LOBSTER MINI SEASON

I posted a few days ago about the Lobster Mini Season that officially occurs this Wednesday and Thursday in Monroe County.  Captain Harold Ochstein (who with wife Captain Margie Ochstein deliver the Florida Sea Base Eco Adventure program) commented on the post:

This is somewhere around the 30th year that Captain Margie and I have participated in catching lobsters during mini-season. Our daughter spent her 1st mini season on the boat at 3 month old (no we did not put her in the 6 per diver count :) . The reason I took up Underwater Hockey and went on to be on the US Men’s Masters team in the 98 World’s was to get in shape for mini season. Free diving for lobsters is one of the most enjoyable things I have done in my life! As usual this year I am spending the week training my scouts how to safely and correctly hunt lobsters without damaging the ecosystem or get hurt so they can experience some of the fun of a safe and productive hunt.

Sure the Keys have a big influx of people and like people everywhere some won’t follow the rules. Yes you who are lucky enough to live here full time and are not directly dependent on the influx of tourists that come at a slow time to the Keys will be inconvenienced. I don’t think that is a reason to tar and feather all the families that come down to the keys for a week of a wonderful vacation. Looking forward to my scout caught lobsters on the grill this Wednesday!

I did not intend “to tar and feather all the families that come down to the keys for a week of a wonderful vacation”.  I’m sorry if it came across that way Captain Harold.  Thanks for keeping me honest.  I did use the word “many” instead of “all”; regardless, I agree that there will be nice, sober, law abiding folks who participate during this two day festivity.  But I maintain that there will be some drunk drivers, drunk boaters, persons violating bag limits and restrictions such as minimum size and egg bearing females, and some divers who will wantonly damage coral in the pursuit of an $8 lobster tail.  I am very thankful for the financial rewards this event brings to local businesses.  I wish there was a way to accomplish that without so much negative impact.

SAILING

Captain Luke Knuttel, Florida Sea Base Sailing Director, has been blessed with the opportunity to spend a little time on the water recently.  He sent me a few photos.  The first one was taken on 21 July during small boat sailing time.

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Here’s a nice shot of S/V Adventure, owned and operated by Captain Hans Bockelman.

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S/V Adventure participates in our Coral Reef Sailing and Scuba Liveaboard programs.  She is under full sail in the photo.

Captain Luke sent me a few more photos that will appear in future posts.  Photos are always welcome.

SCUBA

Scuba Commissioner Captain Alex Bergstedt and most of the Scuba Instructors on staff are working diligently to scuba certify as many of the staff members as possible as we approach the end of the season.  With school schedules cranking up, several staff members will start rotating out in the next two or three weeks.  This is a logistical nightmare, but it is the reality of running a 14 week summer program.  We are cautiously optimistic that we have adequate reserves coming in to replace those leaving early.

WEATHER

Yesterday I mentioned that a tropical wave had emerged from the African coast.  It was designated Invest 98L by the National Hurricane Center later in the day.  At this point, the NHC feels there is a 40% chance of development over the next few days before it ingests a large quantity of dry Saharan air and fizzles out.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Either way, the system is a long way off.

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Monday was our fourth day in a row without rain.  We have a 10%-20% chance of rain each day for the next week.  The wind should be very gentle to calm over the next few days; GREAT weather for fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving on the reef.

Captain Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

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