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.)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Animals On Boats

I've posted before about animals on submarines (in that case, a goat on Archerfish); now, the BBC has a story up about a Russian reindeer on a Brit sub. Excerpts:
In 1941, the crew of HMS Trident were given a reindeer as a gift by the USSR navy.
The 56 crewmen spent six weeks sharing their already confined living accommodation with the fully-grown reindeer nicknamed Pollyanna...
... Living with a reindeer underwater in wartime conditions inevitably posed challenges for the crew. A barrel of moss given by the Russians soon run out and Pollyanna lived on scraps from the galley. She also developed a taste for wartime favourite, Carnation condensed milk.
Pollyanna was originally lowered into the submarine through a torpedo tube of the sub and it was hoped she could sleep in the torpedo and food store. However she apparently had more refined tastes and insisted on sleeping under the captain's bed.
Bill Sainsbury said: "There are lots of funny stories - apparently when the submarine surfaced for air, she would barge her way through the narrow corridors to the main hatch to get some fresh air before returning to the officers' mess."
Despite Pollyanna eating a navigation chart, the crew made it back to the UK where HMS Trident landed at Blyth in Northumberland.
However as the reindeer had over-indulged on condensed milk, she had actually put on weight and could not be fitted out through the torpedo tube.
Check out the rest of the story to see what happened next.

Have you ever had a mascot on the boat?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the 21 boat we did the main condenser inspection and we found a small little 'fish' like creature. We kept it in the the bilge in ERLL and named it after our Eng. Nate.

12/04/2009 10:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although accomodated as a wardroom queen and, some might say, accorded special treatment, Pollyanna died just five years after spending six weeks on a non-nuclear sub as assistant navigator.

Will not stoop to commenting on her habit of "sleeping under the captain's bed".

Female submariner aspirants should take careful note.


12/04/2009 10:55 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Let's not forget Bacchus, a mongrel dog and mascot of the UK's sub Rubis (P15):

"The Little Dog Served on Submarine Crew of Two Navies in Wartime". - Molten Eagle

Bacchus received the Valiant Dog Medal, which was buried with him when he died in France (1946).

12/04/2009 12:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was on the USS Alabama, our CO had a little dog named "Bear" that would walk around peeing anywhere he wanted. He slept in the "crawl space" that ran the entire length of the boat.

12/04/2009 12:24 PM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

As Wash said in "Firefly" "Don't beagles leave smaller droppings?"

12/04/2009 12:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe some one from CHARLOTTE in the 2000 time frame could talk about the great fish tank war between the CO and the Commodore.

12/04/2009 12:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:24 PM - I think I was on that boat. Denzel Washington was the XO.

12/04/2009 2:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once heard a story that when Bruce DeMars was Engineer (CAVALLA?) there was a pet lizard that lived in the engineroom. Can anyone verify?

12/04/2009 2:36 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Do rubber chickens count?

12/04/2009 3:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dust bunnies and ghost turds?


12/04/2009 5:17 PM

Blogger Ryan said...

We had The Tiki who resided in maneuvering on mission, but he was less "living" and more "paranormal".

Did he make it to the 23 OK?


12/04/2009 5:35 PM

Anonymous JoeMissile said...

We had a cute kitten aboard for sea trials in Guam once, our Weps found out and told us to get rid of it when we get in (the next day).

After our subsequent patrol we saw this same kitten (now a cat) hanging around the local beer dive on the base. It had a club foot and something wrong with one eye. That was weird seeing the same cat all messed up.

12/04/2009 7:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a cute little Asian QM. Dress him up in a nice boyshort panty and some white knee high socks...WOW! Even the CO had the hots for him!

That was 20 years ago and I still have dreams about him.

12/04/2009 9:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

JoeMissile said...

We had a cute kitten aboard for sea trials in Guam once, our Weps found out and told us to get rid of it when we get in (the next day).

Joe that really fuckin' sucks. You're right, I'll bet it was weird seeing the same cat who'd obviously been in a few fights once you pulled into the same port later on.

About four months ago, one of the ladies who manages the South Pacific Sports Bar in Bremerton, had a (3) litter of kittens on her hands.
This is the same bar most of us walk to after getting off the ferry and waiting for a taxi at 0100 in the AM.

I ended up adopting the last kitten and sending him home to Mom. It cost me damn near $200.00 to do it but that cat got home safe. He's a short haired dark gray and white kitten with green eyes. What do you call that?...a mutt cat? Nevertheless, I've always had a soft spot for animals like most of us here.

I just hope the cat remembers me when I go home for 15 days late next week.

MT1 WidgetHead

12/04/2009 10:41 PM

Blogger DDM said...

On the 633 in late 80's, M Div found a little crab in a seawater strainer. The crab was kept alive in a beaker in maneuvering. We stopped in Port Canaveral and released the crab over the side. Shortly thereafter a big fish swam up and ate the crab. Only words spoken, "That sucks".

12/05/2009 6:04 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Since we had to "anchor out" for our Naples visit, the boat arranged delivery of fresh veggies.

Sure enough, on day 2 an Italian skiff delivered a load of farm fresh salad fixins, including one large frog discovered below decks.

12/05/2009 5:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the late 80s, the cranks found a mouse that snuck aboard the Michigan, and hid in the dry stores. A-gang set up an elaborate trap to capture it alive (which succeeded), and they proceeded to set up a "home", a two by three box with a plexiglass front and hinged top. The Aux Aft had the job of keeping it fed and happy...

However, we had an unscheduled port call, and were told that regulations required that any rodents be eliminated from the ship prior to the port call. The Doc had the unfortunate task of putting the mouse to sleep (suffocation by cotton saturated in alcohol). After "burial at sea" (via a water slug) for the mosue, A-gang turned its wrath upon the poor doc - sucked to be him for the next two months...

12/05/2009 11:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does my Alabama Black Snake count as an "Animal"? Two zipper-head wives moaned as such. COB's wife actually got me augmented, twice.

Don't believe me, just ask, and I'll give you names, dates, and the boat!

STSCS Lehoffer, Ret.

12/06/2009 4:15 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

When I was on the Buffalo back in the late 80's, we had a sonar tech named "Meat"--that close enough to a mascot for you? My first Westpac, when pulled into PI, there he was on the Maneuvering Watch, pounding on the stack, yelling (things best not said on a family website)...ah, even a nubly nuke like me still understood that across the Shit River Bridge lay a paradise heretofore unimagined. Damn you, Pinatubo!

12/06/2009 10:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would call BS on Sambo but that actually happened on my boat (LCPO screwing LPO's wife)

12/07/2009 1:06 AM

Anonymous EX ANAV/COB said...

Early 80's on a trip to Rosie Roads, PR, a bunch of drunks caught a large iguana and turned it loose below decks on the SPADEFISH. Found him weeks later in AMR I bilge, bloated at floating Tango Uniform, but well preserved in the diesel bilge funk

12/07/2009 4:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sea Story: Supposedly some drunks brought large lizard (iguana)back to the ship and when they sobered up, they realized they couldn't keep it so they dropped it down the sounding tube for a void.

They would drop food bits down there from time to time.

Time marches on and during an over haul or repair period (not sure which, but this is a sea story) someone had to open up the void for some reason.

While waiting for the gas free engineer to certify the air, they shined a light into the void and the lizard's eye reflected back. It was supposedly very very big by then and scared the heck our of everyone.

Not sure how much is true, but it's a good sea story!

12/07/2009 8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do crabs (the very small kind) count?

12/07/2009 8:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Miami, I used to put up "missing cat" postings while underway, more entertainment than truth. Once while in port, I saw a pigeon walking around in the engine room as if performing an inspection. That was cool.

12/07/2009 10:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We pilled into Halifax and brought lobsters on board, live lobsters. Nukes being board pained numbers on their backs with white out, and raced them down the OPSML passageway, telling the winner he would be spared. Ib the end, he was not, he was tasty though.....

12/07/2009 11:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

February 1962, Sasebo Japan, SS-348 in upkeep. Cold as hell snowing off and on. Shivering puppy on the quay wall of India Basin. One of our electricians picks him up and carries him aboard. Electicians put him up in a box with a blanket in maneuvering room. Next day, battery charge with No. 3 and 4 engines in AER. Pup gets used to the noise. Down to one engine on finishing rate, pup goes up to WT door, throttleman picks him up and puts him on deck in AER. Pups checking things out then cocks leg at takes a piss. You could hear the throttleman yelling at the pup and the electricians. Pup restricted to maneuvering room. He stayed aboard until we left Sasebo. He sure looked lonely on the quay when we backed out of India Basin.

Keep a zero bubble..........


12/07/2009 2:41 PM

Anonymous JoeMissile said...

Here's another one, from possibly the same patrol. (technically not "aboard" the sub, but close).

Topside watch in the middle of the night in Guam tied dock-side (we didn't rate tying up to the Proteus I guess....). We'd get these snakes that would crawl out of the water and lay about on the turtleback area. Generally we'd kick/poke at them and get them back in the water (nasty things, I didn't like them at all). Anyway one of the braver topside guys caught one and put it in a stainless steel pitcher of icewater the guard shack had in it. The snake sorta went comatose in there and we thought it was dead. Fast forward to the next watch, the snake woke up and came crawling out of the pitcher and causing the guard shack to be quickly evacuated.

12/07/2009 7:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wannabe gigolo EM I hotracked with brought a Tijuana crab colony aboard to share. All three of us hotracking had our bedding, clothes, towels, everything confiscated and given our very own supplies of Kwell Cream. I spent damn near two weeks drying off with a t-shirt after showers and wearing poopie suits about a foot too short.

12/07/2009 9:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the 626, after a very nasty San #1 "accident", hordes of flies came aboard. You would never have thought there were so many flies in Holy Loch. Anyway, there were a couple few flies still alive at the end of the refit. After a week at sea, the last fly got slower and slower. No one could bear to kill it. I caught it, pulled its wings off, and I kept in a spare travel soap box. I named him Herman, and since he could no longer fly, I called it my pet walk. I was showing him off one day, letting him walk around on my steno pad. The guy I was showing it to, YN3 Woody, took a swing and killed it. Oh well.

On my last boat, the 740, one of the A-Gangers bought one of those sea monkey kits. Those things are tiny! They never grew to full size. There's a magnifying lens built into the tank so you can see them. No body said anything about it. They're supposed to live for 2 years, but the barely lived two weeks. When we noticed they were dying off, we kept a "sea monkey countdown" until there were none left. It was fun while they lasted.

12/08/2009 7:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On 716 had a Beta Fish I kept behind a locker above the eyewash station in AMR. Made most of the WESTPAC with me. Kept him in my rack when not on watch. Unfortunately he died when the velcro holding his cube of a tank gave way and fell to the deck. He was dried up on the deck by #1 scrubber!

On 721 we had an unknown crew member that was ravaging the dry stores! A bounty was put on his head and numerous homemade pesticides were made to kill the CHICAGO Chupacabra!

One Big Flip

12/08/2009 11:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Those flies in Holy Loch were leftover from when the SSN homos took the sheep on board (see Nov 29 post).

The story goes that the chief's birthing was moved into the torpedo room and the goat locker was converted into the sheep locker. The SSN homo CO named the sheep Mike Mulligan Sr. The line outside the locker was long but the chiefs had head of the line privilages.

Sheep, being what they are, are prone to attract flies. Mike Mulligan Sr. was no different.

So that's how the flies came to infest the far reaches of Holy Loch.

It's unknown what happened to the sheep named Mulligan Sr. Some rumors have it that one of the SSN queers somehow fathered a son (half queer sheep and half queer human). The son now lives in New Hampshire, trolls blogs, and comments with banal idiotic blather.

12/09/2009 11:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog host, your prolonged and unannounced absents is rude to say the least.

Perhaps you/we should shut/delete this neglected site?

And in the name of Jesus Christ, don't blame the Almighty for you negligence.

12/10/2009 12:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I got married, my cat ignored every human, except for myself.

After I got married, she immediately attached herself to my husband, and every San Fran crew member that comes into our house. I'm guessing it's the boat smell that appeals to her...

12/10/2009 11:43 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Anon--Chicago Chupacabra? If it was the late 80's-early 90's timeframe, I'd bet paychecks that he was also known as the "Norweigan God of Sex"...

12/14/2009 2:05 AM

Anonymous Violet said...

I fully match with whatever thing you have written.

9/14/2012 8:27 AM


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