Good morning from the Florida Sea Base. Yesterday got off to an okay but less than perfect start. We had a lack of communication and scheduling when four boats needed to be on the fuel dock simultaneously – including BSA Explorer which I was driving. (It will only accomodate one boat at a time.) Then, as S/V Tradewind was pulling away from the dock something happened and the collapsable bladder (like a giant heavy duty balloon) that serves as the holding tank leaked and raw sewage drained into the bilge. Capt. Martin got the mess cleaned up in surprising short order so I am assuming that it was a very small leak.
The triple scuba crew from Missouri was fired up again today and took our delayed departure in high spirits. As we approached our first dive site there was rain and lightening so we decided to move a little further west. This put us a little more behind schedule and the first dive was not concluded until noon. While the divers were down we had another storm cell form and we got a good “fresh water rinse”. We had better luck at the second dive site and the weather broke. Then we went to the wreck site of the San Pedro for lunch and snorkeling. We returned to base a little after 15:00 so the crew could prepare for the night dive.
To assure that no diver is left behind, we call role by name before we leave the dock and before we leave each dive site. There is no emergency that will cause us to skip calling role. it is a must do. Yesterday, Capt. Rich was driving BSA Adventure back from the last dive of the day. About three quarters of the way back one of the adult leaders went to the bridge and told Capt. Rich that the adult leader’s son was not on the boat. As you can imagine, Capt. Rich was seriously concerned. He stopped the boat and had the divemasters repeat the roll call. The one kid did not answer. Capt. Rich was turning the boat around and about to notify the US Coast Guard of a lost diver when the youth was found on board, wedged under the seat with gear bags covering him up. He was taking a nap. Whew!!! There was relief and thoughts of homicide simultaneously. Roll call works. Hiding in crawl spaces and taking a nap without telling anyone doesn’t work.
Please remember that Coral Reef Sailing, Scuba Adventure, Scuba Certification and Scuba Liveaboard crews do not go to Key West. Yes, the packing guide says to bring walking shoes for Key West. That was our mistake. We failed to edit it of the Participant Guide prior to the last printing. Regardless of what the packing list says, these adventures DO NOT include a day in Key West.
Speaking of the Participant Guide and packing lists, it also recommends boat shoes for sailing crews (Coral Reef Sailing and Sea Exploring). Those are not necessary. You will go barefoot on the boats. Save your money to spend in the Ships Store.
Two days ago I had an adult leader threatening to cancel their adventure because she heard oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout was heading to the Keys. There is no oil from the Deepwater Horizon site in the Florida Keys. There is no such oil within several hundred miles of the Florida Keys. We do not expect any of this oil to impact our area for the next several months – if ever. I’m not sure what hype has resurfaced in the news, but we are okay and have NO expectation that oil from the Deepwater Horizon well will impact us this summer.
Thank you for making time to read today’s blog. I do this as a service for the participants, staff and charter captains of the Florida Sea Base. Please feel free to submit comments or information you would like posted. I reserve the right to pick and choose and to edit or comment on your comments. But I will still share accurate, Scout appropriate information even if I don’t totally agree with it.
Aboard S/V Escape