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alyssa milano The Florida Sea Base summer season continues moving forward.  The tropics are quiet (no threat of severe weather in the immediate future), our local weather is great (a little hot, but what do you expect in the sub-tropical summer?) and program is doing well overall.  Our newest program, the Open Oceans Adventure, has hit a few temporary snags but is starting to recover under the leadership of Capt. Rich.

Yesterday was an incredibly busy day for the sailing staff with five Coral Reef crews arriving, five more Coral Reef crews in for shore leave and four Coral Reef Sailing crews returning to complete their adventure.  So we had about 112 sailors on base.  Mr. Rob Kolb, Director of Program, lead the first bicycle trek from the Florida Sea Base to the Channel 5 bridge yesterday.  The trek combines sightseeing and a nature tour according to Mr. Kolb.  The bicycle tour is intended to become one of the scheduled activities at the Florida Sea Base for the 2012 Coral Reef Sailing crews on their shore leave day.

Scuba is busy as well with our normal compliment of 12 Scuba Adventure crews, two Scuba Certification crews and three Scuba Liveaboard crews underway.  That is a total of 148 scuba divers per day.  That is incredible when you consider most dive centers through the Florida Keys probably serve 40 divers on an exceptional day.  We filled approximately 300 scuba tanks yesterday in all of the scuba programs combined.  Our divers are on a steady program of eat, dive, dive, eat, dive, eat, sleep, and start all over again.

The Florida Sea Base is scheduled to dredge the harbor, replace over 200′ of sea wall, build a new fuel dock, set new posts for slips on the T-Dock and Chapel seawall and add electrical, water and sewage service at the Chapel wall this fall.  Most of the work will be done by Upper Keys Construction.  Dave came out yesterday to revisit the site with General Manager

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and Capt. Rich to confirm some of the preliminary data.  This is a very aggressive project.  The good news is construction is scheduled to start in early September (as soon as the summer program season concludes).  Major projects like this are always unnerving.  The current bathroom remodeling for the Coral Reef Sailing crews was supposed to be completed before our spring season started in February.  They still have a long way to go and their failure to meet their deadline is having a major negative impact on our program quality this summer.  The only good news is, like highway construction, the situation will be much better once the job is completed.

I have to get to the office.  Have a great weekend.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

I apologize for posting late today.  I really have very little to report.  The tropical weather is pretty quiet.  There is a system passing through the Leeward Islands today that may bring us a little rain this weekend and another system between South America and Africa that could develop but is just too far away to worry about until sometime next week.  The wind is from the NE at 10-11 knots today, clear skies, very warm and the UV is off the chart.  (Sunblock is our friend.)

Program is performing very nicely; no significant complaints, but there’s always room for improvement.  One week the evals read “too much wind” and the next they say, “not enough wind”.  Last week the air conditioning in the scuba dorms was too cold.  This week it was too warm.  The seasonal staff members seem to be working well together.  We are about 25% through the summer session.

We have lost the services of Dr. Ellen Stites-Wyatt, office manager and medical reviewer extraordinaire.  Her sister is extremely ill and Ellen has flown to Pennsylvania to be with her.  Ellen, if you get time to read this, our prayers are with you and your sister.  Come back when you can.  We will muddle through without you until then.  [During the annual camp inspection, the leader of my inspection team reported at the final meeting that it is apparent that Dr. Ellen runs the show here.  I really don't think she realizes how integral she is to our success.]  In the meantime, federica fontanafederica fontanafederica fontana nude
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Capt. Dennis Wyatt
,

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Dr. Ellen’s lesser half, is holding up well under the burden of having to drive the BSA Tarpon daily.  I am on stand-by to possibly relieve Capt. Dennis if Ellen needs him in PA.  I won’t mind a day or two on the water with the kids and staff.  It is always a good reminder of my responsibilities.

That’s it for now.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

 

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14Jun

Great Forecast

in Weather  •  0 comments

Good morning from the Florida Sea Base.  I just have a few minutes so this will be brief.

The weather forecast is near perfect; enough wind for the sailors but still calm enough to have great diving conditions too.  Here is the marine forecast from the National Weather Service:

Today…Southwest to west winds 5 to 10 knots…becoming southwest and increasing to near 10 knots in the afternoon. Seas beyond the reef 1 to 2 feet. Seas inside the reef 1 foot or less. Nearshore waters smooth to a light chop. Isolated showers and thunderstorms.
Tonight…Southwest winds 10 to 15 knots in the evening…becoming west to northwest and decreasing to 5 to 10 knots. Seas beyond the reef 1 to 3 feet. Seas inside the reef 1 to 2 feet…subsiding to 1 foot or less. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop…becoming smooth to a light chop. Isolated showers.
Wednesday…Southwest to west winds 5 to 10 knots…becoming southwest and increasing to near 10 knots in the afternoon. Seas beyond the reef 1 to 2 feet. Seas inside the reef around 1 foot. Nearshore waters smooth to a light chop. Isolated showers.
Wednesday Night…Southwest winds 5 to 10 knots…becoming southeast to south after midnight. Seas beyond the reef 1 to 2 feet. Seas inside the reef 1 foot or less. Nearshore waters smooth to a light chop. Isolated showers.
Thursday…East to southeast winds increasing to near 10 knots. Seas beyond the reef 1 to 2 feet. Seas inside the reef around 1 foot. Nearshore waters smooth to a light chop. Isolated showers.
Friday And Saturday…East to southeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas beyond the reef 2 to 4 feet. Seas inside the reef 1 to 2 feet. Nearshore waters a light to moderate chop. Isolated showers and thunderstorms friday…then scattered showers and thunderstorms saturday.

Our temperatures are running from a low of about 80 to highs around 90 each day.  UV is at or near the maximum level and sunscreen is definitely our friend this time of year.  Some participants who fail to heed our advice (one or two per week) will earn a trip to the ER to be treated for serious sunburn, dehydration and even sun poisoning.  Many of these people will have second degree burns from the sun.  The tops of feet are frequently left exposed.  That is a nasty place to have severe radiation burns.

Most things are going really well.  There are 75 days left in the summer program season.  Today is opening day for the Order of the Arrow Oceans Adventure (OAOA) so everything is in full swing now except the Open Oceans’ opening season which will get cranked up soon.

It is time for me to make the long commute from the dock to my office (about 200 feet).  I hope your morning commute goes well.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

In the “be careful what you wish for” department the wind has gone from too much to too little.  Well, not really too little for the Scuba Adventure and Scuba Certification folks (since flat calm is great for diving), but too little for all of the sailing programs.  Here’s the National Weather Service forecast for the Florida Sea Base:

Today: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 78. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 79. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tuesday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tuesday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly clear, with a low around 80. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 80. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Thursday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Thursday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 81. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Friday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Friday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 80. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Saturday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Although our highs have been 90 degrees or less, the “feels like” temperature has been in the 100 – 105 range due to the humidity.  Like several other states, Florida is in a serious drought and wildfires are numerous and some are very large.  The Everglades area is in a state of major conflagration; fortunately, the Florida Sea Base is not directly threatened.  However, the smoke could be an issue if the winds clocks to the north and picks up.  Also, various highways are closed from time to time (depending on the wind) and that could delay some of our crews as they try to come and go.  With all the fires in Arizona and New Mexico, I know the Philmont stress level is running very high.  It is hurricane season for us and grass fire season for them.

Captain Rich is in St. Petersburg, Florida getting his brother Jeff married.  I used to think Captain Rich liked his brother.  [I can hear the moans already.  It's just a joke. :) ]  Sailing Commissioner Stephanie Mansburger and Scuba Commissioner Laura Kuras are at the reins today.  As always, Captain Rich and I are just a phone call away.  (Actually I am on the base but trying to keep a low profile.)  Captain Dennis Wyatt commented a week or two ago that this is the first time that both program commissioners at Sea Base have been females.  I hadn’t even thought about it.  I think I was the first to hire a female Coral Reef Sailing captain, Jennifer MacLean.  The general public and maybe even many within Scouting might not realize how big of an impact females have on the Boy Scout organization; adult leaders, Venturing and Learning for Life all have significant female participation.  All of the National High Adventure Bases (Philmont, Florida Sea Base, and Northern Tier) have female participants and staff.

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

 

Its official (but not unexpected).  The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base passed the annual camp inspection with a score of 100%.  That does not mean that there isn’t room for improvement.  We strive for continuos improvement and we are aware that there are things we could make better or do better.

We have rain approaching from the Northeast and from the Southwest (simultaneously), but so far, it has continued to miss us.  We pray the wind will lighten up soon.  The weatherman keeps saying it will diminish, but at this point we’ll believe it when we see it.  Maybe tomorrow.:)

REMINDER!!!! Although the policy changed years ago, there still seems to be some confusion. SCUBA LIVEABOARD, SCUBA ADVENTURE, SCUBA CERTIFICATION, CORAL REEF SAILING, AND OUT ISLAND CREWS DO NOT VISIT KEY WEST AS PART OF THEIR FLORIDA SEA BASE / BRINTON ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER PROGRAM.  If you find any old FSB publications referring to Key West for these adventures, please disregard it.  References to Key West have been removed from all current literature for these programs.  You may make your own reservations for Key West the day before or after your FSB program.  Be sure to include it in your National Tour Plan or Permit application.  Things change.  Based on comments received from participants for years, we have removed Key West from our itineraries and added more program.

I will be keeping a low profile for a few days so my posts are likely to be brief and spotty.  But I will let you know if anything truly newsworthy is brought to my attention.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

It’s amost noon on Thursday.  My inspection team has completed most of their checklist and all is well so far.  The team will have lunch on base and then ride out ot Alligator Reeef on BSA Adventure with three scuba crews.  Their purpose is to observe the safe operation of the program (and vessel).  I haven’t spoken with Capt. Rich yet (although we did cross paths briefy) but I am optomistic that his team is satisfied to this point as well.  One of the inspectors on Capt. Rich’s team is the Sea Scouting National Commodore Charlie Wurster (Vice Admiral, US Coast Guard, Retired).  Capt. Rich and team went for an afternoon sail/snorkel on S/V Barefoot with Capt. Bruce Payette.

The weather is holding off for now.  Invest 94L has died but we are still very overcast and threatened by small thunderstorm cells.  So far we have dodged the rain this morning.  The wind is very brisk and will remain so until Saturday.

We had dinner last night with the FSB senior management and inspection teams at the Hideaway Cafe at Rainbow Bend Resort on Grassy Key.  I am not a big fan of these “sophisticated” restaurants.  We arrived at 1845.  Appetizers were served at 2000.  Entrees were served at 2100.  Capt. Rich and I arrived back at Sea Base at 2230.

We have a meeting with the inspectors first thing this morning to hear their final report and to obtain their blessing to operate our facility for the remainder of 2011.  Hopefully we will be through by noon.

I realize this is a pathetic report, but I’ve got to go.  I will try to post at least a brief update tomorrow.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

The BSA Visitation Team started the inspection process Wednesday night.  Two teams will arrive at the Florida Sea Base very shortly while a third team will report to the Brinton Environmental Center.  Capt. Scott Martin will host the BEC team.  Capt. Rich gets one of the FSB teams and I get the other.  Today will be a VERY long day going through paperwork, inspecting the base, going out on a dive boat in the afternoon and then having dinner with the inspectors tonight.

An excerpt from Dr. Masters’ Wunderblog on Wednesday:

Caribbean disturbance 94L no threat to develop
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (Invest 94L) in the Northwestern to North Central Caribbean Sea near Jamaica is very disorganized this morning, but is still capable of bringing heavy rains as it pushes slowly northwards at less than 5 mph. I heard from wunderground user Anthony Zed in the Kingston, Jamaica suburb of Norbrook, and he reported that his rain gauge received 11.27″ of rain from 94L from June 1 – 7, which is more rain than had fallen all year. The big rain day was yesterday, with 3.47″. Satellite loops show a few disorganized clumps of thunderstorms in the region, and NHC has downgraded 94L’s chances of development by Friday to 0%. Wind shear is very high, 30 – 50 knots, making development very unlikely.

We still have a very decent chance of rain in our local forecast (30% – 40% each day for the next six to seven days).

I received a comment Wednesday asking if I would explain about the different vessels used in the Scuba Liveaboard program and if the programs were different.  For 2011 we have three arrival days each week for Scuba Liveaboard crews; Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.  Saturday arrivals are scheduled to be on the 60′ Schooner Conch Pearl which docks on Stock Island in the Lower Keys and is operated by Captain Denny and Captain Holley.  Internally we refer to this boat as SL-1 because the Pearl was our first scuba liveaboard vessel which started running trips in 2005.  Friday arrivals use two 41′ Morgan Out Island vessels, S/V Silent Harmony and S/V Endeavour operated by Captain Mike and Captain Kelly.  This group is SL-2 and started in 2008.  Tuesday arrivals use one 41′ Morgan Out Island, S/V Lady Nell II and one 45′ Gulfstar motorsailer, Adventure.  These boats are operated by Captain Luke and Captain Hans.  This group is SL-3 and started this year.  SL-2 and SL-3 dock in Tavernier, in the Upper Keys.

The programs are very similar but have their own personalities and nuances.  From a functional standpoint, the crews for SL-2 and SL-3 should be divided before arriving at the Florida Sea Base and the first aid kit should be divided or replicated so each boat has any needed supplies.  Participants can move between boats if they want.  The boats generally work in tandem, diving the same sites together.  However, having two boats can add flexibility to your program because one boat can go diving while the other boat goes fishing or sailing.  The boats anchor together at night and generally “raft-up” for dinner.

Regardless of whether you are on SL-1, SL-2 or SL-3, your week plans for 15 dives (weather permitting)and you will have on-board air compressors for tank refills.  You will likely spend one evening near the middle of your week at dock so you can take a shower, stretch your legs, off-load trash and waste and take on fuel and/or water if needed.  The other nights will be spent “on the hook”.  The plan for all three programs is dive, dive, dive.  The program has always been advertised and intended for hard-core divers.  The Scuba Adventure program plans for 11 dives and is a little less intense.

The bottom line is the programs are very similar with individuality.  Each version of the program gets great evaluations from the participants.The enthusiasm of the participants combined with the knowledge and experience of the captains and scuba staff will provide what we expect to be an experience of a lifetime.

Time to prep for inspection.  I’ll try to make a post tomorrow morning.

Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape

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Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s blog by Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground:

Caribbean disturbance 94L little threat to develop
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (Invest 94L) in the Western Caribbean near Jamaica is looking much less organized this morning, but is still capable of bringing heavy rains as it pushes slowly northwards at less than 5 mph.Satellite estimates of rainfall for the 24-hour period ending at 8pm EDT Monday night run as high as 5 inches for northeastern Nicaragua and Honduras, with 2 – 4 inches falling over portions of Jamaica and southeast Cuba. Satellite loopsshow a decrease in the heavy thunderstorm activity and organization of 94L in recent hours, and the storm’s low-level spiral bands and upper-level outflow are very poorly defined. The storm’s center of low pressure is located about 100 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman Island. Water vapor satellite loops show the Caribbean is quite moist, and water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 28 – 28.5°C, which is 2°C above the threshold needed to support development of a tropical storm. Wind shear has edged into the high range, 20 – 25 knots, which has probably contributed to 94L’s deterioration.

Since 94L is so large and poorly organized, today’s mission by the Hurricane Hunters has been cancelled. The storm is moving slowly to the north, into a band of very high wind shear of 30 – 50 knots that lies over Cuba and the southern Bahama Islands. The SHIPS model predicts shear will rise above 30 knots by late tonight, which will make development into a tropical depression difficult. This morning’s 00Z and 06Z model runs were unimpressed with 94L, with most of them showing little or no development. The 00Z run of the NOGAPS model predicts that a gap may open up in the shear sufficient for the storm to organize into a tropical depression late this week, but this is looking increasingly unlikely. At 8am EDT today, NHC gave 94L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. Regardless of development, 94L is capable of bringing heavy rains of 2 – 4 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Haiti through Thursday. These rains will probably spread northwards into the Bahama Islands, and possibly South Florida, by Thursday or Friday.

Two key points; the system is not likely to develop into an organized wind event and we may get some rain tomorrow through the weekend.  Of thirteen computer models, one has the center of the system crossing the Keys at Key West, another about mid-way between the Florida Sea Base and the Brinton Environmental Center and another crossing in Key Largo.  That’s a 23% chance of the storm center crossing through the Florida Keys.  Or, better yet, that’s a 77% chance that the system will NOT cut through the Keys.  Hope for the best! :)  Rain would make for a very sloppy inspection not to mention disgruntled participants.  Click HERE for a really cool visual.

If you click on my weather page you will see a monthly chart for air temperature, water temperature and rainfall.  Summer is our rainy season with an average of 5.1 inches falling in June.  July is a little less and then the numbers are back up for August and September.

The BSA Visitation Team arrives today and starts the camp inspection process this evening.  While Captain Paul Beal and Mr. Rob Kolb are working with the inspectors, Capt. Rich and I will be attending a meeting in Marathon about Monroe County implementing restrictions and/or fees on vessels anchoring.  More fees and more government intrusion is not what we need, but it is what we will likely get.  Oh joy!

Stress is an interesting beast.  It is not well understood and therefore not well managed.  For me it manifests as nightmares.  The only good news I can find in my situation is this post will be waiting for many of you when you get up this morning.  I should be finished with the post by 0300.  I am on my way to see my fat doctor later this morning.  The drive takes about 2 hours 15 minutes each way.  I have a little less than 30 pounds to loose to reach my original goal.  Now I’m starting to wonder if I should adjust my goal down another 15 pounds.  This diet is miserable, but it’s working and I should take full advantage of it.  (In November I was barely able to squeeze into 42″ pants.  Now 36s are getting loose and I should be in 34s next month.)  I may compromise and take a little while off the diet after hitting my goal and then work on another 15 pounds.

Due to the hullabaloo associated with the camp inspection, I may not have time to post early in the morning on Thursday or Friday.  I will do my best.  Of course I may be awake all night and have plenty of time.

Capt. Steve Willis
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

I woke up at 0200 to use the bathroom and then got to thinking about one of our scuba instructors who will be in my office for some “counseling” later this morning which in turn really woke me up, so here’s an early morning post.

We are watching Invest 94L, a low pressure system in the Caribbean, below Jamaica.  Dr. Jeff Masters made the following post on Friday:

Central Caribbean disturbance 94L
Disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity continues in the region between Central America and Jamaica. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 – 20 knots, and is predicted to continue to fall over the next two days. This should allow the disturbance, dubbed Invest 94L by NHC on Friday afternoon, to increase in organization, though it will take many days for it to approach tropical depression status, since it is so large and poorly organized. The last two runs of the NOGAPS model have developed the disturbance into a tropical depression or storm by early next week, with the system moving northwards into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and eastern Cuba. The other major models do not show the disturbance developing during the coming week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. A surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave may aid development when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Sunday. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 29°C, which is plenty warm enough to support development of a tropical storm. Residents of Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 – 4 inches may affect them today through Sunday.

This system poses no immediate threat to the Florida Sea Base but we will remain vigilant in monitoring its progress.  There is some concern by Miami forecasters that it will effect our weather on Thursday but that is not yet confirmed by the most recent computer model forecast for 94L:

Click to enlarge.

Sunday we welcomed six Scuba Adventure crews, one Scuba Certification crew, four Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew to the Florida Sea Base.  Five Coral Reef Sailing crews were in for shore leave.  Four Coral Reef Sailing crews and one Sea Exploring crew returned to base for Luau.

I received the following comment from former Sailing Commissioner Kaitie Kessler:

Hi Capt Steve!
I truly enjoyed ready your current blogs! It sounds like the 2011 summer is off to a good start! I agreed to spend 2 months this summer as an Aquatics Director for a council camp near Terre Haute IN. Our staff week started yesterday hut ive been here since wed. I oversee 2 staff and a man-made lake that offers rowing, canoeing, swimming and life saving merit badges. I will be teaching life saving and then rotating through the other three. I also will be incharge of any events that take place on my waterfront. Our first round of campers arrive on sunday so we have been mostly setting our areas up and discussing lesson plans, campfires etc.
I spent a grueling week at National Camp School where interestingly enough i saw one of my adult leaders from the only sea exploring crew I had in 2007. After a few memory triggers ( Jolly 2 Rover, Capt Joey Mike Simpson) he did recognize me and later that day we caught up. He told me that that was the best time he has ever had and he says he still talks about that week. I of course agreed because I also had a fantatstic 2 yrs working for Sea Base.
As I am thrust back into scouting, I have flashbacks to my days there and I miss it. I miss the people, the programs, the diving and the ocean. I hope someday soon to visit and to go diving again( because i havent dove since 2006- which is a sin for a marine scientist!)
Hello to all Staff and I hope the weather continues to be fair and the hurricanes few. Have a fantastic and safe summer!

Kaitie Kessler CRM/SEM, Sailing Commissioner Summer/Fall 2006, 2007

Kaitie did an excellent job for us and the local council is very lucky to have her.

I’m going to try to get back to sleep.  The staff can usually tell when I’ve had a tough night.

One last thing…….Capt. Rich was notified on Friday (I think it was Friday) by our Director of Program, Mr. Rob Kolb that two captains positions and several mate positions are open immediately on the 123′ Halie and Matthew that will be sailing weekly from Key West to the Dry Tortugas in our Open Oceans adventure.   Anyone interested should call Capt. Rich Beliveau at 305-394-0365 today!!!  The Halie and Matthew is a gorgeous boat and this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

Good night.  I mean good morning.  You know what I mean – back to bed.

Capt. Steve
Aboard S/V Escape