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 Captain Paul Beal 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