February 22, 2024 5 min read 2 Comments

Loop Current Woes / Tribe loss/ ‘Tisn’t the Season

The loop current is warm water that enters the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula. It makes its way north before looping east and then finally south along Florida’s West Coast. It is part of the reason that we have not ran a dive trip into the gulf since January 2nd. Cold fronts are the main culprit though, the alternative title to this segment would be ‘cold front caca’. Cold fronts here generally blow out of the northwest which crashes waves along the shoreline. That action quickly thrashes near shore visibility. The west Florida coastline has an extremely gradual drop off so that allows for large areas of shallow water to be churned up. The wind and tides mix it all together and to me the water resembles pea soup.  It takes days or even weeks (months was the case last year after hurricane Ian blew through) for the sediment to settle down and clarity to improve. The loop current flows all that murky water south. Being that there are a few hundred miles of shoreline to our north, that turbidity takes even longer to clear out. I believe diving here would be dramatically improved if the loop current flowed the opposite direction. That’s okay, when our conditions are good the diving here is tremendous. Who needs competition anyway? At least the current is flowing… Has anybody read articles about the major ocean currents slowing down and potentially ceasing? Add that one to the caca list. Mother Nature is coming at us with a vengeance from many different angles!

I played my favorite Queen album, News of the World, a couple weeks ago. I was jamming the song It’s Late and started thinking about how the lyrics applied to the state of the environment and what we’re doing (not doing) to correct things. The chorus is simple, but very applicable: It’s late, it’s late, it’s late, it’s late, it’s late, it’s late… But not too late.  That’s cool I  thought, the situation isn’t looking good and it does feel late, but maybe it’s not too late. I know it’s a love song but I love earth and stretching my imagination has always been a strength (or fault)? The little slice of optimism after all the ‘it’s late’ made me feel good. Then I read the lyrics. Towards the end of the song the word NOT is replaced by MUCH and ALL. Poof, my mental slice of Queen optimism was gone.  

There is another queen of optimism that has transitioned into spirit recently. Some of you may have had the pleasure of meeting Kathy at a dive club meeting a couple months back. Jessi met her first as she came into Scuba Marco from South Naples to pick up some exposure protection. I was in the shop the second time she came in and we chatted about diving and life. Jessi and I were in agreement as we discussed the details of our day later that evening, Kathy was quirky in a way, but I felt that she had a deep uniqueness to her. I was right! She liked the vibe at Scuba Marco, imagine that, and started to become a regular. I think she made a special trip into the shop after reading one of my ‘down on humanity’ themed newsletters. She wanted to look me in the eyes and comfort me, and I will never forget what she said: “ it’s OK, there’s more of us than them… They’re just louder”. I took a lot of solace in her words, and always will! I got a call from a gentleman a while back who was going through his sister's phone and had seen correspondence between the dive shop and her. He was unfortunately going through her phone because she suffered an aneurysm while doing a coast to coast bicycle marathon. Her little brother Joe was also her dive buddy. He talked about her affection for us, the shop and how she was looking forward and trying to get him to go along with her on our Cuba trip.  He said that she was going through a beautiful transition in her life in a lot of different areas. She was even changing her name from Kathy to Kate. She was extremely positive and gave us a book titled 2040 (basically a blueprint to straighten all this caca out by 2040). Joe mentioned that when she first started speaking of coming to Scuba Marco that she had ‘found her tribe’... I’m tearing up. I am so thankful that our paths crossed and equally as sad that we didn’t have more time on the trail together. It’s all good, I think we’re in agreement that we need beautiful souls pulling strings from up above! Miss you Kathy-Kate!!

In my last newsletter I ranted about how the world would be a better place if we all could become more compassionate towards one another. A couple of days after that I was sitting in traffic, waiting for the person in front of me to make a left-hand turn. I saw a large gap ahead in the oncoming cars and was relieved that this person was finally going to get out of my way. The gap came but evidently this person needs a quarter mile to pull their Audi across the other side of the road which takes about two seconds. Out of my mouth comes a barrage of cuss words directed at my fellow human being. I started laughing and thought to myself; ‘this is not the right time of the year to start trying to be more compassionate in southwest Florida’. Damn Quad Zero! A good friend of mine calls Audis or maybe the people driving them quad zeros, because of their emblem. I think that’s hysterical. Last writing, I also pondered that now is the time for us to foster more traits reflected upon in the Bible (caring, generosity, compassion, selflessness, etc.). Get some Jesus in us, so to speak. For some they already have, but for many of us, that would take a leap of faith that I’m not sure we're capable of. So, even if we can’t believe that Jesus was the son of God, could heal through touch and walk on water, can we at least subscribe to the Christian morality? My proofreaders are giving me pushback on using the word ‘Christian’. I already omitted a sentence about commandments. Let’s consult our foremost authority, the Google: Christian morality is based on two foundations, loving God and loving people. That’s all I’m trying to say. Would the world not be a better place if we could replace greed with sharing, hate with love, and deceit with honesty? The list goes on and on… Supertramp’s song Dreamer just popped onto the record player in my brain. Speaking of dreaming and music, our son Jayden shared a South Park clip with me a few days ago, which is fantastic! I really hope God has a sense of humor!  https://youtu.be/QrFxKY6aFrQ?si=QdQSLqZ3CYKn-8lc

Live Love Dive!!!  —Jeff

2 Responses


February 22, 2024

As I’m reading this ( and every newsletter for that matter) I’m smiling and also a bit sad because we miss you all so much!! Each newsletter lifts me up and reminds us how lucky we are to know you all at the shop! Today, I’m representing the shop in my grey Scuba Marco sweatshirt that has kept me warm during our cold (stupid) winter, longing for warmer weather or the ability to make it down South and blow some bubbles with you awesome humans!
Keep on being you, we love you!!! Danielle & Nathalie

John Knab
John Knab

February 22, 2024

When I was young, my Grandfather said these words to me: “ The chief reason for our existence here on earth is to be of help and service to others”. This I truly believe with all my heart !

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