Posts Tagged ‘schedule’

29Aug

SCHEDULE CHANGE

in Staff  •  0 comments

Wednesday was very nice at the Florida Sea Base with gentle breezes, a high of 90º, and only a “slight chance” of rain which never developed.  We have a better chance of rain this weekend.  All remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac have dissipated in our area as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast continue to deal with Hurricane Isaac.  A graphic like this is a great reminder of how lucky we were when visited by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Click to enlarge.

Tropical Storm Kirk and Invest 98L are either going or forecasted to go to the northeast and pose no threat to the United States.

If you read this blog on a frequent basis you may have noticed my erratic schedule of late.  There have been two causes, issues caused by T/S Isaac, and the discontinuation of our 07:30 daily staff meetings.  The staff meetings are suspended until the staff returns for the 2012 Divemaster Academy.  Therefore, I don’t have to be up quite so early and the posts are running late. I will post in the evenings so some of you faithful, early morning readers can still have a new post available at that time.  I have tried this before and it didn’t seem to work well, but I will try again.  Also, the posts will likely be much more sporadic for a while.  (1) The program participants and (most) staff are gone.  (2) Due to remodeling of the Galley and Thomas Building (our conference center housing) we will not have any conference participants this fall.  (3) I have a very busy travel schedule this fall and will be away from the base for extended periods of time.

That does not mean the work will diminish.  With a laptop, internet connection and cell phone there is very little if anything that I can’t accomplish on the road that I would be doing sitting in my office.  Our General Manager, Captain Paul Beal, frequently reminds us that family should come first so I am planning to spend as much time as possible with my family in Texas this fall.  I will keep you posted on any major changes and report on the various meetings I will attend including the first ever combined National High Adventure Staff Planning Conference with major players from Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier and the Florida Sea Base having individual camp and combined meetings.  I am also scheduled to attend the BSA National Health and Safety Committee meeting in Dallas, the BSA Aquatics Workshop in Arkansas, and the Diving Equipment Marketing Association (DEMA) show in Las Vegas.

I am enjoying sharing ideas for future program/conference enhancements with Food and Conference Director Tim Stanfill.  Tim is a Boy Scout.  Most of you know what I mean by that. He is working hard to find ways to use our conference season to serve Scouts and Venturers more instead of focusing solely on adult training.  Some of these plans are being formulated around the new swimming pool/dive training complex that will be built this fall/winter/spring.  I think we have some great ideas.  Selling those upstream may be challenging.

Captain Rich and I have completed our 2013 budgets.  That is a relief; it is a stressful chore made more difficult and challenging because, well, the “because” part would get me in trouble.  So I will just say the process could be better managed.

I have completed about 80% of the task of reassembling S/V Escape following T/S Isaac.  I really need to get the sun shades back in place tomorrow. The air conditioners simply cannot stay up with the heat.  I still have several large, hurricane lines to stow plus I think I will put the outboard motor (for the dingy) and grill in a storage locker for now.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713
Aboard S/V Escape

I took Saturday off from my routine schedule at the Florida Sea Base.  I still got up at 05:30, but I skipped the morning staff meeting.  I also worked from the boat, most of the day.  My primary focus was preparations for the 9th Annual Divemaster Academy (DMA).  The DMA is held the week before through the week after Christmas.  More details, including course dates, can be found by going to my links page and scrolling to the bottom.

In addition to the Divemaster Academy, the scuba program offerings are fully booked.  They include one Scuba Certification crew (SC), two Scuba Adventure crews (SA), and one Scuba Liveaboard crew (SL).  Staffing may be challenging.  Here’s a list of scuba positions for the brief winter season:

Program Director – Captain Steve Willis (unless someone else wants to step forward)
DMA Instructor 1 – Richard Goldman     DMA Instructor 2 – Captain Alex Bergstedt
DMA Instructor 3 – Vacant                              DMA DM/Mate – Vacant
DMA Captain – Vacant
SC Instructor – Vacant                                       SC DM – Vacant
SA DM 1 – Vacant                                               SA DM 2 – Vacant
SL DM/Instructor 1 – Vacant                          SL DM/Instructor 2 – Vacant
SA/SC Mate – Vacant                                        SA/SC Captain – Captain Dennis Wyatt
Office Manager – Dr. Ellen Wyatt

If you are interested in filling one of these positions, please contact me via email at Steve.Willis@scouting.org.  The DMA Instructors should have previous experience at the Florida Sea Base and be qualified to teach the PADI Deep Diver Specialty course and the PADI Search and Recovery Diver course.  (DMA candidates will earn both of these specialty certifications in addition to the PADI Divemaster certification.)  Other scuba staff members should have previous FSB staff experience since we do not have the opportunity for staff training prior to the winter program season.

I also need two staff members to stay on for the fall.  Their primary responsibilities will be selling used Florida Sea Base scuba equipment and rebuilding the Aqua Lung Calypso regulators that we will keep for use in 2013.  Aqua Lung training will be provided prior to working on the regulators.  These individuals will have to be self motivated because I will be traveling on business for most of the fall.  Preference will be given to PADI Divemasters and Instructors because we have a Scuba Liveaboard crew arriving on 06 October.

My fall schedule currently contains:

September – travel to Texas to attend BSA Professional Development Level 1 training and/or visit family.
October – return to Florida for 1 week for the Florida Sea Base annual staff planning conference.  Then immediately return to Texas for BSA Aquatics Task Force and BSA Health and Safety Committee meetings.  I will stay for a week after the meetings for my 27th wedding anniversary.
November – the first week I’ll be in Arkansas for the BSA Aquatics Workshop and mid-November I will be attending the Diving Equipment and Marketing (DEMA) show in Las Vegas.  After that I will return to Texas for Thanksgiving.
December – back at the Florida Sea Base for FSB Committee meeting, DMA and winter program.
January – I hope to be able to put together a PADI Instructor Development Course this month.

The Florida Sea Base was visited by a brief thunderstorm (about 20 minutes) Saturday.  We have a 30% or higher chance of rain for the next several days.  But remember that this is our rainy season and the showers are usually scattered and brief (although sometimes very intense).

Click to enlarge.

I hope you have a pleasant Sunday.  It’s back to the trenches for me.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director 39713
Aboard S/V Escape 

12Apr

UPDATE

While I have not been apprised of any details, a memorial service for Captain Joe Maggio is tentatively set for 20 April 2012 in Coconut Grove (Miami).  I will post details as soon as I have them.

The divers first stop yesterday was at a spur and groove type reef named Hammerhead.  They saw several invasive Lionfish, one or more of which were reportedly large enough to eat.  [I feel a staff dive being organized in the near future to destroy these dangerous fish and make a tasty treat for the conquerors.]  The next stop was Bacon and then Donut.  Last night was the night dive at Alligator Reef.  Attending Florida Sea Base scuba programs in the slower weeks of spring allows nearly unlimited latitude in our diving schedule.  (Just a thought for potential future attendees.)

Roger and Brian spent the day photographing and videography sailing crews.  The wind was very light so some of the images may show sailboats under full sail with diesel exhaust trailing behind. The shore leave sailors had a great time.  I believe the photographers will be going to the Brinton Environmental Center today.

Captain Rich has completed the schedule for boats, captains and crews attending this summer.  This is a massive accomplishment.  Hopefully I can work on the scuba part of the schedule today.

We have a 30% chance of rain Friday night and Saturday with a very slight chance of showers lingering through Monday.  According to the national Weather Service in Key West,

A WEAK PRESSURE PATTERN WILL PREVAIL OVER THE COASTAL WATERS THROUGH FRIDAY…FEATURING GENTLE WINDS. HIGH PRESSURE WILL THEN EXPAND SOUTHWARD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD BY FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY…RESULTING IN FRESHENING NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS. HIGH PRESSURE WILL BECOME CENTERED OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC THROUGH TUESDAY…MAINTAINING FRESH TO STRONG EAST TO SOUTHEAST WINDS.

We have one Scuba Adventure crew arriving Sunday.  One Coral Reef Sailing crew arrives on Saturday, three arrive on Sunday and three more arrive on Monday.  Once these crews depart, the spring session of the 2012 Florida Sea Base high adventure programs will conclude and preparations for the 2012 Tarpon Tournament will begin.

Today is going to be very tough for the sailing staff; five Coral Reef Sailing crews are in for shore leave and five Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew are returning to base for luau.  The only way we can cover all of the crews is by having Captain Rich, some of the scuba staff, some of the Admin staff and me help on the dock with the returning crews and driving to pick up the Sea Exploring crew.

I would like to initiate a “rant” at this time, but it is not appropriate to speak disparingly of the organization.  So, I will wish you a safe and profitable day and sign off.

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

Three Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew returned to the Florida Sea Base for their luau and to prepare to return home.  S/V Misty Shoals, S/V Silver Crow, S/V Silent Harmony and the Schooner Yankee all returned from sea yesterday.

The Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification crews completed two more dives yesterday plus a night dive last night.  They have one dive this morning and then have their luau tonight.  They will depart the Florida Sea Base tomorrow morning.

Four Coral Reef Sailing crews will arrive at the Florida Sea Base today.  They will be aboard S/V Misty Shoals, S/V Lady Nell II, S/V Midnight Dragon and S/V Jewel of Athena.

More crews arrive at the Florida Sea Base Sunday including five Coral Reef Sailing crews, one Sea Exploring crew and one Scuba Adventure crew.  The sailing crews will be aboard S/V Silent Harmony, S/V Excalibur, S/V Silver Crow, S/V Spindrift, S/V Adventure and S/V Calypso Gypsy.

Next week is fairly busy, but the week after that, the week before Easter, the sailing and scuba programs will both be full.  The galley will be insanely busy.  Our Galley Manager, Captain Rae Murphy, has not yet experienced the volume of Scouts that will be feed that week.  But it will be a good eye opener for summer because as busy as it will be, it will only be half the volume that we will have for about 100 days in a row this summer.  And the Florida Sea Base sailing schedule is also full for the two weeks following Easter although the scuba schedule lightens up dramatically.  More on all of that as we get closer to the arrival dates.

Coral Reef sailing vessels on the Florida Sea Base T-dock are having to play musical chairs as they move from slip to slip during the installation of new pilings.  Hopefully this part of the game will conclude prior to 01 April when we get super busy.

Have a great weekend.

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

Invest 94L remains relatively disorganized this morning.  One of the scenarios forecasts it moving towards the Keys and bringing us some rainfall on Thursday or Friday.  The system is currently tracking NNW but may turn northwest towards Yucatan or northeast towards Haiti.  Only time will tell.  Regardless, it appears this will NOT be a wind event but may, at worst, bring some much needed rain to south Florida.

Click to enlarge.

We are pretty much into the summer routine at the Florida Sea Base.  I’m not sure the arrival/shore leave/departure schedule is worth repeating every day.  Here is the general schedule for the remaining 83 days of the 2011 summer season at the Florida Sea Base:

* Four (sometimes five) Coral Reef Sailing crews arrive every day, seven days a week.  Four or five other Coral Reef Sailing crews are in for shore leave every day and another four or five more crews end their program each day.  One Eco Adventure crew arrives each Friday and departs the following Thursday.

* Six Scuba Adventure crews and one Scuba Certification crew arrives each Sunday and Wednesday.  If they arrive on a Sunday they go home the following Sunday to make room for the incoming crews; likewise for the Wednesday rotation.

* Scuba Liveaboard crews arrive each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and go home on the same day of the week (one week later) as they arrived.

* Sea Exploring crews arrive each Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and go home on the same day of the week (one week later) as they arrived.

* Open Oceans Adventure crews arrive each Friday and go home the following Friday.

I don’t have access to the Bahamas or Brinton Environmental Center schedules.

Here’s our marine forecast (courtesy of the National Weather Service):

This AfternoonEast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas beyond the reef 3 to 5 feet…subsiding to 2 to 4 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef around 2 feet…subsiding to 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop.
Tonight
Northeast to east winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas beyond the reef 2 to 4 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop. isolated showers.
Tuesday
Northeast to east winds 10 to 15 knots…increasing to near 15 knots late. Seas beyond the reef 2 to 4 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop…becoming a moderate chop. Isolated showers.
Tuesday Night
East winds near 15 knots and gusty. Seas beyond the reef 3 to 5 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef around 2 feet. Nearshore waters a moderate chop to choppy. isolated showers. 
Wednesday
East winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas beyond the reef 3 to 5 feet…building to 4 to 6 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. 
Thursday And Friday
Northeast to east winds 15 to 20 knots and gusty. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 6 feet. Seas higher in the gulf stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy. scattered showers and thunderstorms.

And the terrestrial forecast from the NWS:

Today: A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Tonight: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 80. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Wednesday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 78. Breezy, with a east wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Thursday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Breezy, with a east wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Thursday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a low around 77. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a low around 77. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 89. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 78. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 79. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Gotta go!

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Sunday was the last crew arrival day for the 2011 Spring Season.  There is one Sea Exploring crew aboard Calypso Gypsy that departs for home on 29 April; the last of the Coral Reef Sailing crews headed home yesterday.  This last group of scuba crews (two Scuba Adventure and one Scuba Certification) depart on 01 May.

But we won’t be finished.  The Annual Tarpon Tournament will be 03 – 06 May.  As soon as they are gone it will be time to undertake the massive chore of converting the Thomas Building from conference housing to staff housing.  Essentially all of the furniture, including the beds, has to be removed and replaced with bunk beds and chests of drawers.  It is hard, physical work lugging everything down from the third floor and then back up.  Then we have a few days off and summer staff training will start at 07:30 on Sunday, 22 May 2011.

The sailing staff members were off today so Capt. Dennis Dugas took Wandering Star off the dock and put out his spinnaker so the staff could go spinnaker flying.  Here is a short video.  P4240075

I have a VERY early morning schedule today, so I have to cut this short.  Have a wonderful day.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Here we go – the final round for the 2011 Spring season at the Florida Sea Base.  We have enjoyed a few slow days but here’s a quick synopsis of the coming week:

Today – 3 Coral Reef Sailing crews and 1 Sea Exploring crew arrive
Saturday –  4 Coral Reef Sailing crews, 2 Sea Exploring crews and 1 Scuba Liveaboard crew arrive and 1 Coral Reef Sailing crew returns from their week at sea.
Sunday – 2 Coral Reef Sailing crews, 1 Sea Exploring crew, 6 Scuba Adventure crews, 1 Scuba Certification crew and the PADI photo shoot team arrive.
Monday – Saturday – Coral Reef crews will be returning for shore leave and Coral Reef Sailing, Sea Exploring crews, and the Scuba Liveaboard crew will return for luau with the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification crews.
Sunday – the spring 2011 season is almost completed.  Only 2 Scuba Adventure crews and 1 Sea Exploring crew remain.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a great week:

NWS Forecast for: Islamorada FL
Issued by: National Weather Service Key West, FL
Last Update: 4:15 am EDT Apr 15, 2011
Print

Today: Sunny, with a high near 85. Southeast wind between 10 and 15 mph. Tonight: A slight chance of showers. Mostly clear, with a low around 77. East wind between 10 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%. Saturday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southeast wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 76. South wind between 5 and 10 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. South wind around 5 mph. Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. 


Point Forecast: Islamorada FL 24.93°N 80.64°W (Elev. 0 ft)

Visit your local NWS office at: http://www.weather.gov/keywest

Today the staff members who have the appropriate dive credentials and don’t have crews are being afforded the opportunity to complete two wreck dives.  The sites are still to be determined.

That’s it.  07:30 staff meeting this morning.  Yahooo!!!!!

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

Capt. Rich and I have agreed on the (almost final) schedule for the Scuba Liveaboard vessels for this summer.  The 60′ Schooner Conch Pearl (Captains Denny and Holley) is currently scheduled to carry Scuba Liveaboard crews that arrive on Saturdays.  They will be docking on Stock Island and diving primarily in the Lower Keys.  Scuba Liveaboard crews arriving on Fridays will be aboard two 41′ Morgan Out Islands, Silent Harmony and Enveavour with Captains Mike and Kelly.  Scuba Liveaboard crews arriving on Tuesdays will be aboard the 45′ Gulfstar ketch, Adventure, and 41′ Morgan, Lady Nell II, with Captains Hans and Luke.  Crews arriving Tuesdays and Fridays will be docked in Key Largo and diving primarily the Upper Keys.  As with all things Sea Base, these plans could change for a multitude of reasons.  From a crew preparation standpoint, the only difference will be that you should consider bringing two first aid kits if you are on the split boats.  We have been using both single and tandem vessels in the Scuba Liveaboard program for two or three years now and get rave reviews from both formats.  Crew members on the split boats can move from one boat to the other if they want and you will raft-up frequently for meals and camaraderie.  You will generally dive the same sites at the same time but you can split up if the crew wants and dive separate sites or one boat can scuba while the other boat goes sailing or fishing.  The flexibility is awesome and up to the crew and your captain.

The Coral Reef Sailing crew from Misty Shoals came in for shore leave yesterday morning.  Lady Nell II, Calypso Poet and Adventure returned yesterday afternoon for their luau.  No new crews arrived.

The wind laid down enough Wednesday night for the Scuba Adventure crews to get in their night dive.  Yesterday morning the wind started building again (of course) so we got the divers off the dock as early as possible and loaded with enough tanks to do three dives.  The wind increased to 18 knots but clocked a little further west and this allowed most of the divers to get in their three dives.  No one can ever accuse of us of not trying to meet our customers’ expectations.  It’s good that we managed to get the night dive in on Wednesday because a cold front came through last night bringing thunderstorms and lightning.  Today has a significant chance of rain.

Click photo to enlarge.

The line of heavy rain and thunderstorms shown above (courtesy of Weather Underground) ran up the Keys like it was driving on US 1 from about midnight ’til 03:00 this morning.

Make it a great day.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

The spring season at the Florida Sea Base is far from over but it is definitely starting to wind down.  Tomorrow morning the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification crews will do their last dive of the week.  Scuba Liveaboard has one week off then one more week of program to finish out their season.  Sea Exploring finishes up tomorrow.  There are still two busy weeks for the Coral Reef Sailing program.

The scuba divers searched in vain for good visibility today.  It has been a tough week for them but they have made the best of it and seem to be having a good time.  It is spring break in the Florida Keys after all.  How bad could THAT be?

Capt. Rich and Seth Little drove to Stock Island today to pick up the Scuba Liveaboard crew and bring them back to the Florida Sea Base.  Dave Ball has a week off between trips and is driving back to New Jersey for a few days.  S/V Ciao Bella, S/V Endeavour and S/V Silent Harmony returned to the Florida Sea Base with Coral Reef Sailing crews today ending their spring season.  Capt. Guisseppe is headed home to New Port Ritchie.  Capt. Mike and Capt. Kelly are headed for the Bahamas.  Terri and Maggie Wells arrived today.  They are accompanying Captains Mike and Kelly to the Bahamas.  I’ve mentioned Terri in a few previous posts.  She will be joining our scuba staff this summer.

I am working feverishly (well not right this second) on getting S/V Escape ready for a hopeful trip to the Bahamas.  My son, Aaron, flies in tomorrow and we will make the jump across the Gulf Stream Sunday if the weather will allow.  If the weather doesn’t allow, we have several back-up plans for a great week.  Any dads out there reading this will appreciate what a blessing it is to have a week to spend with your adult children.

I’ve got more work to do right now than time.  So back to work for me.  have a good night.

Capt. Steve