Archive for October, 2015

TODAY’S WEATHER

I received this email yesterday.  Unfortunately, I am not at the Florida Sea Base to tend to Escape.  However, Captains Drew and Maggie Mead are aboard S/V Comfort Zone II which is berthed alongside Escape and will keep an eye on her for me.
Hi everyone,
Small Craft Advisories have been posted for all Florida Keys marine zones, and the first significant wind surge of this autumn season will be underway later tonight.  Northeast to east breezes which currently are sustained close to 20 knots will freshen further overnight and early Monday, with a sustained blow of 25-30 knots, and gusts occasionally approaching gale force (34 knots) during Monday afternoon and evening.  These strong breezes will build seas quickly in deep water, with waves steepened and enhanced in the Gulf Stream.  Attached is an image from our experimental Nearshore Wave Prediction System, showing significant wave height valid Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. or 2000 EDT.  Note the sizable area with seas of 9-11 feet across the Straits of Florida and southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Peak winds and seas will occur from Monday afternoon through Monday night, with a gradual decrease in both wind and sea expected from Tuesday through Thursday.
For the latest marine forecast details, please follow our updates online from any of the following sources:
Hourly Weather Graphs:
Florida Keys Coastal Waters Forecast (text):
Smartphone Widget:
Marine Weather Forecast Graphics:
Best Regards,
Chip K.
Chip Kasper is a Senior Marine Weather Forecaster at the National Weather Service Office in Key West.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

In personal news, my lovely bride, Sue, and I have been married for 30 years today.
Capt. Steve Willis
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Professional Scuba Bum™
10Oct

DMA HISTORY

in Scuba  •  0 comments

DIVEMASTER ACADEMY

If you were a candidate or member of the cadre (staff) of any of the Florida Sea Base Divemaster Academies, I need your help.  I am trying to put together a brief history of the DMA.  Please email me at FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com with your name, the year or class number of your DMA (2004 was class 1, 2005 was class 2, etc.) and the names of the candidates and cadre that were in your class.  I realize the information is on file at the Florida Sea Base, but I am not there to dig through the records.

If you are interested in becoming a PADI Divemaster and working at the Florida Sea Base, the time to apply is NOW.  Detailed information on the DMA and an application are available on the ScubaTraining tab of this blog.  Please hurry, time is growing short and there is much to do.

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

AQUATICS TASK FORCE

The BSA Aquatics Task Force met last weekend in Irving, Texas. Scuba Program Director Joe Angelo and I represented the Florida Sea Base.  Task Force member Chris Stec, CEO of the American Canoe Association, announced the launch of a new app called Paddle Ready.  This is a FREE app and is incredible.  If offers a lot of information and features for anyone who spends time on the water regardless of if you paddle, sail or use some form of motor vessel.  I strongly encourage you to check it out.

A topic of great importance to Scouting was the CDC Model Aquatics Health Code.  This will impact all BSA pool and waterfront operations including the Florida Sea Base.  ATF members Keith Christopher and David Bell are staying on top of the issue on behalf of the BSA.

Former Florida Sea Base Director of Program Rob Kolb was recently reassigned to the National Office and is acting as the BSA advisor to the ATF.

The Aquatics Task Force hosts the BSA Aquatics Workshop every two years.  Dates and venues are currently being considered for the 2016 workshop.  Potential venues include (but are not limited to) the Summit, Sea Scout Base Galveston, and the Florida Sea Base.  Tentative dates are in late September to early October.  Stay tuned.

Significant progress was also made of a BSA Whitewater Policy.  This exercise is being lead by Richard Thomas and has been three years in the making.  We are very close to a final product.

TROPICAL WEATHER

I am keeping  close eye on Invest 91L.

two_atl_5d0

Monday, the system had a 30% chance of development and was tracking towards the general vicinity of the Bahamas and possibly towards the Florida Keys.

two_atl_5d0

This morning, the National Hurricane Center suggests 91L will curve to the north.  Hopefully if will die out of curve more northward and have no significant affects on any land masses.  The Bahamas and Carolinas in particular do NOT need another significant storm at this as they recover from Hurricane Joaquin.

I am headed back to deep Southeast Texas later this morning.  I have very limited internet access there and therefore have limited ability to post.

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

 

SCUBA TRAINING

The Florida Sea Base held it’s 4th PADI Instructor Development Course 17-25 September.  Five candidates completed the PADI Instructor Exam on 26-27 September.

Sep 15 IE

Standing left to right are: Will Ligon (Instructor), Tyler Burns (Instructor), Cory Wells (Instructor), Adam Hartfiel (Instructor), Scott Anderson (PADI Instructor Examiner) and Taron Soto (PADI IDC Staff Instructor).

Kneeling left to right are: Capt. Steve Willis (PADI Course Director), Capt. Bert Hubby (PADI Course Director) and Rich Goldman (PADI IDC Staff Instructor).

Not pictured are: Joe Angelo (PADI Course Director), Capt. Brenda Mallory (PADI IDC Staff Instructor) and Bo Bussler (IDC candidate who was called away prior to the completion of the course).

According to PADI Instructor Examiner Scott Anderson, this was a historic class.  Scott said that in his 35+ years in the business he has never had all candidates from a single dive center score perfect 5s on all open water components of the exam.

IE slate

Florida Sea Base Scuba Program Director Joe Angelo is currently considering hosting PADI IDCs in May and September of 2016.  More details can be found on the ScubaTraining page of this blog or by emailing FSBScubaTraining@gmail.com or Joe.Angelo@scouting.org.

There are still limited openings for the 2015 Divemaster Academy.  Details can be found on the ScubaTraining page on this blog.  This is your chance to become a PADI professional at a very reasonable cost and to join the 2016 Florida Sea Base scuba staff.

ALSO, I am still in need of one PADI OWSI or higher to staff the 2015 DMA.

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

TROPICAL WEATHER

Joaquin has become a major hurricane in the Bahamas.  So far, the system is small and not having significant impact on the Florida Keys.  The Florida Sea Base does not own any property in the Bahamas and we are confident that the captains and vessel owners have taken necessary precautions to protect their vessels.  Forecasts continue to insist that Hurricane Joaquin will turn north, sparing Florida, and likely making landfall in the North Carolina area.  Captains Rich and Carol Beliveau, Stephanie Mansberger and Derrek Polt, all former Florida Sea Base staffers, live and/or work in Oriental, NC.  I have not bothered them, but I am sure they are making preparations for the storm’s arrival.

From the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida:

Synopsis: HURRICANE JOAQUIN WILL STRENGTHEN AND SLOWLY APPROACH THE BAHAMAS TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. THE CIRCULATION OF JOAQUIN WILL BROADEN AS IT ACCELERATES NORTHWARD AWAY FROM THE BAHAMAS FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY. THUS…FRESHENING NORTHWEST BREEZES WILL BECOME WEST ON SATURDAY…THEN SLOWLY SLACKEN THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND.

The NWS is forecasting NW winds at 15 to 20 knots for the Florida Sea Base Thursday through Saturday.

at201511_5day

OTHER FSB NEWS

I have more Florida Sea Base news to share but I currently have very limited internet access.  I should be able to post some updates on Saturday.

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

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