We have now completed five days of staff training at the Florida Sea Base.  The scuba staff learned about scuba equipment care and maintenance this morning, went diving and practiced rescues this afternoon, and reviewed PADI paperwork and policies this evening.

Capt. Rich held the second round of Captains Training for the captains involved in the Coral Reef Sailing, Eco Adventure, Sea Exploring and Scuba Liveaboard programs today.

I managed to find two hours to work on the air conditioning on my boat today.  The raw water strainer (where the sea water is pulled in to be pumped through the a/c) was almost totally clogged with seaweed and the water lines that go through the a/c system were clogged with algae.  Both of the problems are common.  The air conditioners on boats use sea water to remove the heat from the air instead of using air like your home a/c does.  So sea water is pulled into the air conditioner, circulates through some copper tubing to absorb heat and then pumps overboard in a constant cycle.  The incoming water gos through a strainer to remove grass, mud and other debris.  (There was a tiny crab living in the strainer.  I set him free.)  The warm water circulating through the tubing encourages algae to grow and that clogs up the pipes.  That reduces the amount of water flow and that makes the a/c less efficient.  The unit is working better this evening.  It was 90 degrees in the boat before I serviced the a/c.

The good news regarding the Gulf oil mess is that the top filling is still in progress and has not been declared a failure yet.  The bad news is that a new leak may have been discovered.  The BEST news is that the Florida Keys remain unaffected and are open for business.

The revised hurricane forecast is out.  NOAA is forecasting 14 – 23 named storms, 8 – 14 hurricanes, and 3 – 7 major hurricanes.  This is classified as a hyperactive season.  If the forecast is correct, this summer will be more active than the summer of 2005 – the worst on record.  Just because we might have a busy hurricane season does not mean any of the storms will affect the Florida Sea Base.  I don’t want to wish bad things on anybody so let’s just hope the forecast doesn’t come to fruition.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

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