I added this part after originally signing off for the evening.  Dr. Master’s posted his blog later than I expected today so I thought he wasn’t going to post anything.  You can read his full report at http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1489.  I copied this part of his report.  PLEASE READ THE LAST SENTENCE. I take this as very good news.

Oil threat to the Keys uncertain
Satellite imagery from today’s pass of NASA’s Terra satellite and the European Envisat satellite were inconclusive as to the presence of oil in the Loop Current. It is likely that the oil has dispersed significantly over the 500-mile course it has taken from the site of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. I expect some oil is close to completing the full loop of the Loop Current and is now headed east towards the Keys, as depicted in the “Uncertainty” area in the latest NOAA 72-hour offshore trajectory forecast. If this estimate is correct, the Keys could see oil as early as Wednesday. However, this is not a sure thing. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is ready to cut off into a giant clockwise-rotating eddy, an event that occurs every 6 – 11 months. This event could occur today or tomorrow, in which case the ribbon of southwestward-moving oil would turn due west and then north, eventually winding up back near the site of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecast Service has a nice discussion on the possibility of the Loop Current cutting off into a Loop Current Eddy, and they note in today’s discussion that there appears to be a developing eastward flow of water directly from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Florida Keys. Keep in mind, though, that during the first month that a Loop Current Eddy forms, it exchanges a considerable amount of water with the Loop Current. Even if a Loop Current Eddy forms today, I still expect we will see some oil make the turn eastward and flow past the Florida Keys by Wednesday. My guess is that the oil will be too thin and scattered to cause significant problems in the Keys, but there is great uncertainty on this.

Today was the first official day of staff training at the Brinton Environmental Center.  Staff training begins at 0730 tomorrow morning for staff members working at the Florida Sea Base.  Our first Sea Exploring crew arrives tomorrow as well.  The first Scuba Liveaboard crew arrives on Tuesday.  More Sea Exploring crews arrive on Thursday and Friday.  Coral Reef crews and more Scuba Liveaboard crews arrive Saturday.  It must be summer in the Florida Keys.

I couldn’t find much in the way of updates on the Deepwater Horizon blow-out today.  I also could not find a weather report indicating if the Loop Current has switched to a circular pattern or is still in it’s more “normal pattern”.  I’ve been hoping for a day off from the oil mess so today must be the day.  All continues to be well in the Keys.  Nothing is closed.  The Florida Sea Base is working full bore to be prepared to provide another excellent summer of high adventure programming for our participants.

My morning was focused on staff training elements.  This afternoon I have been working on summer scheduling.  I finally took a break.  My head was killing me and I couldn’t focus my eyes farther away than the computer monitor.  I’m going to take about an hour break, rest my eyes, listen to some music and force as much water as possible.  I’ll probably add a little more to today’s post later.

It is in fact later and here I am.  Captains Rich and Carol and I went to dinner with Captains Mike and Kelly who just returned from the Bahamas.  Capt. Mike runs S/V Ciao Bella and Capt. Kelly runs S/V Endeavour in the Tuesday Scuba Liveaboard programs during the summer.  They are GREAT and it’s a treat to have them back.

I’ve got to get to bed.  Staff training starts at 0730.  Woo Hoo!!!

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

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