0 scuba crews + 0 sailing crews + 0 conferences + 0 bosses (except me and I don’t really count) = a day off.  Well, a day off for everyone except the under appreciated Galley staff.  Noah Sutter and Jess(ica) Smith prepared a nice breakfast (waffles and Canadian bacon, ey), and a nicer lunch (chicken fingers, salad, veggies, a tater-tot casserole and pumpkin pie) for the handful of staff that were on base.  (It seemed that by lunch time most of the staff had scattered like roaches when you turn on the kitchen light.)

My morning itinerary was sleep in ’til 05:10, research the weather, write yesterday’s post, have a cup of coffee.  A little before 8:00 I made my way to the staff laundry and started 2 loads of clothes.  I went to breakfast around 8:15 and checked the laundry around 8:40.  The clothes were still washing so I went a few steps away to the scuba area.  I worked on my personal dive gear while waiting for the clothes to finish washing and drying.  Several of the staff were roaming around, some in suspicious packs.  I talked with Zachary Bragg for a few minutes; he is wanting to become a professional scuba diver.  About 10 I crossed paths with Captain Alex Bergstedt who was about to leave for Mass.  I tended to chores on Escape (filled the fresh water tank, washed dishes, made a gallon of iced tea, and messed with the computer which is experiencing a USB hub issue of some sort).

I went to lunch about 12:15 and visited with Noah, Jess, Will Richards (Coral Reef Sailing) and Ian Witte (Ships Store) for a while.  Brian Hayek (from Philmont) came in about 30 minutes later and Captain Alex returned from Mass a little later still.  After lunch I retired to Escape and tried to watch the Daytona 500 but it was postponed (6 hours 22 minutes) by severe weather.  So I took a 1-hour nap and then tended to more chores on the boat.  Once the race resumed, I noticed that Pilot/Flying J was sponsoring the #7 car.  Those of you who read this blog frequently know that I stop at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers frequently on my marathon drives between the Florida Sea Base and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

At dinner I learned that some of the staff spent the day on S/V Jewel of Athena with Captain Hammer.  They went sailing and caught a tuna.  Sailing Commissioner Phillip Ferrier said Captain Hammer served instant sushi.  The group also did some snorkeling at Pillars of Atlantis and said conditions were perfect.  After dinner I went to the grocery store in Marathon.  My Honda Accord got 40.2 mpg on the 50 mile round trip.  It is not a hybrid, but with a maximum speed limit of 55, very few traffic lights, light traffic conditions and near calm winds, overall conditions are very conducive to good fuel milage in the Keys.


While catching up with my Google+ account, I saw this photo from PADI:


“Flailing” refers to scuba divers waiving their arms throughout a dive to maintain balance and directional control.  While not uncommon with Open Water Diver course students, it’s not a pretty sight and immediately marks one as a rookie.

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


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