Archive for July, 2012

Sea Base…The Sequel; RIP Andy


After nearly two weeks of being on solid ground my drawing table and computer screen have stopped moving!

I don’t recall that being a problem before I left to spend a week in the Florida Keys.

Funny what spending a week aboard a sailboat will do to your “land legs”!

In addition to my drawing table and computer screen, my bed felt like it was moving, the shower swayed from side to side and I’m quite certain I almost fell off the toilet a few times, although to my credit, I never tried to “hand pump” it!

I suppose I had the same issues the last time I visited Sea Base, but those memories fade with time.

That was way back in 2010 and it was with my other son and an entirely different group of scouts.

However, the good memories don’t fade away.

Okay, maybe a few not-so-good stick with you too!

We stayed at the same “not-quite-five star” hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Sadly, it hadn’t physically improved, but thankfully, the staff was still as pleasant and helpful as before. It was also across the street from the beach and we all got to enjoy some beach time, just like two years ago!

Back in 2010 we had several issues with our bus company.

This year… ditto!

A broken bus, a confused driver, a two hour delay, an empty gas tank on the replacement bus, a “The buck doesn’t stop with me” bus company owner and a ten point turn in a bus in a full hotel parking lot were a few of the “highlights”!

Memo to whomever arranges Sea Base 2014…

Get a new bus company!

There was also one new “unpleasant” memory that occurred this year…

A “pat down” by the TSA at the Minneapolis airport! Guess I looked a little suspicious in my scout uniform!

As for Sea Base…

The place hadn’t changed!

Still hot and humid.

And still the best summer job going for a camp counselor!

I ran into our captain from 2010. He was doing well and still had the same boat which we crewed two summers ago. It was confirmation that the “Island Rose” had survived a week with us!

That’s where the similarities ended between the two trips.

Back in 2010 we had fantastic weather…this year, we were there for the beginning of Tropical Storm “Debby”.

Yeah, we had rain!

Oh we had our share of sun too, but it rained almost every night, which made sleeping difficult and it was very windy! So windy that we were only able to make it out on the Atlantic ocean one time and so windy that it made visibility poor for our snorkel dives. We saw one coral reef the entire time…barely! The windy conditions also made for some strong waves, which led to one scout depositing his breakfast into the sea!

Then there was our captain, who was very, very concerned about keeping his boat spotless the entire trip. (Did I mentioned it rained?)

Making sure we got non-existent sand out of our swim trunks before getting on the boat proved to be a bit much!

BTW…don’t ask me how I had to do that!

So the captains had different styles. (That’s being kind.)

But still, there were plenty of great memories too!

The boys all did great with the snorkeling.

Everyone got along well!

We caught a fish, but unfortunately, no shark! (Yes, we tried to catch sharks at night!)

We had a fun time at the closing night luau at base camp, although, it did rain!

I am so happy I got to experience this with both of my sons!




Andy Griffith, star of “The Andy Griffith Show”, died this past week.

I couldn’t help but think of two of my favorite episodes of that classic show.

One being the episode when Deputy Barney Fife buys an old motorcycle and sidecar at an auction in order to enforce the speed limit on a nearby highway. He called the outpost, “Checkpoint Chickie” and the laughs followed from there!

Of course Andy played the straight man in the show, but did it perfectly as was evidenced by the fact that Don Knotts won five Emmy awards for his role of Barney Fife and Griffith didn’t win any for being the set-up man for Knotts.

But my all-time favorite episode had to be “Aunt Bee’s Pickles”!

All throughout the run of the show Aunt Bee was portrayed as a great cook. Andy and Opie were always well fed and a lot of the time Barney would stop by to stuff his face with some of Aunt Bee’s cooking!

But one thing she didn’t do well was make pickles!

Andy and Barney hated her pickles but they didn’t have the heart to tell her. So they attempted to replace her rotten pickles with store bought ones. The plot backfired when Aunt Bee decided to enter what she thought were her pickles in the county fair. Feeling guilty and wanting to keep the contest fair, the boys decided to eat all of the phony good ones so Aunt Bee would have to make more of her rotten ones. She did and she lost the contest during which the judges thought hers tasted like kerosene!

She wasn’t unhappy that she lost because she was content with the fact that Andy and Barney loved her pickles or so she thought!

One of my favorite lines from show followed when the boys were confronted with having to eat another large supply of Aunt Bee’s pickles…

Barney: “What are we going to do?”

Andy: “What we should have done a longggg time ago…learn to love them!”

RIP Andy!

"Welcome to Checkpoint Chickie!"

In a pickle!