The spring season is now well underway at the Florida Sea Base.  That means participants are spending time on the water sailing, fishing and (maybe) getting a little too much sun.  They are also spending time in the water snorkeling and diving.  Here’s a good explanation of “Why Do We Pee in Our Wetsuits”.  Something the author sort of glazed over in the article is a comment about blood pressure.  The fifth paragraph reads:

Both mechanisms result in the redistribution of blood from the peripheries to the larger veins in the chest. Thus, more blood is being delivered to the heart, specifically the right atrium, which is the receiving chamber for blood to the heart. With more blood being delivered, the muscular wall stretches. Baroreceptors (pressure receptors) detect this increase in blood pressure, which in turn, triggers the release of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP). One of the net effects of this powerful vasodilator (blood vessel relaxant) is water loss. It has been shown that effects of its release can still be felt up to 12 hours after diving.

What I would like to point out is that immersion raises blood pressure.  That is why it is important to have a controlled diagnostic pressure of less than 80.  Whether you are on blood pressure medication or not, a diastolic pressure of 80 should be considered the absolute maximum for divers because immersion is going to jack this number up.  Most divers are not aware of this phenomena and that my friends just may be the reason that so many diver fatalities are credited to heart attacks.


The National Weather Service marine forecast calls for breezy conditions (15-20 knots) through Sunday with diminishing winds Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday and Thursday the winds are forecasted to be near10 knots.  Tonight’s low temperature is expected to be a chilly 58° with the daily low warming through the forecast period.  Afternoon highs should be in the mid to upper 70s and we have a 10% or less chance of rain through Wednesday.


02 March will mark the 180th birthday of the Republic of Texas.   A significant percentage of Florida Sea Base staff hail from the Mother Country so I thought I would include this brief history lesson.

The Republic of Texas became an independent sovereign republic on 02 March 1836. So what was the first official flag of the Republic of Texas? The truth is not widely known. I am but one, and this Texas historical fact is of little or no interest to many of you, but I have started a quest to right this historical myth. My primary reference is the Texas State Historical Association which was founded in 1897 and has one the most concise articles that I have found on the topic.

The myth (myths and legends are powerful magic in Texas) suggests the first official flag of the Republic was designed by Lorenzo de Zavala, a very interesting man to read about when you have time. To make a long story short, Zavala (the first interim Vice President of the Republic of Texas) did propose a flag design, but the specifics were never recorded and the flag was never adopted. Mythology suggests the flag would have looked like this:

Zavalla Flag

It is unfortunate that most flag retailers are not aware of the truth and perpetuate the myth by marketing this design as the first official flag of the Republic.

“The first official flag, the “National Standard of Texas,” was passed by the Congress of the republic and approved by President Sam Houston on December 10, 1836. It consisted of an azure ground with a large golden star central. This flag, known as David G. Burnet‘s flag, served as the national flag until January 25, 1839, and the war flag from January 25, 1839, to December 29, 1845. President Burnet proposed the national standard, as well as the 1836 national flag for the naval service, in a letter of October 11, 1836, to Congress.” (The Handbook of Texas Online

The historically accurate and true first official flag of the Republic looks like this:

Burnett Flag

Now you know the truth, and as we celebrate the founding of the Republic of Texas, I hope this helps to set the record straight.

(If you are wondering where you can purchase your own Burnet flag (or almost any other flag, flagpole or accessories), I recommend Eagle Mountain Flag and Flagpole, I have no ties with the company other than being a satisfied customer. If you have any questions, you can chat or email Desiree. She even alerted me to items I had ordered that I didn’t really need – before they were shipped. Where else do you get that type of customer service these days? Wimberley, Texas, that’s where.


As I mentioned last week, I plan to be at the Florida Sea Base for much of the month of March.  Posts may be more erratic, so please bear with me.

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

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