Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Captain Ed and wife Daisy of S/V Siesta are on the road again this fall with their travel trailer and motorcycle.  They recently sent an email:

We now have cell phone service and internet again after having come down from the Mt. Pisgah Federal Campground, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just SW of Asheville. We had no power or cell coverage there (but nice bathroom and shower facilities), only our solar panels and auxiliary generator, in this most beautiful spot up 5,000 feet. Of course, through the use of modern technology, we had our HIDEF satellite dish and DVR, with our two flat screen 12-v HD TV’s getting CNN and all the other cable/sat goodies. Reading a book on the recliner under the awning, taking a hike looking for and avoiding black bears, roughing it and eating delicious pre-made dishes from the freezer to the microwave, exploring the amazing twisty mountain rides to look at the awesome fall colors on our adventure Suzuki V-Strom motorcycle (a cheap but hi-quality imitation of a dual purpose BMW)…all for $8/night at the campground, as senior citizens! Yikes!
I am attaching a couple of pics of were we are staying now: Turkey Creek Campground, right in the middle of one of the most famous motorcycle riding areas in the world (including the world-famous Tail of the Dragon uber-twisty ride) near Fontana Dam, NC, just south of the Smokies National Park.
Life is good. No complaints here. From here, we plan to head south and, after spending some time in the Northern Georgia mountains and riding the stunning mountain roads there, we plan to head for the warmer Gulf of Mexico. We’ll make a b-line on I85 and I65 for Mobile, Alabama. And after possibly meeting up with our Havana Ruston schoolmates in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, we sorta plan (we don’t ever have any REAL plans, actually) to border the Gulf coast of Florida, checking out the many rustic campgrounds and sights along the Florida panhandle and south towards home. We should be back home early in December.
Edgardo y Daisy (and our two senior cats, Sniffles and Smudge, who never leave the RV)


In my recent post about the national committee meetings I failed to mention that the 2013 National Jamboree is in dire need of medical staff.  They have made some changes from previous years that mostly make this easier for the medical personnel.

1.  The medical officer of the Bechtel Summit Reservation is authorized to approve medical personnel to work at the JamBo without having to individually apply to the State for permission.

2. All MDs, DOs, RNs, NPs, PAs, etc, regardless of specialization, will be considered.  No applicants have been denied so far.  In the past they usually sought General Practice staff.  However, based on the injuries sustained during the shakedown, they realize they need assistance in all specialties.

3.  You do not have to be available for the full time of the JamBo.  They are working with individual schedules and are interested in your volunteer service for as many or as few days as you can offer.

4.  The only negative change; they cannot accept retired personnel.  You must be currently licensed to practice medicine in your home state to practice medicine at the JamBo.  However, they do have administrative positions available for retired medical personnel.


The tropics are very quiet.  Is the season over?  Not technically; but we can hope!  The local weather is very pleasant, 75-85º, very slight chance of rain, calm wind, and the water temperature is 82º at Molasses Reef.


I also failed to mention that the 2013 budget for the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base was approved during the National Executive Board meeting.  We are always working to improve our programs and facilities.  The Galley remodel will be a big improvement for this coming summer and 2014 should bring us a new scuba training complex and a new Ships Store (trading post).

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713



in Staff  •  0 comments

My son called me on his way to work Thursday morning.  We had a very pleasant chat.  While we talked, I had The Weather Channel on as part of my normal weather watch routine for the interests of the Florida Sea Base.  Jim Cantore was still reporting from New Orleans.  I think I heard him say “Slidell” four times in 10 seconds while talking about the flooding that’s being caused by Hurricane Isaac.  Then Mike Bettis had an on camera interview with the mayor of Slidell from The Weather Channel studio in Atlanta.

You may be wondering how that relates to the Florida Sea Base.  I’m glad you asked.  Slidell, Louisiana is the home of Newton Boats.  Newton builds our dive boats.  I need to order another Newton dive boat to replace the recently retired BSA Tarpon.  Whatever setbacks are caused to the Newton plant by flooding in Slidell will in turn affect the Florida Sea Base.  The Newton facility is in a VERY low lying area so it is reasonable that they will have some flooding; the Mayor was saying 3′ so far this morning.

Invest 97L has intensified and is now Tropical Storm Leslie.  The system should turn northwest, threatening Bermuda, the northeast US and Canada.  We were expecting a busy hurricane season and it is here.  We are not half way through the season yet and there have been as many storms and hurricanes in an average year.

Click to enlarge.

While Captain Rich Beliveau, Tim Stanfill, Captain Keith Douglass, Captain Paul Beal and I pulled our hair out (and maybe used a few Scout INappropriate words) working on the 2013 budget, the remaining season staff worked very hard Wednesday removing all of the furniture from the Thomas Building, a three story, hotel type structure.  Hauling furniture down the stairs is an annual event and tough duty.  Funding for the Thomas Building was donated in 1991/1992 by the owners of the Thomas School Bus company.

Click to enlarge.

Friday’s  breakfast will be the last meal to be served in the Galley as we know it.  The Galley has been remodeled several times over the years.  I know it has NOT been redone in the past 12 years.  So a major overhaul is past due.  The appliances will be upgraded, the plumbing and workspace overhauled, and we will have two serving lines to better accommodate our guests.  I may hold the record for the most meals eaten in the existing Galley due to my tenure.  I do not eat all meals there anymore.  My best guess is about 7,800 meals but an estimate of 10,000 is possible.

I expect to post tomorrow.  Just in case I don’t, please have a great weekend.

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

Sunday was the last major arrival day at the Florida Sea Base for the 2012 summer season.  About half of the normal mass checked in with Office Manager Susan Mahoney.  We did not have any Coral Reef Sailing crews on shore leave and only one Sea Exploring crew returned to the base for luau.

As the program season winds down the full time staff have other issues with which to deal.  Registrar Nancy Wells is swamped with 2013 reservations business and most of the rest of us are struggling with 2013 budget preparations.

Well, here we go again.  The tropics are very busy this morning.

Click to enlarge.

However, only two of the systems are of concern to the Florida Sea Base.  Newly designated Invest 96L has just rolled off Africa and is to far out to focus on right now.  Very early predictions are for the system to track more northwest than Invest 94L.

Click to enlarge.

The situation with Invest 94L is our current point of focus.  Most of the computer models continue to agree that the system will track to the south of Cuba.  One model has it tracking through the Bahamas.  But this morning, the GFS model has it tracking through the mountainous islands of Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), then Cuba and then to the middle of the Florida Keys.  If the system follows the GFS model, the terrain of these islands will help reduce the intensity of 94L before it arrives at the Florida Sea Base.  So even if it doesn’t stay south of Cuba there is cause to remain optimistic.  Plus, as of 04:43 this morning, Invest 94L is still a fairly weak and disorganized system.  Granted, that could change in a few hours, but currently there is nothing to panic about.

Sunday, Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground seemed to be thinking the system would stay to the south.  “With 94L staying relatively weak and disorganized, the chances of it turning to the northwest and missing the Lesser Antilles, as the NOGAPS model has been predicting, are diminishing. The GFS model predicts that 94L will go on to hit the Dominican Republic as a strong tropical storm on Friday, though the storm could also miss the island, passing just to the north or the south. At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula; it’s too early to tell.”  I will be watching for today’s post in a few hours.

Click to enlarge.

PLEASE don’t misinterpret this as saying a hurricane is coming to the Florida Sea Base.  PLEASE don’t call the Florida Sea Base with any questions regarding our impending weather.  (As Dr. Masters pointed out, this system could go anywhere from Canada to Mexico.)  Click on the comment button on this post, email me or call me or turn on The Weather Channel.  They do a Tropical Update at 10 minutes before the hour throughout most of the day.  My contact information is in the last paragraph of this post.  I get in trouble when readers call the Florida Sea Base.  Believe me, I can get in plenty of hot water all by my lonesome.  I don’t need ANY help. 🙂

Speaking of trouble, I am hoping to get an audience with General Manager Captain Paul Beal this morning to discuss some options that will effect my 2012 budget projections.

 I hope you enjoyed this post.  I need to remind everyone that this is a private site and is NOT owned, maintained or sanctioned by the Florida Sea Base or the Boy Scouts of America.  Any questions or issued raised by comments on this site should be directed to Captain Steve Willis at 305-393-7373 or or by clicking on the comment button.  Please do not contact the Florida Sea Base directly.  They are not responsible for any comments made on this site and some of the individuals do not appreciate my blog adding to their workload.  More information can be found on the ABOUT page on this site.

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

Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.  BUT…I have been lead to believe that the Florida Sea Base has finally received final approval from the Village of Islamorada to dredge the harbor.  (It’s only taken 18 years, over $250,000 in “mitigation” fees, and thousands more to lawyers.)  Work should begin very soon (but about a month behind schedule) on dredging and reorganizing our harbor.

Today is the final day of this round of the PADI IDC audit.  (Yeah!!!)  Course Director Bert Hubby decided to start late today so I am going to have a couple of hours to try to get a couple of days’ work knocked out.

It looks like we have no threat of major weather for the next week or two according to Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog:

By Dr. Jeff Masters

Published: 9:51 AM EDT on September 29, 2011
Tropical Storm Ophelia is strengthening as it pulls away from the Lesser Antilles Islands and heads north-northwest. Recent satellite loops show that Ophelia has developed a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds over its core, which is characteristic of strengthening tropical storms that are nearing hurricane intensity. Dry air and moderate wind shear of 15 – 20 knots are slowing down Ophelia’s intensification, but by Friday morning, wind shear is expected to fall to 10 – 15 knots, and remain below 15 knots through Sunday morning. This should allow Ophelia to intensify into a hurricane on Friday. Most of the models agree that Ophelia will track far enough to the east of Bermuda that the island should see sustained winds below 45 mph, since it will be on the weak (left) side of the storm. We can’t rule out the possibility that Bermuda will receive hurricane force winds yet, but the odds are low–the 5 am wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda just a 3% chance of receiving hurricane force winds. Ophelia’s closest approach to the island will be late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Ophelia is likely to bring high winds and heavy rains to Southeast Newfoundland Sunday night, as a weakening tropical storm.In the middle Atlantic, Tropical Storm Philippe is headed west-northwest, and is not expected to trouble any land areas.  Satellite loops show Philippe is a small system with little heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is expected to diminish some today over the storm, which should allow the storm to intensify. However, by Saturday, Philippe will be encountering very high wind shear of 30 – 40 knots associated with the upper-level outflow from Ophelia. This shear will probably be high enough to destroy Philippe by Monday. In the event Philippe does survive the shear, the storm could penetrate far enough west that Bermuda might need to be concerned with it.Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the computer models is calling for a new tropical storm to form in the coming seven days. The large-scale environment over the Atlantic currently favors sinking air, due to the current phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This situation will likely last well into next week, and will discourage formation of new tropical storms. The MJO is a 30-60 day cycle of thunderstorm activity that affects the tropics.

Year-end spending is going well.  Capt. Rich and I have spent about $70,000 this week.  High Adventure does not come cheap.

That’s all the time I have this morning.  Enjoy your day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think the a/c systems aboard Escape are back online.  Bert Hubby was kind enough to excuse me from the IDC activities yesterday afternoon and I think I was successful in cleaning both a/c systems enough for them to run for a while.  I still have one small issue with the aft a/c unit; now it won’t cycle off.  That’s a thermostat malfunction that has occurred before and it will take some tweaking to get it working properly again.

I spent yesterday morning scoring classroom presentations made by the IDC candidates.  Everyone did VERY well, one even earned a perfect score.  I’m headed back to the IDC shortly.  Today should be very busy with classroom, confined water (pool) and open water training presentations and evaluations.

It seems to be a very quiet weekend around the Florida Sea Base.  It’s still hot and humid and we had about 2 minutes of rain yesterday afternoon.  Tropical Storm Ophelia and Tropical Storm Phillippe are no threat to the Florida Sea Base or Bahamas.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

We were hopeful early on that Hurricane Hilary (in the Pacific) might bring some rain to Texas.  That now appears unlikely according to Dr. Jeff Masters:

Powerful Hurricane Hilary remains at Category 4 strength 
In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Hilary remains an impressive Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds. Hilary is headed west, away from Mexico, and the storm is small enough that its outer bands are not causing flooding problems for Mexico. A trough of low pressure expected to move over the Western U.S. by the middle of the week may be strong enough to turn Hilary to the north, eventually bringing Hilary to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The timing of this event is highly uncertain, though. Hilary is small enough that it is unlikely to bring significant drought relief to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas if the storm’s remnants move north into those states. Hilary is the fourth Category 4 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific this year, and the second strongest, behind Hurricane Dora, which had 155 mph winds.

One of my personal sayings around the Florida Sea Base is, “Never say never”.  With that in mind, I THINK we have completed the 2012 budget.  General Manager Captain Paul Beal was reportedly observed to “the happy dance” Friday afternoon.   I am taking that as a sign.

I am going to meet with Laura and/or Kyle this evening after the IDC and get them started on sending out the Divemaster Academy training materials to the people that have meet all of the PADI mandated prerequisites.  I promise I will get some emails out in the next few days to those of you who have been accepted explaining the PADI Divemaster eLearning program and how that is going to work.  If you have applied for the DMA but are working towards satisfying the prerequisites, I cannot get you signed up for the eLearning until you meet those requirements.  Please hustle, or you may miss the boat.  The eLearning component MUST be completed in its entirety before the candidates arrive for the DMA.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

We had brief, spotty rain showers yesterday.  When I got up at 0500 yesterday (the last official day of summer), the “feels like” temperature was 93 degrees.  That was the LOW temperature.  Today is the first day of fall and we are starting out at “feels like” 93 degrees again this morning.  This is NOT meant as a complaint.  Florida is forecasted to be cooler than normal this winter.  Is anyone out there interested in donation $100,000,000 so we can open a BSA High Adventure facility somewhere closer to the equator?  I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and actually buy a new heater for the aft cabin before winter arrives.  I about froze by caboose trying to sleep back there last winter.

Invest 99L has dissipated and a new wave has rolled off the coast of Africa.  It has some potential, but for now we only have Tropical Storm Ophelia to monitor.  She is turning north faster than expected.  That is good news for everyone except Bermuda.

Click on image to enlarge.

I got up at 0500 yesterday and was on the road by 0540 for the drive to the mainland.  I was third in line at LabCorp for a series of blood tests.  I was stabbed six times and lost count of the vials of blood drawn, but I think it was 22 over a two hour period.  It seems that being a doctor is sometimes be like being a cop.  Eliminate as many suspects as possible and focus on whatever’s left over.  Two MRIs, a billion blood screens and an EMG on Tuesday.  I’m glad I’m not sick.

I returned to the Florida Sea Base (with both arms looking like they belonged to a junkie) around noon.  Shortly after 1300 Capt. Rich and I started on the seasonalization of our 2012 budget.  This is a very scientific process.  First we look at the seasonalization from 2 years ago as a template.  If our budget for a particular account has gone up 1.365847 times, we multiply each monthly amount by that factor.  Generally that works.  But sometimes it doesn’t.  Let’s say for example that we have an account that, after seasonalization, differs from our annual account total by $23,456.  We look in the monthly breakdown for a “seasonalized” amount of say $224,987.  Since there is a 2 in the ten-thousands column we change that to a zero.  Then we look in the monthly sub-totals for a month that has a 3 in the thousands column and change that to a zero and so forth until the monthly seasonalization equals the annual total.  Yes, it is as confusing at it sounds.  It is a tad more scientific than throwing darts (which we are not allowed to play with in the office).  But you can’t argue with success.

This morning I am on my way to Florida Keys Dive Center to start round 3 of the Instructor Development Course audits.  Class on Friday.  Class and pool on Saturday.  Class, pool and open water on Sunday, and more of the same through next Friday.  Busy, busy.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

I met with the owner and salesman at Newton Custom Boats on Tuesday morning as planned.  We did not get our differences resolved.  More negotiations will ensue.  The costs of everything has gone up, a fact that I can appreciate very much.  But our resources for acquiring this new boat have not.  The Newton 46′ Dive Special (we own three) has increased in list price from around $275,000 to about $366,500.  We can’t spend money we don’t have.  Fortunately we are currently in the market for a Newton 36, not 46, so the cost is a bit cheaper, but we still have a big gap to close.

From Slidell, Louisiana I drove to Lady Lake, Florida and arrived at Capt. Dennis’ and Dr. Ellen’s house around 2045.  I was meet by a nearly impenetrable mass of chizzywinks.  (Click on the word for an explanation.)  The chizzywinks started about a half mile before I got to the house.  The Wyatts came out to the driveway and encouraged me to hurry into the house.  Once inside, I was greeted to a (one day early) birthday cake.  We talked and laughed until it really was my birthday and went to bed around 0030.

I woke up at 0500 Wednesday morning, dressed, loaded up (the chizzywinks were gone), and headed south.  I cruised into the Florida Sea Base around 1315, unpacked, checked the boat systems to insure all was well, and took a short break before going into the office.

Invest 98L is now Tropical Storm Ophelia and may stay to our east.

Click image to enlarge.

Invest 99L is closer, but less organized and the computer models are very unsure of it’s track.

Click image to enlarge.

The rumor is that the BSA National Office has it’s budget software and rules changes ironed out.  Capt. Rich and I hope to complete all of the necessary changes to our 2012 budget by the end of the day.  We would have had this completed a couple of weeks ago if HQ had not made several major last minute changes.  Go Team!!!

I have to be on the mainland for an 0700 appointment for some weird blood tests so I’ve got to get going.  I hope you have a great day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 

The Weather Channel says we have a tropical wave potentially heading our way.  The system has very heavy rain this morning, but doesn’t seem to have much organization.  I am not clear whether this is remnants of the old Invest 93L.

Click to enlarge.

The National Hurricane Center and Weather Underground have no notation of this wave.  Hummmmm.  This is a good example of why we need multiple resources.

Sunday went much better than expected.  I was given a special assignment by Dr. Ellen.  We had one triple Scuba Adventure crew arrive with multiple paperwork issues.  In fact, this crew’s paperwork was the worst I have seen in 12 years at the Florida Sea Base.  Scuba Commissioner Laura Kuras assisted me for the two hour check-in session.  (This usually takes 15 minutes or less.)  The best news (from my perspective) is that we managed to get everything completed so everyone could dive.  The second best news was that the adult leader was very patient and supportive during the process.  Only two more Scuba Adventure crew arrival days for the summer!

All was well at the Florida Sea Base Sunday.  The divers said they had a good day, other than the night dive.  Captain Ed took the crews to Alligator Reef as scheduled.  One of the scuba staff members checked the conditions as we always do.  Captain Ed checked in with Captain Carol who conferred with me and I cancelled the dive.  There were simply too many moon jellies to allow for a safe night dive.  Dodging jellies in the day is a challenge.  Diving jellies in the dark is like Russian roulette, pure luck.  I talked with one of the Coral Reef Sailing adults who was ending what he described as an incredible week.

I was the only full-time staff member at yesterday’s morning meeting.  The Facilities Director, Capt. Keith Douglass, stopped by for a bit after lunch.

We have moved to rounds 3 and 4 in the 2012 budget process; we are working on the 2011 year end actual expenses report and adjusting some of the 2012 numbers.

The Scuba Adventure program is being impacted by inoperable vessels.  The BSA Tarpon has been down for a couple of weeks.  We are waiting on parts from Suzuki.  I assume they are on a slow boat from China.  The BSA Explorer went down Saturday; one of the hydraulic rams for the steering system must be replaced.  Capt. Carol is already on the road this morning on her way to Fort Lauderdale with the hope being that Lewis Marine will have the needed part in stock.  If so, we may be able to have the boat repaired for this afternoon’s dives.

In the meantime, we are working on alternative scheduling to ensure no one misses any dives.  As always, we will do whatever needs to be done to make the magic happen for the participants.  Changing weather and logistics is why we can’t provide and itinerary for the week.  Our aim is to have the divers diving every day except the day they arrive and the day they depart.  If all goes well, the Scuba Adventure participants make 11 dives; when, where and how depends.  When the weather is cooperative, the boats are working and none of the staff is sick we have a “routine” schedule.  When any of these change (usually multiple times daily) we have to make plans based on which way the wind is blowing, how hard the wind is blowing, the abilities of the participants that week, who on staff is sick or injured, or what boat/boats is/are out of service.

The flexibility to make all of this happen is a critical attribute of our staff members.  We have a staff meeting at 0730 daily during the program season.  That’s when I usually learn about who’s sick, injured and what boats are broken.  Sometimes the boat information comes to me right after the meeting, when the captains and mates start checking their boats.  It is common for the scuba itinerary to change three times per day.  If we provided a printed schedule for the participants, it would lead to confusion and misdirection.  I know it is mentally challenging in this day and age, but if you are involved with any outdoor activity anywhere, you will have more fun if you can relax and go with the flow.

I know I have mentioned this before, but it still tickles me when the participants (usually the adult leaders) demand to know what dive sites we are visiting on a given day.  So I tell them we are going to try this or that site.  But it always depends.  Once at the site, the conditions must be evaluated.  If the conditions are not great, we are going to try a different site.  The other issue is if I say we are going to a dive site named  XYZ, they doesn’t tell them anything because they have never been there before.  So, like I said, chill out, enjoy the day, and let us sweat all of the small stuff.

I love my job.  (I love my job most when everything is working.)  I hope you had a blessed day yesterday and have another today.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

I know this news is a little late for those of you who are Weather Channel addicts, but Tropical Storm Cindy popped up about two days ago.  This system, like Tropical Depression Bret, poses no threat to the Florida Sea Base.

Click to Enlarge.

We finished our monthly Team Meeting in record time yesterday.  We wrapped up around 1130.  Captain Rich and I took advantage of the time and jumped on our budget.  We finished all of the accounts except the income account before breaking for lunch.  After lunch I filled in the numbers for the income sheet and notified Captain Paul Beal and Rob Kolb that the first attempt was completed.  It was received with kinder words than I expected by Captain Beal, our General Manager.  Mr. Kolb had no comment.  (No news is good news!  Right?)

Speaking of Rob Kolb, he has been selected to spend next week at Philmont Scout Ranch to learn how to put the Florida Sea Base website onto Facebook®.  Rob may be more technically dysfunctional than me (if that is even possible) and does not seem to be looking forward to this challenge.

One of my scuba instructors has broken his foot and one of my divemasters is on week two or three of some yet undiagnosed sinus/ear infection/issue.  Scuba Commissioner Laura Kuras is struggling to find ways to keep our crews covered with these two staff members out of the line-up.  To compound the problem, we have a special, three person Scuba Adventure crew arriving today.  Basically Laura will serve as the crew’s Divemaster today through Sunday and I will take the crew on Monday and Tuesday.  Maybe the ear infection will be healed by then, but if not, Laura and I will continue to share the crew for the remainder of their week.  Captain Dennis Wyatt has also volunteered to donate his Saturday afternoon (he is usually off then) to drive the boat for Laura and the crew who will go to Alligator Reef for dive 1.  Thanks Captain Dennis!!!

The sailing staff will have more than a handful today as well.  We usually have four Coral Reef Sailing crews, one Scuba Liveaboard, and one Eco Adventure crew arrive on Fridays.  Today there will be three ADDITIONAL Coral Reef Sailing crews arriving.

And what a horrible mess this will create for Dr. Ellen Wyatt doing check-ins/outs.  She will have seven Coral Reef Sailing crews, one Scuba Liveaboard crew, one Scuba Adventure crew,  and one Eco Adventure crew checking in and four Coral Reef Sailing crews, and one Sea Exploring crew checking out.  (I included a SIGNIFICANT raise for Dr. Ellen in the 2012 budget.)  I am going to propose a plan to recruit someone (maybe Laura or me) to cover the check-out process and maybe another person (likely Hanna Johnson from Admin) to assist Dr. Ellen with check-ins in the event all of the crews arrive simultaneously.  Anyway you cut it, today will be INSANITY in the Program Office.

Have a great day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape 



The Scout Law

in Staff  •  0 comments

I don’t think the seasonal staff will believe me, but it’s tough on me when I have to let a staff member go.  Each of us is presented with a multitude of opportunities each day to make choices.  Sometimes we make a poor choice.  For each choice there are consequences.  We label the choices “good” or “bad” based on the consequences.  Bad choices are frequently mistakes, mistakes made due to a lack of experience.  Young people have fewer life experiences to draw on so we expect them to choose poorly from time to time.  (Old people make mistakes too.  That’s called Old-timers Disease.)  Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and get better (until Old-timers Disease sets in).  One of the tools used to diagnose Old-timers is the inability to learn new behavior.  When a person repeatedly makes the same or similar poor choices, it’s no longer a mistake.

We expect the Florida Sea Base staff to strive to live by the Scout Law.  I like to kid about there being two more points to the Scout Law than there are Commandments.  So we are understanding when someone (including ourselves) stumbles on a point.  But sometimes life pitches us curves.  “A Scout is trustworthy.”  “A Scout is helpful.”  “A Scout is friendly.”  “A Scout is courteous.”  “A Scout is kind.” “A Scout is obedient”.  “A Scout is cheerful”.  These are half of the 12 points of the Scout Law.  When a staff member struggles repeatedly with half of our Scout Law, it is time for them to move on; even when they are decent people who are trying hard.

We received a very brief, light shower yesterday.  I was privileged to stand radio/radar watch for Capt. Dennis Wyatt last night during the night dive.  There was a pretty nasty thunderstorm cell a few miles north of the Alligator Reef dive site.  Otherwise, refer to yesterday’s post for the weather forecast for this week.  In a word, the weather is “typical” for this time of year.  The thunder woke (some of) us up at 0500.  Again, very typical for this time a year, we had a small but very strong thunderstorm cell pop up right on top of us.

Click to Enlarge.

Budget preparations are coming along nicely.  If Capt. Rich and I can sit down together for 30 minutes, we may be able to complete our first submission Friday.  Our monthly Team Meeting is schedule for 0900-1200 tomorrow so it may be hard for us to make time after that for the budget.  Regardless, I think we are ahead of schedule and may be the first cost center to turn in a proposal.  We don’t get a prize, just bragging rights.  In all honesty, I am pretty sure no one cares except me.  Since Texas is home for me, whatever I’m doing needs to be the biggest, or the fastest, or the ugliest, or the dumbest, or the prettiest, or the smartest, ANYTHING that ends in “est”.

Saturday is my scheduled day off.  I may get to drive a boat for a scuba crew.  If that doesn’t happen I hope to nap as much as possible and see if I can recharge a little.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape