|These are in no particular order, and are provided with the hope that
these might be useful to anybody else planning on going to Sea Base.
all this with a grain of salt. Your mileage may vary. In
many ways, we were very lucky. We also
understand that each trip, each crew, and each ship has their own way of
doing things. These lesson speak only to our specific experiences with a
week long Sea Adventure, and may not map to other things available at Sea
|We used Delta airlines. We found that they had the best
rates (by a long shot). They were also fantastic in making sure we
were taken care of. No regrets. We also made
sure to book the flights months in advance.
|You can expect that over the course of the months leading up to
your trip that you will have your airline schedule change a half
dozen times. Watch this.|
|We did not use a travel agent. Instead, we booked
directly with the group services of the airline. This gave us
greater control over our options, and yielded better prices.|
|We used Key Shuttle for vans to/fro Ft. Lauderdale and Sea Base.
There was a discrepancy between the price on their web pages and
what they told us over the phone. After discussion, they gave us
what they'd posted on the web (big savings). The $500 price
each way did not include the $75 gratuity which they
put on the bill. This was a $150 impact we had not expected.|
|For our cost and schedule, Ft. Lauderdale made a lot more sense
|Traveling down the day before our arrival at Sea
Base was the best thing we could ever have done. Brilliant!
Saved our trip from disaster.|
|Bring 1-2 suitcases as checked luggage to hold all the liquids
(during travel). Everything else should be carry-on.|
|Bromine was key. Used it every morning. Plan on one
pill per person, per day.|
|Candied ginger is a great alternative to Bromine, for those so
|We were barefoot almost the entire time while on board!
The only time you'll use sneakers is on shore leave in
Key West, or at Sea Base itself. |
|Do not bring sandals or flip flops. They are not allowed
while at Sea Base camp, and you will be better off with sneakers for
the many miles of walking in Key West. Sneakers are also
better for climbing the ropes up to the crows nest.|
|While on the ship, you only need two pairs of swim trunks for
the whole week... one to be wet in, one to be dry in. Two or
three t-shirts and maybe a change of underwear, and you're all set.|
|Wear hats. It's windy, so ones with chin straps are a good
|Buy & bring those disposable underwater cameras.|
|Sleeping bags, no matter how light, were overkill. It was
hotter than the blazes down there. Most of us got away with a
sleeping pad, a pillow, and a sheet. (Mine was flannel, which
was nice for the windy nights.)|
|The scouts do not need to bring any form of ID.
This was a source of endless debate and consternation. After many
phone calls, emails, and cross checking, we confirmed this point.
The TSA does not require kids under 18 to have any
form of ID, and the Sea Base camp does not require it. All you
need to do is fill out the on-line registration. End of story.|
|You should, however, make a simple sheet for each parent
to sign, which says something like what's shown at the bottom of
this page. You never know. Gather these all before
travel and have them stapled together.|
|Make everybody wear a common t-shirt for travel days. This
helped immensely at the airports. Also very good
for establishing a team mentality.|
|Class-A uniforms are not needed anywhere.
Ignore the Sea Base literature and web site on this point.
Coordinated t-shirts (ala Class-B uniforms) are sufficient.
|Bring a combination lock to secure all your non-ship goods in a
supplied storage area (plenty of room). The camp store does
not sell them. |
|SPF-30 was plenty fine. Anything more is a waste.
Also, although they recommend bringing it, I don't think any of us
used chap stick.|
|Gold Bond powder, while handy at times, can hurt like the
dickens and feel like Ben Gay if applied to the wrong places.
You've been warned.|
|Do not... repeat... do not allow any scout to have anything that
requires batteries. No cell phones... no game things... no
|A small magnetic chess/checkers set will go a long way.
Also bring a couple decks of cards.|
|When forming your budget, build in a lot of padding for tips.|
|If you give a street artist money, make sure you at least get
his name and take a picture of him. Best to do these things
early - well before he knows you intend to buy.|
|Water and other drinks were readily available on the ship, so it
never made sense to fill a water jug and carry it around. In
that respect, having a strong plastic mug actually worked quite
|If you do bring drinking containers, bring plastic... not metal.
These things all end up hanging together on a line, so at night they
act like wind chimes and can be noisy.|
|Remember to bring carabiners for the above.|
|Don't even think of playing Mr. Pratt in ping pong (unless
you're fond of humble pie).|
SAMPLE permission slip...
Permission for Sea Base Trip with Troop 14
Scoutís date of birth:________________________
I hereby give permission for my son, ____________________________ to
participate in Boy Scout Troop 14ís trip to Sea Base in Florida, August 31 -
September 1, 2012. I have been fully briefed on all aspects of this trip,
and am allowing my son to travel under the supervision of the troopís adult
Scoutís printed name:
(same as above)
Parentís printed name:________________________________________
Date of signing:________________________