The third Newton 46 Dive Special to be purchased by the Florida Sea Base is scheduled to be ready for pick-up on Wednesday – maybe. I say maybe because the USCG has not performed the sea trial yet and the weather forecast is looking a little less than perfect in the New Orleans area on Tuesday. The vessels are built in Slidell, LA, just a few miles north of New Orleans. The delivery team is comprised of Capt. Rich Beliveau, Capt. Carol Chapman, Capt. Tom Faralli and me. Capt. Tom is currently in Alabama to attend his brother’s graduation and Captains Rich, Carol and I are scheduled to fly out of Miami International early Tuesday morning. The four of us will drive the BSA Centennial Eagle as fast as water and weather conditions will allow from Slidell, LA to the Florida Sea Base. Half of the purchase price of the vessel was donated by members of the Florida Sea Base Advisory Committee and the other half came from the BSA National High Adventure Matching Fund. Needless to say, we have been busy trying to prepare for the trip in addition to our regular duties.
Two Scuba Adventure crews arrived today. The lead divemasters are Jacob Otwell and David Rumbaugh. Each of them has several newbies shadowing him since we only have the 2 scuba crews for this rotation. (A full rotation is 6 Scuba Adventure crews and 1 Scuba Certification crews). We also had three Coral Reef Sailing crews arrive today. Today’s Coral Reef Mates are Chris Hill, Melissa Rynd and Gwynne Carpenter. The captains are Joe Wischmeier (S/V Spindrift), Ed Maril (S/V Siesta) and Tom Gaunt (S/V Juan Cadiz). Additionally, we have one Sea Exploring crew arrived. This crew is lead by Sea Exploring Mate Dylan Nigh and they will be aboard the Jolly 2 Rover.
At least 12 people have died in Guatemala from weather generated by Tropical Storm Agatha. On-shore winds are keeping the oil away from the Keys and Florida Sea Base. The forecast calls for southwesterly winds Wednesday through Friday possibly pushing some of the oil as far east as the Florida Panhandle. However, even that scenario poses no threat to the Florida Keys. But it does mean we may have to drive the new boat through it. I feel very sorry for the areas affected. If the situation was just a little different it could in fact be us instead of them. And it could work itself this far east if not stopped soon. I pray that this disaster is brought under control soon – very soon. Even so, there will be tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of gallons of oil to clean up.
Aboard S/V Escape