It’s been 12 days since my last post about the Florida Sea Base. I’m not sure what my record is; I missed some days last summer while in the Dominican Republic for the PADI Course Director Training Course and I missed about 2 weeks a couple of years ago when I sailed to the Bahamas for about 2 weeks. I received this nice mail a few days ago:
Hi Steve!Wondering when the blog entries are going to return. I miss reading about the Florida Sea Base. The last blog entry I see is for Jan. 31. Hope you are well!YIS,Andy NisslyLancaster, PA
BSA SEA SCOUT
Thanks Andy; I’m back. As I detailed before my departure, I was on a road trip, including a stop in Slidell, Louisiana to check on the construction progress of our latest Newton 46′ Dive Special, BSA Sea Scout. I had a meeting with the sales manager, Brian and foreman, Tommy. It was a productive meeting. The boat was originally scheduled for completion on 15 March 2013. They said they are about 2 weeks behind schedule due to the weather, so the boat should be ready on April Fool’s Day. The hull and lower deck have been molded but not yet conjoined. I provided Tommy with a list of electronics that will be shipped to him for installation along with photos and diagrams from Captain Christy Clemenson showing how we wanted the helm laid out.
BSA NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEETINGS
From Slidell I drove to Dallas.
AQUATICS TASK FORCE
I spent Saturday and most of (Superbowl) Sunday in meetings with the BSA National Aquatics Task Force, of which I am a member. As always, Chairman Pat Noack had prepared a lengthy agenda. With awesome input from American Canoe Association Chief Operations Officer (and Task Force Member) Chris Stec, we were able to prepare requirements for a BSA Stand-Up Paddleboarding award. The requirements were presented the next day to the BSA National Health and Safety Support Committee for adoption. I do not have an official release date for the award, but I expect it to be available this summer (2013). Mr. Bill Hall led the charge on changes to the BSA Lifeguard program. Most were minor changes to stay in step with YMCA and ARC standards. Probably the single biggest change is the addition of in-water ventilations. This will be at the 2013 national Camp Schools. Revisions were also discussed for the Swimming Merit Badge.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Monday was Health and Safety meetings; there was the Medical Team meeting, followed by the Publications/Education Team meeting, followed by the Health and Safety Safety Team meeting (not a typo), followed by the BSA National Health and Safety Support Committee Meeting. Whew! I want to sincerely thank Mr. Bill Hurst, H&S Committee Chair, for allowing me to attend these meetings. I have become a permanent guest of sorts. So much happens in these meetings that effects the operations at the Florida Sea Base that Florida Sea Base General Manager Captain Paul Beal feels it is in our best interest to be represents. I was even listed on the agenda this time and asked to give a brief synopsis of our 2012 program seasons. A revised Incident Reporting folder has been disseminated to all BSA local councils. The members discussed fatality and injury summaries for 2012.
Tuesday morning I attended the BSA High Adventure Committee meeting with Florida Sea Base General Manager Captain Paul Beal. There were many representatives from the three National High Adventure facilities, plus Captain Beal’s boss and his boss’ boss. John Clark (GM of Philmont Scout Ranch and Director of High Adventure) and John Green (Group Director Outdoor Adventures) are incredible leaders of the BSA. That’s not kissing up; that’s pure truth. I sincerely admire both of these men for what they do every day for the BSA. High Adventure rules! Enough said.
Tuesday afternoon I attended the BSA Outdoor Programs Committee meeting. The good news is that the National High Adventure programs are doing exceptionally well. Unfortunately, many of the local council camps are struggling. A plan has been devised to help the local camps improve their program and their bottom line.
It was chilly when I left for Dallas. It is W-A-R-M. Here’s the national Weather Service forecast for the coming week:
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. South wind 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday Night: A chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 79. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. West wind around 5 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Friday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Saturday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Saturday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Windy.
Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 59. Breezy.
Washington’s Birthday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Breezy.
Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 67. Windy.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Breezy.
BACK AT BASE
I drove through the gate of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base around 13:30 (1:30 pm) Tuesday. About an hour later Captain Rich Beliveau drove out the gate, headed to a new adventure in North Carolina. We got to chat for a few minutes before he left. There wasn’t much to say. What do you say when you’re loosing one of your best friends?
We are experiencing a small snafu with staff housing for the weekend. It appears that we have so many United Methodist Scouting conference attendees this weekend that we must use one of the staff dorm rooms for the conference. So three or four guys will get to spend the weekend in the scuba dorm. Not a biggie; I stay in the scuba dorm during the nasty hurricanes; pretty comfy.
Tuesday was drug testing day for some of the seasonal staff. All seasonal staff members are tested and enrolled in a random drug testing program at no expense to them. For most of our staff it is a US Coast Guard requirement. Since we have to do it for most of the staff we decided to have 100% participation.
I haven’t made time to get a full debriefing on what the staff have accomplished while I was gone but I will post about that tomorrow.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape