This post may be a total waste of time. It has been nearly two weeks since I posted anything and I’m sure the sporadic postings are having a negative effect on readership. I arrived at the Florida Sea Base just before lunch time Thursday. It was a long drive made worse by the failure of the air conditioning unit on my 1991 Chevrolet Suburban that only has 38,000 miles on it. Within a couple of minutes of my arrival, Assistant Ranger Mike Stolar happened by in the parking lot, followed by Assistant Ranger Rick Kuras, Jr, Sailing Program Director Captain Luke Knuttel, Galley Manager Charles Wozny, Retail Sales Manager Cheryl Kuras, and Galley Mate Tyler Richards. I moved one load of belongings from the Suburban to Escape and then had lunch on base where I saw many of the seasonal staff that were on base plus Logistics Team Leader Tim Stanfill, Food Services Administrator Captain Rae Murphy and Scuba Program Director Joe Angelo.
During lunch, Captain Luke and Joe were dealing with an issue. (How I remember those days; it seems like meal times are frequently present challenges for the program directors.) One of the scuba instructors on a Scuba Liveaboard boat was having back problems. Scuba Instructor Taron Soto was just getting back to the dock from some staff scuba certification dives and volunteered to replace the fallen staff member. Captain Luke and Joe were making arrangements to meet the SL boat at sea and make the swap.
After lunch I visited with Program Office Manager Ellen Wyatt for a few minutes and then I went to Escape for a nap. (I had been up for over 33 hours at that point.)
These coming two weeks are the busiest of the Florida Sea Base spring season. Scuba Instructor Rich Goldman arrived a little before dinner to augment the scuba staff for these two weeks. If you read this blog on occasion you will certainly recognize Rich’s name from helping with our annual Divemaster Academy and any time we are short staffed. He is a Scout’s Scout. Anyway, Mr. Goldman and I had dinner together at Habanos so we could catch up.
After dinner I crossed paths with Scuba Instructor/Captain Brenda Mallory and Scuba Commissioner Tyler Giblin. Captain Brenda has been keeping an eye on Escape for me during my long absence.
Bear in mind that I have not been on a boat since November. The wind was very robust Thursday and I woke from my nap feeling like a seasick zombie. The weather is going to get worse before it gets better. From the National Weather Service:
SEAS ARE GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT…WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.
HAWK CHANNEL FROM OCEAN REEF TO CRAIG KEY OUT TO THE REEF-
HAWK CHANNEL FROM CRAIG KEY TO WEST END OF SEVEN MILE BRIDGE OUT
TO THE REEF-
HAWK CHANNEL FROM WEST END OF SEVEN MILE BRIDGE TO HALFMOON SHOAL
OUT TO THE REEF-
453 PM EDT THU MAR 26 2015
SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH WINDS NEAR 15 KNOTS AND GUSTY
EARLY…BECOMING SOUTH AND DECREASING TO 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 1 TO 3
FEET…SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS A MODERATE CHOP TO
CHOPPY…BECOMING A LIGHT TO MODERATE CHOP. SCATTERED SHOWERS AFTER
SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS…BECOMING WEST AND
INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KNOTS IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 1 TO 2
FEET…BUILDING TO 2 TO 3 FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS A LIGHT TO MODERATE
CHOP…BECOMING CHOPPY. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS
IN THE MORNING. WINDS AND SEAS HIGHER IN AND NEAR NUMEROUS SHOWERS
AND SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS NEAR 20 KNOTS…SHIFTING TO
NORTH AND INCREASING TO 20 TO 25 KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. NEARSHORE
WATERS BECOMING VERY ROUGH. SCATTERED SHOWERS IN THE EVENING…THEN
ISOLATED SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
NORTH WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS EARLY…DECREASING TO 15 TO
20 KNOTS IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 3 TO 4 FEET…SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 3
FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS VERY ROUGH…BECOMING CHOPPY.
SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY
NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20
KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 3 FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS CHOPPY.
NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS NEAR 15 KNOTS. SEAS 1 TO 3
FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS A MODERATE CHOP.
MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT
EAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 1 TO
2 FEET. NEARSHORE WATERS A LIGHT TO MODERATE CHOP.
If the forecast holds, Friday and Saturday are going to be “high adventure”. Ten knots or less is great for the divers. Ten to fifteen is doable for the divers and great for the sailors. Twenty to 25 is not so great for anyone. However, the staff and captains at the Florida Sea Base will do everything possible to deliver the magic regardless of the weather.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Scuba Director – RETIRED