I've been reading with interest the saga of the cruise ship passengers on the Carnival ship Triumph, and generally not feeling too sorry for them, figuring they were just a bunch of "First World Problem" whiners. Some other Submariners had the same attitude, saying things like "on submarines, we called conditions like that 'Tuesday'" and other such things. Then, a submariner pointed out that for a boat to have the same level of problems experienced by the cruise ship people, you would have essentially had to be continuously rigged for reduced electrical with the San tanks backed up and overflowing for 5 straight days.
About 3 1/2 years ago, I posted about the worst deprivation I ever experienced on a submarine; I'll repost it here:
The "Great Topeka Food Depression" of 1992: We didn't have a Chop during pre-deployment preps, and the short-timer MSC in charge of ordering the food didn't take into account that we'd have 20 riders aboard -- the type of riders that never miss a meal (you know the type). Our last port visit before our "mission vital to national security" got cancelled, so we weren't able to pick up the stores load we were counting on after the new Chop did an inventory and figured out we were running low on food. First, we ran out of yeast, but the MS's saved the last bit and tried to grow some more. It ended up dying, but that was OK, because by then we'd run out of flour. The sugar ran out soon thereafter. During the last few weeks, we were reduced to a diet of bologna pinwheels and unsweetened jello; we drank water or "diet bug" with meals (bug juice without sugar -- horrible). When we finally pulled into Bahrain, we only had four tubes of bologna and one pathetic bag of mixed veggies left. We had made a list of the riders we were going to eat first if we got extended. Luckily, we never did run out of coffee; otherwise, I'm sure there would have been a mutiny.What's your story to put the cruise ship weenies to shame?
Since the last port visit was canx'd, a lot of guys weren't able to pick up the various personal items they had planned to get there. As a result, a black market started up for things like candy and, especially, tobacco. A couple of smart non-smokers had bought a bunch of tobacco in San Diego before the deployment and made a killing. Eventually, that supply ran out too, and I saw the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen before -- the concept of "ABC" smokeless tobacco. ("ABC" stands for "Already Been Chewed".) Luckily, that all seemed to be used by the original owner; I don't think a market ever emerged for that particular commodity.