The crew aboard S/V Stormalong with Captain Chris Jennett had a successful lobster hunt during Mini Season.  The captured 38 legal lobsters.  Yesterday they were on base for shore leave and cooked up what was left of their catch.

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Click to enlarge.


I started working on my part of the Florida Sea Base budget a week ago.  But yesterday was the official start of the 2014 budget process.  General Manager Captain Paul Beal, Food and Conference Director Tim Stanfill, BEC Program Director Captain Scott Martin, Sailing Program Director Captain Luke Knuttel, Facilities Director Captain Keith Douglass, Registrar Nancy Wells, one staff member who prefers to not be named in this blog, and I met at the Islamorada Fishing Club (not to be confused with the Islamorada Fish Company) to set the attendance assumptions for 2014.  We expect another attendance breaking year in 2014, mostly due to the addition of the Virgin Islands Sailing program (which has one or two open dates).  The Florida Sea Base and Brinton Environmental Center are operating at capacity.  The only way we can continue to increase participation is through programs like that in the Virgin Islands.


At the 5 pm National Hurricane Center update yesterday, Dorian was declared to be dying.  Stu Ostro of The Weather Channel posted:

That’s a ragged-looking tropical storm, and Dorian, which briefly and barely attained some intensity (if it did in fact ever have surface sustained winds of ~60 mph), is now struggling with the factors expected to affect it — dry air, marginal water temperatures, and upper-level winds which were once very favorable and now aren’t as optimum in enabling the storm’s exhaust.

The 5 am update was even better.  Bear in mind that anything is possible, but this morning’s update suggests Dorian will decline to tropical depression status this afternoon and may be nothing more than a tropical wave before affecting the Florida Sea Base.  Will we get rain and some bumpy seas?  Probably.  But the current report is still cause for celebration.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

But fear not; another wave emerged from Africa yesterday, AND you can see another storm coming our way behind that one. “Tis the season!

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Click to enlarge.

While we always hope for the best, it only makes sense to “Be Prepared”!  So please consider trip insurance if you have August reservations for the Florida Sea Base.  Like all insurance, you hope to never need it.  And if Monroe County officials force us to close you will receive a prorated refund of your Sea Base fees for any days we are forced to be closed.  But that will not cover any of your transportation or other costs.


Today is my scheduled day off.  However, Captain Ben called in sick last night so I’ll cover for him this morning.  Fortunately, he was only scheduled for a morning run so I may still get the afternoon off and may tomorrow morning off.  We had a scuba crew arrive last week with some sort of bug in tow and several staff members have gotten a dose of flu like symptoms.  Get well soon Captain Ben.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape



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