It was a LONG day yesterday. I woke up with a headache and then spent almost 10 hours in training seminars. Today’s schedule is somewhat better. Captain Dennis Wyatt will join me this morning to walk the floor and I should get a chance to actually look at some of the show exhibits. I have one class from 1000 to 1100. Whenever I get finished, I will drive back to the Florida Sea Base (about a 6 hour drive). I may sleep in a little Sunday morning so I may not get the post up as early as usual (maybe not at all).
This is my 700th post. I know you are overwhelmed with attacks via phone, email, and social networking on a daily, even hourly basis. I appreciate the time you find to read this blog. I bear all expenses for this site and write it in my non-BSA time. I started this site because of my frustration with our inability to bring you timely information as an organization. I try to provide current information about the Florida Sea Base as openly as I can. I get my hand slapped on occasion by FSB management for what I say. As you read these posts, please keep in mind that this is NOT an official site of the Florida Sea Base or the Boy Scouts of America. Some days it is simply ramblings from a tired old man. Thank you for those who have become frequent visitors. If you are new, and looking for supplemental information about the Florida Sea Base that you can’t find at www.bsaseabase.org, please use the search feature on this site to look for the information you need. You can also go to the ABOUT page for a list of names and email addresses for FSB department heads. If you have a question about the Florida Sea Base and aren’t sure who to direct your question to, send it to me or click on COMMENTS and I will get it to the proper person. The WEATHER page has information such as historic weather temperatures (including water temperatures). The MEDICAL page has detailed information of particular interest to scuba participants. Thanks for visiting this site.
Staffing wise, the summer of 2012 is going have some challenges. Captain Dennis Wyatt and my right hand woman, Dr. Ellen Stites-Wyatt, are not planning on returning for the summer. I will miss them professionally and personally. They have taken a couple of summers off in the past (the Alaska years) and we have obviously survived. Dr. Ellen carries the largest burden of any of the seasonal employees and her position is very challenging to fill. But what I will miss most is hearing the two of them laughing their way through the difficult days. They are incredible individuals and an unbelievable team. We will get to work together during the spring and, knowing Dr. Ellen as I do, she will do all she can to leave us in good shape for the summer. Also, Captain Carol Chapman, who is working very hard on her nursing degree, may not be able to work with us this summer due to her school commitments. So I am loosing my two most experienced captains the same summer that I am adding another inspected vessel to our scuba fleet. That is a three captain deficit.
Wednesday I briefly (like 10 seconds) crossed paths with PADI Course Director Gregg Johnson. I think I last saw Gregg in 2001. He now has a dive shop in Lancaster, Texas. Yesterday I managed to catch up with Gregg for about 15 minutes on the show floor between classes. Gregg was the Course Director for my IDC Staff Instructor course (SEVERAL years ago). He’s an extremely competent scuba instructor. If you happen to be in the Southwest Dallas area and looking for a dive shop or instructor I recommend him without reservation. The name of his dive shop is Divers Isle Training Center.
At the end of my last class I was approached by another blast from the past, Captain Margarita Olson. Captain Margarita is a PADI instructor and is teaching the PADI Open Water Diver course at the Florida Keys Community College in Key West this spring. She is a former Florida Sea Base staff member but has been away for a few years. We didn’t get to talk very long, but I am looking forward to maybe finding time in the near future to catch up. I understand that she has had some incredible experiences since I last saw her.
I got the car partially packed last night. I have to finish packing ASAP so I can get checked out, meet Captain Dennis, and get to my final class of the week before walking the floor for a few hours. Whenever I get through, I have a six hour drive back to the Keys.
One of the first things I have to do when I get back to the base tonight is to fill the water tank on Escape. Since the air conditioners haven’t been run in a month there is a decent chance that the sea water strainer or other components may need some attention. Once I have water and air conditioning and a few essentials unloaded from the car, I should be able to get to bed.
Capt. Steve Willis
Heading for “the rock”