The BSA Tarpon has bean stored on the hard in Marathon since the end of the 2011 summer season. Wednesday, Tim Stanfill drove the 45′ Corinthian from Marathon back to the Florida Sea Base. Oh yeah, I helped a little; getting the boat out of the slip and into open water in Marathon and docking the boat at the Florida Sea Base. Otherwise, it was all Tim. As we were driving through Boot Key Harbor in Marathon we saw Captains Skip & Deb Bradshaw working on their schooner, Pirates Lady, at Panchos fuel dock.
The Florida Sea Base ranger staff and all available seasonal staff members spent yesterday stripping the conference furnishings from the Thomas Building. (I saw Chaplain Nate Johnson and Scuba Instructor Mike Roesel humping furniture down the stairs. It reminded me of years past when I frequently helped with that task. Unfortunately, I had a boat delivery to make and had to miss out on the grueling labor.) Today they will set up the staff furnishings, which means carrying 24 sets of bunk beds, chests of drawers and other furnishings up one or two flights of stairs. The 2012 summer seasonal staff will start drifting in today. Preparations for staff training continue at all levels.
We had a 60% chance of rain yesterday, but managed to stay dry (but very muggy) with light breezes and warm temperatures. The general forecast has not changed much in the past few days; warm, significant chance of rain, mild breezes. This is the radar image from Key West at 0154 this morning:
The Florida Sea Base is located in the clear spot between Marathon and Key Largo. The Brinton Environmental Center is just a little to the east of the white + sign.
Today may be very interesting. Captain Rich Beliveau and I are scheduled to take two dive boats with approximately 75 Plantation Key School fourth graders to Indian Key State Historical Park first thing this morning. I sent a text to our General Manager after dinner last night commenting that the weather looked a little “iffy”. His reply was something to the effect of “rain, no wind”. He said we would discuss the conditions at breakfast. I cannot adequately express my level of elation.
Back to bed. I will need to be semi-well rested it I am afforded the opportunity to transport 40± terrified fourth graders (and their teachers) across 6 miles of water in the cold rain, lightning and 35 knot storm cell wind gusts.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape