When the temperature is 87°F and the heat index i 103°F you know there is some serious humidity happening.  That was the case at the Florida Sea Base yesterday.  The morning was perfect and I set off for Davis Reef to begin the day’s dives.  After Davis we moved to Davy Crocker.  Both dive sites had gin clear water, no current or surge and flat seas.  By 3 pm, some nasty weather was brewing to our north so we headed home.  We arrived at the base with about 30 minutes to spare before this caught up with us.


There was lightning in the storm so the base activities ground to a near halt.  However, like the majority of our storms, this cell passed over quickly we everything was back to its normal organized chaotic state.


Andy Davis asked,

What are the three most common mistakes Scouts make when packing gear for their FSB coral reef adventure?

Troop 43
Fort Worth, Texas

In no particular order, I would say they (1) over pack, (2) smuggle electronics aboard and (3) have a poor understanding of traveling under sail.  I think I will break these into three posts so let’s look at over packing first.

In the Florida Sea Base Coral Reef Sailing adventure, the Sea Exploring adventure, the Bahamas Sailing adventure and the Virgin Islands Sailing adventure you are going to live in you bathing suit.  So consider two (maybe three) bathing suits, one pair of shorts, and one or maybe two pair of underwear.  Several pairs of shorts or pants, a daily change of underwear, socks, deck shoes – all of those are unnecessary.  Within a few minutes of arriving at base, everyone in your crew will be a smelly sweat ball.  Minutes after changing clothes you will smell again.  Wear a bathing suit and a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt for sun protection and have fun.  You will all stink equally and you will become accustomed to it quickly.

Also, big towels are a waste.  They get soaking wet with salt water and never dry out.  Bring one or maybe two of the backpacking style towels.  I buy the car drying chamois at Walmart for $10.  They come in an assortment of colors for identification and they work great on a boat.  We also sell backpacking towels in the Ships Store.  You can mail order them or buy them when you get here.  (They are much nicer than the Walmart car chamois.)

Bring one or two bottles of sunscreen for the crew to share.  We sell that in the Ships Store too if you just want to buy it after you get here.  You cannot carry a large bottle in your carry-on luggage.  DO NOT BRING SPRAY OR PUMP SUNSCREEN.  Put it back on the shelf or save it for the water park.  These products turn the deck of a boat into a giant slip and slide and can cause serious bodily injury.

I covered first aid kits previously so back up a week or two and read that post if you missed it.

The bottom line is pack light and consolidate.  If any of the sailing captains or mates reading this have additional suggestions to Andy’s inquiry, please click the comment button and I will post the additional recommendations.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Aboard S/V Escape

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