Captain Richard T. Beliveau, FSB Program Director - Sailing
Capt. Rich is the Program Director for the sailing programs at the Florida Sea Base (Coral Reef Sailing, Sea Exploring and handles dockage and some other aspects of the Scuba Liveaboard Adventure). The sailing programs represent about 60% of our annual participation. When my son Aaron set up this blog site for me I hoped Capt. Rich would become a contributor. Be watching for posts from him starting soon.
I want to tell you a little more about Capt. Rich because … well because he is one of my personal angels. I am not a Bible scholar, but I have read the Bible cover to cover multiple times. And I’ve done some other independent biblical studies as I’m sure many of you have. Sometimes I wonder if Capt. Rich is the personification of the Archangel Michael (who is also referred to as St. Michael). There is a movie called Michael with John Travolta playing the part of Michael. Again, not being a biblical scholar, my impression is that Michael is God’s enforcer. It appears that Michael has been on Earth several times (in the Old Testament) and has taken part in most (if not all) of God’s heavy work. Some scholars believe that in some instances when it is thought that God came to Earth in the Old Testament that He may have actually sent Michael in His place to take care of business. It’s a very interesting topic if you want to do some research.
Anyway, Capt. Rich and his wife Capt. Carol appeared at the Florida Sea Base in 2005 looking for work as boat captains. They are a wonderful couple and I am sure Capt. Carol would agree with me saying that Capt. Rich is a very charismatic individual. If you have meet Capt. Rich you really like him. You just can’t help it. So, needless to say I hired Capt. Rich and Capt. Carol. They are both great people, have really big hearts, and seemed to like what the Florida Sea Base and scouting were trying to do for the youth of America. So they were hooked on the Florida Sea Base and all of us were (and still are) hooked on them.
Capt. Rich seemed to recognize how overwhelmed I was as the Program Director for all of the Adventures being conducted at Sea Base. And “overwhelmed” is a huge understatement. My days started at 0730 and ended at 2100 (9 pm) or later seven days a week whenever program was running (7 1/2 months a year). In a relatively short period of time we worked up a plan to sell upstream for Capt. Rich to become the Sailing Director. Since everyone loves Capt. Rich it wasn’t hard at all to convince the bosses that Capt. Rich was the person to give me some relief. So Capt. Rich stepped in and took over the lion’s share of many aspects of my job. Now I only work from 0730 to 1900 hours six days a week during program seasons (plus a lot of hours between midnight and 0500 because I don’t sleep well many nights).
Capt. Rich’s presence has allowed me the time and opportunity to greatly increase the quality of the scuba programs while he has done likewise for the sailing programs. The divers have better gear, better staff (thanks to the success of the annual Divemaster Academy), better boats, and soon – more dives per week. I have become a member of the BSA Aquatics Task Force and a frequent guest of the BSA Health and Safety Committee. Through these groups I have been able to participate in the revisions to some of the water safety policies of the BSA like Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense. I was able to play a role in the recently released Scuba Diving merit badge book and I’ve spent countless hours researching scuba related medical issues and working with the Florida Sea Base doctor (and the Health and Safety Committee) to devise fair but safe medical policies for Scouts wishing to participate in scuba as part of a unit activity. There have been several other projects. I am not mentioning all of these to wave my own flag, but because all of these good works that have benefitted our youth happened because Capt. Rich’s success with the sailing programs allowed me the opportunities to work on all of these other issues. Without him at the helm, I would still be struggling 14 hours a day, 7 days a week just to try to keep this place from imploding.
Capt. Rich, thank you – again – for saving my life, helping the Florida Sea Base grow into the highest quality of all of the national high adventure bases, and for having such a tremendous impact on the lives of our staff members and participants. It will be great to read your posts. If any of you have any questions regarding the Coral Reef Sailing Adventure, Eco Adventure or Sea Exploring, you can contact Capt. Rich at Rich.Beliveau@scouting.org.