Thanks for all of the birthday and retirement wishes. My stress level remains off the chart with the PADI IDC starting this Thursday, still trying to recruit more applicants for the Divemaster Academy in December and the Scuba Tournament and National Aquatics Workshop in October. I continue to be very blessed with help from some incredible staff members.\ and could not do any of this without them.
SWIM FOR ALLIGATOR LIGHT
Florida Sea base Facilities Director Captain Keith Douglass was kind enough to volunteer “us” to serve as a safety vessel for the 2nd annual Swim for Alligator Light. The event was organized to bring attention to the neglected lighthouse. The lighthouse was erected in 1873. I don’t want to start any political pushback so I will simply say that there is currently no funding available for the Coast Guard to maintain the light and there are plans to abandon or dismantle this historic landmark.
Captain Douglass was too busy to attend himself. Scuba Commissioner Alex Bergstedt, Scuba Instructor Brenda Mallory and I manned BSA Sea Scout and were on station at Alligator Light, one of the most photographed sites in the Florida Keys, from 08:30 to 16:00.
Florida Sea Base Logistics Team Leader Tim Stanfill was on a four person relay team that placed third in their division. Former Florida Sea Base seasonal staff member (also retired Sergeant from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and currently an Officer with the Florida Wildlife Commission) Roy Bogue swam with another team.
This is a true open water swim; 8 nautical miles of current, waves, 4 to 5 hours of sun and saltwater exposure, droves of moon jellies, and yes, the occasional passing shark. There were no shark attacks, but severe jellyfish stings did cause several swimmers to abort the swim.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape