The world is filled with pollywogs and Shellbacks There were a number of very old traditions observed when I was a sailor so many years ago. One of the most significant was explained to me in great detail on the 8th of February 1974 on the USS George Washington (SSBN 598) Blue crew. The submarine […]Read More Get in line you useless pollywog! Prepare to meet King Neptune!
Homesick Once upon a time on a submarine far, far away (USS San Francisco to be exact) a number of us were homesick for the place we had originally called home. In this case, it was Western Pennsylvania. The 711 boat was a hard working boat and once we hit our homeport in Pearl Harbor, […]Read More Can the Groundhog see his shadow underwater?
November has been submarine month at theleansubmariner. Probably a large part of that is the nostalgia of looking back over the last 45 years and my own experiences on the boats. I got a chance to share some of my memories as well as stories from the archives that highlighted submarine development since the early […]Read More “In my spare time, I went to Harvard”… how they kept from being bored on a boomer in ’65
Sailors by and large are a very superstitious lot. The things that set a sailing man or woman on edge are as ancient as the sea itself. I am not sure if it is the dangers they know they will face once they are divorced from the shore or just a strong feeling that fate […]Read More The unluckiest day
As it so often happens, I was looking through the archives and discovered an article that jumped off the pages at me. This article was found in a collection of Navy Department News Releases and was released seventy seven years ago today (September 7, 2018) NAVY DEPARTMENT HOLD FOR RELEASE SUNDAY PAPERS, SEPTEMBER 7, 1941 […]Read More The Patten Family and the USS Nevada (1941)
Today marks the end of yet another year. The world has turned 365 more times in its journey and I feel fortunate to have had more good days than bad ones during that time. I find myself in a much better place today than I did a year ago and for that I am grateful. […]Read More The one thing you can’t stop
From the very beginning of submarines, the vessels have been compared to a steel coffin or a sewer pipe closed on both ends. But to the men who have sailed on them and especially to the men (and now women) who built them and then drove them below the waves into a sea of uncertainty, […]Read More Denizens of the Deep – the bond between submarines and their crews
News about the inactivation of the USS San Francisco (SSN 711) has finally been released. It appears that it is coming in the next few months. The ship will be refitted and used as a Moored Training Ship (MTS). It had been a goal of mine to see her one last time while she was still […]Read More I won’t be there, but my heart will
Thanks for dropping by. We got up a little late this morning since we tried to see the New Year in last night. Then we had a short meal, a few quiet moments writing in the new “Journal”, and some very sincere praying. The journal was a gift from a family member and asks you to […]Read More New Years Day 2015
Navy wife… the toughest job in the Navy Mrs. Mac spent a few hours underway on the USS San Francisco SSN 711. One of my favorite memories is the dependents cruise from Maui back to Oahu back in the 80’s. I had just qualified as Chief of the Watch and was on watch when it […]Read More The Submariner’s Wife