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.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Math Skills Lacking Among Retired Skimmers

Over at Soldiers For The Truth, submarine "expert" Lt. Raymond Perry USN (Ret.) is writing about the USS Philadelphia collision again. (I've opined about the quality of Lt. Perry's expertosity regarding the Philly collision before: here, here, and here.)

This time, he's been doing some research, and seems to recognize that the previous bilgewater he was spouting was completely wrong -- so, he uses the time-honored journalistic tactic of ignoring his previous mis-statements and forging ahead as if nothing's happened. (Something similar happened during his writings on the San Fran grounding -- he accused the Sub Force of covering up the presence of the CSG-7 Admiral, and then never mentioned it again when it turned out he was just pulling crap out of his ass.)

Anyway, on to his new article. It appears that he's done a better job this time of avoiding recto-cranial inversion -- some of his postulations and conclusions are about as good as you might get from a Sub Officer Basic Course graduate with no sea time -- not one of the better graduates, though, maybe one of the Supply Officers. In other words, what you'd expect from someone with a passing familiarity with subs, but no real experience. This is a definite upgrade from his earlier articles.

On the other hand, his attempt to use TMA "rules of thumb" produced some funny results. I had earlier thought that he didn't visit this site, but I was apparently wrong -- he used a photo that essentially only appeared here (actually I know of a couple other blogs that picked it up, but they were some of the smaller ones), although he credited the Mudville Gazette with the pic. (As far as I know it never appeared there, although they do link to me occasionally, and it might have been linked from one of the Dawn Patrols a few days after I posted it.)

Back to the topic at hand. It looks like Raymond (Ret.) Lt. tried his hand at a little "mental gym" in part of his article, thusly:

"Their closing rate was likely about 5 or 6 knots or 300 yards per minute. Sounds slow but remember this means 100 yards in 20 seconds and 53,000 tons ships just don't turn on a dime. Things happen surprisingly fast at these slow speeds when the tonnage is so large. Thus the Yaso Aysen appears to have not recognized the Philadelphia until at less than 300 yards at which point the collision was assured."

Dude, that just sucks. Not sure how it works in the skimmer world, but in the real world we use what's called the "three minute rule", which means that a ship travelling at "x" knots would travel 100 times "x" yards in three minutes. It's not that tough, Perry Lt. (Ret) Raymond. With a closing range rate of 5 or 6 knots, they'd be closing at 500-600 yards in three minutes, which is 166.7-200 yards per minute. Not 300 yards per minute. Does this make USN Perry's conclusions any different? No. It's just... if you're going to use math, why not get it right? Plus, now that I know he reads this blog, it gives me a good chance to yank his chain about what otherwise seems to be a decent article.

And Ray, if you're reading: If you'd like to apologize for questioning Captain Mooney's professionalism (regarding "showboating" for non-existent senior riders), just drop me an E-mail, and I'll print it without comment here -- that way, you won't have to look bad to your regular readers.

Going deep...


Blogger Chap said...

Now, now, no need to bash the Chop. I've been on boats where the chop spent much more time on the scope than the Eng...and they know the three minute rule too. Just gotta get you a Battle Chop, man.

To not know the three minute rule requires you, apparently, to be a writer for Soldiers For The, uh, Truth.

10/25/2005 1:22 PM

Blogger ninme said...

Ye gads, they're customizable!

If it's any comfort to Raymond (Ret.) Lt. I wouldn't have been able to calculate knots either.

So his nautical math is at least as good as mine are!

10/25/2005 5:38 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

That customizable spamment is scary (or was, since I'm deleting it...). Just another example of evolution in the wild.
Chap -- I always enjoyed having a Battle Chop. It seemed to me, though, that they took a while to evolve, and didn't come straight out of SOBC with the steely-eyed attitude needed to get that Time-Freq plot up and running...

10/25/2005 9:15 PM

Blogger bothenook said...

joel, i don't know why you even bother with that asshat. and as far as i know, we never had a battle chop on seawolf, but we did have one hell of a sonar queen in the doc. he spent more time running sonar than the sonar chief, and was he good.
or am i straying from the topic?

10/25/2005 11:45 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

bo, we had a battle chop on Seawolf. He was proud to be "a line officer."

10/26/2005 1:10 AM

Blogger Chap said...

Doc as Control Room Sup and Chop as Contact Coord in the Strait, beating the poor newly qualified JO OOD to death...

ahh, those were the days.

And on the ESG we even had a Battle JAG--a much rarer beast indeed.

10/28/2005 12:08 PM


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