Capstan Operations Or Marching: Which Do Submariners Traditionally Do Worse?
USS Alexandria (SSN 757) arrived for a routine visit in Souda Bay, Crete, this week, and as usual the excellent Navy photo team on the island got a good action shot of a boat out on the "tip of the spear":
As I was looking at the picture in high-res (as I always do with submarine action shots, looking for any evidence of B1rD (CGU-11 mod) system use), I noticed something very rare in this picture, to wit:
That's right -- submariners actually using their capstan in conjunction with (probably) a tugboat -- or maybe a bollard on the pier. Is the capstan being used correctly in this picture? I have no idea; I'm pretty sure I've never seen one used as designed. Maybe the boats I was on were an exception, but we never had much luck whenever we tried to use the capstan. Contributing to this, I think, is that we never really wanted to do any hands-on training with it, for fear it would break and delay our underway. Do any of you have any particularly humorous stories of capstan capers that happened on your boat?
Update 2228 07 Aug: Here's another picture of the Alexandria's landing using the capstan; this one shows that they do have the line around a cleat, and even provides a rare "action shot" of the line being watered!