Archive for May, 2014

TROPICS

Tomorrow is the first day of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.  The Eastern Pacific season had a busy start.  Another system is brewing on the Pacific side of Mexico with the potential for development.  And it could evolve into the first system of the Atlantic season.

epac_overview

 

Dr. Jeff Masters posted this question and answer on Friday:

When will the first “Invest”, tropical depression, and named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season form? We have a chance of all three of these events occurring in the Gulf of Mexico during the first week of hurricane season, though the models are currently hazy about this. An area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific located a few hundred miles south of Southeast Mexico is forecast to move slowly northwards towards the Gulf of Mexico Sunday through Tuesday. In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave this system a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Wednesday. The 06Z Friday run of the GFS model predicts that this disturbance will make landfall in Southeast Mexico on Tuesday, then spread moisture northwards over the Gulf of Mexico late in the week. The model predicts that wind shear will be light to moderate over the Gulf late in the week, potentially allowing the disturbance to spin up into a tropical depression. The 00Z Friday run of the European model has a different solution, predicting that the Eastern Pacific tropical disturbance will remain south of Mexico through Friday. However, the model suggests that moisture streaming into the Gulf of Mexico late in the week will be capable of spawning an area of low pressure with the potential to develop in the Southern Gulf of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche. In any case, residents of Southeast Mexico and Western Guatemala appear at risk to undergo a multi-day period of very heavy rainfall capable of causing flash flooding and dangerous mudslides beginning as early as Monday. This disturbance may cross over Mexico and into the Gulf of Mexico and create the Atlantic’s first “Invest” with the potential to develop late in the week, sometime June 5 – 7.

Definitely food for thought.

WEATHER

We enjoyed another glorious day Friday.  At 11:00 AM the wind dropped below 10 knots and stayed there for the rest of the day.  Our overnight low was 74 and yesterday’s high was 88.  We had mostly clear skies.  Our chance of rain increases from 20% to 30% Sunday night.

PROGRAM

I have been puling full time daily duty in the office for the past week.  Capt. Luke has spent almost every minute of every day helping the Coral Reef Sailing boat owners get their vessels through the US Coast Guard safety inspections.  I know divers are diving and sailors are sailing.  We have had at least a couple of high energy luaus already this season.  The staff is doing well.  We try to teach them what they need to know during a week of staff training.  But the lightbulbs certainly start popping on during the first week of the season.  NOW they get it.  The crew evaluations have been great so far.

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

30May

GONE AGAIN

in Program  •  0 comments

ADIOS

Captain Rich will be leaving the Florida Sea Base yet again in just a few hours.  It was a blessing to spend just a little time with a true friend.  It is hard to watch him leave.

PROGRAM

The Florida Sea Base has completed the first week of summer programming.  There are 92 days left.  Much of what we spent a week trying to explain to staff members is slowly starting to sink in.  Yeah!!!

WEATHER

We are doing MUCH better than the forecast would lead one to believe.  Thursday was another rainless day.  The high was 86° (3 below normal), the wind was about 10 knots and the water temperature hit 84.0° at 5:00 PM Thursday.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

WEATHER

The Florida Sea Base remained rain free on Tuesday.  As I have said many times before, there is more to look at than the mere projection for precipitation.  The amount of precipitation is very important.  I checked to local radar several times yesterday and did not see rain close to us, but a shower may have snuck in here or there.

We had a brief light shower early this morning (maybe around 4:00 AM) and it has been drizzling on and off since.  As you can see, there is not much on the radar this morning.

WUNIDS_map

TROPICS

Eastern Pacific Hurricane Amanda is diminishing and headed towards shore, somewhere in the general vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico.

ep201401

PROGRAM

The good news was no one injured an ear yesterday, the first day of shore leave for the Coral Reef Sailing crews this summer.  The bad news is one of the Scouts lost a tooth when another Scout accidentally hit him in the mouth with a paddle board paddle.  High adventure is not always painless.  Other than that (and some misplaced t-shirts), all went well.

Today will be another extremely busy arrival day.

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

GUEST

Many of the returning staff were honored to be graced by the presence of the LEGENDARY Captain Richard T. Beliveau, Jr. yesterday.  We had a nice, quiet dinner at the Wreck and Galley Grill on Grassy Key.  Captain Rich served as our Sailing Director for many years.  He has saved my life about a million times and I would have left the Florida Sea Base YEARS ago if he had not become my partner in crime.  The Florida Sea Base was very blessed to have such a great man on staff.  He is missed every day.  You can search this site for many articles about the miracles performed by Captain Rich.

EARS

It is very important to take care of your ears before and during your stay at the Florida Sea Base.  While scuba diving is a small part of our overall business, everyone snorkels and therefore risks ear injuries.

Sunday one of our young scuba divers blew out his ear on his first day of diving.  I was told he had some issues equalizing during his descent.  He suffered a reverse block during a runaway  ascent causing his eardrum to rupture.  He dad was with him.  The Scout was treated and released at the local hospital.  His diving is over for the week.

Ear infections are much more common (at least one a week) at the Florida Sea Base than are ruptured eardrums.  The bottom line is take care of your ears.  Do NOT dive (even on snorkels) when you have congestion.  Equalize your ears (even on snorkel) during descent.  Don’t equalize forcefully.  Ascend as slowly as possible.

WEATHER

Summer is here and the temperatures will remain in the upper 80s.  We have a 20% chance of rain today and tomorrow but are expecting very small amounts of rain both days.  There is a chance for lightning tomorrow.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

 

26May

MEMORIAL DAY

in Program  •  0 comments

MONDAY

Today is very special day for me for two reasons.  Today is my dad’s birthday.  He was a career serviceman and that was very defining for who I am.  Today is also the day we thank all members of the armed forces for their service.  We memorialize those who gave their lives defending our way of life.  We give thanks to the living for their sacrifices.  And we should also thank the family members who also sacrificed.  Happy birthday dad.  Thank you.

M/Sgt. Reginald W. Willis, USAF-Retired

M/Sgt. Reginald W. Willis, USAF-Retired

PROGRAM

Crews arrive and crews depart seven days a week at the Florida Sea Base.  With our opening weekend behind us, we will soon be a full, summertime stride.  By the end of this week we will have 120 Scouts coming and going on slow days and 232 on the busy days.  There are 99 days in this summer’s program season.

Florida Sea Base General manager Captain Paul Beal has returned triumph from the BSA committee meetings.  (I was not able to go because of staff training commitments.)

TROPICS

Hurricane Amanda intensified from a tropical depression on Saturday to a strong category 4 hurricane before noon Sunday.  By 11:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Savings Time) she had become the strongest hurricane recorded in the month of May in the Eastern Pacific, approaching cat 5 status.

INDY

If you watched the driver introductions for the Indy 500, you may have seen Justin Wilson (who drives for Dale Coyne Racing) with the BSA logo taking up all of the front of his racing jacket.

2013 IndyCar Long Beach

Justin started in 14th place driving the #19 Honda powered BSA car.  DCR and Mr. Coyne personally are great friends of Scouting.

s1_24909

WEATHER

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

TROPICS

The tropical depression in the Eastern Pacific has evolved into Hurricane Amanda.  Amanda poses NO threat to the Florida Sea base, but MAYBE it will bring a little relief to Southern California.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

WEATHER

Today should be gorgeous at the Florida Sea Base, a great arrival day for our Scuba Certification crew, five Scuba Adventure crews, five Coral Reef Sailing crews and Sea Exploring crew (about 108 Scouts).  Our friends at the National Weather Service are forecasting very warm afternoons (upper 80s) and a 20% of rain daily for the next several days.  That is pretty good for the kickoff of our summer season.  While the rain can be monsoonal, we are expecting one or two ONE-HUNDRETHS of an inch on any given day this week.  Hot and steamy, just like God intended for our sub-tropical region.

The wind speed is below 5 knots today (great for our Scuba Liveaboard crews on the reef) and the water temperature is about 80°F.

I have run out of time this morning.  Have a great day!

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

STAFF

The week has been hectic and seems to have flown by at the Florida Sea Base.  Today is the last official day of staff training.  The Florida Sea Base health supervisor is scheduled to address the scuba staff this morning.  Scuba diving and rescue practice is scheduled for the afternoon.

ARRIVALS

While we continue staff training, a few more crews will arrive this afternoon.  We have another Scuba Liveaboard crew and five Coral Reef Sailing crews arriving today.  Today will be the big shakedown for the sailing staff.  Tomorrow the scuba staff will get their first turn in the barrel.

DIVE BOATS

Jonathan Warner asked for some photos of the boats used in the Scuba Adventure program.  Click on any of these to enlarge them.

IMG_9925

The Fleet

 

319_1945b

Alligator Lighthouse

319_1963b

25 Knots

IMG_0199

The Business End

IMG_6402

Morning Commute

WEATHER

Today is going to be near perfect, although the wind will be too light for sailing.  But the sailors will have a great day for snorkeling and fishing.  The below NWS graphic is for Sunday and Monday.  You can see we have a very small chance of rain those days.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

23May

STORM SURGE

in Weather  •  0 comments

SURGE

We are enjoying near perfect weather at the Florida Sea Base.  With the Atlantic hurricane season officially starting in just a few day there is a lot of talk on the weather and news about storm surge.  Over the years, storm surge has cost the Florida Sea Base more money that wind.  We are expecting a relatively quiet hurricane season this year, but 2005 was exhausting.  We were visited by Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma.  (Click HERE for a detailed report of these storms on Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.)

Wilma approached from the southwest, our most vulnerable side.  The Florida Sea Base had about 3 feet of storm surge.  That was very close to catastrophic.  Damages included the ground level of the General Manager’s residence, several vehicles damaged or totaled by rising water, the washers and dryers in our participant laundry we totaled, about 6″ of salt water in the Ship’s Store (trading post), just to name a few.  Any rise in sea level increases the risks of severe damage at the Florida Sea Base.  A three foot rise (equal to Wilma’s storm surge) will make our docks unusable and water will be above our seawall.  A six foot rise will cover much of the roadway from the mainland to Key West and the Keys will revert to a much less habitable state.  There may be no fresh water, no grocery deliveries, reduced electrical access, no emergency care or hospital facilities.

TROPICAL WEATHER

Coincidentally, TD-1E has formed in the Eastern Pacific.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The system has a high probability of intensification in the next 24 hours.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

However, it should not pose any concern to the Florida Sea Base.

WEATHER

Our local weather is incredible.  We have a 10% chance of showers on Monday and Tuesday.

FIRST ARRIVALS

Our first crews of the 2014 summer season arrive today.  We have one Scuba Liveaboard crew and one Eco Adventure crew checking in this afternoon.  Saturday will be much busier with the addition of five Coral Reef Sailing crews and another Scuba Liveaboard crew.  The the top blows off the place with five Coral Reef Sailing crews, a Scuba Certification crew, five or six Scuba Adventure crews, and a Sea Exploring crew.

I had a dream last night that the Florida Sea Base management agreed to cut back on the number of crews we serve in the summer.  I realize that is very unlikely, but with our current infrastructure, we are absolutely at maximum capacity.

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

STAFF TRAINING

Training for the 2014 summer staff continues at the Florida Sea Base.  There is still a lot to do and today we add to that by having to make final preparations for the Scuba Liveaboard crew that arrives tomorrow.

TRAVEL

PLEASE PLAN ON AN ADDITION 30 MINUTES TO AN HOUR OR MAYBE LONGER FOR YOUR DRIVE FROM THE MAINLAND TO THE FLORIDA SEA BASE OR BRINTON ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER THIS SUMMER.  There is significant road construction through most of the Keys.  This week will be particularly slow due to tourists arriving for Memorial Day.

WEATHER

The wind is easing up.  The temperatures are climbing.  The water temperature is 80-81°F on the reef.  We expect great weather for our opening week.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

21May

ON THE WATER

in Staff  •  0 comments

STAFF TRAINING

The Florida Sea Base commissary, scuba and sailing staff members spent the morning gaining road experience driving our 12 passenger vans.

The sailing staff spent yesterday afternoon snorkeling on Alligator Reef.  They said it was a rough ride, with some queasy stomachs but no vomiting.  The best news was many saw a hammerhead shark and others saw a pod of dolphins.

Meanwhile, the scuba staff spent the afternoon learning about our Newton dive boats from Captain Christy Clemenson and Captain Bert Hubby.  Tying various knots frequently used with boats was bart of the training.  The right knot at the right time can prevent a lot of damage to a boat or prevent injuries.

The divers will spent the morning working on scuba review techniques and they will go diving after lunch.

POOL CONSTRUCTION

There was a beehive of activity at the pool construction site yesterday, I think I may have seen 5 workers.  That is the most people who have come to work on one day in well over a month.  Sometimes one to three people show up; frequently no one is here for days.

The good news was that the incredibly dependable folks from Breathing Air Concepts came as scheduled to install the compressors.  The inside of the compressor room is unfinished, but we will be forced to fill tanks on Monday and just can’t wait on the general contractor any longer.  The ceiling, walls, floors and doors may be unfinished, but we will be pumping air for the scuba participants.

WEATHER

I don’t want to jinx it, but the wind has eased from 25 knots yesterday morning to 16 knots at 04:00 this morning.  It is 76° at 5:00 AM.  The forecast calls for sunny conditions, clear skies, and a high of 85°.  We are not expecting rain for the coming week.

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

should women use viagra It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Though menopause techniques usually reduce in size fibroids the natural way, you can use several should attempt all-natural fibroid cures suitable for girls that wish to be delivered in the irritating signs or symptoms caused by uterine fibroids. Though menopause techniques usually reduce in size fibroids the natural way, you can use several should attempt all-natural fibroid cures suitable for girls that wish to be delivered in the irritating signs or symptoms caused by uterine fibroids. viagra 100mg kosten Wanted to know possible side effects to watch for. http://afonsobelarmino.com/hpe-371121/ Jpg alt text for main image:nbsp the new flu shot homepage slider thumb (102x65):nbsp alt text for thumbnail image:nbsp the new flu shot publish onhellip hth. In transvaginal ultrasound, the probe is inserted into the vagina. novaidea.com.es/jzp-372599/ Next raquo (page 8 of 17) glossary viewer comments reviews uterine fibroids - experiences the emedicinehealth physician editors ask: did you have your uterine fibroids removed? Describe your experience. forserve.es/psj-370632/ Progesterone is believed to counteract growth by downregulating igf-1. mattcalvert.com.au/ynp-373779/ 3. Rise onto your toes (a), then lower into a squat while bending your elbows to lower the weight behind your head (b). viagra or viagra alcohol where 2 buy viagra In transvaginal ultrasound, the probe is inserted into the vagina. They often cause pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and uncomfortable pressure on the bladder or rectum, and can lead to problems with fertility. http://evergreenterracellc.com/wiv-373253/ Active adult stay vital with the latest expert advice and tips about healthy aging.. nalcusa.org/vzv-374807/