Posts Tagged ‘diving’


I hope you are able to enjoy so time time with your family today or over the coming weekend.  I am heading out Sunday morning to start my return journey to the Florida Sea Base, so I am really looking forward to these last few days with family.


Copied from the DAN @ DEMA brochure:

Dr. Petar Denoble is the senior director of DAN Research.  After graduating from medical school, Dr. Denoble joined the navy in the former Yugoslavia and specialized in naval and diving medicine.  For 13 years he was involved with training, supervision and treatment of divers in open-circuit, closed circuit, deep-bounce and saturation diving.  His doctoral thesis focused on studying oxygen consumption in underwater swimming.  He has been at DAN for 20 years and has been involved in the development of the largest data base of exposures and outcomes in recreational diving, the monitoring of diving injuries and the study, treatment and prevention of fatal outcomes and long-term consequences of diving accidents.

I attended two presentations made by Dr. Denoble during the 2012 DEMA show, “Chronic Diseases and Safety of Diving: Results from the DAN Members Health Survey” and “Sudafed, Viagra and Oxygen Toxicity”.  (I commented on the second presentation in my last  post.)  The last morning of DEMA  morning I happened to run into Dr. Denoble in the A-Plus Marine Supply booth on the trade show floor.  I introduced myself, told him a little bit about the Florida Sea Base and told him I appreciated his presentations.  This started a conversation that lead to my concern about youth divers and psychotropic drug use.  That lead to Dr. Denobles interest in statistics involving young divers.  He said he was very interested in starting a dialog.  I am optimistic that this will become very beneficial for the safety of the Scouts diving at the Florida Sea Base.


My son is one of the corporate officers (and the music and audio genius behind) Rockshow Comedy.  They will release a new Scout appropriate comedy DVD tomorrow starring Tim Hawkins.  You can see a preview on their website or search “Tim Hawkins” on YouTube.  If you go to you can purchase the DVD, purchase a download, or both.  The comedy shows are usually performed in churches and are very family friendly.  This is a great gift idea. offers a preview of their comedians, ticket sales, and the opportunity to book Tim Hawkins for your own show.  Tim’s YouTube videos have had over 37.6 million views.  Enjoy!

Click to enlarge.

My son, Aaron, playing drums with the Tunafish Band in a 2008 Tim Hawkins concert.


Captain Rich mentioned yesterday that the Florida Sea Base will offer Coral Reef Sailing style adventures from St. Thomas in 2014.  In response to one of the posted comments, there are no plans to include Florida Sea Base scuba programs in the USVI for the time being.


I have been invited to discuss the possibility of writing an article or blog post for the American Health Journal. I will try to follow-up on that once the Divemaster Academy has concluded.

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


Texas Drought

in Scuba  •  0 comments

This is a great article that I saw yesterday on The Weather Channel website.  Depleted Texas Lakes Expose Ghost Towns, Graves is worth reading.  I have been scuba diving in several of these lakes.  Pat and Mel Fousek, PADI Course Directors and corporate employees, live on Lake Whitney.  (I located a stolen Ford Mustang in about 80′ of water at Lake Whitney back in my law enforcement days.)  As a PADI Wreck Diver specialty instructor, I realize that history and anthropology can be a part of any dive, not just on wrecks.  The main attraction at Squaw Creek Reservoir near Granbury, Texas was the remains of a flooded ranch house.  Reading this article and reminiscing makes me want to load up my gear and go diving in some limited visibility Texas lakes!  Diving is where you find it and I have many very memorable dives that took place in mud-holes.

I remember years ago when Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, got very low and divers found the remains of another diver who had been missing for 30 years.  (Don’t quote me on the 30 year part.  I don’t remember for sure, but the diver was missing for a very long time.)  Several of my relatives, the Letney clan, lived in the part of Jasper County, Texas that was flooded to form McGee Bend Dam and Reservoir.  In 1963 the “lake” was renamed Sam Rayburn Reservoir in honor of the long time US Speaker of the House.  It is the largest body of water contained wholly within Texas, with a capacity of 3,997,600 acre feet and covers 114,500 acres.  (Sorry for the tangent.  Thanks Wikipedia.)

Captain Rich and I worked on spring staff hiring yesterday.  If you are interested in working in the scuba or sailing departments this spring, you need to call Captain Rich or me ASAP.  I have just a couple of openings.  I’m not sure if Captain Rich has any.

I am on my way to Fort Lauderdale this morning to pick up my lovely bride.  Then I have a doctor’s appointment and a few stops to make on the way back.

Have a great day.

Captain Steve
Aboard S/V Escape 

Today is the first of two crew arrival days for the Christmas season at the Florida Sea Base.  Two Scuba Adventure crews, one Scuba Liveaboard crew, two Sea Exploring crews and ten Coral Reef Sailing crews are scheduled to arrive today and tomorrow.

It’s about 03:15 as I start today’s post.  I am up with some stomach issues which I don’t mind describing in detail but I think many of you might not really care to read about.  (More correctly it’s not my stomach but other organs located further down stream.)  So we will leave it at that.  The wind is blowing 25 knots from the Southwest.  The temperature is still a warm 70 degrees.  The cold front is scheduled to arrive before 07:00 and our temperatures will drop for the rest of the day with the wind increasing to gale strength (35 knots).  That’s nothing like many of you are experiencing up north, but will be disappointing for our crews who arrive today and tomorrow.  The good news is the weather is forecasted to improve through the week.

Yesterday the galley prepared a very nice Christmas brunch.  At 09:15 the dive boat shoved off and the DMA candidates did one dive at the wreck of the Eagle (about a 100′ dive) followed by a second dive at a reef site named Alligator Deep.  I took some notes and we will debrief the dives this evening.  We returned to the base around 14:00 and cleaned up.  At 16:00 we arrived at Tom’s Harbor House Restaurant at Hawk’s Cay Resort for a Christmas dinner.  The food was served family style.  We had salad, mixed vegetables (broccoli, green beans, and carrots), new potatoes (prepared and served separately from the other veggies), roast beef, gravy and a choice of desserts including chocolate cake, strawberry short cake or Key Lime pie.

I have a long, cold, windy day with DMA activities, crew arrivals and orientation meetings (this evening) ahead of me.  I think (hope) my stomach has calmed down enough that I may be able to get back to sleep.  Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm and dry and that you’re not awake at 03:30 in the morning pooping like the proverbial Christmas goose.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Tropical Storm Alex continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico between the Yucatan Peninsula and Rio Grande but has not reached hurricane status yet.  At 18:00 EDT T/S Alex was about 4 miles per below hurricane strength.  The projected path still shows landfall near Brownsville, Texas.

After making the brief post this morning I went to the office and dealt with a couple of issues that were so unimportant I have forgotten what they were.  I did get to drive BSA Explorer for the morning trip.  We went to a dive site named Capt. Grumpy (oddly enough not named after me).  We had two foot seas with three foot rollers.  The visibility was like a swimming pool – pretty, blue water.  The divers saw sharks, eels, sea turtles and a huge lobster.  Everyone said it was the largest lobster they had ever seen.  We got back to the Florida Sea Base just in time for some nice tacos for lunch.  I spent most of the remainder of the afternoon in the office.

It has been more overcast than forecasted today.  We still hit 92º.  There was a STRONG squall line between Cuba and the Keys moving northward but it fizzled out an hour or so ago.  There is still some chance of light showers tonight.  We do not have a night dive tonight but Coral Reef Sailing, Sea Exploring, Eco Adventure and Scuba Liveaboard crews are at sea 24 / 7.

That’s all for now.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape


A Day at Sea

in Scuba  •  0 comments

Smiles Abound

The water’s a little chilly.  The air temperature is warming up some.  But the smiles tell the story.  Tuesday was the first full day on the water for DMA Class 6.  They learned how to safely lead certified divers on an underwater tour in a location unfamiliar to the certified divers.  PADI calls this Divemaster conducted program “Discover Local Diving”.  Tomorrow’s schedule calls for more physical exertion and stress and maybe a little less fun than today.  The candidates will be completing timed swimming requirements.  And tomorrow afternoon they have a written exam on physiology.