Posts Tagged ‘bp’

I was gone for a couple of days and essentially had no news about the Florida Sea Base to report.  But I am back now so here’s the tiny bit we missed.

I would like to AGAIN remind the adult leaders that the Coral Reef Sailing, Scuba Certification, Scuba Adventure, Scuba Liveaboard, Out Island and Florida Fishing Adventure participants DO NOT go to Key West as part of their Florida Sea Base or Brinton Environmental Center program.  You are welcome to arrive in the Keys a day early or to stay a day after your program, but you cannot leave the FSB or BEC program to enjoy a day in Key West.  I am aware that there is outdated information in the Florida Sea Base Participant Guide and on the FSB website.  These are being corrected.  Regardless, it is important that you understand that Key West is NOT a part of the above listed adventures.

Other than that, there is little to report.  T/S Bonnie is long gone.  The wind is down and the temperature is up a little.  There is nothing in the tropics that is likely to develop over the next several days.  T/S Bonnie has also passed the Deepwater Horizon blowout location and the workers are returning to their posts.  Their is speculation that the well MAY be permanently shut down some time next week.  Let us pray.

That’s all I have for now (except a lot of catching up).

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Today was the final official day of staff training for the scuba staff at the Florida Sea Base.  The morning was spent on handling and filling scuba tanks.  The afternoon was spent with a question and answer session with the Florida Sea Base health advisor.  All of the scuba staff had very good questions for the doctor and I think they were impressed with his explanations.

We also had one Scuba Liveaboard crew and four Coral Reef Sailing crews arrive.  Sargon Smith will be the Scuba Instructor for the Scuba Liveaboard crew which will be aboard Schooner Conch Pearl with Captains Denny and Holly.  I did not get a copy of the Coral Reef schedule this morning so I apologize for not being able to list the personnel assigned to those crews.  One Sea Exploring crew returned today and had their luau tonight.  They will head for home tomorrow morning.

I took compressor filters and a replacement compressor fill hose to the Tuesday Scuba Liveaboard crew who are out on S/V Endeavour and S/V Ciao Bella.  Captains Mike and Kelly were in good spirits and reported that the water conditions are like a swimming pool; 81 degrees and calm seas.  I also spoke with Scuba Instructor Meghann Michalski who says she is having a BLAST.

The top filling at the Deepwater Horizon site has officially been declared unsuccessful.  BP is working on another attempt to cap the well.  The ONLY good news that I can offer is that the Florida Sea Base and the Florida Keys remain oil free.  The water here is incredibly clear for this time of year.  The tourists are literally PACKED into the Keys for the Memorial Day weekend.  If you are arriving in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach airports and driving down to the Florida Sea Base or Brinton Environment Center on Saturday or Sunday, I suggest you add at least an hour to you predicted drive time.

We pray for the flow of oil to be stopped soon and the quickest recovery possible for the areas that have been affected by this disaster.  I do not wish this tragedy on anyone.  I thank God for sparing the Florida Keys for so long.

It is WAY past my bedtime and I have a staff meeting at 0730.  More news tomorrow.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Today was day four of summer staff training at the Florida Sea Base.  About half the day was driver’s education.  We use 1 ton, 12 passanger vans at the Florida Sea Base and most of our staff members have very limited, if any, experience with this size vehicle.  The sailing staff spent much of the remainder of the day becoming familiar with crew check-in procedures and all of the facilities on the base.  The scuba staff attended boat mate training and learned knots essential to their job (cleat hitch, bowline, clove hitch and 2 half hitches).  The scuba staff are on a night dive tonight.  I am working on paperwork for the annual BSA camp inspection.

BP started the process of “top filling” the Deepwater Horizon well.  They were not able to start until about 1400 (2:00 p.m.) and I have not been able to find any report on how it’s going.  Most authorities, even BP officials, give this process a low chance of success.  If they are unsuccessful, it will be months at best before the next phase is anywhere near completion.  On top of everything else, there is now concern about a VERY active hurricane season interrupting any attempts to stop the oil flow.  Here’s a concerning article from msnbc.  William Gray, the world’s foremost hurricane forecaster, is calling for an even more active season than 2005, which is currently the most active season on record.  I cannot find any reports on forecasted effects on the Florida Keys.  But so far, so good.  There is no Deepwater Horizon oil reported in the Florida Keys.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

We are receiving inquiries about how the BP oil well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast will affect the summer programs at the Florida Sea Base.  Obviously, it is too early to tell.  Here is the statement released by Paul Beal, General Manager, Florida National High Adventure Sea Base:


The Florida Sea Base is closely monitoring the oil leak situation in the Gulf of Mexico.  Currently (as of May 4, 2010) it is concentrated in the northern Gulf many hundreds of miles from the Keys and poses no threat to the Sea Base, however we know that these condition can easily change.  Please note that the majority of our Florida programs take place in the Atlantic Ocean which is currently unaffected.  We foresee no threat whatsoever to the Bahamas program as they are conducted in the Sea of Abaco, which is on the eastern edge of the Bahamas and far from the Gulf Stream.

To help us keep in touch with you should it be necessary to make program adjustments, please make sure that the emergency contact information we have on your crew is correct and up to date.  You can check this by logging onto your Sea Base account.  As recommended in our planning information, we recommend that you look into the possibility of obtaining trip insurance as a contingency.

Please know that we are on top of this situation and will notify you immediately if there is any change to your plans from this.  Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you this summer for a GREAT Sea Base adventure!

Paul Beal, General Manager

One of the Florida Sea Base supporters sent this information in an email:

Here is a link to the public information release web site for “Transocean Drilling Incident” that is spreading oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  This site is constantly updated and contains the most current official information. 

This is Part of the Government effort is to keep information flow current & transparent, so everyone can stay aware of the latest known information.  

Agreed there is still way too much uncertainty to be immediately concerned with our Sea Base Trip & the Keys.

  The information & NOAA Surface projection plots are updated continually.

A very interesting set of reads. 
I recommend saving this Web Site for future official US Government information releases.

Rob Lowe

The bottom line is we don’t know – no one knows – what will happen with this catastrophe.  For those of us working at the Florida Sea Base the current situation is business as usual.  We are monitoring the available information.  Please re-read Mr. Beal’s statement.  Please purchase trip interruption/cancellation insurance and please keep your crew contact information updated on the FSB Reservations site.  Also, check here and at for any updates.  Until you hear differently, we are planning on having a full summer of outstanding program experiences.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape