A tiny replica of a pirate’s treasure chest sits on a shelf in my office.  I don’t remember how many years it has sat there or what precipitated my coming into its possession.  The label on the chest reads, “Alex’s Soul”.  After Sunday’s events, I feel obligated to return custody of this chest to Scuba Commissioner Captain Alex Bergstedt.  I will be brief (mainly because I am exhausted and need to lay down).

Captain Alex volunteered to accompany me on the delivery of S/V Escape from Treasure Harbor Marine to the Florida Sea Base Sunday.  I had made the trip from FSB to Treasure Harbor alone without incident.  I had no reason to anticipate any issues on Sunday.  For brevity’s sake let me simply say that we had a fuel issue (as in fuel not getting to the engine).  We were blessed that the engine conked out after we had navigated the twisty, shallow channel leading out of Treasure Harbor Marine and prior to us entering the twisty, narrow, current ridden, Snake Creek Channel that leads to the draw bridge on US 1.  Either of those locations could have resulted in major safety issues for the boat and even for Captain Alex and I on a personal level.

It took about 2 hours to fix the fuel problem.  We thought we were about to be on our way when we discovered the anchor was entangled with a lobster trap.  More than 30 minutes later the lobster trap was released undamaged.  But now we had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of us in the dark with lobster traps littering the water like a World War II mine field.

Allow me to digress.  Captain Rich Beliveau, Captain Jon Strydom, and Captain Pam Anderson of Treasure Harbor Marine all provided assistance or guidance via cell phone.  Captain Martin Ivey and Captain Derek Polt came to the scene of our anchorage to assist just as we got the engine started (of course).  Captain Martin and Captain Derek were kind enough to follow us back to the Florida Sea Base in the dark.

Escape is safely secured in Florida Sea Base slip 14 this evening with the help of all the above named.  But the situation would have been much worse without Captain Alex on board.  So Monday morning Captain Alex will get his “soul” back.

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

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