Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

The chief complaint from the Florida Sea Base Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification participants has been that they wanted to do more dives and did not want to spend a non-diving day wandering around Key West.  While this complaint was not unanimous, it was frequent and strong.  Crews were sent to sightsee in Key West for one day of their program simply because the Florida Sea Base did not own enough vessels to be able to have every crew on the water every day.  [When I started working at the Florida Sea Base as a Scuba Instructor in 2000, the crews actually spent two days per week off base; one day in Key West and one day at a third party dive shop.  After I became the Program Director for scuba we were able to add enough boats to only require one day off base which translated into a savings of $50,000 per year.]  Now that has changed.  I mentioned in the 07 December 2009 post that program changes might be made in 2010 for the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification programs.  The changes are being made to allow more diving.  This will be accomplished by phasing out the non-diving day that was formerly spent in Key West.

The change will be implemented for the Scuba Certification crews starting in February 2010. In the past, the Scuba Certification crews spent the first three days in the classroom and pool.  Day four was spent on the ocean completing Open Water Training Dives 1 and 2.  Day five was spent on the ocean completing Open Water Training Dives 3 and 4 (which completed the certification requirements).  Day six was spent sight seeing in Key West.  The morning of day seven allowed one “fun dive” (non-training dive)  and the afternoon was dedicated to completing paperwork, cleaning and checking in scuba gear and preparing for the luau.  Day eight was the departure day.  The schedule will remain the same EXCEPT instead of going to Key West on day six, the crew will be on the ocean getting in two more “fun dives”.  So the Scuba Certification crews will now complete their classroom sessions, pool training dives, 4 Open Water Training Dives and three “fun dives”.  This increases the total number of dives from five to seven.

Beginning in May 2010, the Scuba Adventure crews will also have two more dives replacing the former trip to Key West. The Scuba Adventure program currently strives for 9 dives (weather permitting) including one night dive plus one non-diving day sight seeing in Key West.  Effective May 2010 Scuba Adventure crews will not have to miss a day of diving.  They will now complete 11 dives (weather permitting) including a night dive.

These changes were made possible by the addition of a third Newton 46 Dive Special boat to our fleet.  This is a $300,000 custom built dive boat and will be delivered to the Florida Sea Base in April 2010.  The purchase was made possible by donations from several of the Florida Sea Base Advisory Committee members.

This is our original Newton 46 Dive Special. I will post a picture of the new boat when she is received.

We are very excited to be able to add two dives (weather permitting) to the schedule for all of our Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification crews.  Obviously this is a very expensive improvement in program.  Not only does it require the expense of another vessel, but more Divemasters, Captains and Dive Boats Mates have to be hired.  This change keeps the program on base instead of driving the participants 74 miles each way to visit Key West.

Some crews enjoyed visiting Key West and that is still a possibility BEFORE or AFTER your Florida Sea Base adventure.  The adult leader will need to make arrangements for the crew’s travel and housing in Key West and include this side trip in their National Tour Permit application.

22Dec

DMA Class 6

in Scuba  •  2 comments

Monday afternoon DMA Class 6 loaded their gear aboard BSA Adventure and headed to Alligator Reef for dives 1 and 2.  The water was much warmer than the air.  These two dives gave the instructional staff and opportunity to assess the candidates’ comfort in the water and gave the candidates an opportunity to make a couple of dives without being tasked with a lot of skills or responsibilities.  These will be the last “fun dives” for several days.  The instructional staff noted strengths and identified a few weaknesses.  After dinner, Milly McCoy. Dave Ball and Capt. Alex Bergstedt had a good debrief session with the class.


DMA Class 6 aboard BSA Adventure

Dehydration is a common malady at the Florida Sea Base.  It is surprising how much body water can be lost in the sub-tropic conditions that are experienced in the Florida Keys.  Most doctors recommend people drink one-half gallon of water per day under normal conditions.  In the sub-tropics, you need to drink even more.  Increase your physical activity and you need more still. Now consider the UV index being four or more times what you are used to and the likelihood of at least minor sunburn and you need more water. If you happen to get seasick (quite common) you need replace all of the water lost through vomiting or diarrhea.  Go scuba diving and you need to add still another quart for each dive of the day.  PLEASE READ MORE.

Four scuba programs are currently offered at the Florida Sea Base: Scuba Adventure, Scuba Certification, Scuba Liveaboard and the Divemaster Academy.  This article will include the first three programs.  The Divemaster Academy is only offered in the winter and will be discussed in future blogs.  Click on READ MORE.

17Nov

Eco Adventure

in Sailing  •  0 comments

Eco Adventure is the newest adventure at the Florida Sea Base, premiering in spring 2010.  The program is an evolution from the existing Coral Reef Sailing Adventure.  The Eco Adventure will be conducted aboard two Morgan 41’ Out Island sailboats working as a team.  The emphasis of this new program is to provide the participants with an opportunity to learn through a hands-on approach about the four major ecosystems of the Florida Keys.  The Adventure will contain more formal education as compared to the current Coral Reef Adventure.  The crew size is 10 to 12, but as mentioned above you will be on two boats.  (The Coral Reef Adventure has 6 to 8 participants on one boat.)  The program will include sailing, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and even a little hiking to investigate the ecosystems of the Keys.  The captains for this program have been especially chosen for the backgrounds in education, personal knowledge of the Keys environment and history, and dedication to making this a premiere program.  The program was conceived and designed by Captain Kelly (Stickney) Lucivero and Captain Mike Lucivero who have more than 25 years combined experience with the Florida Sea Base.

While a few spaces are still available for spring 2010, the summer dates are nearly sold out.  We expect this to be a very popular program and to grow in the coming years.  For more information, go to www.bsaseabase.org, click on High Adventures and scroll down to Eco Adventure or email Capt. Rich Beliveau, Program Director – Sailing, at Rich.Beliveau@scouting.org.

Captains Mike & Kelley (creators of the Eco Adventure) with "Flat Stanley".

Captains Mike & Kelley (creators of the Eco Adventure) with "Flat Stanley".