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Hurricane Irma Updates

Status of Sailing Captains - all Captains both in the Florida and the USVI's have been accounted for and are safe. This includes Mike and Kelly Lucivero who direct the USVI Sailing Program.  

Status of Coral Reef, Sea Exploring and USVI Sailboats - all Coral Reef boats departed the Sea Base dock by September 1st as part of our standard storm preparation for the fall.  We cannot account for all of the Coral Reef Sailboats (some went into the yard or "on the hard" as sailors say) in the Keys (including Marathon) and some sailed to sheltered areas on the west coast of Florida (Port Charlotte).  The sailboats in the USVI's (a smaller fleet) have been accounted for but there are reports that some have sustained significant damage.  Until the Sea Base is operational and can communicate with all Captains it is difficult to know the status of all and or specific sailing vessels.

Status of USVI operations - based on news reports, St. Thomas (the base of operations for the USVI program) was hit very hard by Hurricane Irma.  The Sea Base St. Thomas runs out of the Sapphire Marina and owns no buildings or other infrastructure.  At this time we do not know the status of Sapphire Marina.

Status of Sea Base and Brinton Environmental Center (BEC) boats - of the 5 Newton diesel dive boats; 4 were taken to yards in the Keys including Marathon as part of the maintenance plan as well and for safety.  Note that if a large vessel stays on the T-Dock, finger dock or seawall during a storm we run the risk of it tearing the dock out or breaking loose and causing damage to nearby structures if it is washed ashore.

The Newton that was tied up in the canal behind the Sea Base and is fine.  The Dusky boats that are kept at the Sea Base are fine; we do not know the status of Dusky boats or the Corinthian at BEC.  Some Dusky boats went onto trailers and were tied down on the property while other boats stayed in the water tied to finger docks because we do not have a trailer for every boat (not enough storage for trailers).  

Status of BEC - while no one has been to BEC we do know that FEMA is using BEC as a staging area (this was part of an agreement with the Monroe County Emergency Management Department).  Photos from the NOAA site provide an overview of BEC, but while photos show roofs intact and boats in the marina at BEC it is difficult to know the extent of damage. 

Hurricane Irma came ashore only a few miles away from BEC and the property experienced very high winds and storm surge.  Based on the photos (and until we can get into BEC to assess damage first hand) we will be "guardedly optimistic" that BEC has not sustained major damage.

Status of clean up at both properties - this is the message that the Sea Base staff is sending to all who want to help with the clean up efforts:

Thanks for your concern about the staff and Sea Base and willingness to help with clean up efforts, it is much appreciated.  We can confirm that the Sea Base has sustained minor damage but will need significant clean up.  We do not yet know about the Brinton Environmental Center as the authorities are not letting people down past MM 73.

At this time the Sea Base does not have power or cell phone coverage, water pressure is minimal, there is concern over the sewer system backing up, all water must be boiled before drinking and fuel is scarce. 

Until we have the basics of power, water and fuel are restored we are not bringing people to either property for clean up or cleanup and repair efforts.  Once we are operational with those basics, we will communicate the plan and opportunity for you to help in the clean up effort.

Thanks

How will Hurricane Irma impact our Fall/Winter 2017 or Spring/Summer 2018 adventure - given that the Sea Base has sustained minimal damage, we are hopeful that overall there will be minor disruption to programs.  It will depend on damage to Sea Base boats (dive boats and Dusky boats), damage to Coral Reef and USVI sailboats and availability of boats that can be chartered.

  • Fall 2017 - for those with Fall of 2017 Adventures (there are 9 Crews scheduled for October), by Wednesday, September 20th you will be notified on how your Adventure may be impacted.  If the program you signed up is changed i.e., an Out Island Adventure will be staged from the Sea Base instead of BEC or a Sea Exploring program will run on multiple 40' sailboats instead of a 70' sailboat those changes will be communicated.  If you do not want to participate in a changed program, we will discuss refund options.  If your program cannot be delivered at all, we will refund your fees.
  • Winter/Christmas 2017 - by October 30th you will be notified on the status of your adventure; the same process as noted above will be followed regarding changed or cancelled programs.
  • Spring/Summer 2018 - at this time, keep your plans for programs.  If there are any changed programs we will communicate those to you well in advance.  

 

About SeaBase

Located in Islamorada and on Summerland Key in the beautiful Florida Keys, as well as Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, the near shore reefs and crystal clear waters offer unparalleled opportunities for long term and short term programs year round. Our Conference facilities are utilized for youth and adult Scouting Conferences and non-Scouting groups when available.