I returned to the Florida Sea Base Tuesday evening.  I left Texas at 11:00pm Monday and 1,300 miles and 22 and a half hours later I was driving through the FSB gates.  I had a busy day Wednesday.  I slept in until 7:00am and then got busy.  I had a lot of stuff to move onto the boat, some cleaning to do and systems to check.

I said hello to folks I hadn’t seen for a few months but I got a special treat at dinner.  Tom (Sr.) and Tina Sander are back at the base volunteering.  Tom and Tina are delightful people.  Their oldest son, Tom Jr., first came to the Florida Sea Base as a seasonal staff member in 2003 or 2004 (I have always been horrible with dates).  Tom Jr. was shy and maybe the quietest guy I had ever met.  It was incredible to see him evolve and come out of his shell as a Sea Base staffer.  Since then, the other son, John, and sisters Stephanie and Lauren have been multi-season staff members.  I had a long visit with Tom and Tina after dinner; it was a very pleasant end to a hot, sweaty day.


There were no crews at the Florida Sea Base when I arrived, so Scuba Director Joe Angelo and Sailing Director Luke Knuttel took advantage of the time for some serious staff training.  Lindsey Smith is the Sailing Commissioner this spring and Taron Soto is leading the scuba staff.  Scuba Instructor/Captain Scott Patton has returned to help for the busy weeks of spring and Scuba Instructor Rich Goldman will be down in a week or so.


Last week more crews started rolling in including 2 Scuba Liveaboard crews and a few Coral Reef Sailing crews.  The wind was very stout all week.  I suspect the diving was sparse.  The spring really ramps up this week and the weather is going to be great!


Captain Hajo Knuttel helped me deliver S/V Escape to the boatyard a week ago Friday.  A lot of progress was made Saturday through Wednesday.  But by Thursday is was death bed sick from breathing all of the coral dust being kicked up in the yard by the strong winds.  My work crew had other obligations on Thursday and Friday.  We plan to wrap up a few projects Monday morning.  The marine surveyor arrives at 10 (a survey is required by most insurance companies every two or three years) and I plan bring Escape back to Sea Base on Tuesday.

That’s it for now.  I’ll try to post next weekend.

Capt. Steve Willis
FSB Program Director – RETIRED
Soon to be back aboard S/V Escape

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