I thought I posted this on the 10th but apparently I hit the wrong button and it stayed in the drafts file; my apologies.  But since it was written, I thought I would post it now instead of deleting it.


Here we go!  This system is no threat to the Florida Sea Base, but it is just the beginning of the season.


The wind will favor the Florida Sea Base sailors this week, with 10 to 15 knots today building to 15 to 20 knots from the east and southeast for Thursday through Sunday night.  We have a 30% chance of showers daily with afternoon highs around 90 and morning lows around 80.


We are to the third part of the answer to Andy Davis’ question.  There are three components to the Coral Reef adventure; sailing, snorkeling and fishing.  Sailing entails many skills.  And there are many types of sailing.

The Florida Sea Base does not charter any World Cup racing boats.  All of our sailing vessels, whether in Florida, The Bahamas or the US Virgin Islands, are cruising sailboats.  Five knots is a great speed.  When the wind is blowing hard you may go a little faster.  If the wind is 10 knots you may go a little slower.  If the wind is below 10 knots you will be motoring, not sailing.  Motoring is not bad.  There are still things to do, just no sails.  Most of our sailboats will motor along at – you guessed it – about 5 knots.  If you were to sail (or motor) at 5 knots for 12 hours straight, you would go 60 nautical miles, less than from Sea Base to Key West.  So cruising is NOT what you see during the World Cup on TV.

But we don’t sail at 5 knots for 12 hours per day. We fish, both underway (trolling, not to be confused with trawling) and while stopped on the reef, and we go snorkeling – sometimes for hours each day.  That is generally your call, but weather dependent.

Communicate with your captain.  They are Scout friendly and want you to enjoy your adventure.  If you want to sail, be the helmsman, learn about navigation or knots (the kind you tie), fish, snorkel, whatever your preference, tell the captain.  The will do everything possible to exceed your expectations allowing for weather and safety.  If no one expresses a preference, then the captain will decide.  Either way, you’ll have a good time.

There is a great section in the back of the FSB Participant Guide.  Having training sessions with your crew to cover this information will improve your experience.  It will be easier for everyone if the participants know the difference between port and starboard, bow and stern.  You need to know how to tie a cleat hitch, how to tie it quickly, properly and under pressure.  You will tie cleat hitches each time the boat docks.  Sometimes this is done during challenging weather conditions.  The safety of the crew and vessel can depend on a Scout or leader being able to tie this knot under pressure.


The National Camp Accreditation Program team will be at the Florida Sea Base today through Friday.  This is the first time in 15 years that I will not be part of the insanity, I mean, that I won’t have the pleasure of participating in this relaxed three days of camaraderie.

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

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