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.)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"Big Grey Ship..."

So there I was... on the good ship USS Topeka (SSN 754) in December 1992. We were anchored off Phuket, Thailand, at the start of the third day of our port visit. We'd had the harbor to ourselves the first night, but then the next night the cruiser USS Jouett (CG 29) had pulled in, and their crew immediately rioted in the streets of Phuket. I had duty that night, and got all the stories from the crew coming back aboard of the skimmer crew's generally loutish behavior. As a result, their whole crew was stuck back on the ship until they had some "training" on how to behave yourself on liberty.

So, I got relieved, and headed in on the liberty launch. Based on the great reception we'd gotten from the townspeople the first night, I expected more of the same -- it hadn't sunk in yet that the idiots from the cruisers may had "poisoned the well". How could a town whose people had been so friendly, and whose young females had offered to do amazing and imaginative things to us for 500 baht, ever turn against us?

Therefore, I was surprised to be on the receiving end of the "evil eye" from the first shopkeeper I saw -- he was sweeping up the broken glass from his front window from the sidewalk. It slowly dawned on me why he wouldn't be happy to see a Sailor, so I told him I was from the submarine. His face brightened immediately, and he said, "Ah, submarine numbah one." His face then contorted with anger and sadness as he punctuated his next sentence with jabs from his finger pointing towards the harbor. "Big grey ship, NO GOOD!"

Truer words were never spoken...


Anonymous rebootinit said...

Yep, that sounds about normal for dealing with the stoopid. Were you on the Toe Pekee for the diesel explosion? I saw that lower crank sitting on the pier in EB and shivered. After I left the Miami, the Chief that caused that reported to our boat from yours, LOL.

10/22/2005 7:25 AM

Blogger WillyShake said...

bwahahahaha! That's a great story--definitely verifies the old adage about "truth in jest". LOL.

10/22/2005 7:48 AM

Blogger CDR Salamander said...

I've heard P-3 guys saying that before talking to their detailers.....

10/22/2005 6:07 PM

Blogger Eagle1 said...

Heck, I've heard a lot of SWOs say that before leaving the Navy...

10/22/2005 6:28 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Rebootinit: No, I arrived on the Two-pieces after that, during PSA. I remember Chief Brian S______; he just couldn't seem to get enough of the shipyard -- nice guy, though; he ended up retiring in Groton, as I remember. (He was the COW who overflowed the Aux Tank that resulted in the aforementioned "Diesels don't make good seawater pumps" casualty, for those who were wondering how he "caused" it.)

10/24/2005 12:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sea stories indeed.
The USS Guitarro SSN665 stopped for liberty call in Astoria Oregon in the mid 1970's enroute to Bremerton WA for refit. The towns’ people, who had never seen a submarine before, lined the pier for tours. The single gals took turns dancing with us sub sailors and you couldn’t even walk to town because someone would stop and pick you up to give you a ride anywhere you wanted. The local cab drivers would pickup anyone that was excessively inebriated, bring them back to the pier and help them onto the boat, free of charge. I think what made this seem so amazing was the contrast between Astoria’s towns’ people and the general attitude of people surrounding Naval Bases, as well as the overall attitude at the time, that those who served were just substandard people.
This stop was arranged by Subgroup 5 commander as it was his home town. I will always have fond memories of Astoria, its people, and the small amount of time we spent there.

Basic Besick

10/25/2005 12:58 PM

Blogger Jon said...

We found this to be true on a surface fleet level as well. Being on a nuke powered cruiser, we found that when we pulled into ports on our own or with perhaps just a sub, it was much more enjoyable in that port and we got treated a lot better than when we pulled in with a carrier group. We were adored by the city of Victoria, Canada, and our stop in Anchorage, AK was tremendously well received.

1/13/2010 3:50 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home