Posts Tagged ‘drought’



in Weather  •  2 comments


The following images are from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

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Drought conditions at the Florida Sea Base should persist or intensify over the next three months.  Our chances for rain are equally divided between the three categories of above normal, normal and below normal and the temperature should be about normal.  (Click on the WEATHER page for a chart of average weather conditions for the Florida Sea Base by month.)


The Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification crews logged two more dives yesterday.  They visited two patch reefs, Arno’s and Capital.  Conditions were good, and the Scuba Certification crew members are now certified as PADI Open Water Divers.

The Scuba Liveaboard crew returned to the Florida Sea Base after a week onboard S/V Adventure and S/V Lady Nell II.  Scuba Instructor Steven Raymond reported that the week went exceptionally well and everyone had a blast.


Five Coral Reef Sailing crews checked in yesterday while one Sea Exploring crew was checking out.  The sailing staff have been performing “other duties as assigned” for the past week and were happy to be back at the jobs they were hired to do.


Scuba Instructor Mark Gilbert is teaching a PADI Specialty Diver Course, Self-Reliant Diver.  Scuba Instructor Richard Goldman, Scuba Instructor/Captain Sargon Smith and I are taking the class.  Scuba divers are traditionally trained to dive in buddy pairs.  Doing so has many benefits.  However, as professional divers we sometimes find that we do not have a reliable buddy.  If I am teaching a beginner scuba class can I rely on a student to be my buddy and potentially rescue me if I have a problem?  Probably not.  Even tough there are several divers in the water, I am, to some extend, diving on my own.  I need to be self-reliant.

We had our classroom session last night.  We will get in the pool this morning and then go to the reef for two open water dives.  We will finish up with another dive Sunday morning.  One of the skills for the first dive in a 200 yard surface swim in full Self-Reliant Diver equipment which includes a pony bottle and other redundancies.  This is may be very challenging for an old man with a titanium femur.  I mention this because I may not (be able to) post Sunday morning.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape




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 

I took this graphic from Monday’s Wunderblog post by Dr. Jeff Masters.  If the predictions of Pfeffer or the high estimate of Rahmstorf prove correct, there will be no Florida Sea Base, and essentially no Florida Keys by the year 2100.  My granddaughter may live to see the demise of the Florida Keys.  That’s very sad.  it’s a good that boats float.  But where will we dock, fuel and repair them if all of the facilities become dive sites?  Maybe a great way for my daughter to become financially secure is to build a marina now at 4′ above sea level.  “If you build it they will come.”

Figure 2. Predicted global sea level rise for 2100 from three different studies.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the severe to extreme drought conditions that are forecasted for Texas for the remainder of the decade.  I couldn’t copy the map (technologically challenged) but here’s a great link to to an interactive Google map of the Texas drought conditions.

Yesterday was probably a very sad day for Captain Carol.  Her youngest child, Richie, departed for Italy with his dad.  My understanding is this is a permanent move, or at least as permanent as anything ever is for a 16 year old.  I’m not certain what the true story is behind Richie’s move, but here’s the version I like best.  Captain Carol is married to Captain Rich (in case you didn’t know).  Apparently Captain Rich’s cardiologist has connections with US Immigrations.  It turns out the Richie was born in Costa Rica (fact).  So the doctor convinced one of his Immigration buddies to have Richie deported in an attempt to lower Captain Rich’s blood pressure.  In all sincerity it will be strange not having Richie around.  He has essentially grown up at the Florida Sea Base.  I hope he has a wonderful time in Italy.

I received two emails from former Florida Sea Base Scuba Instructor Captain Aaron Foster.  Captain Aaron is on assignment with the Peace Corps in Kenya I believe.  He sent me some information on rechargeable batteries.  How is he recharging batteries in the wilds of Kenya?  They have electricity but not safe drinking water?  Do they have refrigerators in their tents?  I lived in Libya as a child.  Most of the poor people I knew lived in large holes they dug in the sand and they used large cardboard boxes for roofs.  (Seriously.)  We lived on the northern edge of the Sahara Desert.  Everyone had safe drinking water.  Many people did not have electricity or running water.

The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex got a little rain yesterday.  My parent’s did a little better on the rain end but also had some severe weather move through.  It was a great day at the Florida Sea Base.  We topped out at 85º with clear skies.  It should be a little cooler for the rest of the week.

I hope you have a great day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape