Florida Sea Base Administrative Assistant Cheryl Ferreri was gracious in hosting a “Please Go Back to Texas” party at her residence last night.  The event reminded me of a quote attributed to Davy Crockett.  Crockett had served as a Congressman from Tennessee for several years.  In 1835 he apparently lost his bid for reelection.  He was quoted in several newspapers as stating, “I told the people of my district that I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but if not, they might go to hell, and I would go to Texas.”  So with much less animosity than Mr. Crockett, I too am headed to Texas.  Hopefully NOT to meet my demise at the Alamo as did he in 1836.  (Although I would like to visit San Antonio again in the near future.)

[As a matter of fact, I SERIOUSLY thought I may have met my demise at the party.  I managed to inhale a chunk of brownie and was barely able to breath (to the point I couldn’t talk and thought seriously about signing someone to call an ambulance.  I coughed violently for several minutes and the issue finally resolved itself; or so I thought.  After sleeping for about 2 and a half hours, I woke up.   My throat has never hurt like this before.  I assume I strained some muscles.]

Anyway, I’m still alive and sincerely appreciate those who came to the gathering.  I thought about listing everyone but I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out and I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Some of you may recognize this photo.

Morgan Rainbow Enhanced

I took this photo with a cheap Olympus point-and-shot digital camera in 2006.  It was a fluke shot but I thought it had potential.  I emailed it to my son, Aaron, who enhanced it a tad and sent it back.  The photo has been in and on the cover of several Florida Sea Base publications.  It was even used on an FSB t-shirt and eventually (2011 or 2012 maybe) converted into a painting and given as the grand prize for the Florida Sea Base Annual Invitational Tarpon Tournament that year.  As of this writing, it is the banner photo on the Florida Sea Base Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FloridaSeaBase?ref=profile).  Despite its use, I don’t believe I have ever received any public credit for the photo – until last night.  I was presented with a large, framed and matted copy of “Morgan Rainbow”.  [I originally named the photo “Easter Egg Fleet” because the first boat is not a Morgan.  The boat with the yellow stripe is Escape.  The name is not on the bow because the boat had been recently painted.]  A second matte was made and several of the FSB staff and captains signed it.  I will replace the original matte with the new one when I get back to Texas.  I will post a photo of the photo when I get it re-matted and hung.

This is my second retirement, once from law enforcement and now the BSA.  Having a “go away” party is always very humbling and I appreciate all of the effort put forth by so many staff members.  Thank you.

I am almost packed but have a few must do items left aboard Escape.  My plan is to be on the road very early Monday morning so I can get past Miami before the morning traffic rush.

Capt. Steve Willis
FSB Scuba Director – RETIRED
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape


  1. Jonathan Warner says:

    Happy retirement! I will miss the daily updates as it was a way to keep me connected to the base while awaiting my next visit. I’m in the process of writing a song about what FSB means to me – hopefully you’ll be around at a Luau to hear it! Safe travels back to TX!

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