Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Yesterday was great.  Sue fixed a nice Thanksgiving meal onboard Escape.  A little later we met Captain Rich and Captain Carol at Cheryl and John Ferreri’s house.  We had some desert and watched the first half of the Cowboys/Dolphins game.

To the best of my knowledge, absolutely no work was accomplished at the Florida Sea Base yesterday and it is very unlikely that anyone will be working today.  Today is Black Friday and I hope to spend it onboard Escape, far away from the shoppers.  It is a long drive from here to a mall.  There are Kmart stores in Marathon and Key Largo, but neither is a full size facility.  Walmart is about 55 miles away and the nearest real mall is about 75 to 100 miles, one way.  Internet shopping is the way to go when you live in the Keys.

Our weather is turning more fall like.  This morning the low was forecasted at 69º but as of 0640 we have not gotten cooler than 74.  Tuesday morning the low temperature is forecasted to dip to 61º.  Most of this week we will be 10º cooler than last week.  The air conditioners can use a break.:)

Have a great day.  If your into the Black Friday gig then be careful out there.  Ihope you find that deal you’re looking for.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape



Hurricane Alex

in Weather  •  0 comments

Today is Wednesday.  (That is for my benefit, not yours.  It is terribly hard to keep track of the day of the week while working at the Florida Sea Base.)  Alex is a hurricane this morning with 80 mph winds.  It is expected to grow to Cat 2 strength before landfall.  As of 05:00 EDT, the tiny village of San Jose de Los Leones is the projected point of landfall.  The strongest wind and surge will occur to the north of there.  I have been thru a Cat 2 storm.  It is not pleasant.  Please keep these folks in your prayers today.

Our local NOAA forecast is “A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 92. Southeast wind between 10 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.”  The NOAA marine forecast is “Southeast winds near 15 knots early…decreasing to 10 to 15 knots by midday. Seas beyond the reef subsiding to 2 to 4 feet. Seas inside the reef subsiding to 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters becoming a light to moderate chop. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.”  The small craft advisory has been lifted.  The wind is laying down.  By Friday the wind  should be 10 knots or less.

The Florida Sea Base is far enough from any major shopping opportunities (Walmart is 57 miles each way) that we do most of our shopping via internet or catalog.  I have two small packages that I hope arrive today.  One is for me and the other is boat parts for one of our captains who was at sea and asked me to purchase on his behalf.  We do what we can for each other down here.  Last month (due to my part in the delivery of the BSA Centennial Eagle from Slidell, LA to the Florida Sea Base) I spent over $4,000 of my personal money on BSA purchases.  I was reimbursed in a timely manner (they still owe me $36 but I can live with that) but there is still an element of stress having that type of obligation.

That’s enough for now.  I need to prep for this morning’s staff meeting.  I am hoping for an uneventful day in the disaster control department at Florida Sea Base.

It’s 08:40 and I’m back.  Capt. Rich and Matt McClure went to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up Spare Time, the power boat used in the tubing program.  She blew an engine 2 weeks ago but is now repowered and hopefully ready for duty.  The disaster department has been a disaster so far.  The mornings can be brutal in the crisis control center.  We have a 22 year old adult demanding to be removed from a vessel 65 miles from here because he doesn’t feel well.  Davis Tours is running late and people are paniced about missing flights.  Just a bunch of little things that stress people out.  Nothing really unusual.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape

I apologize for not posting anything yesterday; I was overwhelmed in the office and I feel like I’m fighting off a cold so I really didn’t have any thoughts worth sharing in the evening.  Today is Saturday.  This morning I drove down to Marathon to get a new dampner plate for my newly rebuilt boat transmission.  I’m hopeful that Captains Mike and Rich can reinstall the transmission tomorrow (or someday soon).

This afternoon I have been Christmas shopping.  Many people don’t realize how isolated we are here at Sea Base.  It’s 20 – 25 miles each way to a decent grocery store and 55 miles each way to the nearest Walmart.  The nearest mall is about 15 miles past Walmart.  So a trip to the nearest mall is about 70 miles each way.  Therefore, most of our shopping is via internet.  Generally speaking, the shipping is much less than the price of gas.  And the speed limit for most of the 140 mile round trip is 45 mph.  Throw in a few traffic lights and the drive time is over an hour and a half each way.  Three hours of driving to do an hour or two of shopping just isn’t justifiable.

I hope your shopping is coming along.  Usually your time is the greatest gift you can give.  I know work keeps many of us separated from family during Christmas, but if not , please try to make time for the grandparents and aunts and uncles you don’t get to see very often.  They miss you.

Personally, I don’t get it.  I’m not going to the store at 4 a.m. to fight a mob for the privilege of giving my money to someone else.  I don’t understand why a retailer can sell a gizmo for $1.00 at 4 a.m. but at noon tomorrow it costs $2.00.  If they want my business they need to offer a reasonable price all of the time.  That makes it convenient for their customers.  The way this scheme works tells me that they CAN sell the gizmo for $1.00, but most days they take advantage of the customers and sell it for $2.00.  That’s irresponsible – especially in an economy like this.  Instead of helping each other, many people are still looking for a way to make their millions without regard for the effect it has on others.  I was raised that Christmas was a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Somehow we took the fact that the wisemen presented gifts to Jesus to mean we need to give gifts to everyone we know.  And the marketing folks and retailers have done an excellent job of making us feel worthless if we don’t give and get gifts during the “holiday” season – even for the people who don’t believe in Jesus.  How did that happen?  Okay, enough ranting.  I wish that, as a society, we could take a step back and re-evaluate our behavior and expectations at Christmas.  I understand I am in the minority on this point of view.

So what did I do on Black Friday?  I spent most of the day working on my truck.  You might remember from about a week ago that I was looking at new trucks.  I haven’t closed that door yet, but I can’t find what I want on the lot and I’m not going to pay $40k to “settle” for anything less than what I really want.  So yesterday I did a tune-up on my GMC.  I’m going to change the oil and lube the front end today.  I will be driving 1,500 miles back to Sea Base in a day or two (plans are still in the making) so I want the Jimmy to be ready.  Later in the afternoon, Sue and I went to a late lunch / early dinner at the Mexican Inn and then to the movie.  We saw “Old Dogs” with Robin Williams and John Travolta.  It was GREAT.  It was really funny (with dumb stuff for the guys) but is primarily a romantic comedy (for the ladies) without being too gushy to turn the guys off.

If you were among the 4 a.m. crowd, I am sure you found some terrific deals that made it worth your wild.  I was asleep still suffering from Turkeyitis.  Besides, it was too gorgeous of a day in the Dallas / Fort Worth area to spend it indoors shopping.  But again, to each his own.  I hope you have a great day today.