I apologize for being away for so long without warning. I received this sweet comment from Mary Beth DiSanti:
I am having Sea Base News withdrawal!!! I hope someone will continue after your retirement. Good luck & I’ll miss your posts. MBD
I very much appreciate everyone’s well wishes and I hope to post more regularly once I get a bit more settled. I am hitting the road tomorrow (Saturday) morning to take a small load of stuff to Texas and to spend some time with family. I will return to the base on or around 15 December to meet up with Alex Bergstedt, Rich Goldman and whomever else is here early to make final preparations for the 11th annual Florida Sea Base Divemaster Academy (DMA).
My lovely bride arrived two weeks ago to help me sort through 14 years of accumulated files, dive gear and boat parts. Once the sorting was done we packed my 16’x7′ enclosed trailer with “the good stuff”. It has been two weeks of long days.
I have also spent a fair amount of time with the new Scuba Director, Joe Angelo, helping him get up to speed. You can reach Joe at Joe.Angelo@scouting.org. He is in place, on payroll and in charge. One of the big changes for Joe is being on call 24/7 for most of the year. Unlike a typical dive resort, during program season we have kids on the base and on the water 24 hours a day about 100 days straight (just in the summer) and kids on the base or on the water means the Program Director is subject to call for anything from a bandaid to a fatality. (I am NOT going to miss that part!)
I am driving my Accord (which I had serviced yesterday) and pulling a small 4’x6′ trailer home. I am dropping my bride at Miami International Airport early in the morning and then driving another 5 or 6 hours to the historic homesite of Captain Dennis Wyatt (author of The Bald Man and the Sea AND The Balder Man in the Sea) and Doctor Ellen Wyatt (caregiver for The Bald Man Who Left His Brain in the Sea). From there it is another 18 hours of drive time to Dallas. According to The Weather Channel, I will enjoy rain, strong winds and a 40% chance of tornadoes as I drive west on I-10 Sunday.
I will return with my 3/4 ton GMC for DMA and haul the big trailer back to Texas in January. (Fortunately I will travel I-10 back to our homestead in Southeast Texas and hopefully will miss most/all of any frozen precipitation.)
While I was busy closing shop, the Florida Sea Base and Brinton Environmental Center were busy hosting an assortment of conferences from BSA professional development courses to BBYO (formerly B’nai B’rith Youth Organization) events.
Most of the seasonal and full time staff have fled the premises for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is the only holiday that Florida Sea Base Program Directors are allowed to be away from their post. Senior management and hourly employees can take vacation at their choosing. I will turn out the lights and lock the gates behind me tomorrow when I pull out.
The recent cold fronts managed to push their way through the Keys. It is raining and cool this morning, very nasty looking and really making for a depressing day. The cold fronts are wreaking havoc with the local ocean water temperatures. Molasses Reef Buoy reported the water temperature as 78.1°F at 08:00 (AM) yesterday. At 06:00 this morning the reading was 73.4. If anyone attending the Divemaster Academy is reading this, be prepared to shiver off a few pounds during the course this year.
I will try hard to post again by mid-week. I appreciate your loyalty and patience while I make this transition from warm and sunny Florida to the frozen tundra of The Mother Country.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape