Posts Tagged ‘93L’

Good afternoon from the Florida Sea Base.  Just hours after I made this morning’s post NOAA recognized another Invest system, 94L.  We had Invest 92L last week and now 93L and 94L simultaneously.  It looks like it will be and active season in the North Atlantic as predicted.

From Weather Underground

From Weather Underground

We certainly had an active day at the base.  In the morning, Capt. Kim on S/V Rainbow Connection broke a steering cable and was towed in by Capt. Rich for repairs.  This afternoon, Capt. Geoff was unable to start S/V Silent Harmony to return to the Florida Sea Base so Capt. Rich and I towed him in.  Then one of the little sailboats blew out its mainsail and ran aground so Capt. Rich and I towed them back in.  While we appreciate all of God’s gifts, including the wind, we are experiencing just a little too much wind currently.  It will slow down to zero before long and we will be lamenting the lack of wind.  So we do our best to take what we are given and make the best of it.

We received another load of sand for the volleyball court today.  Added to yesterday’s delivery, the court is much better.  If we get really lucky we might get one more load.  We also received a third washer/dryer for the staff laundry.  It’s not connected yet, but we are looking forward to the expansion.

That’s about all for right now.  Tomorrow is my scheduled day off.  I have a lot of personal projects that need my attention.  I may not post tomorrow.  If not, I will certainly be back at it on Sunday.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

The strong winds will dominate for even longer at the Florida Sea Base.  NOAA forecasts 20 knot winds from the east through Saturday and 15 knot winds through Tuesday (the end of the current forecast period).  The wind actually shifted to the east-northeast (ENE) yesterday and gave us a very tolerable day of diving.  As I have mentioned before, the wind has been okay for the sailors.  They are reefing sails and staying mostly on the bay side.

EHre’s the morning report on Invest 93L from Weather Underground:

Credit: Weather Underground

Capt. Alex Bergstedt and Matt McClure are off today.  I am “recovering” from yesterday afternoon and last night.  Without being too graphic, I will just say that I have spent more of the last 12 hours on the toilet than off.  I haven’t felt “bad”; no nausea; but I obviously found some type of bug somewhere, somehow.  I’m doing my best to stay hydrated.  I fixed dinner on the boat and ate well (although it was a challenge to not burn anything while running back and for to the head).  Things seem to have slowed down so maybe the worst is over.  But believe me, I will do my best to not stray far from the bathroom today.

We received one load of good sand for the volleyball court yesterday (we need three more).  We expanded from one to two courts this summer and we are having some growing pains.  I expect the courts will be in pretty good shape about the end of summer (of course).  The courts are in near constant use.  I think we could cut out the sailing and diving and just have volleyball and hammocks under the palm trees and most of the kids would still have a blast.

Some of you may remember that 50 feet of chain disappeared from a bucket on the dock by my boat while we were delivering the BSA Centennial Eagle from Slidell, LA to the Florida Sea Base.  I am very disappointed to report that no one has acknowledged borrowing the chain.  Capt. Dennis Dugas of S/V Wandering Star even snorkeled around the dock to see if the chain somehow fell out of the bucket and into the water.  No luck.  I spent $154 to replace the chain.  The new chain is secured on my boat.  When I was a kid this situation would have been considered theft.  But in today’s society it is apparently my fault because I presented some otherwise honest person with too much temptation and caused them to take the chain.  Shame on me.

It’s time to hit the shower and prepare for another “opening day” at the Florida Sea Base.  So far, we remain oil free, there are no imminent threats of hurricanes for the next week and only 60 days of summer program are left.  Time flies when you’re having fun!!!

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

The captains at the Florida Sea Base did an excellent job yesterday.  The wind was brisk, but the divers got their dives in and the sailors got to sail.  Even the night dive was a success with Capt. Rich at the helm.  Today’s forecast continues to include small craft warning.  Here is today’s marine forecast from NOAA.

Thursday And Thursday Night…East winds near 20 knots and gusty. Seas beyond the reef 5 to 8 feet…except higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms

Here’s the latest projection for Invest 93L.

None of the current forecast models has 93L directly impacting the Florida Sea Base.  One model has it traveling over the Deepwater Horizon site and threatening the New Orleans area; two models have it dissipating near the Yucatan; and one shows it passing the Yucatan and continuing west.

Before I forget (again) I want to thank Capt. Martin Ivy, S/V Tradewind,  for bringing me a nice piece of leftover tuna Tuesday.

The meeting with the DAN officials ended in an agreement to review and edit the contract proposed by DAN.  It was very nice to meet Dan Orr and his wife Betty Orr.  Capt. Larry Zettwoch, a DAN Instructor/Trainer and part time Keys resident was also in attendance.  I have met with Capt. Larry on three or four occasions previously.

So all is well overall.  We are dealing with the wind.  The staff members are doing a great job.  The critiques are good (except we need more shower and toilet facilities for the Coral Reef sailors who return for a day off mid-week).

I had another adult leader stop by the office yesterday to tell me he reads this blog and appreciates my efforts.  And I certainly appreciate that.  Just as a reminder, I own and pay for this site myself.  My son, Aaron, handles all of the technical stuff.  I write this blog on my own time, usually after a 10 to 12 hour work day except on very rare occasions when I hammer something out during work hours.  The OFFICIAL website for the Florida Sea Base is  It is updated fairly frequently with urgent news and registration information.  It is a great source of information about the Florida Sea Base programs and has a link to the reservations website.  The Florida Sea Base Conference Center website is  And please visit our eCommerce site at  Capt. Dennis Wyatt’s book, The Bald Man and the Sea, is still listed but is either sold out or just a VERY few copies remain (like 2 or 3).  This is a funny book to read and will be gone forever when the remaining copies (if there are any) are sold.  You can also call the Ships Store at 305-664-5624.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape @ 04:06 a.m.

It’s going to be a rough day at sea at the Florida Sea Base.  Small craft advisories are in effect on the Atlantic side of the Keys (locally referred to as the ocean side) and probably won’t be lifted until Sunday at the earliest.  This is not a hazardous situation for us because all of our boats are larger than “small craft” classification.  The Coral Reef sailboats will stay mostly on the Gulf of Mexico side of the Keys (locally referred to as the bay side) where they can take advantage of the wind for sailing without having to deal with the five to seven foot seas on the ocean side.

Unfortunately there are no scuba sites on the bay side so the divers will have high seas and reduced visibility to deal with – “high adventure”.  Bear in mind that we have about $1.5 million invested in our scuba boat fleet to insure the highest possible level of safety and comfort (if anyone is ever comfortable in 7 foot seas) for days like these.  Plus we have exceptional captains and scuba staff who will “call the dive” if the conditions are more intense than the skill level of our participants.  So everyone is in good hands, even if the weather is not cooperative.  The worst case scenario is the divers can’t dive.  If that happens, we will have shore-side activities for them.  Mother Nature rules the outdoors.  Usually we are blessed with very good weather.  Sometimes it rains and sometimes we have too much wind.  We make the best of whatever we are given.

The forecasted track for Invest 93L, which could become Tropical Storm Alex, does not look good for the Deepwater Horizon oil well site.

Courtesy of

Here’s the 02:00 (2:00 a.m.) update on the forecasted track for Invest 93L.  Hopefully the system will follow the more southernly routes suggested by some of the models.  So far however, the models have all shown at least some tendency to move the track further north.  It’s a long way out and the forecasts are not as accurate as we wish they were.

I have a meeting this afternoon with Paul Beal, General Manager of the Florida Sea Base, and Dan Orr, CEO of the Divers Alert Network, to discuss the benefits of a more formalized business relationship.  DAN was organized in 1980 and I think I have been a member since 1982.  It is a non-profit organization linked to Duke University.  They offer very reasonably priced diver accident insurance that I encourage all divers to consider.  They may be the only non-military entity that does research into scuba diving related medical issues.  You can read about the Divers Alert Network yourself at  While I am a strong personal supported of DAN, I am not sure that the Florida Sea Base can benefit from a formal business relationship with them.  However, I am sure Mr. Orr will have some strong arguments to present.  DAN is a Scout friendly organization.  Sam (Samantha) Merrill is their Director of Business Membership.  She is a Cub leader and her husband is also active in Scouting.

I don’t know why I continue to be amazed at how many Scouts I come across in the diving industry.  There are more Scouts/Scouters in the PADI corporate office than I can count.  We have friends at DAN.  The CEO of XS Scuba is an Eagle Scout.  I have met Scouters who work for NAUI.  Our regional Aqua Lung sales rep is an Eagle Scout.  So is the regional sales rep for Mares scuba equipment.  I’m sure the list goes on and on.  If you’re a Scout or Scouter involved in the scuba business I would like to hear from you.  Just send me a comment at your convenience.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

I’m sorry for not posting last night or earlier this morning.  The biggest news at the Florida Sea Base is the headline of this post.  Apparently NOAA is satisfied that the oil from Deepwater Horizon poses no near term threat to the Florida Keys or parts beyond and has suspended the offshore trajectory forecasts.  Rease read the full article.

The general weather forecast for the next few days at the Florida Sea Base calls for brisk easterly winds (15 – 20 knots).  These conditins will provide a “high adventure” experience for our participants.  The sailing will be good and the temperatures will be more tolerable.  The snorkeling and scuba diving will suffer, but the conditions will improve in a few days.

Capt. Rich is driving BSA Explorer, one of the Scuba Aventure boats this morning.  I am in the office experiencing opportunities to improve.  Capt. Dennis Wyatt is running around showing off his new “Joe Dirt” mullet wig.  And by the way, congratulations to Capt. Dennis whose book, The Bald Man in the Sea, has sold out of it’s first printing.  He found used copies for sale on the internet for over $35.00.

Invest 93L has formed where 92L left off.  This reformation has a chance to develope into Tropical Storm Alex.  Current forecast models show the system staying south of Cuba and there is no imminent threat to the Florida Sea Base.

From Weather Underground

Stay tuned.

Capt. Steve
In the Office