Good morning from the Florida Sea Base. As noted in today’s headline, Capt. Rich and Capt. Steve (that’s me!) are at large on the high seas in the vicinity of the Florida Sea Base. While we are not relieved of our daily responsibilities, our command posts have been relocated from the Program Office to BSA Adventure and BSA Explorer respectively for the remainder of the week as we substitute for the usual captains, Tom and Carl. This is indeed a dangerous situation for the upper management of the Florida Sea Base as Capt. Rich and I are both enjoying being out of the office in mid-summer WAY too much. Anyone out there interested in a Program Directors job? And if Capt. Tom and Capt. Carl are reading this, you MIGHT have jobs when you get back but Capt. Rich and I may just have to relieve you for the remainder of the summer.
The water was flat and swimming pool clear yesterday. The triple crew on BSA Explorer this week is from Missouri. While this was for many their first saltwater dive, on the most bio-diverse reef in the Florida Keys with absolutely perfect conditions (calm seas, no current, 80 feet of visibility and sunny skies) the divers were very calm – almost complacent – as they returned aboard the boat. I heard one kid say “that was awesome”. We had to prod comments from most of the rest. The dive staff for this crew includes Christy Clemenson, Harrison Plunkett and Kodiak Hengstebeck. They need to get this crew fired up or I may leave them all at the dock this morning and go by myself!!!
Tropical Depression 2 made landfall in south Texas yesterday afternoon. Flooding is already monumental in south Texas and northeastern Mexico from Hurricane Alex. ”Devastating” is not a big enough word to describe the plight of the residents of these areas. Remeber that the American Red Cross can always use you financial support. The remainder of the tropics remain quiet for now. Here is the forecast for Islamorada from the National Weather Service in Key West:
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 90. Southwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. South southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
If you go back to my post on 27 June 2010 you will see a photo of the S/V Calypso Poet with serious mast damage. I am VERY happy to report that the Poet is repaired and scheduled to resume her Coral Reef Adventure duties on Saturday. Capt. Joey has been working like a mad-man to get her back in service. Many other members of our seasonal staff and captains in our fleet have assisted with manpower and/or donations. I would list them all if I could. The effort to restore the Calypso Poet to the fleet has been “a family affair”. Welcome back Capt. Joey!!!
My morning started at 05:30. Basically I was praying, asking God (if it was His will) to let me fall back asleep for an hour; it was NOT His will. So I got up an found that the forward air conditioner was not performing as it should. By 05:40 I was in the engine room cleaning (mostly) mud and a little grass from the sea strainer that serves the a/c. It seems to be working better now. I didn’t sleep well last night so usually I would be a little grumpy. But everything will probably be okay since I will be on the water instead of in the office.
Speaking of being on the water, I’ve got to remember to take some sun protection for my lips with me. I can tell they are a little burned after being out for just four hours yesterday. I think it was to years ago when my lips and the tops of my ears developed a sensitivity to the sun. It seems strange to me but I bet a dermatologist could explain they reasons. So sunscreen and a hat for the ears and sun balm for the lips today. I’ll be reminding the crews from Missouri to reapply sunscreen frequently this week. Missouri; isn’t that the “show me” state?
That’s all for now. I still have a lot to do before we cast off.
Aboard S/V Escape