What was Tropical Storm Chantal scared away boaters, divers during one of the busiest months of year

Many canceled plans

BOCA RATON, Fla. - There are plenty of dive tanks just waiting to hit the water at Force-E Scuba and Snorkel in Boca Raton. They were originally scheduled to be used this weekend, but then Tropical Storm Chantal blew into the Caribbean.

"We've had 40-50 cancelations," said Force-E owner Skip Commagere.

That's about half of Commagere's business at the height of scuba season.

"The summer, now all the way through Labor Day is our Christmas time. We rely on it and when you miss it, or it is reduced, it's hard to make up," said Commagere.

The same fate fell on Captain Tony Coulter this week. He had 10 cancelations, some came in as early as Tuesday.

"They don't want to spend all that money and then get blown out," said Capt. Coulter, of Dive Boat Diversity.

"People get concerned right away and you have to wait, because the weather changes," said scuba instructor Monica Shandel.

Now what's left of Chantal is amounting to less and less, which may salvage some business.

"Now we'll have them come back and ask if it's not to late," said Commagere.

Not too late to take advantage of a weekend that just days ago looked like a washout.

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