I want to thank everyone for the comments, thoughts and prayers regarding my mom passing away. I cannot express how that makes me feel. All I can say is thank you. Reports are that my dad is handling the situation well. I am staying very busy but still have moments when thoughts of my mom are at the forefront.
The PADI Course Director Training Course (CDTC) is going well and my confidence level is growing thanks to the excellent mentoring of the PADI CDTC staff. Most of our activities are scored from 1 (not good) to 5 (excellent). We have completed the Skill Circuit. During this phase we were required to demonstrate 12 basic scuba skills that are contained primarily in the PADI Open Water Diver course. Our criteria is not simply performing the skill, but performing the skill in a manner that an instructor candidate could observe our demonstration and then demonstrate the skill to a student diver to a degree that the student could in turn repeat the skill. I scored 5 on all skills except two where I earned a score of 4 or a total of 58/60. The minimum score for any one skill on the diving skills was 3 with a required total minimum of 48 of 60 points.
I earned a 5.0 on my Confined Water Teaching Presentation. We still have uddles of tasks to be scored on (one happens this afternoon) which translates into continued stress and pressure. The minimum passing score for all of the Confined Water and Open Water presentations is 4.0. We also have several Knowledge Development presentations to make. The minimum passing score is 4.0 on those as well.
Many of the items being evaluated are skills that we are very familiar with. However, we are moving into new materials and presentation requirements that again induce stress. The bottom line is, so far so good. There is a lot to do, and although the PADI CDTC staff members are working hard to reduce stress, most of us are still rather nervous about our upcoming opportunities for excellence.
Becoming a PADI Course Director will have several benefits for the Florida Sea Base and the Boy Scouts of America. This certification is not coincidental with the construction of a $1.5 million aquatic center at the Florida Sea Base. Our intent is to use these tools during our non-program season to contact more PADI professional level instruction including more Divemaster courses and to finally be able to offer Instructor Development Training (a few Divemasters have expressed interest), and continuing education opportunities for existing PADI Instructors such as Instructor Development Course Staff Instructor (three people have already asked to be in my class) and well as Specialty Instructor Training Courses. I am also hopeful that we can reorganize our existing Scuba Liveaboard and Scuba Adventure programs to offer more certification options to our participants. These opportunities will start with crews attending in our spring season (February through April) and hopefully expand to the summer crews as soon as we are able to employ an adequate number of PADI Scuba Instructors. The possibilities are endless.
Outside of scuba, the new aquatics facility will allow the Florida Sea Base to truly become the premiere aquatics venue within the Boy Scouts of America. Imagine winter time National Camp Schools. No longer will camps have to wait until May to have staff attend a NCS. We can offer training for lifeguard, small boat sailing, motor boating, kayaking, canoeing, standup paddle boarding, aquatics supervision and many other aquatic interests. The possibilities are limitless.
There are exciting times ahead. The challenge will be in having the courage to make these opportunities become realities.
The weather system in the Gulf of Mexico has been officially designated Invest 96L. There should be no significant impact at the Florida Sea Base other than some wind and rain.
Click to enlarge.
Dr. Jeff Masters included the following in his morning post:
An area of low pressure and heavy thunderstorms entering the Southern Gulf of Mexico is bringing sporadic heavy rains to Western Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and winds of 20 – 25 mph to surrounding ocean areas.
This disturbance will need to be watched for development as it drifts slowly northward at about 5 mph into the Central Gulf of Mexico by Saturday. The disturbance is poorly organized, and has only a modest area of heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear
is a moderate to high 15 – 25 knots over the region. Ocean temperatures are 81 – 83°F in the Western Caribbean and Southern Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average, and plenty warm to support formation of a tropical storm.
Forecast for Gulf of Mexico disturbance
Wind shear is predicted to remain in the moderate to high range through Friday. Water vapor satellite loops show a region of dry air over the Northern Gulf of Mexico; this dry air is probably too far away to significantly interfere with development. I expect we will see an increase in the disturbance’s heavy thunderstorm activity today as a result of less interfence from dry air. By Saturday, our two top models, the European model (ECMWF) and GFS, predict that wind shear could fall to the moderate range, 10 – 20 knots, which would potentially allow the disturbance to approach tropical depression status by Sunday. A trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the disturbance and accelerating it to the northeast on Sunday, as predicted by the GFS model, which takes the disturbance across Florida on Sunday, and into the waters off the coast of South Carolina by Monday. The GFS does not develop the disturbance while it is in the Gulf of Mexico, but suggests it could develop into a tropical or subtropical depression off the coast of South Carolina Monday or Tuesday. The latest ECMWF model run (00 UTC) predicts that this through will not be strong enough to pull the disturbance northeastwards across Florida, and the disturbance will instead linger in the Gulf of Mexico for many days, giving it time to develop into a tropical depression next week. The UKMET and NOGAPS models predict a more westward drift, with the disturbance affecting the Mexico/Texas border region 6 – 7 days from now. At this point, we can’t rule out any location in the Gulf being affected by this system, though the Gulf coast of Florida has the highest probability of seeing impacts. NHC is giving the disturbance a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning. This is a reasonable forecast, and the odds will probably rise by Friday, and I give the disturbance a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday morning.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
2012 CDTC, Dominican Republic