Captain Dennis, if you are reading this post, please do not read any further until you have Ellen by your side to console you.
Coral Reef Sailing crews returned to the Florida Sea Base Tuesday morning for a day of shore leave. They spent the day small boat sailing, kayaking, standup paddle boarding, tubing and playing volleyball. Another set of crews will do the same today. I spoke with Captain Brian Stolzenberger, S/V Misty Shoals, who said his crew had sailed a lot in the past 2 days and snorkeled once on the reef. We are expecting the wind to clock to the north tomorrow so conditions may be better for snorkeling (and diving).
The diver’s cowboyed up yesterday morning and headed off into the Atlantic Ocean searching for a dive site with acceptable conditions. I called the BSA Eagle by radio in the early afternoon. Captain Christy said the crews made dives at Captain Grumpy’s (a patch type reef near Islamorada) and Davis Reef ( ledge type reef in Tavernier). Captain Christy reported a 100% puke rate. By 14:30 they had anchored on the bay side, protected from the wind and waves, for lunch and some swim/snorkel time to recover from their escapades on the ferocious Atlantic Ocean.
After dinner the crew regrouped and headed out again for the night dive at Alligator Reef. The wind died as if to acknowledge the bravery displayed earlier in the day.
These may be the last photos ever of the BSA Tarpon. Scuba Instructor Captain Dennis Wyatt, Scuba Instructor Milly McCoy, Course Director Captain Bert Hubby, and thousands of others, including me, have fond memories of the BSA Tarpon. When Bert, Milly, Dennis, and I first came to the Florida Sea Base the scuba department had two 45′ Corinthian Catamaran dive boats (BSA Scoutmaster and BSA Tarpon) and a small fleet of 26′ Duskys. All of these vessels have gone away as the Florida Sea Base has moved to diesel powered v-hulled boats built specifically for scuba diving.
New owners came to the Florida Sea Base Tuesday to take possession of the BSA Tarpon. Sorry everyone, she is gone; all that is left are the memories and often embellished tales of legend. (Dennis, call in sick for a few days if you need time to recover.)
The Tarpon’s final fueling at the Florida Sea Base.
BSA Tarpon’s final day of rest at the Florida Sea Base dock before moving to the Alabama coast and a new life.
A local dolphin (with part of her dorsal fin missing) even came by to pay her respects and say good-bye.:)
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape