Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Dolphin Code

In between Engineer tours, I was the Submarine Liaision Officer for Carrier Group SEVEN, which was then the Battle Group staff for the John C. Stennis Battle Group. As such, I rode the Stennis for the Battle Group's 2000 deployment. We had two submarines (USS Asheville and USS Jefferson City) along with us, and my job, in addition to handling their waterspace management, was to do most of the communicating with the boats.
Since the first ASW exercises were run, submarine officers have been onboard the surface ships involved in order to provide a level of expertise on the various special rules that exist when working with submarines. Sometimes the submarine might want to pass a message to the submariner on the surface ship that he doesn't want the skimmers to see. To solve this problem, the Royal Navy and/or Canadian Navy invented the Dolphin Code. (The code I'm used to only had 80 options, so it's apparently grown in the last five years.)
The code is clearly British/Commonwealth in origin, but Americans still use it. I passed probably 5 messages back and forth with "my" boats using this code during my deployment; didn't really have to, since I could just send E-mails to the subs, but it was still kind of fun. Here are some of the more interesting code phrases:

4. My battery is:
A. 100%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine if you wish.
B. 75%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine for a short time if you wish.
C. 50%, I will not simulate a Nuclear Submarine, regardless of your wish.
D. 25%, I wish to simulate a Conventional Submarine, and will hot-pipe if you wish.
E. DEAD, I hot-pipe now, regardless of your wish.

13. I must temporarily withdraw from the exercise because of difficulties with:
A. Technical systems which are to difficult to explain.
B. Battery/motors/generators, I no go right.
C. Sonar, I no hear right.
D. Ingress of water, I no float right.
E. Fire/smoke, I no breathe right.
F. Personnel, I no lead right.

14. Please accept my apologies for failing to make the assigned rendezvous. My reason is as follows:
A. The navigator is a Newfoundlander.
B. I was doing something else at the time and didn't think you'd miss me.
C. I erroneously assumed that you would be where you said you would be.
D. My navigational equipment has not been updated since the Boer War.

A. Your helicopter frightened me.
B. Your helicopter didn t frighten me.
C. I frightened your helicopter.
D. I wasn't aware you had a helicopter airborne.

A. Thank you for your valuable assistance.
B. Had assistance been rendered, I would have been thankful.
C. No, thank you, I do not require assistance.
D. Please do not render assistance, I need your help likea hole in the head.

Going deep...

Bell-ringer 1022 30 May: Edited to fix the Dolphin Code link (I used the one on the site, but Dragonspeed points out that it's also available here).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had forgotten dolphin codes. Next we'll be playing ukkers, I presume?

5/30/2005 8:01 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I was always a cribbage man, myself...

5/30/2005 8:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the read! When I hit the link to "Dolphin Code", it took me to a powerball winner(?) You might change that to:


5/30/2005 9:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me there were around 115 options when we were using it on the Oly back in '86-'88. Could someone please translate 53, 54, and 55 for me?

5/30/2005 5:10 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

RM1(SS) -- check out this page; all will be revealed. (As you can guess, a lot of the "F"'s in the abbreviations mean what you thought they meant.)

5/30/2005 6:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the Honolulu first transferred out to Pearl, we intercepted them a few days out; tracked them for over a day without their realising we were on their tail. We were a SubRon 1 boat and they were SubRon 7, and of course CSS 7 couldn't let us get away with this sort of thing. So a couple days later, as we were on the surface before sunrise, inbound for Pearl, someone shot off a green flare and announced a simulated attack over the WQC. Our CO sent the other boat a message congratulating them on "sinking" us, and concluded with Dolphin 12C.

Bubblehead - thanks for the explanation.

5/31/2005 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be in the "Urban Legend" category, but according to this site, , the history of the Dolphin Code can be directly traced to one submarine and one CO.

"The Dolphin Code was authored and published by Captain(N) K.G. Nesbit, CD (Ret'd) when as the Commanding Officer of the Canadian submarine, HMCS/m Okanagan as a Lieutenant Commander in 1975-6. During his tenure as C.O. Okanagan, Lcdr Nesbit played many gimmicks in order to "kill" the foe. Aboard, he had among the crew many who spoke French and two others who spoke in Spanish and Icelandic respectively. Together with a plethora of language and noise making devices such as an electric razor resonating in a pipe tobacco tin, 'Nezzie continued to baffle his surface, sub-surface, and aerial aggressors over the underwater telephone from any depth below the layers. It was at this time when Okanagan adopted the spanish vernacular "Pandera Rosetta" whose animated figure of the "Pink Panther" is illustrated on the front of Okanagan's fin to this day. It was also at this time when the submarine's main engines were dubbed "BERT" and "ERNIE" in commemoration of the stokers' love of the TV program, Sesame St.Think about it! Wan na have fun?"


6/28/2006 6:27 AM

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Anonymous MacRoon-HMCS Okanagan said...

53. G.O.Y.A.
Get Off Your A$$
54. D.B.S.F.W.
Don't Be Such a "" Wimp
55. B.U.F.F.S.
Buck Up For "F..k" Sake

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