Sunday was a great day for diving at the Florida Sea Base.  We had a serious rain at breakfast time, but once that broke it was sunny skies and calm winds.  There was tremendous visibility on the reefs for the scuba divers and the Coral Reef Sailing snorkelers.  I drove BSA Explorer again with the triple crew from Missouri.  Divemaster Dave Rumbaugh joined us today so Kodiak Hengstebeck could have a day off.

Our first stop was Long Key Ledge.  The divers reported seeing 4 sharks in the 6′ to 8′ range.  Our second stop was Pillars of Atlantis.  The current was ripping at this site.  Some of the divers reported the dive as “awesome”.  Most complained of the strong current.  Many said it was the best coral formations of the week.  After doing a one hour dive at each site, everyone was hungry.  We relocated the dive boat to a site named Lob 10.  We ate and played water games for an hour and a half or so.  Then we returned to the base.

In my spare time I decided to search “Florida Sea Base” to see where ranked.  On Google it was second.  On Bing it produced a sublist and was second on that list.  If you stuck with following “Florida Sea Base” it was 7th.  I couldn’t find it on Yahoo search.  Interesting to me.  I’m sure it doesn’t matter much to most of you.

All remains quiet regarding tropic storm development in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico for the next few days.  It’s almost TOO quiet if you know what I mean.  The “experts” still think we are going to have a very busy season.  They also suggested that it might be packed into the latter months of the season.  Not having storms in the early part of the season is good for our program and participants.  Getting hammered in September and October makes it tough on our permanent, year ’round staff.  But I guess it’s tough for us no matter when the storms come.  One thing that might help a lot would be if we could move at least two of the big boats to our hurricane canal, secure them and shrink wrap them.  Without the shrink wrap, the boats will collect leaves from the mangrove trees.  These leaves contain tannin which stains the deck and other surfaces of the boats brown.  It is VERY difficult to clean.  It has been more and more common to see boats (usually big yachts) shrink wrapped for the off season.  It think I saw an episode of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel where Mike Rowe was shrink wrapping yachts.  I should follow-up on this idea.  Things like this are why I don’t sleep well some nights (I’ve been up since 04:30 this morning and was up at 02:00 yesterday morning).

The oil is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and it does creep at little further east on occasion.  I used the internet tools available to me this morning and the nearest beached oil is at Carrabelle, Florida, 663 miles (straight line) from the Florida Sea Base.  Capt. Harold Ochstein from our Eco Adventure offered this information.  2244_what_to_expect_in_southflorida There is no expectation of any of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon site reaching the Florida Sea Base any time soon – if ever.  Hopefully the flow will be stopped in the next month or two.  The impact from this disaster will last for years, many, many years.  Even after everything looks to be alright, there will be millions if not billions of gallons of oil lingering on the sea floor long after I’m dead and gone.  This catastrophe is so huge that I wonder if any of us can comprehend the true extent of what has happened.

Today’s weather at the Florida Sea Base is going to be great.  Maybe a little rain this morning (like yesterday) but most of the day will be sunny with very mild winds.  Diving and snorkeling will be superb.  There is nothing on the radar now, but after sunrise the heat will start to generate energy and we will like see some building of isolated but very tall cloud formations.  Some of these will result in rain and maybe a little lightening.  I haven’t chosen our dive sites for today.  I will wait as long as possible and see where (and if) storms are forming and then we will do our best to go where the weather’s best.

I need to make preparations so I’ll sign off for now.  I hope you had a good night’s sleep and enjoy whatever today has in store for you.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

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