from the Raytheon SCUBA club drove down to Homestead
Bayfront Park for some camping and diving in February.
We took Bob's boat along with16 air tanks, 4 sets of
dive gear, two tents, a gas grill, stove, lights and 4
coolers of food and ice across Biscayne Bay to the
Biscayne National Park Marina and Campground on Elliott
Key. I learned a few things about camping along
the way (e.g. tent mesh must be at least 650 squares per
inch to keep out no-seeums). We had a great day
diving on Saturday, with calm seas and warm, clear
water. Having fresh lobsters for dinner on
Saturday night topped off a truly great day.
Unfortunately a front came through on Sunday morning
and the wind started blowing so we decided to come home
Sue spent a day on the boat in early March. There
was no plan except for relaxing and fishing. For
once the weather cooperated with 75 degree air and calm
seas. Chris finally managed to catch something
other than a Grunt. He's now a believer in live
Greg and Chris
had a perfect day on the water in late March. With
calm seas and warm breezes, we couldn't have asked for
better conditions to kick off the local Gulf dive season.
Water temps at Indian Shores Reef were 71 degrees at the
surface and 65 at depth. A bit chilly for my tastes,
but not unreasonable. With the cooler water, there was
plenty of "food" swimming around. Schools of
Amberjacks were especially abundant.
A few folks
from the Raytheon SCUBA club headed out to the Blackthorn in
April. The Blackthorn is a 180-foot Coast Guard Cutter
that collided with the oil tanker Capricorn near the
Sunshine Skyway Bridge on January 28th, 1980. The
wreck is mostly broken into pieces now, but given its rich
and dramatic history it's always a great dive. We saw
plenty of snapper and hogfish. Bob saw a Spotted Eagle
Ray and brought home a nice sized Grouper. Tony even
spotted a reef shark. Our second dive was on a
circular ledge called Mastodon Tabletop.
Tampa Prep had
their graduation ceremonies on Sunday June 8th. We're
all very proud of Amanda and all that she has accomplished
in her high school career, graduating with Cum Laude and
National Honor Society honors. Doug, Sarah, Joshua,
and Grandma Francis were in town to help us celebrate.
Amanda, we wish you the best of luck as you begin an
important new phase of your life at the University of
We made our
annual trek up to North Carolina for Thanksgiving again this
year. My Mom decided to join us this time, so after a
quick stop in Gainesville to pick up Amanda all five of us
piled into the Expedition for the 11-hour trip. We
joined Karen, Keith, Nathan, Jason, Barb, Jim, and Claris
(Keith's Mom), for a wonderful turkey day.
Unfortunately Amber had to stay home for this one, but we
made sure we got some quality park time in before dropping
her off in Venice to visit her own mother and step sister
for the week. This year's holiday movie was Quantum Of
Solace, on Saturday some of us visited NC State with Valerie
and the rest spent the day at an art museum in Charlotte.
We topped off the trip with a Manheim Steamroller Christmas
concert on Sunday night. Thanks again to the Poerschke
and Korb families for their gracious hospitality.