Have you ever wondered what $1.5 MILLION looks like?  Well, here ya go.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Four Newton 46′ Dive Specials + one Newton 36′ Dive Special = $1.5 MILLION.  Captain Alex Bergstedt took this shot, entitled “Newton Row” from the top of the mast on S/V Escape.  These five scuba platforms are owned by the Florida Sea Base.  We have acquired these vessels through very generous donations from some incredibly dedicated supporters.  I began the quest of obtaining the first Newton in 2003.  Thanks to the support of General Manager Captain Paul Beal the Florida Sea Base now owns one of the finest scuba dive boat fleets in the world.  You are welcome!

Florida Sea Base Marine Superintendent is now responsible Captain Christy Clemenson is responsible for overseeing and maintaining this fleet.  Most of the vessels will be taken to Marathon Boat Yard to be hauled out for hurricane season.

The Scuba Liveaboard crew aboard Schooner Pirates Lady ended their adventure yesterday.  We have one Sea Exploring crew onboard the Calypso Gypsy and one Scuba Liveaboard crew aboard the Schooner Conch Pearl still at sea enjoying their adventures.


Locally we are doing great; hot, humid, decreasing chance of showers, 10 knot winds, tons of sun – perfecto mundo!

The tropics are quiet for now.  Tropical Storm Fernand is fizzling out in the interior of Mexico and the National Hurricane Center is not focusing on any of the Atlantic storms for development in the next 48 hours.  HOWEVER, that is going to change in the next one to two weeks.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) will bring conditions favorable for tropical storm development into the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean over the next two weeks.  The MJO is partially responsible for the recent flurry of tropical activity in the eastern Pacific.  The Weather Channel’s Carl Parker says a wave will come off Africa next Monday and should merge into the MJO with very favorable conditions for tropical storm or hurricane development.  If this comes together, early indications are the first storm may turn north early and not make US landfall.

But we may have a system brewing even sooner.

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:55 PM GMT on August 26, 2013

An active weather pattern coming to the Tropical Atlantic
It’s been an unusually quiet August for hurricane activity in the Atlantic, and if we finish the month without a hurricane, it will mark the first year since 2002 without an August hurricane. However, the quiet weather pattern we’ve been blessed with is about to come to an end, as conditions favorable for hurricane formation move into place for the last few days of August and the first week of September. The big guns of the African Monsoon are firing off a salvo of African tropical waves over the next two weeks that will find the most favorable conditions for development that we’ve seen this year. While there is currently a new outbreak of dry air and dust from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) over the Eastern Atlantic, the latest European model forecast calls for a reduction in dry air and dust over the Tropical Atlantic during the 7 – 14 day period, accompanied by low wind shear. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 – 60 days, has begun a new active phase. The most active part of the MJO has not yet crossed into the Atlantic, but is expected to do so during the period 7 – 14 days from now. The MJO will bring rising air that will aid strong thunderstorm updrafts and thus tropical storms–and their subsequent intensification into hurricanes. According to Dr. Michael Ventrice, an MJO expert at WSI, Inc., the latest run of the GFS model predicts that this MJO event will be the 3rd strongest in the Western Hemisphere since 1989. During the last four comparable strong MJO events, 68% of all the tropical depressions that formed during these events (21 out of 31 storms) intensified into hurricanes. The MJO will likely continue to support Atlantic hurricane activity through September 15. The MJO is then expected to progress into the Western Pacific for the last half of September, which would likely bring sinking air over the Atlantic and a quieter portion of hurricane season.

The first tropical wave to watch is one that came off the coast of Africa on Sunday. This disturbance is moving westward at 10 – 15 mph, has a modest amount of spin, but is relatively thin on heavy thunderstorm activity. It has not yet earned status as an area of interest (“Invest”) by NHC, but they are giving the wave a 30% chance of developing by Saturday. The wave will encounter an eastward-moving Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW) that moved off the coast of South America on Monday. This atmospheric disturbance, moving eastwards across the tropical Atlantic at about 25 – 40 mph, has a great deal of upward-moving air, which may help the tropical wave develop when the two interact beginning on Wednesday. The UKMET model is predicting that the wave will develop into a tropical storm by Saturday, about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The other models show limited or no development. There will be a trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast at the end of the week that will be capable of causing the wave to recurve and miss the Lesser Antilles, but it is too early to say how likely this is to occur.


The staff is dwindling as the program season wind down.  For Captain Scott martin, Captain Luke Knuttel and I the focus is on finishing our 2014 budgets.  The seasonal staff members are cleaning, packing, moving and inventorying food, program equipment and the Ships Store inventory.


While not directly related to the Florida Sea Base, have you heard that the beaches in South Florida are running out of sand?  Beaches located in Miami-Dade County officially run out of sand next month.  There apparently is no more sand to recover and pump back on the beach in the near shore waters.  Fort Lauderdale beaches may be next.  Miami-Dade is looking at replacing the beach sand with recycled glass, hoping this is a cheaper option than shipping sand in from The Bahamas.  Apparently beach goers were not able to differentiate between sand and finely ground glass.  Glass is made from sand so now the sand will be made from glass.  Holy Guacamole Batman!

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

One Response to “$1.5 MILLION”

  1. Tim Gaffron says:

    Madden-Julian Oscillation… is that like twerking?

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