It was great news to have confirmation that, following the Friday morning blow, no boats were damaged by lightning and no one was hurt. We have not always been so fortunate at the Florida Sea Base. Several of the vessels in our program have been struck by lightning over the years. And while some have received fairly significant damage, none have sank and no participants, staff members or captains have been injured.
For the record, we received approximately 1.75″ of rain in about 45 minutes. Our best guestimate of top wind speed is about 45 knots. It was a good blow.
And here comes another one. It’s 01:22 (1:22am), we are right under the US 1 logo, the system is moving to the northeast. We are getting the winds in front of the squall now and we are already at 25-30 knots from the west (our unprotected side). The lightning is flickering in the background.
This system will move through quickly but is going to be a little uncomfortable. Escape is straining against the dock lines already and healing nearly 5º. Whichever boats are on the end of the t-dock are really catching it, totally unprotected from this broadside assault.
It’s 01:32. It’s raining so hard that I have lost reception with DirecTV (I was watching The Weather Channel). The heart of this system is right over us. The wind has eased to about 20 knots. Once this part passes we should be good, provided the system near Key West does not intensify before reaching us.
We had four minor injuries at the Florida Sea Base yesterday; the worst one resulted in a few stitches. We need to add to our safety briefing, “Don’t whack each other upside the head with the kayak paddles”.
During staff training I was only able to make one dive with the staff. Scuba Instructor Brian Sevald has a lot of talent with a camera underwater. I didn’t realize he had snapped my picture while I was practicing skills for the PADI Course Director Training Course.
Brian also got a great shot of Divemaster Emily Sepeta.
Yesterday’s headline was a little premature. We did not receive our certification on BSA Burglar. We are however, optimistic that we will get a green light on Monday. The BSA Tarpon is scheduled to actually be visited by a Suzuki tech today. Despite ordering the needed parts from Suzuki on Monday and requesting overnight delivery, Suzuki did not ship the part until Wednesday and it has yet to be delivered. We think the tech will be able to rob parts from a motor on a back-up boat to get Tarpon operational.
The storm has passed. I’m going back to bed. Today is my day off. Basically that means I may be able to sleep in and skip the morning meeting. I hope to spend as much time as possible working on CDTC studies. Enjoy your weekend.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape