Archive for May, 2013

31May

SUNSHINE?

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TROPICAL WEATHER

Hurricane Barbara crossed Mexico yesterday and was classified as a remnant low by the National Weather Service as it emerged into the Gulf of Mexico.  The system no longer appears on the National Hurricane Center’s site.  Forecasters say redevelopment of the system in the Gulf of Mexico is very unlikely, but I will continue to monitor it just in case.  The southwestern Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean are the most likely places for tropical weather to form during the early part of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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PROGRAM

Participants are arriving by the bus load, sailors are sailing and divers are diving.  HIGH ADVENTURE is in full motion.  We are dealing with a wet start, but even that has not dampened (get it?) the spirits of our participants and staff.  The weather is the weather.  It is wet now.  It will be hot in a few more weeks.  And there is a possibility of truly severe weather at some point this summer.  All we can do is embrace the weather.

CAPTAINS

Most of the Coral Reef Sailing captains have arrived at the Florida Sea Base for summer program.  Scuba Commissioner Alex Bergstedt and I had dinner Wednesday at Habanos Cuban Restaurant, just across US-1 from the base.  We spotted Captain Lou (Louise) who had arrived earlier in the day aboard S/V Blue Planet.  She had sailed up from the Virgin Islands.  We also saw Captain Joey who had arrived from the Bahamas aboard S/V Calypso Poet with former FSB Scuba Instructor Steven Raymond and FSB Divemaster Jenna Burton.

LOCAL WEATHER

The wind dropped from a high of 31 knots Wednesday night to a low of 3 knots Thursday morning but built back into the double digits Thursday evening.  On top of that, the skies cleared just before noon and the SUN actually came out.  We are not out of the woods yet.  We have a 30%-40% chance of rain for the next several days but the wind should be much milder than the past week.  According to the Climate Prediction Center, we have a 50% chance of above average rainfall for the coming week.

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At 04:30 local radar shows a string of showers approaching the Florida Sea Base, but it looks like we have the potential for a good amount of sunshine today.

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

 

30May

DAY OFF

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STAFF

A week of staff training plus a few days into the program season and most of the staff members are ready for a day off.  (Not me, I am ready for a week or two off!) 🙂  Any of the staff members who have not had a day off will get one very soon.  It will be a long summer in some regards and down time is important.  I think I may even get a day off (or at least a morning off) this weekend.

The staff is doing a great job.  The returners are helping the newbies.  We have already experienced some illness and minor injuries.  Everyone is picking up slack when required and the participants don’t know the difference.

PROGRAM

One Scuba Adventure crew, one Sea Exploring crew, four Scuba Adventure crews, five golden rings, I mean five Coral Reef Sailing crews checked in yesterday.  With the participants who are already here, we have about 348 participants enjoying Florida Sea Base programs today.  I don’t know what the count is at the Brinton Environmental Center of the Bahamas but my guess is we are entertaining about 550 participants combined.

Tuesday was the first day of summer shore leave for the Coral Reef Sailing crews.  The Coral Reef Sailing crews get a day ashore midweek during their trip.  They spend the day playing volleyball, small boat sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and tubing.  It is definitely a fun filled day.  A group of 5 crews will be in daily for the remainder of the summer to enjoy shore leave.

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TROPICAL WEATHER

Invest 92E became Tropical Storm Barbara yesterday morning.

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By afternoon she was Hurricane Barbara.

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Dr. Jeff Masters posted the following yesterday:

Tropical cyclone development unlikely in the Atlantic during the coming seven days
Barbara is expected to push northwards and cross into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, but the storm is small enough and moving slowly enough that Barbara will likely dissipate before reaching the Gulf. If the storm were able to maintain at least tropical depression status and cross into the Gulf, it would keep the name Barbara. If Barbara were to dissipate before reaching the Gulf, then regenerate into a tropical storm in the Gulf, it would be named Andrea. However, conditions do not favor redevelopment of Barbara’s remnants into an Atlantic tropical depression, since wind shear is expected to be quite high over the Gulf late this week. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic during the next seven days.

Barbara is down to Tropical Depression status this morning.

LOCAL WEATHER

I concluded yesterday’s post with the local radar image and commented that I hoped it cleared out soon.  That was a mistake.  The next 30-45 minutes it rained hard, the wind blew, and DirecTV went into “Searching for signal on Satellite” mode.  So it was just me, Escape rocking in the wind, a cup of coffee, and my (fairly) recently acquired AT&T Mi-Fi.

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This is our official rainy season.  This week (and next) the rain is going to be the rule rather than the exception.  In another week or two the all day type showers will likely be gone.  Our normal rain pattern is 30 minutes or so of fairly intense rain followed by sunny skies and off the chart humidity.

I use a wide assortment of weather tools to stay informed and to try to stay a little ahead of what’s coming.  Of the availanle radar tools, I prefer the Weather Underground radar; the colors are easy to interpret, it is updated every few minutes, and you can zoom in and out easily.  (It also works very well on mobile devices.)  Here is the maximum radar range, 248nm, the center point being Miami.  There are also regional view options and even a nationwide view.

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Our current system has been bring weather from the east.  In the above image (from Wednesday morning) you can see all the way to Andros, The Bahamas.

While we continue to do our best to enjoy the wet weather, we have a lot of staff members from the midwest this year.  We are watching the severe weather in that area very closely.  It is hard to complaint about a little rain when parts of the country are being ravaged by severe weather and tornadoes.

Do what you can to stay dry, stay safe, and be mindful of those who are suffering.

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

29May

1733

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HISTORY

The Florida Sea Base sailing dormitories (originally referred to as the “bunkhouse”)  include four rooms; San Francisco, San Pedro, Almirante, and El Capitan.  Each of these rooms are named in memory of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of present day Monroe County, Florida.  Many of these are within a few miles of the Florida Sea Base.  The boats sank along the reef during a hurricane in 1733.  As a matter of fact, the Spanish “Plate” Fleet (more on that in a moment) left the port of Havana, Cuba on Friday, the 13th of July, 1733.  While the ships were certainly carrying plates, that is not what is meant by “plate” fleet.  The Spanish word for silver is plata.  The English used the term plate fleet instead of silver fleet.

The dorm named Almirante is named after the ship Almiranta.  I’m not sure if that is simply a 33 year old spelling error or if the “a” was change to an “e” for some other reason.  It is our female dorm.  The sailing and scuba vessels from the Florida Sea Base routinely transverse Channel 5 when moving from the bay side to the ocean side of the Keys.  Almiranta lies in about 15′-20′ of water near marker #2.

About a mile NE of Almiranta is the San Francisco wreck.  This vessel is in a little shallower water, around 12′-15′ on the south side of Channel 2.

San Pedro is about 4-5 miles further to the NE.  This site has been restored and is a state underwater historical site.  It too is in 15′-20′ of water with a replica anchor and canons.

The fourth dorm, El Capitan, is named after the Capitana which lies about 20 miles NE of the Florida Sea Base.

There are several other wreck sites from the 1733 Spanish Silver Fleet along the reefs of the Florida Keys.  I took this photo of the remains of San Francisco the first week on May.  All you can see now are ballast stones.  BUT, there is always the possibility of a left over coin or artifact working its way to the top of the pile, especially after severe storms.

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TROPICAL WEATHER

Invest 92E is brining heavy rains and wind to Mexico but should be not threat to the Florida Sea Base.  Dr. Masters said it better than I can:

Invest 92E in the Eastern Pacific, centered about 100 miles southwest of the Mexico/Guatemala border, will bring very heavy rains capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides to coastal Guatemala and Mexico’s Bay of Tehuantepec over the next 2 – 3 days. Radar out of El Mozotal, Mexico shows that heavy rains have already pushed ashore along the Mexico/Guatemala border, and satellite loops show an impressive but moderately disorganized area of heavy thunderstorms associated with 92E, with some spiral bands on the storm’s south side. In their 5 am PDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92E an 90% of developing into a tropical cyclone by Thursday. With wind shear a low 5 -10 knots and ocean temperatures a very warm 30°C, conditions are ripe for further development, and I expect 92E will be a tropical depression or tropical storm when it makes landfall on Wednesday or Thursday along the Mexican coast in the Bay of Tehuantepec. The storm is close enough to the coast that it is unlikely a hurricane can form before landfall, especially considering that the storm’s currently disorganized state makes development into a tropical depression unlikely to occur until Tuesday night at the earliest.

In yesterday’s blog, Dr. Masters continued with an outlook for the next two weeks in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea:

Development unlikely in the Atlantic this week
If 92E continues to push northwards late this week and cross into the Gulf of Mexico, conditions do not favor development of the disturbance into an Atlantic tropical depression, as wind shear is expected to be quite high over the Gulf late this week. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic during the next seven days. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 – 60 days, is currently located in the Eastern Pacific, but is weak and difficult to discern. According to NOAA’s May 27 MJO discussion, there is an increased probability of tropical cyclone formation over both the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean this week, and over the Caribbean next week. The GFS model has been trying to spin up a tropical depression in the Western Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico next week in a number of its runs over the past few days, but these runs have been very inconsistent on the timing and location of such a development. Tropical cyclone genesis forecasts more than four days out are highly unreliable, and we should just view the GFS model’s predictions of a tropical depression next week as a sign that we have an above-average chance of an Atlantic tropical cyclone forming then. The European (ECMWF) model has been much less enthusiastic about a tropical depression forming in the Atlantic next week.

LOCAL WEATHER

The wind refuses to ease up.  We are experiencing mostly light, brief rains.  But we have had a few strong cells come through.  Even those usually don’t last long.  Regardless, sailors are sailing and divers are diving.  The staff members and participants are in good spirits.  We are starting this morning in the rain; hopefully it will clear out soon.

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PROGRAM

Office Manager Susan Mahoney had a busy day Tuesday; one Scuba Liveaboard crew and four Coral Reef Sailing crews checked in.  We have not reached our full stride yet.  I think our first full day of arrivals is Sunday with 6 Scuba Adventure crews (48 participants), 1 Scuba Certification crew (8 participants), and 5 Coral Reef Sailing crews (40 participants).  Bear in mind that we do not operate like most council camps, we have arrivals 7 days a week with 60 to 96 participants arriving each day.

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

28May

GHOST SHIP

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SAILING

I have written before about the mysterious ghost ship of the Florida Sea Base Coral Reef Sailing program.  It is rumored that a vessel known as Misty Shoals is owned by Brenda and Captain Brian Stolzenberger.  I have posted rare photos of this vessel in the past, feeding the legend.  Coral Reef Mate Lauren Sander took this photo and believes that she too may have caught evidence of the existence of our ghost.

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Five Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew checked in Monday.  There are no scuba arrivals on Mondays.

TROPICAL WEATHER

Captain Alex Bergstedt and I were checking the weather during lunch yesterday.  He checked on the status of Invest 92E.  Notice the computer model showing the system crossing into the Gulf of Mexico.

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This morning the computer models are tending to favor a more northerly track towards the Gulf.

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Dr. Jeff Masters posted this yesterday:

Eastern Pacific tropical disturbance bringing heavy rains to Mexico and Guatemala
Invest 92E in the Eastern Pacific, centered about 100 miles southwest of the Mexico/Guatemala border, will bring very heavy rains capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides to coastal Guatemala and Mexico’s Bay of Tehuantepec over the next three days. Radar out of El Mozotal, Mexico shows that heavy rains have already pushed ashore along the Mexico/Guatemala border, and satellite loops show an impressive and expanding area of heavy thunderstorms associated with 92E, with some spiral bands beginning to develop on the storm’s south side. In their 5 am PDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92E a 60% of developing into a tropical cyclone by Wednesday. I put these odds higher, at 80%. The 0Z Monday runs of the GFS and ECMWF both predict that 92E could develop into a tropical depression by Tuesday. With wind shear a low 5 -10 knots and ocean temperatures a very warm 30°C, conditions are ripe for further development, and I expect 92E will be a tropical depression or tropical storm when it makes landfall on Wednesday along the Mexican coast in the Bay of Tehuantepec.

There is no need for worry at this time.  This small system is a long way off, only one model shows it crossing into the Gulf, and even that model shows it recurving into Mexico.  This is just an early wake-up call.  We will remain vigilant.

LOCAL WEATHER

“Captain Steve, what’s the weather like down there?”  Well, let me see….

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Front door.

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Check-in desk.

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Bulletin board.

I think it may be a tad breezy at the Florida Sea Base.  What do you think?  The National Weather Service posted:

Synopsis…A LARGE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL REMAIN CENTERED ACROSS THE WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC THROUGH AT LEAST SATURDAY. SEVERAL DAYS OF FRESH TO STRONG EASTERLY BREEZES ARE EXPECTED THIS WEEK.

We also have a SIGNIFICANT chance of rain, 70% today tapering to 40% Friday.  Big Bang Theory was not an option last night as the rain blanked out the satellite signal.

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This system was moving from east to west.  The Florida Sea Base is located near the center of the image in the bright red area.  The rained moved in immediately after dinner so Captain Luke decided to hold all of the Coral Reef Sailing vessels at the dock.  They will head out early in the morning.

Many of you are under the threat of severe weather today and tomorrow, especially in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.  Believe me, our hearts are with you.  If you are feeling apprehension we can empathize.  I imagine it is a lot like we feel when a hurricane is days away but we are in the forecasted “cone of death”.  The only advice I can give is to make whatever preparations you can, stay in constant contact with weather news services, and if you can, visit friends or relatives outside the area for a few days.

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

27May

MEMORIAL DAY

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HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

I hope you were able to enjoy a long weekend.  Today is a day of remembrance, a day for prayer and a day to give thanks for those who have died serving our country and their survivors.  It is also a day to say thanks for those who continue to serve and to say thanks to their families for their sacrifice.  My dad was a career airman and I know the difficulties faced by the family matters.  God bless you all.

POSTS

This is the 1,200th post about the goings on at the Florida Sea Base.  I have written the vast majority of those with Captain Rich Beliveau contributing on occasion during my absences.  While I try VERY hard to not step on toes, I have ruffled feathers a few times, for which I apologize.  The blog is read by leaders looking for more information about the Florida Sea Base, parents of our participants, parents of the staff members, some of the staff and captains, and who knows who else.

PROGRAM

It is business as usual at the Florida Sea Base with hundreds of Scouts and their leaders having an experience of a lifetime.  The wind and possible rain will continue to plague us for much of the week.  The captains and staff will deliver outstanding experiences; making lemonade if you will.  The attitude of the participants, especially the adults, will make the difference for many of the youth as to whether this was the best week of their lives.

TROPICS

While the Atlantic and Caribbean have remained quiet so far, the eastern Pacific has already developed three invest systems.  I started watching the system designated as Invest 92E yesterday morning.

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My concern was that it might be able to cross into the Caribbean.  By late morning The Weather Channel was also commenting on this possible scenario.

As you can see below, the 2 am computer model update has not changed much.  I have not made time yet this morning (it’s 05:10 now) to research the changes but I will continue to watch this one closely.

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Stay tuned.

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

STAFF

Saturday was a mixed day at the Florida Sea Base; it was our last day of official staff training and our second day of arrivals.  The new staff members handled the crew arrivals like experienced pros.  Today we have one Scuba Certification crew, two Scuba Adventure crews, five Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew checking in.

WEATHER

WINDY.  The National Weather Service is forecasting 20 knot withs from the Northeast and East through at least Thursday night.  There is also a 20%-40% change of rain.  But that doesn’t always mean much in our area.  This will have an impact on the sailing programs and may significantly hamper scuba and snorkeling activities on the reefs.

This is personally disappointing for our opening week of the summer season.  But weather is our existence at the Florida Sea Base.  We celebrate when the weather is in our favor and work extra hard to make the magic happen when it is not.

Weather Underground’s founder, Dr. Jeff Masters, posted a great article on the 2013 hurricane forecast on his blog.  The full article is worthy of your time, but just in case, here is the opening paragraph:

NOAA forecasts an above-normal and possibly very active Atlantic hurricane season in 2013, in their May 23 outlook.They give a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of an near-normal season, and 5% chance of a below-normal season. They predict a 70% chance that there will be 13 – 20 named storms, 7 – 11 hurricanes, and 3 – 6 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 120% – 205% of the median. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 16.5 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 4.5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 162% of normal. This is well above the 1981 – 2010 average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Hurricane seasons during the active hurricane period 1995 – 2012 have averaged 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 151% of the median. Only five seasons since the active hurricane period that began in 1995 have not been above normal–including four El Niño years (1997, 2002, 2006, and 2009), and the neutral 2007 season.

I am revising my personal hurricane plan for this year (something that is way passed due).

BIRTHDAY

Today is my dad’s birthday.  I love you Dad.  Enjoy the day!

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

STAFF

Yesterday was a day of administration training including a review of the Florida Sea Base Staff Handbook, policies, procedures, etc.  The staff also donated more blood and platelets yesterday than the local blood company usually collects in 2 to 3 weeks.  Thanks to all who donated.

Today is the final day of official staff training for the 2013 summer season at the Florida Sea Base.

PROGRAM

Here we go!  One Scuba Liveaboard crew and one Eco-Adventure crew arrived yesterday.  We have a Scuba Liveaboard crew and four Coral Reef Sailing crews arriving today.  The arrivals will ramp up very quickly as 2013 will be another record breaker for attendance at the Florida Sea Base.

WEATHER

Last night from the National Weather Service:

… A significant weather advisory has been issued for Middle Keys in
Monroe and Monroe/Upper Keys counties for strong thunderstorm wind
gusts valid until 715 PM EDT…

At 640 PM EDT National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
couple of clusters of strong thunderstorms centered near Tavernier
and 10 to 15 miles northeast of Craig Key… moving south southwest
at 15 mph. This cluster of strong thunderstorms will also affect
areas around Windley Key… Upper Matecumbe Key… Islamorada… Lower
Matecumbe Key… Layton and Craig Key through 745 PM EDT. Hail up to
one half inch in diameter can be expected along with possible minor
damage. Heavy rainfall will produce ponding of water on roadways and
minor flooding of low-lying areas.

Florida Sea Base is at the lower left corner of the US-1 icon.  Craig Key (referred to above) is about a mile SW of us.)

Here it comes…

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Hold on…

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It’s here but weakening in the middle and going around us…

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Breaking up – no worries – back to work!

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

24May

FIRST ARRIVALS

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STAFF

As the Florida Sea Base staff training continues for the 6th day, the first crews will arrive this afternoon!!!  Divemaster Austen Potter will receive one Scuba Liveaboard crew and Mary Kaufman will receive the Eco-Adventure crew after lunch.

Yesterday the scuba staff reviewed dive boat mate training, tying knots, training for safely handling compressed gas cylinders (scuba tanks) and using the scuba compressor.  The sailors practiced sailing and knot tying.  And spent part of the afternoon snorkeling at Alligator Reef.  Then all of the Florida Sea Base seasonal staff members went to Founders Park for a little break and a hamburger and hotdog cook-out.  Noah Sutter handled the arrangements with park management (his dad), Captain Luke Knuttel took charge of the staff, Tim Stanfill and Captain Rae Murphy and the Galley staff brought together the food, Assistant Ranger Mike Stolar and Scuba Commissioner Captain Alex Bergstedt did most of the on-site grilling, and Sailing Commissioner Phillip Ferrier and Captain Bryce Dallmeyer lead the fun.  Everyone seemed to enjoy hanging out, playing a few games, taking a dip at the pool, eating and just relaxing for a while.

BSA POLICY CHANGE

For it, against it, either way, it is done.  I am not a liberty to say much more.

Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 5:07 PM

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.

Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.

This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.

The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.

While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Internal Communications

1325 West Walnut Hill Lane  |  P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
P 972.580.2581
internal.communications@scouting.org

The end.

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

I have very little this morning.

STAFF

The staff members had a full day of training exercises yesterday.  Our weather was hot and humid.  After a morning of scuba equipment and check-in procedures training and an afternoon of diving and rescue training the scuba staff got the evening off.  That’s not entirely true.  The Scuba Mates (who prefer to be called Tank Adventure Mates) worked with Scuba Commissioner Captain Alex Bergstedt after dinner becoming familiar with scuba compressor operations.

The sailing staff spent the day practicing paddle sports skills and training for Coral Reef Sailing shore leave days.  They worked on luau skits post dinner with Sailing Commissioner Phillip Ferrier.

SECURITY

I have never included anything like this in this blog before.  If you use your smart phone to post pictures on the web, PLEASE watch this YouTube video.  This is NOT funny.  http://www.youtube.com/embed/N2vARzvWxwY?rel=0

WEATHER

The National Weather Service says we have a 20% chance of rain today with a light breeze (to near calm) from the south (it would be a good day to be crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas) and a high temperature of 88°F with a heat index of 94°F.  As you can see on this Weather Underground graphic, there is no rain in Keys at early this morning.

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I hope you have a safe day.  Keep those less fortunate in your thoughts and prayers.

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

STAFF

The Florida Sea Base sailing staff spent Tuesday polishing their sailing skills.  The scuba staff focused on rescue skills.  It was a very productive day and, despite the forecasted 40% chance, rain free.  Conditions on the reef were decent, with 2′ seas, 50′ of visibility and a water temperate around 80.  The scuba staff returned to the Florida Sea Base shortly before dinner, reloaded and headed out after dinner for a night dive at Alligator Reef.  The sailing staff spent the evening practicing songs and skits for the luau  events (similar to a closing campfire) that we have for the crews on the last night at the base.

Today the sailing staff will focus on kayaking and paddle boarding.  The scuba staff will work on scuba equipment care and maintenance in the morning.  After lunch we will go diving and practice rescue skills.

WEATHER

While a potentially active tropical weather season lies ahead, we are currently very fortunate with our local weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost so much in the recent tornadoes and severe weather events.

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This graphic is a product of the National Weather Service.  I find it very helpful so I am going to try to explain how you can use this tool.  Start by going to www.weather.gov.  Enter your zip code in the box and click “go”.  Scroll down the page and you will see a box with a Google® map of your area.  On the map is a green box; this is the specific area for the forecast.  You can use the + and – signs to zoom in and out on the map.  Try to find exactly where you live (or want the forecast) and click there.  That will move the green box and (maybe) bring up a new forecast, more specific for your area.  Now scroll down just a bit more and you will see the “Hourly Weather Graph”.  Click on the graphic and enjoy.  This is a great resource, introduced to me by Senior Marine Forecaster Chip Kasper with the National Weather Service Office in Key West.

I’m running late.  I hope you have a safe day.

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

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