Whether you are a NASCAR fan or not, Trevor Bayne winning yesterday’s Daytona 500 was incredible. I feel I was VERY lucky to see the last 30 – 45 minutes of the race. If you’re not aware, Mr. Bayne is the youngest winner ever of this race (he turned 20 on Saturday). I also believe he is only the second person to win the Dayton 500 in their first appearance. (The first was Lee Petty, father of “King” Richard Petty. Lee Petty won the first ever Daytona 500 in 1959.) What does this have to do with the Florida Sea Base? Nothing really. I just think it is awesome for a clean-cut young man to accomplish such an incredible task.
Okay, now the Florida Sea Base News. Two of yesterday’s crews arrived very early. As a matter of fact, they arrived a day early. The remainder of yesterday’s crews arrived fairly late. If you are coming to the Florida Sea Base this spring, remember this is a HUGE spring break venue. Much of the highway is only 2 lanes ( that is, one lane each way) with very limited passing opportunities. There is a draw bridge that can cause significant delays and US 1 is the only road in and out. So if there is a major accident you may sit for hours. (I have personally sat on US 1 for 3 hours trying to make the 25 minute drive from here to Marathon.) Speeds of less than 30 miles per hour will be common. Please plan accordingly. It is about 90 miles from the Florida Sea Base to the Miami International Airport. The drive may take 2 ½ hours or more. Check in is at 13:00. If you are more than an hour or two late it may have a negative impact on the start of your adventure.
Our weather continues to be incredible. Sunny, 80º, gentle breezes. I am sorry to be so repetitive, but it is what it is. I’m sure we will have another bout with miserable weather. We don’t get rained out very often, but we do get winded out. Until that happens, we will enjoy perfect weather.
I drove one of the Sea Exploring crews to Marathon yesterday so they could board their vessel and begin their adventure. We did so without incident. I think we had a record number of crews that had to be transported to their boats yesterday. Besides me, the drivers included Kyle Beighle, Capt. Scott and Gail Penfield, Dave Ball, and Capt. Aaron Foster. The remainder of the staff were at base working with the incoming crews.
Today is another big arrival day. Every day is opening day at the Florida Sea Base. New participants with expectations of a high adventure program that may impact their lives forever requires the staff to treat every arrival day with the same enthusiasm and energy as the very first crew received. It is a difficult challenge met head on by our seasonal staff members.
Capt. Dennis Wyatt and Megan Ware have been gone (to separate places, not together) for a few days but returned last evening. And Teri Wells stopped by and blessed us with her presence.
Speaking of staff, I have an 07:30 staff meeting to attend. I hope you stay warm and dry. The flood forecast in the Minnesota area is very ominous. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Aboard S/V Escape