  The good news is all of the participants should have left or be in the process of leaving the Florida Sea Base before Erika arrives.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

25Aug

ERIKA

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TROPICS

Tropical Storm Erika is being scrutinized closely by the Florida Sea Base management.  Forecasters are still uncertain of Erika’s future.  The storm is still a ways out as measured by distance, but she is moving almost twice as fast as Danny did so time is growing short for planning purposes.

If Erika threatens the Florida Sea Base, it could mean that some of our very last crews have to cut their adventure short.  That is far from being a done deal, but there is the possibility that an evacuation could be ordered.  If the system approaches as a tropical storm, then everyone will simply return to dock and hunker down.  The full time staff of the Florida Sea Base is experienced with these situations and there should be no concern of participants or seasonal staff being left in harms way.

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WEATHER

The National Weather Service in Key West has forecasted a soggy week for the Florida Sea Base.

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DIVEMASTER ACADEMY

There is still time to submit an application for the 2015 Divemaster Academy.  Check out the details on the ScubaTraining page of this blog.  Feel free to contact me with questions at FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

TROPICS

This morning, Danny became the first hurricane of the 2015 season.

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Assuming this graphic proves to be accurate, Danny will affect Sea Base St. Thomas weather on Monday and be on the strong side of Danny when it passes as a category 1 hurricane or tropical storm.

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The above graphic is from an app called Hurricane Hunter.  As noted in the box, this data is “Subject to Large Errors”.  However, it has historically been fairly accurate.  Hurricane Hunter is currently predicting a 40% chance of Danny affecting the USVI, 7% chance for the Bahamas and 4% for South Florida.

Are there more to come?  Probably.  We are at the time of year when storms roll of the African coast, evolve into tropical waves and potentially make it to hurricane status.  Stay tuned!

PROGRAM

As promised, the Florida Sea Base staff is watching Danny closely.  Because of the timing, some crews may be evacuate early or cancelled if conditions warrant.  For current information, please refer to the official website of the Florida Sea Base, www.bsaseabase.org.  All Florida Sea Base facilities are very experienced with this type of weather and managing the arrival and departure of participants and staff to keep them out of harm’s way.

DIVEMASTER ACADEMY

DIVEMASTER-ACADEMY

Applications are still being accepted for the 2015 Divemaster Academy.  Details can be found by clicking on the ScubaTraining tab on this site or contact me directly at FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

18Aug

DANNY

in Weather  •  2 comments

TROPICS

Here we go, finally; the Atlantic Basin is showing signs of tropical life.  This is NOT something we look forward to, but – like knowing you’re going to get a whooping when your dad gets home – it is sometimes a relief to get started.  Tuesday, Invest 96L quickly organized and was first designated Tropical Depression 4 and only a few hours later was upgraded to Tropical Storm Danny.  The system is still too far out for forecasters to have much certainty in the Danny’s future track or intensity.  But with that said, all Florida Sea Base interests (Florida Keys, The Bahamas and US Virgin Islands) are monitoring this system’s development.

at201504_5day

 

at201504_model

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Comparing the first image and the third, you can see that the system is changing quickly as WeatherUnderground shows the storm weakening over five days while the National Hurricane Center does not.

WEATHER

The good news is that there are potential impediments to T/S Danny’s intensification and it is a small system (so far).  It will not have any affect on Florida Sea Base interests for at least a few days with the St. Thomas Sailing program to be most likely to be first in line.  They desperately need some rain so this system could be a positive event for them.

The current forecast for the Florida Keys, Marsh Harbour and St. Thomas are very seasonable with some chance of showers in the Keys and Bahamas.

PERSONAL

My son and I made the drive from Florida Sea Base to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in about 25 hours including stops; not bad for more than 1,600 miles in a 1991 Suburban that was pretty loaded down.  I will be driving back to Florida soon; possibly VERY soon depending on Danny’s behavior, and mid September at the latest.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

PERSONAL

I have enjoyed a couple of weeks at the Florida Sea Base but will depart early (around 4 am) Monday to return to my responsibilities there.  My lovely bride, Sue, drove down with me and spent a few days before flying home.  I was able to make time this trip to make a few fun dives, something I haven’t done in a LONG while.  They were made even more pleasurable because my son, Aaron, flew in to dive with me.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

STAFF

The staff is dwindling as the season nears it end.  Most are headed back to college.  The remaining staff members and the reinforcements who have joined them are in high spirits and offering the level of service the Florida Sea Base is known for.  I appreciate the hospitality they provided.

TROPICS

Invest 96L is in the eastern Atlantic and has a potential for development.

two_atl_5d0

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN AUG 16 2015

For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

1. A tropical wave accompanied by a surface low pressure system is producing a concentrated area of disturbed weather a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Environmental conditions are expected to be somewhat conducive for gradual development of this disturbance over the next several days while it moves westward at around 15 mph.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…medium…40 percent

Forecaster Stewart

I am not finding much chatter about Invest 96L this morning.  There is an area of dry are between the system and areas of interest to the Florida Sea base which may be in our favor.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 10.25.54

Obviously, we will check the progress of this system daily for updates.  For now, programs in the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Florida are not being impacted by this potential threat.

Capt. Steve Willis
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Aboard S/V Escape

STAFF

I failed to mention that long-time Florida Sea Base staffer, Scuba Instructor Captain Scott Patton has been here since the first of August and Scuba Instructor (recently retired) Dale Davis is also here reinforcing the end of season scuba staff.  Captain Scott and Dale also helped out in the spring.  It really helps when your wife is onboard with the mission your are accomplishing.

WEATHER

We received a much needed rain Sunday morning (about 1.5″ according to FSB Facilities Director Captain Keith Douglass).  It brought a little relief from the heat (for a little while) but when the rain stopped, the clouds parted, the heat beat down, the humidity shot off the chart and it was HOT.  We expect these brief rain showers for the next several days.

DIVEMASTER ACADEMY

DIVEMASTER-ACADEMY

It is time to get it in gear if you are interested in attending the 2015 Divemaster Academy.  You can find more information on the Scuba Training page of this blog or email FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com.  You can also look through past posts for an insight into the DMA.

DMA STAFF

Some of the perennial members of the Florida Sea Base Divemaster Academy cadre have grown up and taken real jobs.  (Not me!!!)  Currently we are in need of two PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (or higher), one USCG Master (who in a perfect world would also be a PADI OWSI or higher) and a Dive Boat Mate who is a PADI Divemaster or higher.  Specific dates can be found in the DMA flyer on the ScubaTraining page of this blog.  If you are interested in joining our DMA cadre, please email me at FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com.

The current cadre consists of me (course coordinator and instructor), Rich Goldman (who will have completed his PADI Instructor Development Course Staff Instructor rating) and Taron Soto (who will likewise be IDCSI rated by then).

We look forward to producing another class of PADI certified Divemasters to lead next year’s scuba participants at the Florida Sea Base.

Capt. Steve Willis
PADI Course Director
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Aboard S/V Escape

09Aug

REINFORCEMENTS

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STAFF

As mentioned in my last post, many of the Florida Sea Base staff members will be departing for college soon.  This means that reinforcements are wanted, needed and appreciated for the last week or two of the season.  I mentioned that Scuba Instructor “Mustang” Potter is here.  So too is Scuba Instructor Paul Mangone.  (And there may be others that I have yet to cross paths with.)

And YOU could be here too.  ALL departments could use a boost.  You can call the Director of Program, Tim Stanfill, if you are interested in a job but aren’t sure where your talents are most needed.  Tim’s direct line is 305-664-5614.

When I say, “YOU could be here too”, I realize not everyone can be here; take perennial reinforcement Captain/Scuba Instructor Kari Dahlquist for example.  She has completed her degree at SUNY Maritime College and is now pursuing all requirements to become an Admiral.

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That’s Captain “Wanna Be Admiral” Kari Dahlquist on the far right during lifeboat drop drills.  You go, Girl!!!

The REST of you could be at Sea Base.  “The weather is here.  Wish you were beautiful”.  The water is warm and clear so come on down – and hurry!

TROPICS

Don’t tell anyone, but while the Pacific is getting hammered by tropical weather, we are flying under the radar on the Atlantic side.  Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t over ’til it’s over and it only takes one to have a catastrophic season.  We are looking great for now and, if it is God’s will, may finish the summer without a significant wind event.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 8.08.59

WEATHER

The Florida Sea Base has a 20% 24 hours a day for the next several days according to the National Weather Service.  The cloud cover will bring slightly cooler temperatures.

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Capt. Steve Willis
PADI Course Director
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Aboard S/V Escape

TROPICS

The following graphic is from http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-wv.html.  The brown colors indicate the presence of very dry air in the Main Development Region (MDR) for Atlantic tropical development.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 7.21.42

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Therefore, the National Hurricane Center is not calling for any tropical development in the Atlantic basin for at least the next five days.

WEATHER

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The National Weather Service is forecasting very seasonable conditions for the next several days.

STAFF

My wife and I arrived at the Florida Sea Base Tuesday afternoon.  Program is rocking along and the staff and captains are dedicated to insuring that the last crews of the summer receive the same level of enthusiasm as the first crews.

The perennial problem for this time of year is the migration of seasonal staff members back to college. If you are interested in spending a couple of weeks in the sunshine of the Florida Keys and getting paid for it, please contact Captain Luke Knuttel (sailing programs) at lucas.knuttel@scouting.org or Joe Angelo (scuba programs) at joe.angelo@scouting.org.  The remaining staff members would greatly appreciate the help.

Some reinforcements, like Scuba Instructor Austen “Mustang” Potter have already arrived.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED