It is sad seeing all of the staff departing the Florida Sea Base. Capt. Dennis and Ellen Wyatt are departing this morning. They have kept me sane for the past several years and it is difficult to see them go. They are headed to Lady Lake, Florida to see all of the wonderful improvements their contractor, Hylan, has completed while they were gone for the summer. I feel certain Capt. Dennis and/or Ellen will send me a full report as soon as they can.
We got smacked by a thunderstorm cell last night. I woke up around 23:00. I glanced at the radar on my iPhone while in the head. I saw the cell approaching but it didn’t look as fierce as it was. At 23:40 the wind speed was 2 knots. Ten minutes later the wind was 16 knots. Ten minutes after that, at midnight, the wind was 38 knots gusting to 41 knots – which is tropical storm strength. Just as the system was hitting, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep through it so I would go to the office and work on the budget for an hour. By the time I actually got onto the dock the wind was screaming. I was surprised to see Capt. Rich on the dock and then I realized that Capt. Luke was trying to back S/V Lady Nell into a slip. Capt. Luke was backing into the wind and it was requiring full throttle to make progress. A gust hit so hard that it almost knocked Capt. Rich and me off the dock. I asked Capt. Rich what was going on. He said Capt. Harman (S/V Dutch Love) had called about an hour earlier from Key West saying the storm was headed our way. Capt. Rich was aware that Capt. Luke and Capt. Michele (S/V Excalibur) were at anchor not far from the base. Capt. Rich called them and they decided to head to the dock. Of course they got here just as the most severe part of the storm arrived. Suddenly the dock was a beehive. It was dark and raining hard but I’m sure I saw Dominic Alesandrini, Capt. Martin Ivy, Capt. Carol, Richie Chapman, Capt. Dave (S/V New Horizon) and maybe some others (plus Capt. Rich and me) all on the dock assisting Captains Luke and Michele.
Once the two boats were secured, everyone scattered for shelter. I decided to go to the office, change clothes and work on the budget. I secured some dry clothes from my office and was headed to the bathroom to change when some palm fronds blew into the transformers next to our building and knocked out the power. Joe Schreiner showed up to see if all was well. Brittany Haury also showed up. I called the Facilities Director, Capt. Keith Douglass, and he called the electric company. An hour later there was still no electricity in the office (therefore no access to the server and no working on the budget). The wind let up a lot and the rain let up a little so I returned to S/V Escape. There was power on the dock so I knocked out this much of today’s post and now I am going to go lay down for a while………
The weather at the Florida Sea Base this morning is very characteristic of late summer. NOAA’s forecast for today is “A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 93. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.” Danielle dropped from hurricane status to a tropical storm yesterday but should re-intensify. Invest 96L is also intensifying.
I went to bed early last night so I could get up early and finish my first draft of the 2011 budget. Obviously that storm was nixed by the weather. I am considering putting my spear gun on the desk and shooting the first person to interrupt me today. Even closing the office door has been ineffective. But today is the day. I WILL finish my preliminary budget today.
Used scuba equipment sales are steady. We have a guy scheduled to drive down from Miami today to buy five BC/regulator sets. At only $325 for a BC, regulator, alternate air source, pressure gauge and depth gauge how can you go wrong?
I received two applications for the Divemaster Academy yesterday. If you haven’t sent yours in yet, there’s no huge rush but I would suggest trying to have those in around 15 September. Go to my LINKS page for DMA information.
It’s time to see the Wyatt’s off and get to work on the budget (assuming the electricity and server conection have been restored).
Aboard S/V Escape