Yesterday the oil flow was halted from the Deepwater Horizon drilling site.  This is not a permanent fix, but any interruption of the oil flow is great news for the world.  This is a temporary fix and oil will likely flow again soon.  But hopefully this device will help reduce the amount of oil being discharged into the Gulf.  There is a decent summation from  Click to follow the link.  The report is too long to copy here.  As I said, the best part of this is they have finally made a step towards getting this mess under control.  Maybe a baby step.  And definitely a temporary step.  But a positive step – at last.  And that is encouraging.  We want this flow stopped.

Thursday got off to a decent start with the Florida Sea Base staff in a much improved mood.  The ACA inspection went well.  The only glitch in the day was a squall that come through around 14:00.  The sailboats from the small boat sailing program were overwhelmed by the wind.  The storm lasted about 30 minutes but three of the four small boats needed to be towed in.  No one was hurt.  Two of the jib sails took a beating but everything else looked okay.  Also the night dive was postponed until tonight due to an approaching squall line at departure time.  The divers had an exciting day with 5′ seas.  The forecast for Friday and Saturday calls for more rain and wind but the weather should start settling down a little after that.  Here’s the official marine forecast from the National Weather Service in Key West:

Today…East to southeast winds near 20 knots and gusty. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 7 feet. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Winds and seas higher in and near numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms.

Tonight…East winds near 20 knots…decreasing to 15 to 20 knots after midnight. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 7 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters rough…becoming choppy. Winds and seas higher in and near scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.

Chrystene Matthews, Director of Food Services, and Maria Donovan, Ships Store Manager, bought this cool shirt for Capt. Dennis Wyatt in celebration of his book (The Bald Man and the Sea) selling out of its first printing.

Capt. Dennis Wyatt

It you are not familiar with it, the picture on the front of the t-shirt is his book cover.  VERY cool.

Cathy Hamilton sent this very kind comment:

You guys & gals are amazing! Our troop sent a group down for a scuba adventure. One of our scouts only was able to get Scuba Diver certified. I told him I wasn’t sure you would even let him dive. Not only did he get to dive, you were able to finish his certification for Open Water Diver! That’s going way above and beyond the call of duty! My hat’s off to you and your staff! Thanks for this great blog–I’ve really enjoyed reading it!

Thank you very much, Cathy.  The staff is amazing and we do what we can to make our programs an experience of a lifetime.  I will admit that we miss the mark sometimes; but that is the rare exception.  The vast, vast majority of our crews leave here very satisfied.  And what is really cool is when you connect with that one kid and you literally see them light up.  And if we do everything just right, no one sees the massive effort the staff put into our programs.  When everything goes right, all the participants see is a bunch of staff members having fun in the process of providing a safe high adventure experience that will be a lifelong memory.

With that said it’s time to make some magic for another day.  Today will be tough because of the weather.  But we will find some sunshine and great memories will be created today.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

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