Archive for March, 2013

22Mar

SUP

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STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING

Here are some of the photos I took with my cheap camera during Wednesday’s SUP photo shoot at the Florida Sea Base.  If you click on a photo it should open to full size in a new window.  [By the way, paddleboarding is one word despite spell check’s failure to recognize it.  Someone living in the iCloud or cyberspace or electron nirvana needs to update their list.]

The first day of spring 2013 at the Florida Sea Base.

The first day of spring 2013 at the Florida Sea Base.

Captain Steve Harrison and photographer Ronnie Fye.

Captain Steve Harrison and photographer Ronnie Fye.

 

Phillip Ferrier

Phillip Ferrier

Robbie Foard

Robbie Foard

Robbie Foard from the other end.

Robbie Foard from the other end.

Richard Fallon and Zane Frey, new staff members.

Richard Fallon and Zane Frey, new staff members.

Divemaster Tyler Giblin.

Divemaster Tyler Giblin.

2 Florida Sea Base lifeguards observing the photo shoot.

2 Florida Sea Base lifeguards observing the photo shoot.

World Champion Paddle Sports Instructor Jessica "Jess" SSSS.

World Champion Paddle Sports Instructor Jessica “Jess” Skipa.

 SCUBA

Some of the Scuba Certification crew members stayed on base Thursday morning to refine their skills in the pool.  The remainder of the Scuba Certification crew joined up with the Scuba Adventure crews on BSA Centennial Eagle.  Dives were completed at a patch reef named Captain Grumpy and at Davis Reef, a ledge type reef.  The crews enjoyed lunch and play time at Hens and Chickens, a patch reef closer to shore and conducive to snorkeling. In the afternoon the other Scuba Certification crew members went to Alligator Reef and caught up on their training dives.  The Scuba Certification crew will complete their final training dive and a fun dive today.

 WEATHER

Thursday was another gorgeous day.  We have a 10% chance of showers today with a forecasted high of 81°F.  We are expecting southeast winds at 10 to 15 knots.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAFF

I failed to mention that Richard Fallon joined our sailing staff about a week ago.  One of Richard’s other jobs is wrestling coach; he’s a big guy.  Zane Frey joined the sailing staff early this week.  Today is a big arrival day for extra scuba staff.  PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer Richard Goldman is returning, but not just for the weekend; this time he will spend a couple of weeks helping us out.  PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer Mark Gilbert will also join us for a couple of weeks.  In addition, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer / Captain Alex Bergstedt is returning.  He is going to stay on for the remainder of the spring and the summer.

About half of the Florida Sea Base staff members this spring are named Richard or David.  Emily and Jennifer are usually most common.  This spring the most common names award goes to the guys.  Congratulations to David, Richard, David, David, Richard, David, Richard, Richard and David.  It has gotten so bad that one of the David’s changed his name to Chris.

It reminds me of one of my summers in Little League Baseball.  We did not have a coach for our team.  Someone finally, and very reluctantly, volunteered.  He was so disinterested that he refused to learn our names.  He called everyone Willie or Sam (like in the “Henry the VIII” song).  But he was indiscriminate so if he called you Sam, you might be calling you Willie 5 minutes later.  Sometimes he would holler towards the bench, “Willie, go relieve Sam in center field”.  The players on the bench would look at each other and whomever was in the mood to play center field would get up, grab his glove and trot out to center field.    Needless to say that was not our best season.

WEATHER

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring.  Big whoop-de-do; the Florida Sea Base has been celebrating the spring season since 16 February.  It’s about time everyone else caught up.  And that giant rat, Pocahontas Phil, or whatever his name is, is even catching flack from The Weather Channel for predicting an early spring.  Our spring has been cooler than normal, not to mention windy.  If we had wind turbines down here and an adequate storage system we could have generated enough electricity to power the USA for a decade.  But don’t take that as a complaint.  Compared to those of you living north of the Mason-Dixon Line we are doing GREAT.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous: no wind, mostly sunny skies, and 80°F.  The Scuba Adventure crews returned to the base around 14:20 (2:20pm) and went paddle boarding so Ronnie Fye could take photos for inclusion in the upcoming BSA Stand-up Paddleboarding Award brochure.  The weather was threatening to rain out the night dive.  But the frontal boundary brought us a little wind but the rain died out northwest of us.

SCUBA

The Florida Sea Base was the Regional Nominee for the 2012 Project AWARE Marine Environmental Award.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The Scuba Certification crew completed PADI Open Water Training Dive #1 at Alligator Reef yesterday afternoon with Scuba Instructors David Ball and David Kirkenir.  The Scuba Adventure crews completed two dives and returned to base for the SUP photo shoot.  i will post some more photos tomorrow if possible.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

 

WEATHER

Be careful what you wish for. (That is extraordinarily poor English.  I struggled to get Bs and Cs in English is school and even I know that is a horrible sentence.)  The weather at the Florida Sea Base was warmer yesterday morning (69°), the wind was calm, just what we had been hoping for.  BUT we did not express and moisture preferences, so it was raining (of course).  The rain broke around breakfast time but the sky was overcast all day.  By evening the clouds were breaking.  At 04:00 this morning we have clear skies, 69°F, the wind is 9 knots out of the north.  The wind is forecast to be from the south and clock to the northwest by this evening.

SAILING

We don’t have any sailing crews this week.  The staff took advantage of the situation yesterday by practicing their sailing skills.

SCUBA

The Scuba Certification crew spent the day in the pool yesterday.  They should be ready for their PADI Open Water Training Dives by this afternoon or tomorrow morning (at the latest).   The Scuba Adventure crew completed two more dives yesterday.  Due to overcast skies and a building wind the visibility was not as good as on Monday.  But after returning to the Florida Sea Base, the participants commented that they had a great day.  Sometimes it is all about keeping a positive attitude.

The Scuba Adventure crew is scheduled for two more dives today plus a night dive tonight.  A few days ago Wednesday was forecasted to be our most promising evening weather wise.  As mentioned above, the National Weather Service is not forecasting an increase in wind for this evening.  If the wind clocks to the northwest it will have negligible effect on the diving.  However, Captain Christy may have her hands full docking at the Florida Sea Base after the dive.  (And it may be a bumpy night trying to sleep on the boats in the marina.)  The chance of rain for tonight is forecasted at 30%.  We can deal with rain.  I don’t think we are expecting lightning.  If so, that could cancel the dive.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

19Mar

ACCREDITATION

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SAILING

Sailing Commissioner Bryce Dallmeyer and his staff, Conference Mate Veronica “Ronnie” Frye, and Captain Steve Harrison teamed up yesterday morning to get some photos of the staff stand-up paddle boarding.  I am going to submit the photos for possible inclusion in the upcoming BSA Stand-Up Paddleboarding award brochure.

SCUBA

The Scuba Certification crew spent most of the day in the classroom.  The Scuba Adventure crews spent the morning gearing up and learning navigation skills.  (Finding your way back to the boat is very good.)  After lunch they went to Alligator Reef for their first dive.  The seas were pretty rough, but the visibility was descent.  A few of the participants suffered from seasickness.

CAMP ACCREDITATION

I turned in my weekend homework assignment early yesterday morning.  I was tasked with reviewing the 300+ pages of the new National Camp Accreditation Standards and making notes of any items of concern.  Yeah weekends!  Our accreditation event occurs in early June.  We have a lot to get done.  General Manager Captain Paul Beal even spent part of yesterday taking photos to supplement some of the accreditation requirements.

WEATHER

It was very windy yesterday.  Rain threatened a few times but only very light sprinkles materialized until 04:25 this morning.  The wind was dead calm but built during the rain.  As you can see, the rain field was quite large (and the rain was heavy enough to blank out my DirecTV signal).

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

We have a small chance of rain for the next two days.  The afternoon temperatures will be around 80°F.  The wind should slacken today and tomorrow and then rebound Thursday.

SPECIAL GUEST

Brenda Stolzenberger is visiting with her husband, Captain Brian, onboard S/V Misty Shoals this week.  Captain Brian and Brenda have always been kind to me.  I am sure that I have “frustrated” Captain Brian on a professional level from time to time, but he has always maintained a good demeanor. They have always been thoughtful, sending cards when my granddaughter was born and when my mom died.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

18Mar

SCUBA ARRIVALS

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SCUBA

The Florida Sea Base scuba staff were busy Sunday.  One Scuba Adventure crew checked out in the morning.  The Scuba Liveaboard crew that arrived Saturday was running a little behind schedule and had a very busy morning before casting off for a week of scuba fun.  Two Scuba Adventure and one Scuba Certification crew checked in after lunch.

SAILING

The sailing staff is getting a break this week like the scuba did a week ago.  I am trying to get them to work on some photos for the upcoming stand-up paddleboarding award.

WEATHER

Sunday started out a bit cool as has been the trend for  a couple of weeks.  But we warmed up into the upper 70s in the afternoon.  It should be a little warmed today.

000

FXUS62 KKEY 171952

AFDKEY

 

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KEY WEST FL

352 PM EDT SUN MAR 17 2013

 

.DISCUSSION…

LOW ALTITUDE RIDGING IS EXPECTED TO YIELD OVER THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS

AN UPPER TROUGH MOVES IN THE SOUTHEAST STATES. THE WEAK LOW LEVEL WARM

ADVECTION PATTERN IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN WITH A STRONG

SOUTHERN BRANCH OF THE JET…WITH SPEEDS OVER 100 KNOTS…REMAINING

FAIRLY ZONAL AND SETTLING SOUTH OVER THE KEYS BY TUESDAY. THIS

PATTERN WILL PROMOTE A MIX OF STRATOCUMULUS DECKS DEVELOPING BENEATH

A WEAKENING 850 MB INVERSION ALONG WITH EXTENSIVE MID AND UPPER

CLOUDINESS. A WEAK SURFACE TROUGH WILL SETTLE INTO THE AREA

SUPPORTING A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY…A WEAK SURFACE PRESSURE PATTERN WILL LEAVE

LIGHT WINDS WHILE MID LEVEL MOISTURE DEPARTS. THE CURRENTLY POSTED

DRY FORECAST FOR THE MID TO LATE WEEK WILL CONTINUE.

 

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND…THERE IS MUCH GREATER UNCERTAINTY WITH

MEDIUM RANGE NUMERICAL GUIDANCE DIFFERING ON WHETHER DIGGING

SHORTWAVE TROFS OUT OF NORTHWEST CANADA REMAIN IN THE NORTHERN JET

BRANCH OR ARE ALLOWED TO EVOLVE A SOUTHEAST U.S. TROUGH MORE QUICKLY.

SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN THE SURFACE PRESSURE PATTERN WOULD SUGGEST

A COLD FRONT MOVING INTO FLORIDA LATE IN THE WEEKEND…WITH SOME

CONCERN CYCLOGENESIS AND THE EVENTUAL FRONTAL PASSAGE IN THE KEYS MAY

WAIT. FOR NOW…INCLUDED A SLIGHTLY SLOWER FRONTAL PASSAGE LATE

SUNDAY IN THE GRIDDED DATA AND INTRODUCED SLIGHT CHANCE POPS FOR

SUNDAY. IN ANY CASE…EVEN MORE AGGRESSIVE FORECAST SOLUTIONS KEEP

MOISTURE DEPTH GENERALLY BELOW 800 MB.

&&

.MARINE…

HIGH PRESSURE ACROSS CENTRAL FLORIDA AND THE WESTERN ATLANTIC WILL

RETREAT EASTWARD OVER THE NEXT 36 TO 48 HOURS. NO MARINE HIGHLIGHTS

ARE EXPECTED THIS WEEK AS LIGHT TO GENTLE SOUTHEAST WINDS OF 10 TO 15

KNOTS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME LIGHT AND VARIABLE BY TUESDAY NIGHT.

WHILE SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN…BRIEF REBUILDING OF HIGH PRESSURE

TRANSITING NORTH FLORIDA MAY PRODUCE A BRIEF SPELL OF GENTLE EAST

WINDS LATE THURSDAY OR FRIDAY. OUTSIDE OF A FEW SHOWERS TUESDAY AND

TUESDAY NIGHT…MAINLY FAIR WEATHER IS EXPECTED.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

STAFF

While it was not premeditated, Saturday turned out to be Commissioner’s Day at the Florida Sea Base.  Scuba Commissioner Laura Kuras and Sailing Commissioner Bryce Dallmeyer had the con at the morning staff meeting as Captain Luke and I found ourselves unavailable for different reasons.  I’m not sure what Captain Luke was doing, but I was tired and slept in until 07:30 (really late for me).

SCUBA

Jess Skiba hitched a ride with the Scuba Adventure crew on their final dive Saturday.  They went to a patch reef called the Landing Strip.  Scuba Instructor Rich Goldman and Divemaster Scott Patton went with Jess so she could complete PADI Open Water Training Dive #2.  A new Scuba Liveaboard crew checked in Saturday to begin their adventure aboard S/V Adventure and S/V Lady Nell II.  Scuba Instructor Steven Raymond and Divemaster Brenda Mallory will accompany the crew this week.  The remainder of the scuba staff will be preparing for today’s incoming crews.

SAILING

One Sea Exploring crew returned to the Florida Sea Base Saturday to complete their adventure as a new Sea Exploring crew was arriving to begin their adventure.  This is not unusual for us.  In the summer we operate on a seven day schedule with crews arriving and departing every day for 90+ days.

WEATHER

For the next several days we expect temperatures to be a little warmed and the winds to be significantly less; a little less high adventure for this week’s crews.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

16Mar

RESERVES

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SAILING

Four Coral Reef Sailing crews ended their adventure yesterday and head home today.  (Well, maybe home; they don’t HAVE to go home, but they can’t stay here).

SCUBA

The Scuba Liveaboard crew returned to the Florida Sea Base to join the Coral Reef Sailing crews for luau.  The Scuba Adventure crew went to a dive site named Davy-Crocker.  The crew liked it so much they asked to stay on site for their second dive of the day.

WEATHER

Saturday started out C-O-L-D and windy; it was MISERABLE.  But by late afternoon the wind had settled down again, the sun was out and the temperature was in the low 70s.  It should be a little warmer today with milder breezes.

STAFF

The best part about this time of year is a Florida Sea Base staff reunion of sorts.  Dedicated professional divers who have supported the Florida Sea Base scuba program for years are showing up daily.  David Ball, Richard Goldman and Scott Patton are here.  Mark Gilbert and Captain Alex Bergstedt will be here net week.  These gentlemen have assisted us time and time again when the need arose.  Richard Goldman and Scott Patton are taking Jess Skiba out this morning so she can complete PADI Open Water Training Dive #2.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

BSA TARPON

:’( Sad to see her go. The Tarpon was my favourite boat to serve as crew on and dive from. She’s the boat I logged most of the dives I needed to get into the DMA on, with Captain Dennis as her skipper. Tarpon was always, in my opinion, much more hospitable for crews than any of the Newtons with her huge, carpeted deck that was just perfect for sprawling out on on the way to/from a site, during lunch, or after a long day of diving. Her speaker system (and of course, the most awesome captain in the world – Captain Dennis) made it a pleasant ride out to/back from dive sites, and the raised dive platform was, to me, so much more comfortable to enter the water from. I have many fond memories of kids getting stuck in inner tubes, having fun diving off the boat during lunch (or pushing each other/their divemasters off the boat), even the occasional hilarious trip/faceplant into the water, and they’re all from that boat.

OH! And of course, the “splash zone.” Who could forget the “splash zone?” I often described the Tarpon as the rollercoaster of FSB in rough seas. I loved being aboard her in those conditions – waves crashing over the bow, the boat pitching and crashing onto the waves, but always remaining as steady as could be. In rough seas, the Tarpon carried a certain thrill not found on the Newtons.

Even with all of her old age issues (which, in my opinion, added to her charm), she was still a great boat. Perhaps not the fastest, but the best (though I’m biased).

Farewell, dear Tarpon. You will certainly be missed. <3 I hope your new owners treat you well. – April

Worked the Tarpon the summers of ’09 and ’10. Working with Dennis and Sea Base was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I know those Newtons are designed for diving, and don’t break ask often, but they will never match the Tarpon in my eyes. – Dan Mikalian

SAILING

Four Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew returned to the Florida Sea Base Thursday for their luau.  No new crews checked in and no one was in for shore leave.

SCUBA

The divers completed two more dives Thursday.  The first was at a large patch reef named Capital and the second was at a smaller, crescent shaped patch named Crescent (imagine that).  They are scheduled for two more dives today and one more Saturday morning.

Scuba Instructor David Ball and I took eight questionable scuba tanks to Quiescence Diving Services for a second opinion.  The good news was that seven of them were fine.  The eighth tank was “borderline” according to their inspector.  Borderline is not acceptable so I had the tank condemned.

WEATHER

Thursday started out very windy, overcast and cold but ended with a light breeze, clear skies and comfortably warm.  The forecast calls for another cool, breezy morning today.  The wind has clocked to the northeast and it may be a tad bumpy for the divers today.The good news is the crew has 8 dives in their logbook so far this week and have matured substantially in their diving ability.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

14Mar

TOLLGATE

HISTORY

Before the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base existed, our founder Captain Sam Wampler worked for the South Florida Council and ran the Florida Gateway program out of his station wagon in Miami.  The property now known as the Florida Sea Base was purchased by the BSA National Council with money donated by the Fleischmann (think margarine) Foundation and Captain Sam Wampler’s vision became reality.

What does this have to do with tollgates you ask?  The Florida Sea Base sits at the intersection of US-1 and Tollgate Blvd.  The Florida Sea Base sits in the Tollgate Shores subdivision.  The subdivision has three streets; Tollgate Blvd, Tollgate Shores Drive, and Tollgate Lane.  The specific location now occupied by the Florida Sea Base was previously the Tollgate Inn, a resort/marina.

Ok, but why tollgate?  There is a roadside marker on US-1 in front of the Florida Sea Base that explains:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I enhance the photo to the best of my ability, but if you can’t read it, it says:

ROAD AND FERRY

In April, 1926, Monroe County began construction of a road on the east end of Upper Matecumbe to connect with other islands.  It eventually made it possible to drive to Key West by using a ferry.

The first car drove to Key West on January 25, 1928 by boarding a ferry here at today’s Boy Scout Sea Base and crossing 40 miles of water to No Name Key.

Later the ferry docked at Grassy Key, traveling by road to the west end of today’s Marathon.  From there a ferry crossed to No Name Key.

It was on the Morning of March 29, 1938 that the daughter of the Cuba Council cut the ribbon opening the road without the ferries by using the widened railway bridges.

A toll booth was erected here to collect $1 for car and driver and 25 cents for each additional passenger.  The toll was removed in 1954.

So know you know the reason for all the tollgate references.  Let me add just a little more back-history.  The current US-1 was completed around 1980.  The previous highway was built on the railway bed from the Flagler Railroad which ran from Miami to Key West.  (There are dozens of books on the topic of Flagler’s Railroad.  If you are interested in history, it is an amazing story or engineering, wealth, dedication, ending in a disastrous hurricane, the strongest ever recorded, which decimated the railroad and killed thousands of railroad workers in the Keys, many of whom were camped on the small island just off the dock of the Florida Sea Base.)  The driveway in front of the Florida Sea Base Program Office (registration office) is part of the original US-1 roadway.

COMMENT

It’s always nice to hear from readers and folks from back home.

Submitted on 2013/03/12 at 22:49

Great to see that Captain Harman is still hosting crews on the Dutch Love. Our crew had a great time with Captain Harman in July 2011. We just received confirmation we have our next CRS adventure launching March 8, 2014. Can’t wait.

Thanks for the blog,

Charles Barkley
Scoutmaster – Troop 179
Fort Worth, Texas

Thanks Charles.  Eat some good Tex-Mex for me.  I earned my Eagle and OA Brotherhood as a member of Troop 36, Chartered by Carswell AFB, Longhorn Council, Fort Worth.

Former Florida Sea Base Scuba Instructor Milly McCoy and former FSB Divemaster Justin Evans commented on the BSA Tarpon:

“BSA tarpon was my favorite dive platform for the 20 seasons I worked at FSB.   I did hundreds of dives off her with Captain Steve and Instructor Bert.   Captain Hal, her skipper, used to be lots of fun. He had a faked cassette tape he’d play right before the night dive. It was a USCG pan pan reporting sightings of bull sharks in the vicinity of Alligator Reef.  Scared the c**p out of me when he did it during my first staff training.  Steve and Bert calmly donned their gear and jumped into the dark water.   So I bravely followed wondering what I had signed up for. .  When Hal retired Tarpon had a couple other skippers before Captain Dennis. He made diving even more fun.  I never laughed so hard in my life as I did when a scout dived through the hoop and got stuck.  I think the hoop was an inner tube from a wheelbarrow tire.  Nobody could do the James Brown scream like Captain Dennis.  BSA Tarpon may not have been our fastest dive boat, but she was always the most fun.” – Milly

“aw, that was a great boat. at least I can say I was one of the last people to work on the BSA Tarpon last year. I hope that the new owners treat her well.” – Justin

Captain Dennis Wyatt was too distraught to submit a comment on the website, but he did call me yesterday sobbing uncontrolably.

SCUBA

The wind was blowing hard yesterday morning.  Fortunately it was from the northwest and that was actually good news for the divers as the islands act as a wind break and the breezes are off shore on the ocean side.  The divers made great dives at two patch reefs named Ham  and Rocky Top.  They had lunch, swam and snorkeled at Donut.

SAILING

More Coral Reef Sailing crews were in for shore leave yesterday.  The Coral Reef staff was very busy keeping them entertained.  No new crews arrived.

WEATHER

We have a north wind at 19 knots this morning, 63°F, and mostly cloudy skies.  Our forecasted high is 68.  Our average high for this date is 76°.  The WSI long term forecast of “much colder than usual” for the month of March seems accurate today.  The wind should ease a little tomorrow but will clock to the northeast; not great news for the divers.  The clouds should dissipate significantly tomorrow.  We have 0% chance of rain for the next several days.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

 

Captain Dennis, if you are reading this post, please do not read any further until you have Ellen by your side to console you.

SAILING

Coral Reef Sailing crews returned to the Florida Sea Base Tuesday morning for a day of shore leave.  They spent the day small boat sailing, kayaking, standup paddle boarding, tubing and playing volleyball.  Another set of crews will do the same today.  I spoke with Captain Brian Stolzenberger, S/V Misty Shoals, who said his crew had sailed a lot in the past 2 days and snorkeled once on the reef.  We are expecting the wind to clock to the north tomorrow so conditions may be better for snorkeling (and diving).

SCUBA

The diver’s cowboyed up yesterday morning and headed off into the Atlantic Ocean searching for a dive site with acceptable conditions.  I called the BSA Eagle by radio in the early afternoon.  Captain Christy said the crews made dives at Captain Grumpy’s (a patch type reef near Islamorada) and Davis Reef ( ledge type reef in Tavernier).  Captain Christy reported a 100% puke rate.  By 14:30 they had anchored on the bay side, protected from the wind and waves, for lunch and some swim/snorkel time to recover from their escapades on the ferocious Atlantic Ocean.

After dinner the crew regrouped and headed out again for the night dive at Alligator Reef.  The wind died as if to acknowledge the bravery displayed earlier in the day.

BSA TARPON

These may be the last photos ever of the BSA Tarpon.  Scuba Instructor Captain Dennis Wyatt, Scuba Instructor Milly McCoy, Course Director Captain Bert Hubby, and thousands of others, including me, have fond memories of the BSA Tarpon.  When Bert, Milly, Dennis, and I first came to the Florida Sea Base the scuba department had two 45′ Corinthian Catamaran dive boats (BSA Scoutmaster and BSA Tarpon) and a small fleet of 26′ Duskys.  All of these vessels have gone away as the Florida Sea Base has moved to diesel powered v-hulled boats built specifically for scuba diving.

New owners came to the Florida Sea Base Tuesday to take possession of the BSA Tarpon.  Sorry everyone, she is gone; all that is left are the memories and often embellished tales of legend.  (Dennis, call in sick for a few days if you need time to recover.)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The Tarpon’s final fueling at the Florida Sea Base.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

BSA Tarpon’s final day of rest at the Florida Sea Base dock before moving to the Alabama coast and a new life.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

A local dolphin (with part of her dorsal fin missing) even came by to pay her respects and say good-bye.:)

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape