Posts Tagged ‘jambo’

Several of the full-time staff of the Florida Sea Base met yesterday to set attendance projections for 2011.  Our final figures show 2011 being a record season.  In 2012 we may hit the absolute maximum number of participants that we can serve in a year – around 12,000.

Th remnants of T/S Colin may reform and threaten Bermuda and possibly Canada but should pose no threat to the Florida Sea Base.  A tropical wave, Invest 92L, in the southern most part of the Caribbean may also develop but is forecasted to make landfall in Nicaragua before it can intensify very much.  Our weather is still doing great with a few spotty showers here and there.  Some small but heavy cells are between the Florida Sea Base and Miami this morning.

The “static kill” efforts at the Deepwater Horizon site seem to be working.  It’s not over yet, so keep these efforts in your prayers.

Tonight is the first of the appreciation dinners for our charter captains.  The festivities will begin on base at about 17:30 when Capt. Rich hosts an annual debriefing of sorts; an opportunity for the captains to give us feedback on their opinion of how the year went, how we can improve, what they liked and what they didn’t like.  Then the group will relocate to the Islamorada Fishing Club (not to be confused with the Islamorada Fish Company) for a nice dinner.  The IFC is open to members and there guests. They have very good food, rather high prices and sometimes slow service.  We frequently use this venue for special occasions like the Tarpon Tournament dinners and some full time staff functions.

Capt. Denny Webb and Capt. Holley Whitley, owner/operators of the Schooner Conch Pearl, have graciously offered to take any of our available staff for a dive on the USS Vandenberg on 22 August.  The Conch Pearl operates in our Scuba Liveaboard program.  Check out their website.

Today is Thursday and I expect to be in the office and around the base all day.  I am scheduled to have a brief coaching session with one of our seasonal staff members this morning.  It’s nothing serious, just an opportunity for improvement.  The staff is still doing a great job.  I think Dominic Alesandrini returns from the National Jamboree today.  It will be great to have him back. Steve Martin, father of Capt. Scott Martin who is the Program Director at the Brinton Environmental Center, is on his way back from Jambo with the 26′ Dusky powerboat that was the centerpiece of our display.  I want to thank Mr. Ralph Brown, owner of Dusky Marine in Dania Beach, Florida, for loaning the boat to us.  We didn’t have any spares to pull out of service for Jambo so he was kind enough to loan us one.

I hope you have a great day.

Capt, Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Yesterday was opening day for the 2010 Mini Lobster Season.  No not mini lobsters, a mini (2 day) season.  A pre-season really.  Two days of recreational lobstering before the commercial lobstering season opens on 01 August.  This is an annual event in the Florida Keys.  There are nuts from all over the country spending thousands of dollars to catch a lobster that sells for about $15 (or less) locally.  I have not heard any reports of any deaths yet, but we usually have 3 or 4 each year.  Spending thousands of dollars to catch a few lobsters is nuts.  Dying to catch a lobster is stupid.  The Florida Sea Base allows participants to lobster (no additional fee) while snorkeling, but not while scuba diving.  Capt. Denny Webb from the Schooner Conch Pearl submitted the following:

Captain Denny from the Scuba  liveaboard boat Conch Pearl reports 33 “keeper” lobster taken on opening morning of mini season. many more shorts or ones with eggs were caught and released by Captain Denny, scuba instructor Kyle and the crew from Texas. All done while snorkeling  at Pelican shoals.

Mark Michalski sent the following from Jambo:

Hey Cap’n Steve,

Keep up the great newsletter, it helps to keep us parents informed on the goings on.  Here is one of the news letters coming from Scuba Staff at Jambo, the 2nd page details some of the exhibitors in the exhibitor tent.  You can also check out the pictures on the NJ ScubaStaff Facebook page. (There also is a NJ Scuba Staff Alumni page.)  All of the usual suspects are on their, Bob Tallent, Jan Haase, Jerry Wall, Jim Guard, Jerry Wall, Dave Ball.  Here’s a link to Scuba Staff 2010 if you’re on FB:!/group.php?gid=114833179222&ref=ts

Mark Michalski
Baltimore Area Council
NJ Scuba Staff ’93, ’97. ’01, ’05

Mark also provided the following pdf file.  ScallyRag0728 Thanks Mark.  And by the way, your daughter Meghann is a PLEASURE to have on staff.  Has she told you about being Queen of the Ping-Pong Balls?

No news is good news from the tropics.  The local forecast is the same as yesterday – perfect.

Thanks to Capt. Alex Bergstedt I made some headway on the 2011 budget yesterday.  There is still a long way to go.

If you’re a new reader, please take a few minutes to read the other pages on this site, About, Weather, Medical and Links.  That’s where the more permanent information resides.  And check out some of our related sites like the official FSB website and the Ships Store site.  This is the time of year when Rob Kolb makes changes to Participant Guides, medical forms, and other critical data.  I will do my best to let you know when updates of this nature have been released, but it’s a good idea to check the official site from time to time in case I miss something.

More later.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

As happens frequently at the Florida Sea Base, my plans for yesterday were changed for me; I did NOT get to work on the budget.  The plan for today is to sequester Capt. Alex Bergstedt and bug Capt. Rich from time to time and update the program supplies account (77261).  This is the account that all of the smaller program supplies come from such as masks, snorkels, fins, replacement parts (o-rings, snorkel keepers, etc), repair parts and supplies (regulator parts, extra gauges, dive flags, etc), first aid supplies, oxygen kit parts and refills, and a hundred more items.  The vendors, quantity needed and prices need to be updated.  Working in Paradise is just like working back home – with the bonus of a nice sunset most evenings and the occasional hurricane.

Samantha (Sam) Merrill is the Business Membership Liaison for the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN).  Sam and her husband are also active Scouters and are at the National Jamboree.  Here’s a photo of our Dockmaster, Dominic Alesandrini, working hard at the Jambo.

Dominic Alesandrini & 3 Scouts at the National Jamboree

I didn’t hear from anyone else at the jamboree yesterday.

There is NO tropical activity WORLD WIDE – very unusual for this time of year.  The local forecast is the epitome of a summer’s day forecast in the Florida Keys.  High of 90, low of 80, east wind at 10 mph and a 10% chance of rain.  I know that asking for 28 more days like this is asking for too much – but it sure would be nice.  The article is too long to post here, but there is a decent article about the residual oil in the Gulf of Mexico on the New York Times website at

In 28 days the gates will be closed on the summer session of 2010 at the Florida Sea Base.  But no worries, we will be having program and conferences again starting in October.  There may still be openings for December 2010.  You can check at

I don’t want to jinx things, but WOW – the seasonal staff continues to be outstanding.  Only 28 more days.  Could this be our first summer without a firing?  One day at a time.  Capt. Dennis Wyatt checks the Monroe County website for me early every morning to make sure no one’s in jail.  Sometimes he finds a look alike, but so far everyone has behaved well enough to avoid incarceration.  Only 28 more days.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

It is budget time at the Florida Sea Base.  I have been piddling with it for a week or two.  It’s time to start getting serious.  On 04 August several of the full time staff will meet to “forecast” how many participants will attend the Florida Sea Base in 2011.  Those numbers then set our budget in motion.  While we do receive donations on occasion, we are self-sufficient and do not receive any subsidies from the National Office or anywhere else.  It is difficult to focus in the office.  You need to be focused when preparing the budget.  You need to have ADHD on steroids when working in the office.  The “issues” brought into the office in person, by phone and via email change every few minutes, sometimes every few seconds.  So I will likely bring the work onto the boat and work on it in seclusion as much as I can.

The staff members are doing great.  Our Dockmaster, Dominic Alesandrini, has left to represent the Florida Sea Base at the National Jamboree.  Hurry back Dom.  We miss you already.   One of our recurring spring time Scuba Instructors, Dave Ball, is also there.  I will include additional names of current and former FSB staff who are at the Jambo as I learn about them.  John Livres, a 2007 and 2008 staff member sent me an email saying he is working with outside contractors.

Today’s NOAA forecast:

Today: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a high near 92. East wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Tonight: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 82. East wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

The UV is forecasted to be 14 out of a possible 16.  That means unprotected skin will start sunburning after 10 minutes of exposure.  Applying SPF 30+ sunscreen and drinking copious amounts of water will help prevent sunburn and dehydration.  Our heat index will reach 110º F today.

Time to get out of here.  Included in my prayers for today are the people dealing with the flooding in Iowa and the folks working on the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape