Captain Joe Maggio died Friday of an apparent heart attack. Someone would have to write book if you wanted to chronicle all of the positive impacts Captain Joe had on the youth of America over the last 30+ years. Captain Joe served as the director of the Florida Sea Base Bahamas program so I only had the opportunity to meet him a few times. He was a great man and will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Barbara, and his family.
The scuba staff is dwindling; we are down to two Scuba Adventure crews and one Scuba Liveaboard crew this week and only one Scuba Adventure crew next week. We would not meet our scuba staff budget if staff members weren’t willing to come for a week or two during the spring. Most of these staff members are retired or semi-retired and some come as non-paid volunteers. Scott Patton, David Ball, Richard Goldman, Mark Gilbert, Bradley Williams, and Mark Whitson have all completed their tours of duty for this spring. Captain Ed Miller lives in the Keys and will be on payroll through Wednesday. Meghann Michalski is departing at the end of this week (I think). Most of the others will stay through the Tarpon Tournament and a few will return for summer. I am finding this “thinning of the heard” very depressing.
Yesterday’s schedule included the exceptionally late departure of the Scuba Liveaboard crew (that arrived the night before), the arrival of two Scuba Adventure crews (one with a non-scuba certified participant and one with a diver restricted to diving no deeper than 20′), five scheduled Coral Reef Sailing crews plus one crew who decided to show up a day early (SURPRISE!!!), and one Sea Exploring crew. Whew! By the end of the day, Captain Rich and I were both wondering if jumping off the Channel 5 bridge would hurt much. Office Manager Ellen Wyatt and Chef Joyce Frantz handled the day with cool professionalism. Meanwhile, Captain Dennis reports he had a nice nap.
Thus concludes my report for Easter, 2012.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape