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 www.wunderground.com
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 http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/. 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.
Aboard S/V Escape