Yesterday I grounded the dive boats at the Florida Sea Base.  Winds had increased to 25 knots and waves were in the 8′ – 9′ range on the reefs.  We spoke with one captain on the reef with another company who confirmed this data and added that visibility was very poor.  These conditions are too severe for most of our divers.  The divers spent the day sailing, kayaking, playing volleyball and hanging out at the beach.  The was only one minor grumbling (from an adult) who wasn’t too crazy about the small boat sailing.  The divemasters reported that the kids had a great day and did not complain.  Many were particularly happy about getting to sail.  It’s still going to be bumpy today but I hope to get the divers back onto the reef.

Yesterday, Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground made these comments on his weather blog:

A tropical wave (Invest 97L) near the north coast of Hispaniola has been disrupted by interaction with the island, plus the effects of moderate wind shear of 10 – 20 knots. The storm is no longer a threat to develop into a tropical depression today, and the Hurricane Hunter flight that was scheduled for today has been postponed until Thursday. The disturbance has brought heavy rains of 8+ inches to Culebra, Vieques, the Virgin Islands, and some of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands. Wunderblogger Weather456 reported that the power was knocked out on the island of St. Kitts for about 24 hours, due to the intense lightning associated with 97L. All of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are under flash flood watches today.

Satellite images of 97L show a relatively meager number of heavy thunderstorms that are not well-organized. The curved bands to the north and east of the center have disappeared, and there is no evidence of low-level spiral banding or of a surface circulation. Surface observations over the northern Dominican Republic show only light winds, with no westerly winds indicating that a surface circulation is forming. Long-range radar loops from San Juan show a much reduced amount of thunderstorm activity.

Here is the 02:00 track for Invest 97.  The system is back on track to come near the Florida Keys, but the forecasted wind speeds are 50 mph or less when it passes us.  This is less than hurricane strength and we do not anticipate any closures.  We will have to hunker down for part of Friday and then all should be well.  The sailboats will be on a dock or mooring ball.  The divers will be on land.  As soon as the system passes we will resume normal activities.

Weather Underground

Invest 98 is no threat to our area.

Weather Underground

I have a busy day today; 07:30 staff meeting, 08:00 – 09:00 continued evaluation of weather conditions and final decision regarding activities for the divers today, 09:00 – 11:30 monthly Team Meeting and at 11:30 I need to leave for Miami (I’ll be back later this afternoon).  It will be a busy day on the telephone while on the road.  Hurray for “hands free” cell phones.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

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