Posts Tagged ‘birthday’



in Staff  •  3 comments


Saturday was Captain Rich Beliveau’s birthday.  Contrary to the concerns of someone who I cannot name, I do not feel that wishing Captain Rich a happy birthday on my blog is a violation of his right to privacy.  Everyone on base has known for weeks, some of us have known for years, it is a matter of public record, we had a party for him, he was there, he knows we know.  So I am going to take my chances with publicly letting the world (or at least the 10 people reading this post) know that Captain Rich is one year older today than he was on this day last year.  (By the way, I am one year older than I was one year ago, it’s just not the anniversary of the day I was born.)

If you are offended by my wishing Captain Rich a happy birthday, please click the comment button and let me know, or call my cell phone or email me (all the info is on the ABOUT page) and please DO NOT call the Florida Sea Base Administrative office.

On to weather (another topic that I was “counseled” on a while back)…..  Leslie was a very strong tropical storm at 05:00 Saturday morning.  This evening Leslie has weakened a bit.  This system should not impact the Florida Sea Base.  But Dr. Greg Postel on The Weather Channel reminded us Saturday morning that the steering current that is expected to push Leslie away from the US will fizzle out and there is still reason to be concerned about the future track of this system and the possible impact to the northern US or Canadian coast.

Click to enlarge.

Dr. Masters’ post from Friday is certainly worth reading.  He agrees with Dr. Postel that Hurricane Leslie could pose a threat to the US or Canada.

Tropical Storm Leslie a long-range threat to Bermuda, Canada, and the U.S. East Coast
Tropical Storm Leslie formed on Thursday in the Central Atlantic. Leslie’s formation date of August 30 puts 2012 in 2nd place for earliest formation date of the season’s 12th tropical storm. Only 1995 had an earlier formation date of the season’s 12th storm. With records dating back to 1851, this year is only the second time 8 total storms have formed in August. The other year was 2004, when the first storm of the season formed on August 1 (Alex), and the 8th storm (Hermine) formed on August 29th. Satellite loops show that Leslie has a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, and respectable low-level spiral bands and upper-level outflow. Conditions appear ripe to allow Leslie to intensify into a Category 2 hurricane by Sunday. Fortunately, Hurricane Kirk is weakening the ridge of high pressure to the north of Leslie, and Leslie is expected to turn to the northwest and miss the Lesser Antilles Islands. However, steering currents for Leslie are expected to collapse early next week, as Leslie gets stuck between two upper level lows. The storm will then slowly meander over the open ocean for many days, potentially threatening Bermuda. Leslie will stay stuck until a strong trough of low pressure approaches the U.S. East Coast around September 8. This trough should be strong enough to pull Leslie to the north and then northeast by September 9. At that time, Leslie may be close enough to the coast that the storm will make landfall in New England, Canada, or the Mid-Atlantic states. Leslie could also miss land entirely; this all depends upon the timing and strength of the September 8 trough of low pressure. Regardless, Leslie is expected to bring an extended period of high waves to the U.S. coast. According to NOAA’s Wavewatch III model, large swells from Leslie will reach Bermuda by Monday, and arrive along the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday. These waves will be capable of creating dangerous rip currents and beach erosion.

In the same post, Dr. Masters raised some questions raised by the effects of Hurricane Isaac.  This is my favorite:

1. Did the passage of Hurricane Isaac stir up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Isaac was the first hurricane to pass over the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We know that large hurricanes are capable of creating currents in deep water at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico; Hurricane Ivan caused upwelling currents of 0.5 cm/s at a depth of about 500 meters. In an August 28 article in the Huffington Post, Nick Shay, professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami, said: “Winds will push water away from the center of a storm, which causes an upwelling as the ocean tries to adjust. It brings whatever is near the bottom up higher in the water column and currents can then push it towards the coast.” Up to 1 million barrels of oil from the spill are estimated to still be present in the deep water sediment, on beaches, and in the marshes of Louisiana, and it is possible some of this oil will wash up on the Gulf Coast in coming months. The storm surge of Isaac also likely flushed out oil lodged in the coastal marshes of Louisiana, but it is unknown how much of a concern this might be.

Locally we had a decent weather day with a few scattered showers, mild breezes and seasonable temperatures.  We expect more of the same for the next few days.

I have a special treat for tomorrow’s post.  Stay tuned!

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713
Aboard S/V Escape 



in Weather  •  0 comment


Let’s start with good weather news for the Florida Sea Base.  Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground posted on Sunday:

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto’s rapid forward speed of 23 mph has been part of the reason for its lack of intensification, but the storm is expected to slow down Monday and Tuesday in response to a trough of low pressure passing to the north. This slowing, in combination with low wind shear, a moister environment, and increasing heat energy in the ocean, may allow Ernesto to strengthen some before making landfall in Belize or Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night. However, the storm will be passing very close to the north coast of Honduras, putting a portion of its circulation over land and limiting intensification potential. It is unlikely Ernesto will become a hurricane in the Caribbean; NHC is giving just a 19% chance that this will occur. The main threat from Ernesto will be heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Jamaica. The track forecast for Ernesto has become a bit easier, since the storm’s current disorganization and more southerly path make will make it more difficult for the storm to make a northwesterly turn into the Gulf of Mexico like the UKMET and GFDL models are predicting. A stronger Ernesto would have been more likely to turn northwest under the influence of a trough of low pressure passing to the north. If Ernesto survives its crossing of the Yucatan Peninsula, the potential exists for it to re-strengthen over the Bay of Campeche, and make a second landfall on Mexico’s coast on Friday, between Tampico and Veracruz. It’s pretty unlikely that Ernesto will hit the U.S.– though Brownsville, Texas could see some rain from Ernesto’s outer spiral bands on Friday, if the storm survives that long.

Tropical Storm Florence 
Tropical Storm Florence continues to plow westward at 14 mph over the Eastern Atlantic, and is not a threat to any land areas for next five days. The SHIPS model is predicting a moderate 5 – 15 knots of wind shear for Florence Sunday and Monday, but the shear will increase to the high range as Florence encounters an upper-level trough of low pressure on Tuesday. The latest Saharan Air Layer Analysis shows that a large area of dry air lies to the north and west of Florence, and this dry air will likely cause problems for the storm. Ocean temperature are near 26 – 26.5°C, which is right at the threshold for where a tropical storm can typically exist. It is possible that Florence could pose a threat to Bermuda next weekend, if the storm survives that long. Both the GFS and ECMWF models dissipate Florence before then.

Here’s the National Weather Service forecast for the Florida Sea Base:

Monday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Monday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 80. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Tuesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Southeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

And here’s our marine forecast from the National Weather Service:


Today: East to southeast winds near 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters a moderate chop. Winds and seas higher in and near numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms.
Tonight: Southeast winds near 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters a moderate chop. Scattered showers and thunderstorms.
Tuesday: East to southeast winds near 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters a moderate chop. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.
Tuesday Night And Wednesday: East to southeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop. Isolated showers and thunderstorms.
Wednesday Night Through Friday Night: East to southeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.

Bottom line?  A little breeze  from the Tropical Storms.  Hot.  A little bumpy on the reef for the divers but great sailing conditions.  It might rain, it might not.

I will try to explain my absence.  Thursday my post generally reflected the disapproval I had received on Wednesday about my blog.  This caused some concern on my part and that concern was commented on by many of you.  Thursday evening I was working on what would have been Friday’s post because I was leaving early Friday morning for Dallas to attend my granddaughter’s first birthday. It was a nice post (in my humble opinion) but when I tried to upload a photo I received an error message.  Then I tried to save the existing draft and received another error message.  I had lost communication with my host server.  So I left the computer running and went to bed for an hour or two.  I checked again and it appeared the server was back up so I tried to save the draft again.  Yet another error message.  I tried once more and everything vanished.  I entered the url and all that appeared was the water background and the administrative page.  I showed 0 posts, 0 comments, 0 everything except 700 and something “tags”.  Everything was GONE.

I sent a text message to my son, Aaron, in Dallas.  He is my tech support and my inspiration.  Sometime around midnight he had “recovered” the missing data.  If you tried logging into this site between 22:00 and midnight (Eastern Time) Thursday you probably received some sort of error message.  I was up at 05:00 Friday morning.  Aaron was not sure of the cause of the crash and felt I should leave everything alone and not post.  (The draft was never saved anyway.)  So I headed to the airport and flew to Texas.  Saturday was the birthday party.  Sunday evening I returned to the Florida Sea Base and posted a quick few paragraphs.  That went well.  Now I’m trying a larger post and hoping for the best.

Josie Arlene Willis celebrates her first birthday.

Hopefully the glitch will not recur.  We are back to the normal Florida Sea Base status of controlled chaos.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713
Aboard S/V Escape 

Good morning from the Florida Sea Base.  Today is my son’s 34th birthday.  I realize that every dad out there thinks their kid is the best kid ever.  But, unfortunately, you are all wrong.  My son is THE greatest!  I love you kiddo.  This blog would not exist without his technical assistance.  I can, to some extent, type the content, but he keeps everything else running.

We had a great start weather wise for Tuesday; at 05:00 it was 83ºF, winds from the SSE at 7 knots and clear skies.  You can see there were light showers in Key West, but the Florida Sea Base is between Marathon and Key Largo and we were blessed with dry conditions after being hammered Monday night.

Click to enlarge.

But the evening storms moved in once again.  We were more fortunate than Monday night, we were spared the lightning.  The radar looked very ominous, but the severe storms melted to gentle rain before reaching the Florida Sea Base.  We are located under the US1 icon.  The storm approached from the south and moved right over us.

Click to enlarge.

The Florida Sea Base enjoyed another successful day Tuesday.  One of the adult leaders in the Scuba Adventure program dislocated his shoulder while on the dive boat.  He told the captain that it happens frequently.  He popped it back in place, took some Tylenol®, and went about his day.  I am not aware of any issues within the sailing programs for yesterday.

Early to bed?  Yeah, right.  Due to the weather, I didn’t get to sleep until very late Monday and for worry-wart reasons I was up very early Tuesday.  So my plan was to go to bed early Tuesday night to try to catch up.  I laid down around 20:30 (8:30pm) and was listening to the gentle rain on the deck and Chicago XI playing on the iPod.  About 15 minutes later I was drifting off to sleep when I heard someone stomping around on the deck of Escape.  So I started to get up when the person started knocking on the boat.  So now I was definitely up, concerned that a Scout was injured.  Nope.  It was an adult leader who couldn’t find his assigned boat.  I told him to hang on a minute so I could grab my foul weather jacket and I would help him.  By the time I got on deck he had found his boat.  So back to bed.  Aahhhh, back to the hypnotic effects of the rain and music.  Until 15 minutes later when a mom called to discuss her son’s medical issues.  He will arrive at the end of the month and she wanted to left me know that he would discontinue the medicine of concern prior to arrival.  That lead to a lengthy discussion.  During the phone conversation I received a text message from Scuba Commissioner Laura Kuras about staff assignments for today.  By 22:00 I was wide awake.  Maybe I can sleep in September.

I hope you slept well last night.

One last radar image, from 05:10 this morning.  We haven’t been this clear of rain for weeks.  The massive cloud of dust from Africa is forecasted to knock down all of the rain for today and tomorrow with the likelihood of rain returning this weekend.

Click to enlarge.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713
Aboard S/V Escape 

Yesterday was Captain Rich’s birthday.  You can drop him a belated birthday wish at

I want to thank Teri Wells and Kyle Moran for having a productive day yesterday despite my lack of supervision.  I banished myself and spent all day working on the Divemaster Academy and  making preparations for our upcoming Staff Planning Conference.  We have this get together annually, like many businesses.  We take three or four days away from the base to discuss what we could discuss here in a few hours to a day.  It is apparently required in today’s business world.  I figure someone wrote a management book 20 or 30 years ago and said cool businesses do this sort of thing.  Woo Hoo!

The forecast track for Hurricane Katria is still unsettled.  There are several low pressure systems coming from the northeast that may affect it in different ways.  A turn to the north is pretty much assured.  When and how hard of a turn is what we don’t know yet.  The system is still more than a week from the US east coast.

Click to enlarge.

Meanwhile, Invest 93L is more zeroed in on the middle of the Louisiana Gulf coast and has been upgraded to Tropical Depression 13.  A lot of rain fell offshore of the US Gulf coast from New Orleans to Tallahassee yesterday.  TD 13 may not work far enough west, but we are hopeful that it might bring some needed rain to southeast Texas where my mom and dad live.

Thursday's rain from 93.

Click to enlarge.

Here’s a part of Dr. Master’s Wunderblog  from Thursday.

By late tonight (Thursday), wind shear is expected to drop to the moderate range, below 20 knots, and 93L should begin to organize into a tropical depression. Wind shear is expected to remain moderate, 10 – 20 knots, into Monday. There is some cold, dry air aloft that will retard this process, and I think the earliest we would see a tropical depression is Friday afternoon. NHC is giving 93L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning. All of the major models develop 93L near the Louisiana coast, and show a slow and erratic movement due to weak steering currents. Coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the extreme western Panhandle of Florida will likely receive very heavy flooding rains beginning this afternoon and intensifying Friday and Saturday. The latest rainfall forecast from NOAA Hydrological Prediction Center (Figure 1) shows that a large area of 15+ inches of rain is expected over Southeast Louisiana. The region is under moderate drought, so flooding problems will be delayed compared to what we’d normally expect from heavy rains of over a foot. Nevertheless, minor to moderate freshwater flooding is likely from 93L, and flash flood watches are posted for New Orleans and surrounding areas, and rainfall amounts of 1 – 3 inches per hour are possible in some of the heavier rain squalls. Ocean temperatures are near record warmth, 88°F (31.3°C), which will provide plenty of moisture for heavy rains, and plenty of energy to help 93L strengthen into a tropical storm. Most of the models predict 93L will have some motion to the west by Saturday, which would bring rains to the Texas coast near the Louisiana border. Steering currents will be weak in the Gulf this weekend and early next week, making it difficult to predict where the storm might go. If 93L stays over water through Tuesday, like the ECMWF model is predicting, the storm would be a threat to intensify into a hurricane. Most of the other models predict 93L will move ashore over Louisiana by Sunday, limiting the storm’s development to just tropical storm strength. I think it at least 50% likely 93L will be a tropical storm with 40 – 60 mph winds along the coast of Louisiana by Sunday.

I can’t remember at what depth the “official” water temperature is taken, but my recent experience diving locally is that the estimates are about 2ºF too cool.  That suggests the water may be 90ºF instead of 88º.  Two degrees doesn’t sound like much but in the world of hurricanes it is very significant.

The three or four program staff left on the base have been working on cleaning, inventorying, and organizing the program supplies like fishing tackle, snorkeling equipment, kayak and sailing equipment, etc.  The few that are left will be going home over the next few days until Laura Kuras (who’s taking a week off) and Kyle Moran are the only two left.  The permenant staff members are working on orders, preparing for the National Outdoor Conference, Annual Staff Planning Conference, and upcoming conference season.  The program season is over, but there is still a lot of work to get done.

Stay safe.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

The Florida Sea Base is celebrating the birthday of Capt. Rich Beliveau today.  Capt. Rich is the Program Director for all of the Florida based sailing adventures.  If you go back to some of my earliest posts you can read the accolades that I have afforded Capt. Rich.  I think there’s even a post where I argue that Capt. Rich is actually the Archangel Michael.  Needless to say, Capt. Rich is an incredible person.  He has excelled in every venture he has undertaken.  He even proved – in just one year – that the Facilities Department can be organized, efficient and effective. Capt. Rich would say that what he does is “no big deal”.  But he has succeeded where so many others have failed making it obvious that he is gifted.  Thanks for EVERYTHING Rich.

Capt. Alex, Maya and Lenka departed at 05:00 this morning.  Capt. Alex has been my right hand man for the past several seasons.  It’s going to make my job much more challenging without him by my side.  He put up with everything I could dish out.  Alex is a friend and I’ll miss him.  He is taking a huge step in moving to Europe and starting a life with Maya.  Thanks for your contributions to the Florida Sea Base, for helping me with so many personal projects and for letting me pick on you.  You’re the best fake crier I’ve ever met.  Come back and see us if Maya will let you!!!

Dave Ball, world famous Scuba Instructor for the spring seasons aboard Schooner Conch Pearl, Divemaster Academy and National Jamboree, is an active Scouter in New Jersey.  Keep you eye on Hurricane Earl buddy.  If he forgets to turn right at Charleston, SC he could end up in your back yard.  All of these storms are wearing me out.  It’s the anticipation.  It’s like waiting in your room for your dad to come home and spank you.  You know it’s going to happen.  You know it’s going to hurt.  But you don’t know exactly WHEN it’s going to happen.

The sale of used scuba gear is going well.  We had a slight glitch in getting some of the orders in the mail, but Lindsay Kuc and Dave Rumbaugh got all orders received to date sent out via UPS today.  If your order was sent previously, it is on its way now.  And for what it’s worth, there should be no more shipping glitches.  Please remember we don’t ship items out very often.  It took a few days to work out the process.

A new Administrative Intern arrived yesterday.  Her name is Megan B.  No, B is not her last name, but I’m old, only heard it once and forgot it overnight.  I’ll try to remember to ask her again and post it tomorrow.  Sorry Megan.

Time to go to work.  It’s going to be wierd without Capt. Alex to pick on.

Capt. Steve
Aboard  S/V Escape

I mentioned several times that it is very rare to get an all-day, soaking rain at the Florida Sea Base.  Well, yesterday was one of those days.  It started raining around 09:00 and was still raining when I went to bed.

The radar is clear this morning but the wind is brisk at 22 knots from the east.  In the meantime, Hurricane Earl has turned into a Cat 4 beast.  I am relieved he is not visiting here.  Tropical Storm Fiona is on his heals and catching up.  Two scenarios are being suggested by the pros.  (1) Fiona will catch up with Earl and be torn apart.  (2) Fiona will slow down so as to not over take Earl and has a 25% chance of making landfall somewhere on the US east coast.  It is too early to tell.  And a new tropical wave, Invest 98, is following Fiona.

If there are any staff members reading this who have a Face Book account, would you please spread the word that Wednesday (tomorrow) is Capt. Rich’s birthday?  I am sure he would enjoy hearing from as many face book buddies as possible.  Or you can email him at

I received a VERY short email message from former Florida Sea Base staff member Seth Little yesterday.  Those of you who worked spring 2010 may remember that Seth was on his way to Alaska to be a bush pilot.  Seth did not say where he is or what he’s doing, but apparently he is still alive.  Teri Wells has taken possession of her Pearson 35 sailboat and is docked at Smuggler’s Cove Marina adjacent to the Snake Creek Drawbridge in Islamorada.  She is in the market for a used marine head (toilet) if anyone has a spare.  (I actually gave my spare to S/V Conchy back in the spring.)  Brittany Haury is easing through the PADI Instructor Development Course at the Florida Keys Dive Center in Tavernier.  Her Instructor Exams (the scary part) is this weekend.  Best of luck Brittany!!!

The number one medical complaint at the Florida Sea Base is ear discomfort.  Scuba divers, sailors, staff, all complain of ear pain.  I was given permission today to purchase a real-live, wall mounted otoscope.  I am working with our medical advisor to find the right unit at the best cost.  While we do not employ a nurse or MD on premises, we frequently have medical professionals among our participants.  Being able to make a quick assessment of whether a sore ear is just a troublesome outer ear infection or a serious internal barotrauma will help reduce the number of people needlessly sent to the ER.  This piece of equipment will be of great benefit to our participants and staff.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

It has been nice not worrying about tropical weather development since T/S Bonnie, sort of like a mental nap.  But nap time is over, the tropical weather is back in the news with two systems worth watching.  They are still a long ways off and may not effect us at all.  But we will be watching them closely.

Credit - National Hurricane Center

At this point, the closer system is forecasted as having less chance of development and has not been formally classified as a tropical wave.

Yesterday was very quiet here both weather-wise and programatically.  So I took a little time to clean the hoses and tubing in the salon air conditioner on Escape and Capt. Rich went lobstering for dinner at Capt. Carol’s request.


I’m running short on time this morning.  I did not receive any updates from the Jambo staff so I’m sure they are very busy and having a great time.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Today is my son’s birthday.  He is the greatest son that any father has ever had.  I love him very much and I miss him terribly.  Happy birthday kiddo.

My son, Aaron, with his lovely bride, Destiny, in the background.

Aaron is very much a self made man and very accomplished.  While in grade school he taught himself to play the guitar, bass, and keyboards.  He had formal training on percussion.  He is very successful in the music industry as a performer, producer, writer, editor, videographer, web designer, etc.  He is very active in his church, a devoted husband, animal lover, and all around good guy.  I am VERY proud of him.

I was off yesterday and only received two business related phone calls.  Both of those were related to a chore I need to tend to this morning.  I did not hear any other news so for now I am assuming that no news is good news.  If that was not the case, I am sure I will be brought up to speed later this morning.  I spent my day off onboard S/V Escape.  I completed a few tasks, cooked for myself (instead of eating in the Galley) and watched some TV shows on DVD and  I don’t have a TV onboard.

The weather at the Florida Sea Base is still windy and warm with a chance of showers.  This has been going on for too long and needs to stop soon.  The good news is the tropics are still quiet and the cap at the Deepwater Horizon site is still holding.

Today is a big check-in day with scuba crews arriving in addition to the daily allotment of sailors.  Ellen will have her hands full.

I will add an update later if warranted.  I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape



in Staff  •  0 comments

The Florida Sea Base is celebrating three staff birthdays today; Capt. Dennis Wyatt (BSA Tarpon), Cheryl Ferreri (Human Resources), Capt. Martin Ivy (S/V Tradewinds).  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Capt. Dennis is still a child at heart.

This fall the Florida Sea Base will have a LOT of used scuba gear for sale, about 140 BC / regulator sets.  The BCs are Aqua Lung Wave models.  They are jacket style and are NOT weight integrated.  They sell for $125.00.  (MSRP is about $300.)  We have sizes extra-small through extra-large.  The regulatords are Aqua Lung Calypso models with ABS octopus and Suunto three gauge analog consoles (submersible pressure gauge, 150′ depth gauge and compass). (MSPR is about $750.)   The regulator sets sell for $325.  We sell the BC / regulator combos for $425, a $25 savings.  The equipment won’t be available until September.  I don’t have a count yet, but we will also be selling a ton of aluminum scuba tanks.  Unfortunately we cannot ship the tanks (just too expensive) so we basically have to sell them locally.  Sometimes an operator will come in and purchase a large quantity from us and that helps.  If you are interested in any of the dive gear, please email Capt. Alex Bergstedt at  It is sold “as is” with no warranty.  It is in good working condition when it leaves the Florida Sea Base.

Alex is in central Mexico and is down to Tropical Storm strength.  The remainder of the tropics are quiet for now.  Locally we are expecting mostly sunny days with a slight chance of a brief thunderstorm each day for the next five days or so.  The highs will be in the low 90s with “feels like” temperatures of 110 today and tomorrow.  The lows will be about 83.

Capt. Alex and Matt McClure are off again today.  Divemaster Scott Costa is still nursing a wounded knee.  The report is he dislocated and relocated his knee cap when he fell.  He returns to the doctor on Tuesday and we hope he will be on his feet (no pun intended) Wednesday and able to take a crew.  The timing was good because we are short one scuba crew this week and therefore didn’t have to double anyone up.  Scuba Instructor Meghann Michalski is still out of the water with an ear infection.  Coral Reef Mate Hannah Locker and Warehouse Manager Ashley Feathers are suffering post concussion symptoms from unrelated incidents.  Capt. Dennis Wyatt (birthday boy) has a small cut on his thumb (he doesn’t like being left out).  I haven’t seen the cut, but he has been going around with gobs of tape on the end of his thumb and reporting he cut it.  I’m sure we have more walking wounded but these are the major ones.

The sailboat captains (mostly Capt. Ron from S/V Sudden Impulse) seem happier this week.  Sysco Foods had temporarily run out of Pringles and Capt. Ron was having a cow.  He told us he couldn’t run his trips without Pringles, the boat wouldn’t run without Pringles, he even used the kids from his boat to try to beg for Pringles from Sara and Wes at the commissary.  It was PATHETIC.  Anyway, I have seen Pringle cans in the provision carts lately so hopefully everything is well aboard S/V Sudden Impulse.

This is the 4th of July weekend.  While it is a fun time for most, including our participants, it is a very stressful time for our captains, Capt. Rich and me.  There will be thousands of boaters on our local waters this weekend.  Hundreds will be intoxicated.  Hundreds more will be what the locals call S.P.O.R.E.s – Stupid People on Rental Equipment.  Capt. Kelly Stickney had a Coral Reef Sailing crew aboard her vessel, S/V Endeavour, AT ANCHOR, about four years ago when a drunk hit her going so fast that his boat came onto the deck and hit the mast more than 6 feet above deck level (which is more than 10 feet above water level).  There were no major injuries, but it cost over $30,000 to fix S/V Endeavour.  So we will be praying for a safe and fun 4th for everyone.  Chrystene Matthews and the Galley Staff have some great plans for our on base participants the evening of the 4th.

Scuba Instructor Milly McCoy sent an email yesterday saying she had moved from Gulf Breeze, Florida to Rio Vista, California.  She took her boat, S/V Mary Joy, and husband, Capt. Tom (USN Retired) with her.  She did not report on the fate of the family cats.

That’s all for right now.  I hope your weekend is safe and fun, wherever you are.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

I apologize for not posting an update sooner.  We have one problem adult at the Florida Sea Base who essentially occupied my entire day.  Problem folks need love too so I’ve tried to be patient and understanding.  I think we have an understanding now.

Today is Paul Beal’s birthday.  Paul is the General Manager of the Florida Sea Base. This is about the 15th anniversary of his 39th birthday.  Happy Birthday boss!!!

The computer models are in better agreement this afternoon and forecast Alex to come ashore somewhere near Brownsville, Texas as a category one hurricane.  Unless something bizarre happens I will probably quit commenting on Alex and move on to other news.  The winds from Alex are expected to push the Deepwater Horizon oil north and west.  The Florida Sea Base should not have any weather or oil related worries from Alex.  But the season has only just begun and there will likely be more opportunities for severe weather to affect us before the season is over.

Locally, our winds may start subsiding around Thursday.  I may get to drive BSA Explorer tomorrow morning for a half day trip.  The good news would be that it’s always nice to get out of the office.  The bad news is that it’s still pretty rough out there and the trip will probably leave me with a day or two of intense pain in my bad leg.

I hope you had a great day.  More to come tomorrow.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape