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, May 13, 2010

"I'll Show You How To Clean"

At my day job, for various reasons even an emergency head call takes about 15 minutes. We were talking about that earlier this week, and it reminded me of a sea story I told here about five years ago. It's so funny (to me at least) that I'm recycling it:

Los Angeles-class submarines, unlike Seawolfs, do not have a urinal in the Engine Room. When you're standing watch in back there, you're not allowed to go forward. As a result, you normally have off-watch guys come back and do "short reliefs" to allow their buddies to head up to take care of business during their six hour watches. During the midnight to 6 AM watch, though, it's harder to get people back to relieve you, so Submariners, being an enterprising bunch, have figured ways around this problem.
In Main Seawater Bay on a 688, there's a fairly large drain funnel that is right beside the walkway, about 2 1/2 feet above the deck. It's an relatively isolated area, so one can expect a little privacy there. I'm not saying that all nukes on 688s use that funnel to answer nature's call; only those whose tours take them past the funnel do.
So, there I was, doing field day on the good ship Topeka. Our XO comes back to see how we're doing. At this point, I should add that this XO spent almost his entire JO and Dept. Head tours in the shipyard, and didn't have much at-sea experience. Anyway, he sees this funnel sticking out that's clearly dirtier than the rest of them, and decides to inspire us. "Can't you guys see how dirty this funnel is? Here, I'll show you how to clean!" With that, he started scrubbing away with great vigor, even using his fingernails to clean especially mungy parts, and I'll tell you, we were doubled over with inspiration...

51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another convenient urinal, er, funnel, was in the aft port corner of ERF next to the feed pumps/HPAC/secondary sample sink. Pretty private since nobody ever used that ladder. Except when the RT was passing SG samples down to the sink...

5/13/2010 10:25 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

C'mon, on a 688, ANY funnel will do. But I'll say this--the midwatch bladder is no joke. Once you've gotten to the point you can handle an entire midwatch without a "short relief" AND drink coffee the entire time, you've gotten to the point where you can make money on any bar bet as to who has to go to the head last.

5/13/2010 10:47 AM

 
Anonymous Former 755/742 E div. said...

The MSW bay funnel was very convenient for us, until someone using it was caught red handed by the XO. Thereafter, of course, you were going to go to mast if you got caught by ANY khaki.

There was always a S/G sample bottle in the EO's phone box, and the rule was; if you used it, you better fill it.

I will confess to one story: the worse malady of a full bowel as SRO on midwatch. Had the SRW bring me a bucket, a plastic trash bag, and kimwipes. Called the Wardroom to see if the EDO was still awake, which he was, so I asked him whether he was heading to bed or coming aft - he replied he was hitting the rack. Just as I was shutting the doors to maneuvering and about to bleed thru the 700# reducer, the door opens and I hear "entering"...Yeah, the EDO got worried. He went and racked someone out himself to relieve me....lol!

5/13/2010 10:52 AM

 
Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I'm pretty sure I saw every nuke and every officer except the CO, XO and ENG (even the NAV and WEPS) use my ERF funnel (port side cond drain).

5/13/2010 10:55 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

Whoever decided not to provide a urinal on 688s (and Tridents, for that matter) deserves a boot to the groin every 6 hours for the rest of his life. That was just freakin' stupid.

For the record, that XO got exactly what he deserved. Our ENG on my 688 used to come back during field day and remind the EWS to get someone to clean the ER Head. He knew very well what that funnel was used for. He used it himself during his tour on his proficiency watch.

5/13/2010 10:58 AM

 
Blogger ETCS(SS/SW) said...

Learning to hold my urine while drinking coffee over a 6 hr period was not good for me. Of course, I didn't want to ask for a relief, so that became SOP for me. Result? My kidney stones that ultimately got me medically disqualified. I recommend pissing when you have to. I remember doing so a few times while topside during a midwatch.

5/13/2010 11:26 AM

 
Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

That's pretty funny! We have similar stories on surface ships that involved having no head nearby, but plenty of full water bottles in berthing that weren't filled with water.

5/13/2010 11:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was almost 15 years ago, but I still remember that on USTAFISH (688i) I remember that any of the urinals would work, but some were favorite. When I stood ERF or feed station, that funnel on the port aft side was awesome. When standing ERLL, the funnels in ASW bay were much better than MSW bay, as there was a LOT more privacy there, although it required a bit more maneuvering. Standing ERUL, the big gargantuan funnel just forward of the 1.6K was the best. I remember seeing everyone draining there, including CO, XO, and ENG ,officers and chiefs included. I remember also that cleaning that funnel was something that only nubs ever did.

5/13/2010 11:56 AM

 
Anonymous pc assclown said...

Innocent question,

What are these funnel's true intended use and where do liquids inserted into them end up?

For someone like me who truly does not know where the funnel ultimately ends up, the idea of pissing into one can create a totally different level of humor if the end of the funnel was, say, the XOs stateroom sink rather than the bilge or some obscure tank.

5/13/2010 11:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a jo on one of my boats who was universally loathed. He could never get a head relief and ended up taking a dump in a bucket. He actually tried to get one of the enlisted watchstanders to empty the bucket. He occasionally found a stray bucket in his rack for the remainder of his tour.
OldCOB

5/13/2010 12:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They mostly are drains for the steam traps and water seals, so there's always a bit of water trickling into them when operating.
I think that all of the EngineRoom traps drain into the aft drain tank, so that's isolated to the EngineRoom.

5/13/2010 12:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whoever decided not to provide a urinal on 688s (and Tridents, for that matter)... "

Well this ought to be interesting when womoen are onboard and standing watches in the Tridents engineering spaces. Are the rules for head calls going to change? I can see the men still using the funnels, but the women? Adult diapers? Hmmmn

5/13/2010 1:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my first boat (a 637) I once went into the ER head (not a funnel, but an actual head) that was just forward of manuevering. Of course it was a pretty small space so the door opened outward - turns out it was fairly easy to stick something between the door and the forward side of whichever manuevering panel was right there and trap someone in the head. The EWS was of course in manuevering patiently waiting fro my "tour" to end.

5/13/2010 1:57 PM

 
Anonymous Former 755/742 E div. said...

On the Tridents, we never had a problem - as I recall, the AEA took logs on the FO tank forward of the RC, and could just go to the bathroom while checking it.

ERS could go there as well.

So, it was a good way for an E-divver to get ahead by qualifying RT so they could swap and get the RC div guys a head break.

5/13/2010 2:11 PM

 
Blogger Michael Watts said...

I nearly let out a scream of laughter here at the UNT Library.

5/13/2010 2:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adult diapers would work great for female JO's.....I hear they work great for female astronauts who drive cross country to confront their lover's wife!

5/13/2010 3:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a similar story on the boat I was on, except it was the COB coming back in the engineroom during field day before an ORSE. He ran two fingers inside the funnel to show the guys cleaning in that area how dirty it was. I know my chief was walking behind him the whole time, but I do not think he ever told him.

5/13/2010 4:04 PM

 
Anonymous STSC said...

As a mid-watch cowboy STS2 w/ my Chief off-going Sup I would get offered a head call when he finished chow (~2330 ish) and that was it. The last hour of mid-watch could get painful after double-drill set days that required extra caffeine to stay alert at 0-dark-30.

Some OOD's would allow me to use the head for a super-fast piss call (w/ no contacts) but others justifiably required a formal turnover. So it was either sneak out for a stealth run or hold it. I did a few ninja head calls (w/o asking permission) on many occasions until someone (not me thankfully) was caught by the XO.

After that, I took to bringing a 'Gozinta' & a separate 'Gozouta' plastic bottle on watch. The Gozouta had a much wider mouth w/ a tight screw-on no-leak lid. 'Gozinta' had a different shape entirely to prevent mistakes!

5/13/2010 4:18 PM

 
Blogger Do You Think I G.A.F. said...

726 class Towed Array Handling System space forward of sonar had a funnel for drainage made a handy urinal!

We had a COB, when he was a Radio LCPO on his previous boat was such a jerk to the Chiefs that none of them would give him a head call. So he brought one of those liquid Tide laundry detergent bottles and pee in that while sitting dive! He would empty it after watch. Billy was a jerk!

STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

5/13/2010 6:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! No head in engineering? That idiot needs to be shot!

They even found room in Skipjack class to shoehorn a head into the machinery space. (Not to comfy underway as it was surrounded on two sides with CO/H2 burners)

Underway on Skipjack/Permit class was not too bad as the EWS could relieve you for a head call. In port it was either proper prior planning (drink little or bring a container) or sneak a call.

I only go hung out once (no pun intended), we had just pulled in, shutdown and started a cool down. I was RO and everyone in the division had bailed. I don't recall why the EWS could not relieve me. Finally, one of the mess cooks brought a can back with a lid so I could take a leak.

My bladder was sore for a couple of days after that!

Old Chief from the dark ages
Jerry

5/13/2010 6:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While doing some work back aft on an LSD I once took a wizz off the back of the ship while we were underway....

It was pretty funny at the time, in retrospect I probably should not have done that!

5/13/2010 7:08 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

While doing some work back aft on an LSD I once took a wizz off the back of the ship while we were underway....

If you haven't taken a wizz off the sail, you haven't lived.

"Coordinator, bridge, coming left to 083 for wind."

"Wind?"

"TM2 S------ drank three cups of coffee before watch."

"Bridge, coordinator, aye."

-LT L

5/13/2010 7:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There must be a lot of advantages to 6-hour watches to justify such demeaning necessities.

We stood 4-hour watches and if you were unable to exercise continence for 4 hours, you were probably taking something from the Doc and would not be standing a watch anyway.

Have not a single recollection of such inhumane discomforts by our 4-hour watchstanders.

And just one more sacrifice for submariners to endure. Once females can join you, such eliminations will be eliminated.

So, why did submariners switch to 6-hour watches, if it was not long before your service started?

Buster

5/13/2010 7:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Finally, one of the mess cooks brought a can back with a lid so I could take a leak."


Jerry, that makes alot of sense. On my first boat (almost this time last year) the MOW had to be quick with bringing a can from the galley to the desired watch station for a quick relief when needed. We called it "PP" duty, short for emptying piss pots. The MOW didn't have alot fun doing it but was always told how important it was to show up quick when needed. I didn't like it much either, but one nice thing I noticed is that it made time go that much faster before I could wash up and get a few ours of sleep.

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

5/13/2010 7:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE:...There must be a lot of advantages to 6-hour watches to justify such demeaning necessities.

Some one may know other reasons but qualification and manning probably had a lot to do with it. If you are port and starboard with 4 hour watches, your ass will be worse than dragging in short order! With 6 hour watches you drag but it is doable.

Sans drills and field days, 6 hour watches are pretty easy to get used to.

Then there was the time in the shipyard we were port, port and starboard... 24 on 12 off with 1/2 half the on crew supplying the watch standers while those not on watch and the other 1/2 were working. Now that sucked big time!

Best rotation, the last boat had 4 EWS's and that was really nice. Always on watch in the same time slot. Very nice - I could almost like nuclear power with that (-;

Jerry

5/13/2010 8:36 PM

 
Anonymous gnutron said...

@LT L: That's the best part about driving on the surface. My own testing indicates that the sail hydrophones do not detect urine transients.

5/13/2010 9:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my 688 in the 1980's someone took a dump in an engine room trashcan while underway. It wasn't discovered until the poor SOB on KP duty ran the bag through the trash compactor. You could say that the s*** hit the fan after that!

5/13/2010 11:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"KP duty?"

5/14/2010 12:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KP duty on a submarine? 26 years and never used that term. All of my boats, M-div owned the aux drain system aft. They pissed in it, and destroyed it by puncturing piping while removing deckplates, they owned it.
First U/W with the Commodore onboard and the lower level watch get's caught by him pissing in the funnel. His reply? EVERYBODY does it.
It got ugly after that.

Hagar

5/14/2010 2:13 AM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

First U/W with the Commodore onboard and the lower level watch get's caught by him pissing in the funnel. His reply? EVERYBODY does it.
It got ugly after that.


Either that Commodore forgot from whence he came, or never served on that class of boat. Of course, I don't remember ever seeing the Commodore aft during all the rides, except for during ORSE workup drill sets. No one's pissing in funnels with an EAB on.

5/14/2010 6:36 AM

 
Blogger Dan said...

That very same MSW bay funnel on the USS Salt Lake City, circa 1988- Captain F (yes, that captain F that later became ADM F) and the bull nuke come rolling into MSW. The good skipper runs his finger around the inside rim of said funnel, comes back up with a good solid glop of mung, and says "See master chief? This is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I'm talking about". All the m-div guys down there suddenly become very interested in whatever it is they're cleaning. ETCM, who knows exactly what kind of stuff the CO now has on his fingertip, can do no more than to offer a kimwipe and hope his deadpan expression is convincing.

MMCS(SS/SW)(retired)

5/14/2010 8:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the shipyard they secured all the heads onboard. So if you needed to take a piss you had to use the one on the wing wall of the drydock. Nearly impossible for a SRW who can't get a gun turnover in time. So piss bottles started collecting throughout the ER until the yardies and monitors came across them. What was the COC solution? That's right, start a "piss watch." Someone from the duty section was required to rove the spaces and ensure the SRW or any of the other guys wouldn't piss in bottles and leave them in the ER. Priceless.

5/14/2010 8:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6 hour watches on submarines? I always thought we stood 6 hour watches because they fit perfectly with chow time. There is a meal served every 6 hours, so guys rarely need a chow relief.

I always tried to piss in a funnel that had some "flushing" capability. On the Trident, I remember #3 CW pump was accessible, and you could just "vent the pump" after you did your business to alleviate the stinkyness. We had an ELT piss in the S/G sample funnel, and then try to flush it down by sampling. He learned that flushing water must be cold water, or the stinkyness get worse, not better.

5/14/2010 9:32 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@LT L/gnutron: Just be very very careful doing that. I had a roommate who had a very close call when his safety lanyard got wrapped around the radar. Hydraulics are very unforgiving. Lucky for him that the lookout was sharp enough to jump on the 7MC and get them to secure rotating in time.

5/14/2010 9:36 AM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

On Tridents there is a Watchstanders Head just below Control. That's what its there for - the watchstanders. I only asked when I was desperate, but I generally had no problems getting permission for a head call from the OOD. I always felt bad for the Nukes. If I could've given them a head call, I would've. The old 41 for Freedom had a head in AMR2. If you were a coner and you used it, you needed to make sure that the shower nozzle valve in that head was shut (that head doubled as a decon station) - or you'd be taking an unexpected and very cold shower. Great fun!

5/14/2010 12:31 PM

 
Anonymous Squidward said...

{After that, I took to bringing a 'Gozinta' & a separate 'Gozouta' plastic bottle on watch. The Gozouta had a much wider mouth w/ a tight screw-on no-leak lid. 'Gozinta' had a different shape entirely to prevent mistakes!}

Say what you will about Nucs, but they rarely drink their own urine by mistake, regardless of the shape of the bottle, labeling, or lighting conditions.

5/14/2010 2:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 616 class boomers the ER and & AMR2 funnels dumped to the bilge. Anyone caught draining the lizard in a funnel got to field day bilges until someone else got caught. This was strictly enforced by M-Div.

ex-EM1(SS)

5/14/2010 2:35 PM

 
Anonymous veemann said...

The same XO used to pass along such tidbits of wisdom to us JOs like "Don"t upset the apple cart for blind compliance." I didn't know what that meant then and I still don't.

We had a JO on the ship at the same time that, when he was excited during casualty drills, was prone to utter crazy stuff like "Steam coming from pipes!!" He's a OBGYN these days... Seriously...

My bladder was never great back than - and it certainly hasn't improved with age. When I would call the EWS to maneuvering for the 0330 "tour" he would cheerfully respond "EOOW needs a head call aye."

5/14/2010 2:57 PM

 
Blogger JO_SSN751 said...

As EOOW, I always used the funnel on the port side of ER FWD. I think it directs leak offs from Main Feed Pump packing into the fwd bilge collecting tank. (I still remember all this after 8 years out) I also peed off the flying bridge once. Just got to make sure you know the wind direction first.

5/14/2010 7:24 PM

 
Blogger 630-738 said...

The old 41 for Freedom had a head in AMR2. If you were a coner and you used it, you needed to make sure that the shower nozzle valve in that head was shut (that head doubled as a decon station) - or you'd be taking an unexpected and very cold shower. Great fun!

We used to backseat the hell out of the cold faucet and isolate it from the outside. When our target of choice would enter that head, we would tie the door to the handle for the Main Feed Pump Controller just outside and let the water fly! Thanks for bringing back that great memory.

5/14/2010 9:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was on the USS Drum (SSN 677), I was not above using the funnel to the Aux Drain Pump in the Diesel when I was on watch.

I never hesitated to clean it either. I’m an Aganger. My hands have been in worse places than that funnel. That’s what they have soap and water for ya pansies.

An aside note, we had an Aganger on the La Jolla who was cleaning the Sanitary Pump and had a can of Peanut Butter handy just to gross out anybody looking down the Pump Room Hatch. It was hilarious.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

5/16/2010 8:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was on the USS Drum (SSN-677), I never hesitated to relocate my SRO station from Maneuvering to the head just forward after first advising the SRW to monitor the tunnel for me.

5/16/2010 9:49 PM

 
Blogger papamaynard said...

"Whoever decided not to provide a urinal on 688s (and Tridents, for that matter)... "

Well this ought to be interesting when womoen are onboard and standing watches in the Tridents engineering spaces. Are the rules for head calls going to change? I can see the men still using the funnels, but the women? Adult diapers? Hmmmn


I would have thought the same thing before putting in a Warrant package and coming to a carrier. You can imagine my surprise during a pre-watch tour when I pass the urinal (they have shower curtains rigged around them on carriers) and can't help but notice the boots pointing AWAY from the urinal...
For most of the women they get a relief but obviously at least one electrician has adapated.

5/17/2010 12:34 PM

 
Blogger Old Salt said...

When were you on the Drum? I was there 89-92...

I learned at an early time that to keep up with the lack of sleep, coffee is great. Drinking coffee leads to full bladder in short order. I was never one to leave maneuvering to pee, so I always kept "San 5" around. It still amazes me when I visit a boat, and the COC threatens all sorts of stuff for people who pee in a bottle.

5/17/2010 6:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When were you on the Drum? I was there 89-92...

Oct 86 - Oct 90
Arrived as an EM3, left as EM1(SS/DV)

5/17/2010 9:40 PM

 
Blogger Old Salt said...

Wow, we were there at the same time. I arrived ET3, and left ET1(SS) I can think of two or three names. I enabled the contact e-mail on my profile if you want to send me an e-mail.

5/18/2010 11:53 AM

 
Blogger Oz said...

I think the worst trouble we had in the yards was a period in which duty guys would piss in bottles overnight and not empty them.

Thing is, they were spray bottles. The problem was first discovered during field day.

5/18/2010 8:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a engineer at the 688 class PY, I've had cause to wonder why a head was not installed aft. As best I can figure, the San. tanks are too far forward to allow for drainage from the aft end (not to mention all the stuff in the way, if you know what I mean), and craming another tank into the bilge for sanitary purposes was just not in the cards for that class.

From an engineering standpoint, we like to keep things seperate as much as possible, and purposly designing a urinal to drain into a tank that isn't designated for that type of waste wouldn't meet spec.

Just my $0.02 on the matter. I know its not the best reason, but its what it is!

5/20/2010 12:30 PM

 
Anonymous Adult Diapers said...

Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

9/26/2011 11:50 PM

 
Anonymous muebles said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thanks so much for your post.

12/04/2011 12:02 PM

 
Anonymous Marion said...

It cannot succeed as a matter of fact, that's what I suppose.

9/08/2012 1:14 PM

 

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