Archive for July, 2015

TROPICAL

The tropical Atlantic remains quiet.  However, we are approaching the heart of hurricane season.  If you have a Florida Sea Base adventure scheduled during August, I (again) urge you to consider trip insurance.  The Weather Channel has a good article explaining why.  Click on the link to get the full details.  Here is a graphic from that post.

heart-of-the-hurricane-season-infogr

WEATHER

The local weather remains seasonal.  There is a chance of rain around the 12th/13th of August but that is too far out to be highly reliable.  Scattered rain and thunderstorms are common this time of year as the water and air temperatures begin to peak.  However, the storms are usually short lived (a half hour or so).  In the words of the infamous Captain Ron, “They come on you fast and leave you fast”.

DIVEMASTER ACADEMY

Applications are starting to flow in to the Florida Sea Base for the 2015 Divemaster Academy.  A new informational flyer and application have been added to the Scuba Training page on this site.  The class is limited to 16 candidates and a significant amount of prep time is needed in advance to complete the online training segments and to prepare for the timed aquatics skills and to hone your “demonstration quality” scuba skills.

I’ll be back in a week or so, posting from the Florida Sea Base.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
PADI Course Director

27Jul

REEF HEALTH

in Scuba  •  0 comments

SCUBA

Hawaii is on most scuba divers’ bucket list.  Dr. Jeff Masters post on the condition of Hawaii’s reefs is definitely worth a read.  A similar story could be told about most of the Earth’s coral reefs.

TROPICS

The weather community has changed their minds and tropical development is again NOT expected off the Carolina coast.  Stay tuned; that could change tomorrow.  For now, the tropical Atlantic basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, remains quiet.

WEATHER

Here is the AccuWeather forecast for the month of August at the Florida Sea Base.  Please keep in mind that weather forecasts are pretty dependable three days out, improving up to five days out and still a little sketchy beyond that.  So please take this longterm forecast with a pinch of salt and don’t shoot the piano player if there are any inaccuracies.

ROAD TRIP

I will be traveling for the next two weeks but will post when I can.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

 

25Jul

RETRACTION?

in Weather  •  0 comments

TROPICS

Maybe more of a correction or update than a retraction, but as of this morning, the National Hurricane Center has changed its mind regarding the potential for tropical storm development somewhere between Florida and the Carolinas.

two_atl_5d0

Yesterday morning the NHC did not feel the system would develop in the next five days.  Today they feel there is a 10% chance of development.  The good news is that even if this does develop, it should not have any significant impact on any of the Florida Sea base locations.

WEATHER

The NWS has also adjusted its forecast for the Florida Sea Base, raising the change of rain today and tomorrow into the 40-50% ranger.  No one likes like during their vacation, but southern Florida and the Keys are in a significant drought and can use a little precipitation.

I’ll post again in about a week or sooner if circumstances warrant.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

TROPICS

Let’s jump right into this.  The tropical Atlantic has been very quiet so far this year, not giving The Weather Channel has not had much to use for drawing in watchers (and therefore ratings).  There is a slim chance of some tropical development next week on the Atlantic or Gulf side of northern Florida.  While heavy rain is likely for central Florida, tropical development is not.

map_specnews35_ltst_4namus_enus_980x551

two_atl_5d0

Even if this system was to develop tropically, the system would likely move towards the northeast and would not pose any significant concern to the Florida Sea Base.

WEATHER

The National Weather Service forecast for the Florida Sea Base remains very typical.  Highs should be in the low 90s (with heat indices in the triple digits), lows in the low 80s and a 20 to 30% chance of precipitation daily.  The marine forecast is for southwest to southeast breezes at 10 to 15 knots.  The buoy at Molasses Reef is reporting ocean water temperatures of 87+ degrees.

PROGRAM

There are about three weeks remaining in the 2015 summer season at the Florida Sea Base.  We are rapidly approaching the time of year when much of the staff will be leaving to return to school and reinforcements will arrive to take the reins.

IDC

With three PADI Course Directors on staff, we will continue to increase the amount of instructor training at the Florida Sea Base.  FSB Scuba Director Joe Angelo, Captain Bert Hubby and I are dedicated to improving the quality of the scuba staff (no small task) by offering more professional level training courses.

The Florida Sea Base is conducting a PADI Instructor Development Course in September.  Currently, we have three IDC candidates plus SEVERAL potential IDC Staff Instructor candidates.  If you are interested in joining the course, send an email to FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com and I will be happy to provide you with full details.  Like the Divemaster Academy, the Florida Sea Base does not charge for the IDC.  However, we do require a one season commitment from you and their are significant fees that must be paid to PADI.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director
FSB Scuba Director – RETIRED

 

 

SCUBA

Participants in the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Liveaboard programs must be certified divers prior to arrival at the Florida Sea Base.  Additionally, they must produce evidence of said certification by producing a current scuba certification card FROM A SCUBA TRAINING AGENCY RECOGNIZED BY THE BSA.  Please check the BSA Scuba Policy in the Guide to Safe Scouting online version for the most up to date list of accepted scuba certifications.  These agencies are currently listed in the GSS:

Recognized Agencies 

Recognized agencies are:

  • PADI: Professional Association of Diving Instructors

  • NAUI: National Association of Underwater Instructors

  • SSI: Scuba Schools International

  • IDEA: International Diving Educators Association

  • PDIC: Professional Diving Instructors Corporation

  • SDI: Scuba Diving International

  • YMCA Scuba Program (discontinued in 2008, but certification cards are still recognized)

  • NASDS: National Association of Scuba Diving Schools (merged with SSI, but certification cards are still recognized)

From time to time, participants check in holding certifications from scuba training agencies that are not recognized by the BSA.  Sadly, on such occasions, the participant cannot be allowed to dive at the Florida Sea Base and should not be allowed to dive as a part of any BSA event.  Please check your divers’ certifications to avoid crushing disappointment at check-in.

If one of your divers holds a certification not accepted by the BSA, they can rectify the problem by taking an advanced or specialty course by any of the accepted agencies.  This new certification will act as a crossover to the approved agency and allow the diver to participate in BSA scuba activities including diving at the Florida Sea Base.

The above begs the question, “Do I have to be a certified diver to accompany an FSB scuba crew as a snorkeler or non-diver?”  The answer is no.  Non-divers can accompany the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Liveaboard crews and can – assuming they pass the BSA swimmer test in a strong manner – accompany the crew on the dive boat and snorkel if they wish or just hang out on the boat for the week.  Likewise, persons can also accompany a Scuba Certification crew even if they do not wish to participate in the certification process.

TROPICS

We had a little activity in the Atlantic this past week.  Invest 92L developed off the Carolina coast and developed into Tropical Storm Claudette.  The system posed not threat to the Florida Sea Base.

084030W5_NL_sm

The remainder of the tropical Atlantic remains quiet for now.

WEATHER

The local weather remains very seasonable with lows of 80, highs of 90, 20% chance of showers of brief, scattered showers daily and calm to gentle breezes.  The water temperature is 85°F.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
PADI Course Director #39713

WEATHER

The tropical Atlantic remains very quiet.  In the below graphic from The Weather Channel, you can see a storm ready to roll off the African continent.  These are the types of storms that the Florida Sea Base management start watching this time of year for potential storm development.

map_specnewsdct-11_ltst_4namus_enus_980x551

Click image to enlarge.

The weather at the Florida Sea Base is very typical for this time of year with lows in the lower 80s, highs in the lower 90s and a 20 to 30% chance of rain daily.  The water temperature is 84° and the wind id from the east at 10 to 15 knots.

The heat index will be over 100°F daily and can reach 115.  This can be very dangerous and common sense must prevail.  Staying in the shade or water, drinking a gallon or more of water daily, using sunscreen and reapplying every 60 – 90 minutes and not overexerting are all import.

PROGRAM

All Florida Sea Base adventures are running like a well oiled machine.  The participant critiques are outstanding (per usual) and the captains and seasonal staff are hitting home runs daily.  I miss not being there every day but plan to return about the first of August.  In the meantime, I will post again next week unless circumstances warrant a sooner post.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

01Jul

TIM STANFILL

in Program  •  0 comments

CONGRATULATIONS

Effective 01 July 2015, Tim Stanfill was promoted to Director of Program at the Florida Sea Base.  I may not have this exactly right but, as I recall, Tim was a Florida Sea Base seasonal staff member (Out Island Mate) in the early 2000’s.  He later became a professional Scouter in Idaho where he worked for a few years before returning to the Florida Sea Base as a full time employee.  Tim was promoted to Logistics Team Leader and was responsible for conferences, food services, retail sales and much more at all Florida Sea Base campuses.  Tim frequently held my hand as I bashed my head against the wall during my last three years at Sea Base.  Tim will serve as the Director of Program AND Logistics Team Leader until a new logistics person can be hired this fall.  The Florida Sea Base Program Directors will now report directly to Tim.

WEATHER

The tropics remain very quiet and significant wind shear in the Caribbean is a positive factor in not allowing development there in the immediate future.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The local forecast is typical for this time of year; small chance of rain daily, highs near 90 lows around 80 and moderate to light breezes.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED

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