Deep Submergence

It has been a long month.

We all revert to character in times of trial. As a young man on submarines, I often looked forward to the boat pulling away from the pier and seeing the land disappear in the fading horizon. I almost hated to go below after rigging topside for dive, but at some point, you had to close the hatch.

Then the boat would do a series of tests including angles and dangles and deep submergence to make sure all of the boat’s systems would function when they needed to.

The angles and dangles were awesome since it gave you a ride worth taking. Like a porpoise, the boat would speed up and slow down while achieving death defying angles. I honestly think that the whole evolution was really meant to shake out anything not correctly stowed for sea. You wanted to find that out in a safe environment rather than when you were trying to be stealthy. Plus, it gave you a chance to hide your fear in front of your fellow submariners. No one wanted to admit they might have a bit of fear. That would not be very brave at all.

Deep submergence was a way to show how far the boat could operate. The moans and creaks are pretty memorable on some of the older boats. Even the brand new fast attack that I helped to build was pretty remarkable at the lower depths.

Life in the past month has been a combination of both without the benefits of a steel hull to hide in. But each day is getting better. I dodged a small health scare bullet and found out that my heart is stronger than I thought. Literally. Maybe I have a few patrols left in me after all.

I will be back in few days. This year’s promise of completing the 41 for Freedom series will be accomplished. More tales from submarine history remain to be told. Then on to a whole new series on the balance of the boats that helped keep America safe during the Cold War.

For today, I am at peace. We managed to survive the most recent trials. Its time to move on.

Mister Mac

12 thoughts on “Deep Submergence

  1. I’m a plankowner of the USS Ray SSN-653 and rode her for 6+ years. As a Christian, I never experienced fear on my boat, even the time I woke up practically standing on my head in my bunk in the 18 man E-6 berthing in LL Bow compartment. Others around me were yelling, “we’re all going to die”, but I just calmly waited to see what the outcome was going to be. I knew if the boat broke up and went to the bottom, I would be in heaven. As a Nuke MM, My watch station was always in the engine room for leaving and coming back to port, so I never saw the land receding. I also served two years on a Nuclear Cruiser and again my watch station was the engine room. On there, I did go topside after we were at sea and enjoyed being able to look in all directions and see nothing but water, no land.

    1. just left click on the pic to blow it up and then right click and then copy and paste it to a file on you computer.

  2. Oh yeah! I remember we would stretch a length of twine across ERUL while on the surface and watch the faces of the newbies as the the string sagged while we went deep. It was great to play such on the non-quals (especially having been the recipient of such earlier).

    Whatever is making life ‘interesting,’ know that you are in my prayers, Mister Mac.

  3. I loved angles and dangles. ML Ops was great for blanket rides. And the Deep dive after coming off patrol was a B-Ticket ride on the way up, especially that bounce-back at the end. USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659)(G)

  4. OH…Yes…I remember in ’67 the USS Seawolf (SSN575) sea trials after leaving Portsmouth Naval Shipyard re-fit…As a non-qual at that time and to see the recently installed paneling pop the rivets and curl off the wall at test depth was “cool” (in terms today)…Qualified Nov. 3, 1967…HOOYAH!

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