There are few staff members who have engaged with and had such a positive influence on so many aspects of SML. He is famous for his calm and steady disposition and when I met him, I knew right away he was the perfect fit for an at-sea field operation.
He has lead the summer staff with deep knowledge of the cycles of the seasons on island that beautifully allows him to forecasts and get ahead of issues before they even emerge. Take for example, his knowledge of prevailing weather patterns which has served him well with boat schedules and field trip suggestions for courses.
Speaking of boats, I have ridden with him at the helm in some rather dramatic seas and never doubted for a minute that I was safe and even having fun. I remember during my first summer on the island, a hurricane was threatening our shores and Mike was on it. He tracked the heck out of that weather system, we crafted communications to worried parents, and I knew we were ready (it shifted offshore in the end).
Shoals, and I personally, have been so lucky to have worked with Mike for so many years. I often describe him of having my back and SML’s back. This gift of steady reliability mixed with capacity to deal with all the random stuff that pops up is one Mike doles out in spades and we have all been so grateful for.
I know I am not alone is saying that I am going to miss Mike a lot. Mike, we wish you fair winds and following seas as you sail into your next chapter.
P.S. We are currently working on hiring a new Director of Operations and hope to have one on board later this summer.