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.)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

PD Fun!

Here's an old picture of USS Key West (SSN 722) at periscope depth:

What's the most interesting thing you've ever seen out of the 'scope at PD?


Anonymous NHSparky said...

Being a nuke didn't get too much scope time underway, but inport in San Diego on weekend duty days provided all on board with interesting (ahem) "scenery", usually of the topless kind on the various boats going into/coming out of SD harbor by Point Loma.

10/10/2011 12:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bunch of damned seagulls sitting on the floating wire antenna.

10/10/2011 12:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's classified but lets just say "they" had the bridge manned and the line handler's topside were smoking.

10/10/2011 5:02 AM

Blogger Sandy Salt said...

A dolphin racing by the scope on the way to PD. It scared the crap out of me.

The second was the bottom of some surface ship.

10/10/2011 5:49 AM

Anonymous NFETP said...

1) Performed an observation on a blimp. U/I Surface contact for the longest time until it was fully over the horizon. Turns out it was a tug 'n tow ferrying a blimp!

2) X-Band radar off Hawaii. For those who haven't seen it, it was a self-propelled oil derrick with a GIGANTIC radome. Google it.

10/10/2011 5:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While snorkeling NE of Iceland, a P-3C, zero angle on the bow, all four engines turning.

10/10/2011 5:58 AM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Wasn't on the scope, but saw it live via SUBIS. Let's just say we positioned ourselves a little TOO good in the PRIP. Always amusing to hear the XO's (who WAS on the scope) voice go up an octave for a few wild seconds.

10/10/2011 6:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/10/2011 7:21 AM

Blogger Bryan Lethcoe said...

We were transiting in the JAX OA's as I recall and one of our sister ships was conducting an FCET off PCAN.

Skipper made a training exercise out of it. We made an educated guess as to roughly where they would be and roughly figured time of launch. We were plenty far away, but we decided to give it a look.

JOOD was first to sight on #2 scope, skipper was on #1 scope, then I relieved JOOD on #2 scope and got a few seconds of mighty Trident D-5 engine fire and exhaust smoke.

Oh, and I've also seen what looked like two sharks humping on / near the surface. Or maybe they were just snuggling..

10/10/2011 7:25 AM

Blogger Kevin McNamara said...

(1) A spotlight being swung our direction.

(2) A full-field look at a COSCO ship at CPA, in low power. As in, it was all blue hull and containers.

Exciting times on the midwatch.

10/10/2011 8:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We took observations on a refrigerator for a about an hour. I think it was a kenmore. The best thing I ever saw from the scope was the EX- USS Fife, taking on water after I took off her bow. You can google those videos.

10/10/2011 8:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw some TDU cans bobbing in the waves behind us. Lazy cranks!

10/10/2011 8:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A dead cow, off the coast of Bahrain right before surfacing and pulling in. Saw it float by from the monitor in Sonar. Took the OOD a while to realize what it was.

10/10/2011 8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Rubber Ducky floating by on a wave. Rubber Ducky you're the one, You make bathtime lots of fun, Rubber Ducky, I'm awfully fond of you.
Sinc Ex CNO G Dawg

10/10/2011 9:05 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

When we were hanging off the coast of Country Orange, I was JOOD on the Nav's team; he was essentially blind, so it was always an adventure relieving him on the 'scope. Once I picked up a Bear-F closing fast on my initial sweep; another time, a contact that he'd been calling a one-masted coastal freighter with a 50 ft masthead height turned out to be a guy in a tiny motorboat (5 ft MHH); needless to say, that put the range a lot closer that we'd been calculating.

10/10/2011 9:17 AM

Anonymous Paul C said...

A dead horse in the Caribbean, legs up, with two terns and a seagull perched on three of the legs.

10/10/2011 9:19 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Most of the interesting stuff, I am not able to dicuss, but I do have a periscope picture of a very large ice berg that was directly on our plotted track as my desktop. Based on an active sonar range, it was 10K yards away when I took the picture and it was 300 ft high. Since .7 of the berg is submerged, it would have given us a rather large "owweee" if I had not decided that I wanted to get a NAVSAT on the spur of the moment and the CO said yes. Goes to show that if you have an itch, scratch it.

10/10/2011 9:53 AM

Blogger Beetle said...

Ivan's periscope in the middle of our war game ops, came up as radar contact. I swung to the bearing on the attack scope. All of ours was accounted for!

10/10/2011 10:08 AM

Blogger Beetle said...

Ivan's periscope, in the middle of our WARGAMEOP, off Long Beach.

10/10/2011 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A dead horse in the Caribbean, legs up, with two terns and a seagull perched on three of the legs." - Paul C

If you were off Roatan, Honduras there might be a ready explanation for the dead horse you observed.

Karl Stanley, who was unlicensed to do his private submarine business, attracted sharks to his tourist dives by shooting a live horse left as bait in his submarine dive area.

10/10/2011 12:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sea dragons...after about the 4-hour point with no moon or lights in a darkened sea off the north coast Africa.

10/10/2011 12:03 PM

Anonymous PortTackStart said...

Favorite view from the scope was a couple of merchants driving through an area with three or four waterspouts. Favorite view of the scope was watching it fade from view from the dock.

10/10/2011 12:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raised the scope to go to p/d in to a huge school of tuna. Hundreds of them all around the ship.

Also had a pod of sperm whales ascend to p/d then stay with the ship while at p/d. Kept the scope up while going deep until they disappeared.

10/10/2011 1:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At PD returning from overhaul in Bremerton to Pearl via San Diego. Noted some CONEX boxes (numerous) in the water and sent a message to someone advising them to send out a warning. Got to Pearl and found out several of the crew's HHGs were in those boxes. To make matters worse, the warehouse in Pearl that was temporarily storing a lot of other crewmembers HHGs caught on fire destroying still more stuff. It was a tough move! I was lucky in that I sent the family early and our HHG missed the good times!

10/10/2011 2:41 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

OOD had the scope in hi power without realizing it. Kept asking the flag for a ship called the Nosmo King. No such ship existed. OOD kept nagging on the point until the FTOW took the scope, shifted to low power and saw the rest of the super-tanker with a big red No Smoking painted on the superstructure.

10/10/2011 3:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nosmo King is getting old.

10/10/2011 5:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...he was essentially blind, so it was always an adventure relieving him on the 'scope." _BH

Wow! Someone please clarify this irrationality. Submarine visual acuity volunteer standards should (and probably have not) really fallen so low.


10/10/2011 6:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the pic.. Nice to see the old boat, even if it is visible at PD.

I was always worried that someone would fly over us when we were up north and see us like that.

10/10/2011 6:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While on NORPAC off Petro going to PD to catch the broadcast with a high sea running. OOD orders me, offwatch QM, to take the scope. Notice the scope is awfully high out of the water. Look aft and see the screw thrashing the water.

A UI OOD on the scope while proceeding to PD stops his search to look at some fish and says COOL!! CO was not amused.

10/10/2011 7:03 PM

Blogger 4MC said...

A dead and bloated cow off of the coast of Lebanon back when Colonel Higgins, USMC, was murdered (hung I believe) after being kidnapped and brutally tortured for some time. Every swinging dick in the Mediterranean at that time got underway ASAP for that tense period.

10/10/2011 7:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wow! Someone please clarify this irrationality. Submarine visual acuity volunteer standards should (and probably have not) really fallen so low."

Now they offer laser eye surgery. I had mine done 18 months before retiring. Thanks Navy!

Jim C.

10/10/2011 8:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lookout's harness, scope fully raised. Whoops, I own that boy a cigar!

10/10/2011 8:44 PM

Anonymous 4-Stop said...

Had to pull out of Bahrain to let the CVN get some liberty time so they sent us out with no good water to dive in. We played surface ship for a week in the Persian Gulf. I’m on the number 1 scope and I pick up a blob in the water that looks a lot like a dead guy. I call up to the bridge and ask the lookout to verify. XO tells me I’m full of shit. 5 min later I definitely see a dead hodgie bloated like a beach ball. XO calls the CO and wants to recover the body. I say “you hit that guy with the 9 fin and he’ll pop his guts all over the sail.” XO says I’m full of shit, I call him an idiot. CO says mark the spot, call it in, and stay the hell away from it.

10/10/2011 9:08 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

The northern lights, on five runs north of the Arctic Circle.

10/11/2011 5:49 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

OOD raises #2 scope at 150', in the middle of the day, and sees nothing but blackness above save for one small circle of light. It was as if we were directly underneath a huge surface ship...except for the bright spot. After 10 minutes of head scratching the CO takes the conn and we head to PD...with that big black blanket still over us.

On the way up the bright spot gets brighter, until at about 70' you could actually see clouds and sky. By now it was clear the spot was an optical effect of some kind, but it was still damn odd.

At PD we find the ocean is completely flat. Completely. A mirror would have had less fidelity.

Never seen anything like it again.

10/11/2011 9:55 AM

Anonymous Cuopjoe said...

A nudist beach where it was 50 year old men and older. Doing "bouncy" things like jumping jacks and trampolining.

I still remember a nude geriatric, swear to God, swinging on a rope. Awful.

10/11/2011 2:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At PD we find the ocean is completely flat. Completely. A mirror would have had less fidelity."

Saw a day just like that only once myself in 10 years on the boats. Surfaced as OOD, in this case, in Long Island Sound during early springtime.

Oddest thing: as far as you could see...shark dorsal and tail fins. Here. There. Everywhere. They'd each roll side to side once in a while, taking in the sun.

And let me tell ye...there are some big-ass great white sharkes in Long Island Sound.

10/11/2011 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ethnic cleansing.

10/11/2011 5:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

During an exercise with two USN destroyers on a parallel course with us at the time, the hull numbers of one of them more than 1 division in low power off the port quarter, as I was doing my initial sweep at P/D. CO had some choice words for me and the sonar supe at the time and some more just for me after watch relief.

10/11/2011 7:18 PM

Blogger geezernuke said...

Female Officer on bridge of surfaced ****y sub looking thru binocs straight at our scope.
Was not me on scope but I vas der and later held the thru scope photo in my hand.
The XO had taken a long look previous to the photo time to confirm it was in fact a female. We had no doubt that he was qualified to make the distinction.

10/11/2011 7:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vladovostak Harbor

10/11/2011 7:45 PM

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Never saw anything particularly interesting through the scope. On the monitor, though, during my last deployment I saw a five-masted fully-rigged ship near Sicily, and some waterspouts elsewhere. (As I recall, there were seven waterspouts visible, but they were spread far enough apart that the OOD could only get three in view at once through the scope.)

10/11/2011 8:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SUBROC QAST. Got to crank the elevation real fast!

10/11/2011 9:51 PM

Anonymous sonarman said...

1. Saw a night time shuttle launch while parked at PCAN.

2. I was the sonar sup, and we had a contact we couldn't identify, so we went up to take a look. The skipper was on the scope. As soon as the scope broke the surface he yelled, and I mean yelled "EMERGENCY DEEP!". When we got back down to patrol depth, and caught our collective breath, we asked the skipper what did he see. He replied a helo pilot pointing at the scope. He said he was able to read the pilot's lips saying "Look, there's a periscope!".

It turns that it was an amphib group we weren't told about was transiting back home from the Gulf that took it through our patrol area. What we were hearing was all the helos buzzing back and forth between the ships.

The skipper mentioned what happened during the patrol debrief at the Pentagon fully expecting to get relieved on the spot. The brass said they didn't know anything about it. Whew!

10/12/2011 7:29 AM

Blogger Mike said...

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10/12/2011 9:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSN 665

1. pointed optical scope at the sun and lit a cig with a parabolic mirror.

2. Mid watch, junior ood emergency dove 2 times coming up for house keeping because of head light bearing down on us. Capt. came in after the second emergency deep to discover the ood was seeing a full moon.

10/12/2011 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Female Officer on bridge of surfaced ****y sub looking thru binocs straight at our scope." - Geezernuke

As you retired in 1978, are you not suspicious that the female-looking CO (before any navy claimed to have female submariners of any rank) was probably a long-haired male?

No one can interpret your "****y" descriptor since navies claiming female bubbleheads so far have been Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Norway.

All of your readers would like to know, even though some of us who served in your day, referred to ourselves as nukes rather than the current (k)nuc(klehead)s.


10/12/2011 3:08 PM

Anonymous Veemann said...


10/13/2011 4:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So what were you reading, when we were ordered to Surface?"

"I'm not sure."

"I think it said..E...H..I...M...E...MA..something."

10/13/2011 4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As sonar sup, we were hearing a P-3 flying around and bouy splashes. Reported to control. FT2 on the scope reported no P-3. 20 mins later, same thing..P-3 and bouy splshes, one again reported to control. Nothing in the scope.

I go out to control to converse with OOD, who is backing up the FT2. I could tell FT2 was watching some thing, so I asked.

He said he had a plane is distress because people were jumping out of it!!! The FT2 was serious!

10/13/2011 8:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doing torpex out of Pearl, we shot the screw on the Barbel. Barbel surfaced and we came up behind it with the scope raised to inspect the Barbel's screw.

10/14/2011 6:46 PM

Blogger dumpy duluth said...

the ex fife after we shot her nose off. also was in sonar when a destroyer was coming at us less than 700 yrds at pd

10/14/2011 7:42 PM

Anonymous Mike said...

re: 10/13/2011 4:56 PM

Now, that's sick!!

A good kind of sick, but still sick.

Ergo, you must be a submariner.

10/15/2011 7:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most women are too short to reach the periscope!!!!

10/15/2011 10:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

10/15/2011 7:59 AM

Thanks for the compliment!

I am not a Submariner, but a retired Army Tanker..Armor Crewman.

Think about it, we both did our duty in a solid steel box.

And we got periscopes too:)

10/15/2011 3:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Displayed on the big screen... coming home to Pt Loma. The USS Coronado was outbound, we were inbound. Some guy & his dog tries to thread the needle in front of us & his little sail boat goes dead in the water right in front of the 3rd Fleet flag ship. This ended with him & his dog getting fished out of the water, his sail boat broke in two & the Coronado never looked back. They sounded a courtesy "man overboard" as they cruised by.

10/20/2011 1:03 PM

Anonymous Ret ANAV said...

Three people (one girl and two guys) in dive gear, in a zodiac, attched to our scope at 3 kts. I could tell you more but then I would have to kill you.

10/21/2011 10:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came to PD in middle of atlantic ocean, and saw a russian sub on the surface, tremendous amount of smoke comming out of the conning tower and hatch on deck. took some pics off the attack scope, then got the hell out of there.

10/26/2011 7:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I caught a glimpse of our exercise buddy's (Providence?) scope and snorkel a few years back during SCC ops...a few moments later I watched them surface. Other highlights from the trip: MM1 coming from behind and groping who he thought was EM1, only to find out it was a similar looking PCO. Also, having the junior AMOW grease the scopes at PD and leave a valve open. When the team of PCO's was on the conn and went deep, tourmaline and seawater started spraying everywhere. The PCO's were hiding under their notebooks while the rest of us just laughed.

11/04/2011 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfaced as contact coordinator, we had a picnic table (inverted) attack close aboard in the channel in Groton. The crossed legs stuck out of the water like some kind of bizarre mastheads.

Came to PD at night in the Med once to find a sailboat (hard to blame the STs for that one). When I realized I could make out in low power what brand of shoes the guy was wearing (see above, at night) I figured we were close enough. I still claimed it in my approach log.

11/07/2011 9:40 PM

Blogger Troy Bierkortte said...

A soccer ball in the middle of the Atlantic.

11/08/2011 4:36 PM

Anonymous nike free cheap said...

The second was the bottom of some surface ship.

11/10/2011 10:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shipmate getting frisky with his wife in the parking lot of Pier Mike in Charleston - right after returning from a deployment.

11/15/2011 9:07 AM

Anonymous XWEPS said...

Dolphin swimming at and the racing in front of the scope during the entire ascent to PD.

A piece of seaweed plastered across the field of view. I could see a little bit above and a little bit below. My only Emergency Deep ever.

The triangular shadow of an optical mirror that had come loose and jammed in the field of view. Took us a bit to fix, but we didn't have to abort the mission.

A trail of bubbles from the scrubbers on a glass like ocean.

11/19/2011 8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw a Mickey Mouse Milar balloon float by the periscope in Indian country.. Hmm, wonder where there are Disney World parks..

11/29/2011 11:01 AM


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