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, April 22, 2011

The Russians Are(n't) Coming!

The Bristol Bay Times reports that an unexpected PERSTRANS from a submarine in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, caused the locals to start the rumor there was a Russian submarine with an engineering casualty in the harbor. Excerpts:
Lt. Ed Early with the U.S. Navy's Submarine Group 9 based in Washington state confirmed that is wasn't a Russian sub, but couldn't say any more since the military's policy is not to comment on submarine operations. It is supposedly a U.S. Navy Los Angeles class submarine dropping off scientists who had spent the past few months in the Arctic.
A quick look at the picture shows what seems to be a fillet (or what we used to call a "boot") in front of the sail, so it's unlikely to be a Los Angeles-class boat. If the boat really was dropping of scientists from a mission in the Arctic, it's more probably that this was actually my old boat USS Connecticut (SSN 22) returning from ICEX 2011. As far as an American submarine being rumored to be a Russian boat pulling into a U.S. port, I admit I was once fooled.

What's the most obscure port you've ever pulled into?


Blogger Don the Baptist said...

I got Triton right but I'll admit Triton and Nautilus are the only two pre-Skipjacks I can name.

4/22/2011 4:36 PM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

Plus I enjoyed Bob Newhart's comedy sketch about Triton as they were about to surface at the end of their 'round the world submerged voyage.

4/22/2011 4:40 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Pulled into Tampa Florida once. Rather big doings, plus we moored ourselves with the shore power cables.....

4/22/2011 5:41 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

As a JO we had to stop in Adak for a perstrans under the most unique conditions ever....transferred off a complete nut case that....Sorry, can't finish the thought.

4/22/2011 6:12 PM

Anonymous Rick said...

I saw the Triton while in drydock in PSNSY just prior to getting cut up a year or so ago. It was quite a fascinating hull design, massive as well.

4/22/2011 6:42 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

Spent six days steaming at anchor in Darwin Harbor once. Would have been pretty sweet to be in the cone that week; on the other hand, it was Darwin (but still Australia)...

4/22/2011 7:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not obscure but we did a port visit to Avalon on Catalina Island in the 80's aboard the Plunger.,_California

There was the also the occasional BSP at Johnston Atoll.

Jim C.
Retired ANAV

4/22/2011 9:48 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Manta, Ecuador with Maracaibo, Venezuela following a close second. Back when UNITAS was cool!

4/23/2011 5:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best part about Dutch Harbor?! The jetties are called "cock" and "balls.". I shitteth you knot....

retanav please corroborate. There's a piloting ppt on the net showing it.

4/23/2011 7:37 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Mar del Plata, Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile while on a UNITAS run in GATO during 1977. GATO was the first Nuc sub assigned to UNITAS. It was truly a trip where the money ran out before the liberty ports.

4/23/2011 8:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second Manta, Ecuador for most obscure. Town was a dustbowl but had a great (off limits) whorehouse outside of town. UNITAS 92 baby!

4/23/2011 8:56 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Depends on if you're going on the boat or on the tender for those of us who did R-5/R-10/planner tours.

Boat: PACEX, pulled into and tied up to Proteus in Majuro Atoll, both as part of exercise and to transfer M-Div leading PO1 who dropped a rack pan on his shoulder. A year later, did a Medivac off Adak for our MS1 who was found passed out in the head shitting blood. Esquimalt, BC, also ranks up there.

Tender: Again with the pers trans, this time in Guadalcanal. Same trip Proteus made for 50th anniversary of Coral Sea battle. Sydney and Brisbane...ah...

4/23/2011 10:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pintado had a port visit to Avalon, Catalina Island in the mid 80's also. We were tied up to an old ASR, and wew were steaming. At the time we were the talk of the town at the time.

Also, the North Pole in the winter.


4/23/2011 11:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just before I got on the boat…

Umak, Alaska - had to send a diver over the side to put a DC plug in because someone had crapped his tighty-whiteys and, to prevent embarrassment, had put them down the crapper. When they hit the outboard valve there was a sudden stop in the blow and the valve was jammed.

‘nuff said!

Old chief from the dark ages

4/23/2011 12:53 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Which boat was this?

So What's in Chaguaramas? What indeed?

4/23/2011 2:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on that boat, and it was no secret what is was doing there.

4/23/2011 2:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the 706 boat, Vig, and as usual for a little more than the publicized reason of R&R.

4/23/2011 2:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adak, Alaska on the NYC SSN-696. The head valve was malfunctioning so we pulled into Adak for repairs.

4/23/2011 3:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas - it is about 60 miles west of Key West and there is nothing there except the fort. Went there on a GUPPY II in 1970; CO got in the s--ts with the squadron over hat trip. Same boat went to Cap Hatian, Hatii for a long weekend while assigned to Fleet TraGru at Guantanamo. Dirtiest place I've ever been.

4/23/2011 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. Most obscure port? Does the COB's daughter count?

Seriously - might not be obscure geographically but loved pulling the little boat into Galveston, TX.

4/23/2011 10:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great liberty in Esquimalt, BC. 42 year old local taught this 21 year old 'things'. Halifax, NS was fun. Curacao was excellent.

4/23/2011 10:38 PM

Blogger Curt said...

Just a short bus ride fron Bergen, Norway -

4/24/2011 7:34 AM

Anonymous ew-3 said...

The Russians Arrived!

Sort of a flip on this story.
Was in Key West to go to sail boat school. On the Sat in the middle of my two weeks there I took a guided SCUBA trip out to the reef south of KW. On the return trip I'm up by the bow taking in the sights, when I spot a surfaced submarine being towed into KW. There was something very strange about the shape of the sail, rather low and long. Not American.

As a bit of background - I was an EW on a DE when EW was a new rate. At that time the EW was the consultant in the CIC to the CIC WO on matters concerning the Soviet Navy. So we all studied the pubs quite a bit, particularly that big Red book labeled Secret.
And during a tour of the North Atlantic including north of Murmansk we got to use our skills.

So there I was on the bow of this boat looking right at something I'd seen in the big red book.
Was unable to learn more till I got home and about a year or two later I found an entry about a Soviet Sub that was being taken to Tampa to be made into a restaurant. Fast forward a few years, and on the web I found more out about the sub. In fact I actually got to visit her and give a picture I had taken of her in KW to her new keepers.

Turned out that sub was the Juliet 484. Boggles the mind I could spot it after all these years and even recognize it. The Juliet class had been a concern as she carried four SSN-3 Shaddock missiles.

The only soviet sub I actually saw was a Foxtrot class boat that surfaced right in front of us during a mid watch while off Murmansk. Our sonar (SQS-26) was active and we never saw a thing. I got called to the bridge to identify the sub class suing that big red book. (Commodore was all over our CO for not seeing it, but it all worked out he went on to get 4 stars. )

4/24/2011 11:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best port was San Fran in the early 1980s, with all the bath houses.

4/24/2011 2:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No the Russians aren't coming or going anywhere in the near future, but the RN is fucking up pretty badly. NNPI ain't too happy at present with some regurgitated news regarding reactors and how distilled H20 is used to umm do some neat stuff and also umm prevent other bad stuff from happening.

Seems like the Brits are almost in panic mode.

4/24/2011 6:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bizerte, Tunisia & Mindelo, Cape Verde on the same deployment. I'd go back to Tunisia, can't say the same for Cape Verde.

4/25/2011 6:36 PM

Blogger RichG said...

Marcus Island (Minami Tori Shima?) for a BSP in ~Jun 86. AKA Little Chicken Island, about half-way between Wake Island and Iwo Jima. Used to have a USCG Station running the LORAN transmitter. We'd been at sea for over two months, offloaded an EM1 (HUMEVAC), and got an Admiral's son Middie in return - who didn't know to even bring a Newsweek, Time, whatever. Just after Cherynobyl, we were all wondering WTF on air samples (PAS) when ventilating. Mid was actually decent. But the chart wasn't on the allowance, so CSG7 sent a lat/long msg - here is the reef, avoid it, etc. - probably took up half the bcst. Zodiac transfer. I was the required contact coordinator, useless job.

Cold Bay Alaska. USS McKee and one SSN and one SSBN for PACEX (Oct 90). As far down the Alaskan Peninsula as you can get before hitting islands. Learned the term "Williwaw" when the tender and subs moved at anchor about a half-mile in ten minutes when winds went berserk. Nothing to do there other than watch the Alaskan brown bears (grizzlies)and fish (one guy got a 110lb halibut - and when we arrived the first official visitor was the guy selling fishing licenses).

I did Avalon (Catalina) once. Almost did Manzanillo Mexico, until Mexico realized almost all the US subs were nuclear (think only Dolphin and Blueback were still around) and said no about 2 weeks before the visit(even NR said OK).

Adak. Loved the sailing directions - just because the weather is awful, wait 5 minutes, it will change. Spent 3 days there. A bald eagle on every power pole.

Not exactly a visit, my SSBN had to be mod-ALERT (UNDERWAY) with the Ney Food Service Team onboard, picking them up near Port Angeles (Yes, we won in the submarine category). Rather than do circles between the VTS lanes of the Straights of Juan de Fuca as originally suggested, we went up the Rosario Straight through the San Juan Islands past Whidbey island to Bellingham, and had a Steel Beach Picnic. Squadron wouldn't pay for the required Canadian pilot to go through the Haro Straight, so we only did the US portion, and doubled back on our track.

4/27/2011 12:20 AM

Anonymous flem snopes said...

Took a rubber boat and a landing party ashore at Eleuthera.

4/27/2011 12:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Midshipman Cruise: Went from La Madd to the Adriatic to shoot some torpedos for DEVRON 12. Then anchored in Dubrovnik (pulled next to ESL). Spent three awesome days there. Then went to Gib for a celebration of President Jefferson's decision to deal with the Barbary Pirates.

4/30/2011 7:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Samoa aboard Omaha in the early 90s. Anchored out in the harbor and couldn't leave the boat for the first day since there was so much chop the WSH and Fwd Escape Trunk were under water. Eventually, we got off through the bridge with jacobs ladders down to the hull and two guys in the duty section tied off to a third jacobs ladder as zodiacs would come up to the hull.

The only hotel on the island was a "hunting lodge" and was made up mostly of concrete as opposed to more "hotel-like" construction. They did have a decent steak and the beer (Vailima) was passable.

Didn't get to go to the feast one of the villages had for us (our Sonar Chief was from said village).

5/08/2011 9:30 PM

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2/18/2012 2:51 PM


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