September 30, 2022

Riding the Storm Out

Bill H. discussing riding a hurricane out on a submarine:

You have not experienced the best that a hurricane has to offer until you have ridden one out on board a 300' long 1800 ton ship, which I assure you is a very small ship.

For reasons that take too long to tell, a diesel submarine could not simply dive in very heavy weather. (Actually, we could dive but then we might not be able to surface.) Fortunately, when "rigged for surface running,” such a boat is very nearly unsinkable. We could take 90-degree rolls and recover, and I believe we did a few times.

Being unsinkable does not mean it was comfortable, or that it did not scare the crap out of most of us.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:13 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 I may not have mentioned this before, but... Bill, thank you for your service!

My pastor's husband was in the Navy on subs, and he told me about one time when they were chasing an enemy, and pinging them constantly for something like a day and a half. He said everybody on the boat was sure they were going to go deaf.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at September 30, 2022 11:13 PM (OEO4Q)

2 Problem with that is that submarines cannot ping. We did not have, and modern submarines still do not have, active sonar - the kind that sends out pings. We had passive sonar, the kind that merely listens. The pings tell other ships where you are, and the whole thing about being submersible is that it allows you to hide.

You probably misremember him saying that they were being chased and were being pinged by the surface ship chasing them. If the chaser is fairly close the pings can be close to deafening.

Posted by: Bill H at September 30, 2022 11:28 PM (Q7br2)

3 I second that; thanks for your service Bill!  You are a brave man to go under the water in those death traps! (You wouldn't be able to drag me into one.)

Interesting; I always thought subs had sonar!  I figured they just turned them off when there was the need for stealth. 

So the pings are that loud? Wow!  That would give you one heckuva headache after a while.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at October 01, 2022 08:10 AM (EXelx)

Posted by: nameeman555 at October 01, 2022 11:21 PM (fwma/)

5 Bill H. discussing riding a hurricane out on a submarine:

Posted by: Fake Watches at May 30, 2023 04:19 AM (0b23z)

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