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.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boat Dreams

I know there's nothing more boring than listening to a story about someone else's dream, but I'm gonna write about one I had anyway. First, some background...

At work this week, I was almost late for passdown because I had to perform MRC PM D-1R; for various reasons, it's important in my civilian job to get that taken care of whenever you can if you think you might have to "use the facilities" anytime soon, 'cause otherwise it takes several minutes (involving some not insignificant contortions to get "un-bunny-suited") to get to where you need to go; even more if you can't walk correctly because of... well, you know. Anyway, this got me to thinking of one of my old Engineers on my first boat. He didn't stand OOD very often, but when he did, I'd get called at least 90% of the time within the first 10 minutes of his watch to come give him a "short relief". I never liked taking the watch without a complete tour, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Eventually, whenever I saw that he was on the OOD watchbill, I'd end up touring at the same time he did, and following him up to Control.

Which brings me to the subject of my dream I had back then. I think one of the reasons why I didn't like to give "short reliefs" as OOD without a decent turnover was that I had a dream during the time when I was working on my ship's quals where I found myself in the Control Room of the the good ship Topeka, but didn't know why I was there. Soon, it became obvious that I was the Officer of the Deck, but I didn't know our course, speed, depth, or position. I casually went over to the Chart Table to see where we were, but I couldn't quite see it. Same thing when I went to look at the SCP; I couldn't quite see what our course or speed were, and I sure didn't want to make people think I didn't know what was going on. Suddenly, I came to the most shocking realization of all -- I didn't even know if we were surfaced or submerged. I woke up instantly, in a cold sweat. I've never forgotten that dream.

So do any of you have dreams about submarining that you'd be willing to share?


Blogger richard said...

Not really a dream but that 30 seconds or so or virtual reality just before you wake up!

It was on the good boat San Francisco, I was a second and senior enough to get one of the good racks in the “big” berthing, middle rack, inboard, all the way forward. You know the one that sometimes gets missed for “rack checks” on field day and drills.

I just remember hearing that Darth Vader type breathing from an EAB, and opening my eyes and noticing the lights on (Still not really awake or sure what is going on yet) and then I hear the muffled “talking through an EAB” voices. As I sloooowly wake up and realization sets in, I slowly peel back my curtain in time to see a hose team and a red hat round the corner.

Now it is decision time, jump out of the rack and look like a dumb ass, and try to avoid getting “killed” by smoke inhalation or, push myself to the bottom of my rack and pretend I am still asleep. Hmmmm as any good submariner would do, push down, pull back my rack curtain enough to give the appearance that it was “checked” and get some more z’s.

9/25/2008 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rode Dolphin, got off in 78. Had a dream about 10 years ago,,,The boat is flooded, I,m in control trying to lead Don "wrong way" an IC1 toward the trunk. He was more interested in securing something at the SCP. Weird! I told him I couldn't hold my breath any more, swam down to the beat trap, and up I went.
I woke up very upset that the dumb shit wouldn't come with me. Funny, nobody else was there.

Glenn 609B, 555, 595

9/25/2008 2:38 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Back on the good ship Billfish, I remember waking up with a somewhat sore throat as if I had just yelled out something. I sensed people outside of my rack curtain, pulled back the curtain and sure enough, the entire compliment of 18-Man berthing was standing there looking at me with a none-too-happy look on each face. Upon inquiring as to why they were watching me sleep, I was told that I blurted out (quite loudly, apparently), "The Flooding is stopped!" Needless to say, this startled the residents of the 18-man somewhat. I have absolutely no recollection of a dream, either then or now. I'm quite lucky I didn't get my butt kicked that day.

9/25/2008 3:33 PM

Blogger Brian said...

A couple times on the boat (TOPEKA, in fact), I had the "coffin" dream (i.e., trapped in an enclosed space and can't get out). Most notably was while we were in DMP, and the EDO and EDPO were required to sleep on board (to meet EDM requirements). Since the only berthing we had on board was 2 of the officers' staterooms, the EDPO was in the same stateroom as I was. I was dreaming that I was trapped under the deckplates in ERUL (where we put our shore power cables during deployments), and I couldn't get out, so I was (in my dream, at least) screaming for help. What my EDPO heard, though, was a pathetic, whimpering whisper of "Help! Help!" I awakened to, "Sir, are you OK?" as I was literally punching and clawing at the bulkhead, trying to escape from my "coffin." Of course, by the time I got relieved in the morning, the entire crew (and half of the shipyard workers) had heard the story and thought it was HILARIOUS. Good times were had by all, and for a while, the crew's favorite way to greet me was, "Help! Help!"

Former LT, SSN 754, 2000-2002

9/25/2008 3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While qualifying EOOW at MARF, I had the bad habit of giving orders through various procedures (particularly start-ups...and for some reason the immediate actions for a SLR) while I was sleeping. The only reason I knew it was that my S8G girlfriend lost quite a bit of sleep. The really weird thing was that I always directed orders to her, by name, as if she was the electrical operator. Fortunately, she thought it was funny and didn't kick me out of bed.

9/25/2008 4:05 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

On the way to work once, my ex-wife asked me who the RO was. I asked her why she wanted to know, and she said I kept saying, "Go get the fucking power corrections from the G** damn RO!" in my sleep. Needless to say, I must have been yelling at a nub~

Joel, thanks for the PM D-1R. That really took me back.


9/25/2008 4:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I would have a nightmare that went like this:

I am on a submarine for months with a hundred and twenty other dudes and can't escape. And to make things worse, I have to eat every meal in same restaurant.

And then I wake up....

9/25/2008 8:51 PM

Blogger Tablebread said...

Well, it wasn't really a dream but I was sleeping when it happened. My wife woke up to get something out of the kitchen. She discovered that the icemaker in the apartment above us had started flooding our kitchen. She said she physically shook me screaming my name and I wouldn't wake up. Then she screamed my last name as loud as she could and I shot out of bed and starting running through the house. That's her version. My version was, I was sleeping nicely and someone screamed my name in the same way they do when there's a fire. I swear it took me about 3 minutes (an eternity) to realize that I wasn't on the boat but in my living room. I actually thought I was running down middle level to grab hose 1.

...and they say the Vietnam guys have all the fun...

9/26/2008 12:45 AM

Anonymous Guinness said...

This happened at the end of one duty day as EDO on Georgia-fish back in '84. I went back to Maneuvering for my morning tour, and the SRO gave me one of those funny, "you wouldn't believe what you did last night" looks (got a lot of those in college).

SRO said, "do you remember me calling you last night?" I told him I didn't. He told me that I answered the phone by screaming into it, shouting orders like there was a major propulsion plant casualty, and I was gonna tell him how to handle it from my stateroom. He said I stopped when he shouted my name into the phone, "Mr. XXXXX!!!"... Silence... "Do you know who this is?"... "Smith"... "Right. Request permission to sample the primary."... "Yes"

Never remembered the conversation. Ahhh, gotta love the shipyard.

9/26/2008 1:26 AM

Anonymous Guinness said...

Had a boat-blog dream last night. Mike Mulligan was chasing me, driving a steam shovel, blowing a whistle, and saying things like, "Do you have any psychological or adjustment problems?" "What is your command climate?" "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop?"


9/26/2008 2:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my first boat, we had a very senior EM1 show up in May. He was positive that he would be on the CPO list in July and transfer off the boat in September, and was kind of a pain in the a** to del with.
Too bad for him, he never was a Chief. However, he was on the E-7 list come July and was off our boat before October 1st.

Anyway, the A**-Clown qualifies EO, but does not qualify anything that requires him to see the CO for a qual interview. A real hard-charger! That meant he was standing EO but not qualified BCE. I must have been a little too vocal with my displeasure about having to stand his watches whenever a battery charge was due on my off-going watch. I had 3 "dreams" that I was being racked out for BCE duty, but when I got back to Maneuvering, no battery charge was due, and his section was not even on watch.

A similar tale relates to the EOG, in which I reported for emergency elect-tech T/S&R duty twice to see the EOG still in electrolysis. Not as big a deal, as I barely had to wake up to get from 21-Man Berthing to AMR, and was back in the rack in a flash.

For the BCE pranks, the trek back to Maneuvering got me fully awake, especially the first time, since I washed up and got a cup of coffee on the way!

Oh the fun we had!

Grumpy Old LDO

9/26/2008 5:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That coffin dream thing must be common. I had the same sort of experience, I was a short-timer on Ustafish, they were about to go on an ice run and I was transferring. I had the duty and racked out forward in the bow, up in front of the dog-leg to the diesel compartment, in a bottom rack. I dreamed that I was lying under the removed deckplates just outside of the rack where I was sleeping, and some helpful shipmates were replacing the deckplates and screwing them down over the top of me. Well I just went nuts, yelling and banging on the top of the deckplates for help, then I woke up to find myself banging on the rack above me, all freaked out.

One of my buds has a recurring "flooding in ERLL" dream where he always ends up dying.

Good Times!

9/26/2008 7:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an RM, I sometimes had dreams about being alone and finding something that requires two person integrity. In one dream, I was at my dad's house on leave and find it in my duffle bag. This stuff really sucks.


9/26/2008 8:21 AM

Blogger beebs said...

I have submarine dreams about twice a month. They are TINS dreams that I can't talk to anyone about. It's been twenty five years.

My wife says I still call out Emergency Action orders in my sleep. I guess I am worried about a watery grave.

9/26/2008 10:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I had the same Mulligan dream. Only difference was he was wearing a clown suit and the steam that should have been belching from his whistle was instead blowing out his a$$.

9/26/2008 11:39 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

It is nice to know that I am not alone dreaming about the boats although it has been more than twenty years since I went to sea on a sub. What I find interesting about my dreams is how fast the sub can move from West PAc to Northern Fleet in the same dream. I spent alot of time as an OPS NAV so my dreams generally entail some navigation or operational problem to solve. The amateur psychologist in me attributes the dreams to my mind still trying to sort out all of the things we did at sea in the sixties through the early eighties and make sense of them. Nice theme for a thread Joel.

9/26/2008 2:46 PM

Blogger RockyGlassman said...

So here's the story.
In the late 80's I'm a Nav ET on 727G, and we're in port in refit. The local news station comes
aboard and films us going to BSM.
I get home, and (being refit) wind up taking a nap in the loft of our tiny A-frame.
I wake up rolling down the stairs (picture epileptic hedgehog) wondering what the heck is going on.
Lying in a tangled heap at the bottom of the stairs, I see my lovely wife watching the news...
The General Alarm and 1MC in a voice I knew well kicked of the 'go' system, but parachuting down
the ladder doesn't work so well when there's only one hand rail on the stairs ;)

Musta been a dream in there somewhere :)

9/26/2008 3:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the worst dreams on board I had was I was a civilian and was back in my hometown. Everything was going great until I hear "(My last name) this is your first wake up call." When the ERS started plotting dots thats all I could dream about for about a week straight. I was plotting dots on watch and in my sleep.

9/26/2008 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crash & Burn Dreams...

When I've pulled security on KC 135s KC 10s refuelers and C-130s during TDY status, I've woken up in a cold sweat after dreaming of being trapped in a steel cargo belly filled at 40,000 feet filled with smoke along the stench of JP8 fuel and turbulence and no way to get out except to release the outer load ramp and jump and hope to hell we're still alive there after.

I've been told that a plane has similar restrictive space confinements that a Navy Submarine has. It looks like the AF and the USN seem have more in common with one another than is generally perceived.

9/26/2008 5:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooops, forgot to sign my name to the last post here.

SSGT, J. Casey

9/26/2008 5:09 PM

Blogger Budd said...

The scariest dream I ever had was I was in maneuvering at the ned of an ORSE. The Captain came on to say how well we did, and that we were going to pull in victorious, blah blah blah. Then he ended with the order to surface the ship. In the dream, maneuvering had a ship's angle indicator, and we watched as the ship went to 10 up, 20 up, 30 up, and kept going. At about 50 degrees up angle we started screaming to Conn to stop the angle, but it kept going. At 70 degrees up I closed my eyes realizing that somehow I was going to die. Suddenly everything was silent and when I opened my eyes it was pitch black. After about 10 seconds I realized that I had just woken up. I don't think I slept again for about three days.

9/26/2008 6:36 PM

Anonymous Ex-MSP NavET said...

I had a night mare one night after doing QA paperwork all day. It was my first ever QA package I was working on, so of course I had a rough time of it and I kept thiking to myself all day about how much I hated paperwork. Anyways, that night I went to the rack and in my dream, I dreamt that I had just finished the QA package and that suddenly, the JFMM had came to life and was trying to eat me. After killing the evil JFMM-Beast, still dreaming, I went to the rack to discover to my horror that it was covered with binders, folders, another copy of the JFFM, and yet another QA package waiting to be written. Now THAT is a nightmare!

9/27/2008 6:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had this dream about falling asleep (after being up for 3 days) while finishing up some SubSafe paperwork. Then I woke up and found the CO and SubLant standing over me waiting for the final signature so we could submerge. Oh wait. That wasn't a dream.


9/29/2008 11:23 AM

Blogger Bobby said...

my worst boat mare had me in ERF for after watch clean up. And we hear Torpedo evasion and ERF yells at me to turn shift RPFW to fast and the dream just kept repeating for the 6 hrs. it was weird. now i always have boatmares on duty

10/05/2008 9:48 PM

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7/30/2012 12:52 AM


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