Sea Scout Ship 2 Adventure -- Year 2
02-12 August 2019
Long Cruise 2019: Sea Base SA 080419 A/B: Ship 2 joined Troop 671 for a week in the Florida Keys. As with most journeys, this came with its own collection of forming, storming, "norming", and performing. In the end, there were great times in the water! Highlights follow:
Crazy short drive to NC. Big house with a big giraffe. Hot tub and pool. Lots of cooking & cleaning.
Blur. I need to review my notes.
Mad sprint to NASA Kennedy Space Center. Very cool.
Short but slow-moving hop from Central FL to the Keys. Check-in. No water activity due to thunder. Safety first.
0930 Swim tests … and the fun begins.
We dove in the afternoon aboard BSA Centennial Eagle. She is one of four large dive boats here taking 24 divers plus crew out. They also have 10+ chartered sailboats loading to go out. Heaven.
Our Boatswain joined us for to snorkel while necessary paperwork was processed.
Tuesday we dove at a few ledges. We used orienteering skills to navigate around as buddy pairs vs. being lead. That made for a very exciting time.
We also had the opportunity to earn BSA Snorkeling: listen to guidance, suit-up, buddy-up, jump-in, snorkel-around the boat, dive below the surface, resurface, and clear your snorkel. Easy.
Skipper took macho-bait set by the crew. After doing easy, he attempted to do hard by diving to the bottom (approximately 20 feet), collecting sand, and bringing it to the surface. Well, now he is a little wiser with a recovering ear that sidelined him for a day.
Integration battles flashed. Painful but part of interpersonal dynamics when agendas are placed above people. We worked it.
Yesterday started with a chapel service discussing forgiveness. Divine intervention.
We had three dives — two at Pillars reefs and one night dive back at Alagator reef.
The pillars are artificial reefs made out of bridge construction debris dumped during the 1980s. It is organized in mounds/piles/pillars arrayed like bowling pins. These pillars are reclaimed now by the sea with a collection of new growth coral and aquatic life.
Boatswain received medical clearance yesterday afternoon. She didn’t have enough time for a skills-check dive and a daytime dive before the night dive. Instead, the check dive was postponed.
While everyone else when for the night dive, Boatswain and Skipper watched the sky. They think they identified Saturn, Mars, and Vega along with the Milky Way — hard to miss here — the Dippers, Orion’s Belt, Scorpio (a First for me), and others. Boatswain can tell you more.
The Real Sneaky Snake
Ask our scouts about the Sea Base wildlife — from the smallest of ants that want you dead to the thirsty sea cow.
0700 Skills dive for our Boatswain following medical clearance. That was followed by two fantastic dives!
Wreck Dive to 60 ft.
Sat: SeaBase: FL-SC
NJROTC departure. We joined the last dive before heading out early! Thanks to Troop 671 for helping clear the deck for our departure. We stopped in Santee, SC., that is only 10 hours north of Sea Base.
We woke and hit the road. We arrived in Gainesville before 2100 doing a rain-dance.
P.S. Skipper officially lost over ten pounds and is cleared for diving.