Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.  BUT…I have been lead to believe that the Florida Sea Base has finally received final approval from the Village of Islamorada to dredge the harbor.  (It’s only taken 18 years, over $250,000 in “mitigation” fees, and thousands more to lawyers.)  Work should begin very soon (but about a month behind schedule) on dredging and reorganizing our harbor.

Today is the final day of this round of the PADI IDC audit.  (Yeah!!!)  Course Director Bert Hubby decided to start late today so I am going to have a couple of hours to try to get a couple of days’ work knocked out.

It looks like we have no threat of major weather for the next week or two according to Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog:

By Dr. Jeff Masters

Published: 9:51 AM EDT on September 29, 2011
Tropical Storm Ophelia is strengthening as it pulls away from the Lesser Antilles Islands and heads north-northwest. Recent satellite loops show that Ophelia has developed a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds over its core, which is characteristic of strengthening tropical storms that are nearing hurricane intensity. Dry air and moderate wind shear of 15 – 20 knots are slowing down Ophelia’s intensification, but by Friday morning, wind shear is expected to fall to 10 – 15 knots, and remain below 15 knots through Sunday morning. This should allow Ophelia to intensify into a hurricane on Friday. Most of the models agree that Ophelia will track far enough to the east of Bermuda that the island should see sustained winds below 45 mph, since it will be on the weak (left) side of the storm. We can’t rule out the possibility that Bermuda will receive hurricane force winds yet, but the odds are low–the 5 am wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda just a 3% chance of receiving hurricane force winds. Ophelia’s closest approach to the island will be late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Ophelia is likely to bring high winds and heavy rains to Southeast Newfoundland Sunday night, as a weakening tropical storm.In the middle Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe is headed west-northwest, and is not expected to trouble any land areas.  Satellite loops show Philippe is a small system with little heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is expected to diminish some today over the storm, which should allow the storm to intensify. However, by Saturday, Philippe will be encountering very high wind shear of 30 – 40 knots associated with the upper-level outflow from Ophelia. This shear will probably be high enough to destroy Philippe by Monday. In the event Philippe does survive the shear, the storm could penetrate far enough west that Bermuda might need to be concerned with it.Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the computer models is calling for a new tropical storm to form in the coming seven days. The large-scale environment over the Atlantic currently favors sinking air, due to the current phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This situation will likely last well into next week, and will discourage formation of new tropical storms. The MJO is a 30-60 day cycle of thunderstorm activity that affects the tropics.

Year-end spending is going well.  Capt. Rich and I have spent about $70,000 this week.  High Adventure does not come cheap.

That’s all the time I have this morning.  Enjoy your day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

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