I ventured from the Florida Sea Base to Marathon Thursday for groceries. Based on the traffic (both ways) I am assuming that spring break has begun. Which brings up a good point to make to our spring crews. There is one way into the Keys and one way out, US 1. Within the Keys, US 1 is primarily a two lane road. There will be millions of people driving on this two lane road during the spring. This makes drive time to/from the Miami or Fort Lauderdale Airport longer than you think. You should add at least an hour to your anticipated drive time. Also, we have 20-25 fatalities a year on US 1. When this happens, the road can be closed in both directions for hours; MANY hours. There is also a drawbridge on US 1 in Islamorada. When a boat of more than 40′ needs to cross from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean (or vice versa) the bridge stops all traffic in both directions. Additionally, traffic will likely be traveling well below the posted 45 mph limit. So PLEASE take this into consideration as you plan your travel to and from the Florida Sea Base.
The first crews of the 2013 spring season check in this afternoon at the Florida Sea Base. We only have sailing arrivals today. Tomorrow we will have scuba and sailing arrivals. This is my 13th spring – TOO many. We will start the day with a staff meeting at 07:30. Ready or not, the 2013 program season is here.
Captain Giuseppe Passanisi arrived Thursday to prepare for today’s Coral Reef Sailing trip. I also saw Captain Brian Stolzenberger on the dock yesterday. These are two of our most tenured captains. The crews will have a great time with these guys at the helm. Captain Brian said his wife, Brenda, was concerned about my failure to write a post for several days. Thanks for your concern Brenda. The next time you’re here I’ll fill you in on the details. In the meantime, all is “normal” around here.
The first few days of program are not going to be the typical warm, sunny Florida. The rain has been light but is clearing out; the organized showers are in the Straits of Florida and moving SE, away from us. The National Weather Service is forecasting a breezy week:
Synopsis…THE MOST INTENSE COLD FRONT OF THE WINTER SEASON WILL BARREL THROUGH THE FLORIDA KEYS THIS AFTERNOON…ACCOMPANIED BY A MAJOR WIND SURGE. STRONG NORTHWEST TO NORTH BREEZES WILL PERSIST TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. THEREAFTER…HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHEAST WILL MIGRATE INTO THE ATLANTIC MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY…WITH WINDS SLOWLY RELAXING AND BECOMING MORE EASTERLY OVER THE KEYS COASTAL WATERS BY MIDWEEK.
Today: Northwest to north winds 10 to 15 knots early…increasing to near 25 knots and gusty in the afternoon. Seas 1 to 3 feet…building to 3 to 5 feet in the afternoon. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop…becoming extremely rough. Isolated showers in the morning.
Tonight: Northwest to north winds near 25 knots and gusty. Seas 3 to 6 feet. Nearshore waters extremely rough.
Sunday: North to northeast winds near 25 knots and gusty…decreasing to near 20 knots in the afternoon. Seas subsiding to 3 to 5 feet. Nearshore waters becoming very rough.
Sunday Night: Northeast winds near 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough.
Monday: East winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters choppy.
Monday Night And Tuesday: East to southeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Nearshore waters choppy.
Tuesday Night And Wednesday: East winds near 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop.
Wednesday Night: Northeast to east winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters choppy. Isolated showers.
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape