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.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Watchstanders Gone Wild

While I'm perusing the CIMSEC website on Maritime Security put together by a bunch of JOs, I figured I'd repost a post I put out in 2009 to get inputs from any new readers:

Anyone remember this blurb from The Hunt For Red October?
"The engineers went about their duties calmly. The noise in the engine room spaces rose noticeably as the systems began to put out more power, and the technicians kept track of this by continuously monitoring the banks of instruments under their hands. The routine was quiet and exact. There was no extraneous conversation, no distraction. Compared to a submarine's reactor spaces, a hospital operating room was a den of libertines."
Discuss. Remember, though, that we have some wives reading, so you should avoid stories that go something like "the throttleman fell asleep so the RO put his junk in the throttleman's ear"... unless they're really, really funny.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rigged for deep submergance doing angles and dangles, when the phone talker at the throttle station between the mains decides to take a slide down the deck. Idiot nearly hung himself.

7/10/2013 3:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One time, pre-911, I relieved a certain ET1(SS) as SRO for the mid-watch. His wife had been down for dinner on his duty day. There was a single long dark hair stuck on the shim switch. I cannot imagine how it came to be there, but I made him clean the RPCP with simple green before I would relieve.

7/10/2013 4:08 PM

Blogger Edwin Ostroot said...

Underway on CODT, I was standing RT. I was giving this new ST a checkout for ship's quals. It came time for logs, so I left him in the enclosure to study for a minute. I headed up the STBD side to begin my round as the CO came down the PORT side to initiate a SCRAM drill.
The CO convinced the ST to manually SCRAM the plant. Once the ST lifted the cover, the CO headed to maneuvering to inform the EOOW that the SCRAM was for training.
I heard the breakers and ran back in time to see STSN with his hand on the SCRAM switch, but not the CO. He started to say something, but I didn't let him. I just jacked him up and threw him to ERUL who restrained STSN with zip ties.
I called it in as a manual SCRAM by STSN. The EOOW 2MCed it an ordered a recovery. The CO heard the 2MC and decided his intervention was unnecessary. He just walked around and watched. I don't know how he missed STSN all zip tied up in the corner. EVERYONE came by to "SCREAM" at the kid.
We found out later what happened. His ER section was completed about 24 hours after we learned the truth.

7/10/2013 4:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Throttleman, I had assumed the appropriate position: answering the bell, left arm draped over the chain, head resting on left shoulder, & kicked back. A very salty ERS assumes I'm asleep, so he puts his junk in my left ear. I stir around enough for him to leave. When he leaves, with my right hand I grab a spray bottle full of some horrendous wax stripping solution.

It was too much for the ERS to bear, and so sure enough, a few minutes later he comes back for a second pass. However, just as he's about to penetrate my ear space, I cut loose with the floor stripper. It only took a few seconds for it to take effect. In a flash, the ERS was up on his tiptoes at the ER trunk water fountain attempting to cool his junk. Needless to say, he never attempted that one again.

7/10/2013 4:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once saw an electrical operator -- one with a particularly large head -- put a coke can in his mouth.

Everyone bet he couldn't do it. And he did it easily.

The rest of the watch was a little dull, I have to admit.

7/10/2013 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the engineroom (not sure if I was the SRW, or just working on my collateral duties). I didn't witness it, but I heard about it afterwards, but the SRO was working on some divisional paperwork and prints something out at the log room printer. Without breaking stride, he gets up to go retrieve it. The EDO chased him down after they realized what happened. He didn't even realize what he did until they told him. Luckily, there weren't too many people around, and he didn't get into any trouble.

7/10/2013 9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a young STS2, I had a Chief who liked to go 'adventuring' while on watch as Sonar Sup. He would leave the shack for ten to fifteen minutes and come back. The first few times we figured he was just BS'ing in Control (something I have been guilty of many a time). Then I went to get him to report a contact and he wasn't there! I nervously called the contact out and a minute later he came back. I told him about the contact and he replied "I know, heard the 27MC in the Torpedo Room". After he knew we knew about his exploits he became even bolder and would go further afield each day, until he finally made it all the way to the ass end and back (T-hull). He would come back with tales of who was watching what movies where, what sammich he ate, who he caught sleeping on watch aft, and other details gleaned from his 'roving Sup tour'.

He never got caught. Thankfully next patrol I was q'd sup and it wasn't as big a deal (to me).

Couldn't see doing that on an SSN (it was my one & only boomer tour) but it sure made boring watches more interesting for all of us...

He was a horrible role model but I will never forget him.


7/10/2013 10:04 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

Underway on SSN721 for the last time, last watch on that boat.
I get dragged out of the shack and my nether regions are drenched in stamp pad ink. Poopy suit and skivvies soaked.
With zero thought as to what I was doing I grab the Isopropyl alcohol (used to clean the comps and tape heads) and proceed to give my nads a thorough cleaning...for about 3 seconds.
Talk about a brain-fart.
As an aside: A few months later went underway on a 637 as a TRE rider. After a day underway I remove my poopy suit to hit the rack. And my skivvies and nads are covered in ink. The same poopy suit from the blue-balling...

7/11/2013 1:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As BDW, used to heat up the griddle 'bout midnight after tours and invite the SRO and the SRW fwd for grilled cheeses, and throw a hand or two of spades in the tunnel on the tophat.
Hell, had to do dishes anyway between tours.

Yep, it's me.

7/11/2013 1:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back on the 630, two hours prior to setting the maneuvering watch for getting underway for patrol, the “A” gang division topped off the potable water tanks prior to removing the hoses. Lunch was being served and people started complaining about the soda tasting salty. Yep, they topped of the tanks with salt water. Took two days to flush the system and depart for patrol. Thanks for the extra two nights of liberty!

7/11/2013 7:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

News (to me): USS Dallas (SSN 700) to be retired to...Dallas, Texas...after her decomm in 2014.

7/11/2013 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mid seventies on a Polaris submarine, the big mouth ERS and the big ELT got into a heat discussion. The ERS gave the argument "You can suck my d*ck!" to which the ELT responded "Wip it out!"

The ERS obliged and was surprised when the ELT clamped a fist lock on the exposed ERS and proceded to do high speed laps around the ERUL until the ERS was able to break contact.

Other present watchstanders cheered the ELT on.


7/11/2013 12:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a better article about Dallas that doesn't require a subscription.

7/11/2013 1:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In maneuvering as phone talker on a long surface transit maneuvering watch in rough seas. The electrical operator is one of those guys who gets seasick when the first line is removed. After a little while of rolling and watching the meter dials going back and forth, he looks a little green and asks the EWS for a garbage bag. The chief brings back a CLEAR plastic bag. When John finally loses it, all the pretty colors running down the inside of the bag set off an avalanche of puke...first the EOOW, then the RO and finally the Throttleman. I somehow managed to keep lunch down, but it was rough.

7/11/2013 2:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to imagine what scheme they have in mind to get a 7,000 ton submarine from Houston to Dallas. Drawing a blank...unless they use some of the equipment used to move these.

And along those lines...what'll happen to the RC? Just hull cut & paste? Seriously? Not sure they've really spec'd this out from a practical perspective...but would be happy to see it happen eventually.

7/11/2013 2:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The preceeding 'Hunt for Red October' text omitted:

"The reactor coolant pumps went to fast speed. An increased amout of hot, pressurized water entered the exchanger, where its heat transferred to the steam on the outside loop. When the coolant returned to the reactor it was cooler than it had been and therefore denser. Being denser, it trapped more neutrons in the reactor pile, increasing the ferocity of the fission reaction and giving off yet more power to cool the overly sweaty nuclear technicians."

7/11/2013 3:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In DMP, Pearl Harbor, late 90's. NRRO rep doing midwatch tours boat to boat. Going from the next dry dock to ours, he runs across a young EM3 at the soda machine, thinks nothing of it. Until he goes down to our boat to tour the engine room. After touring, he stops by our temporary Maneuvering (in Crew's Mess) and sees.......that same EM3. Holding a frosty Pepsi. The young SEO goes to mast a few days later, with the "SRO told me it would be okay" story. Amazingly, the SRO, who was the worst ET1 I've ever witnessed in my career, decides to fall on the sword for his shipmate. So he ends up at Mast the next day, getting a suspended bust. He doesn't like the result and backtracks on his story, so he goes back to Mast two days AFTER that for false official statement, gets busted down to 3rd, de-nuked, and eventually kicked out. All over a soda......

7/11/2013 8:00 PM

Blogger Ross Kline said...

"...increasing the ferocity of the fission reaction and giving off yet more power to cool the overly sweaty nuclear technicians."

That would be the sweaty Sonar Technicians....

7/11/2013 9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job, Ross! Clancy writes a blockbuster highlighting a spectacular sonarman "Seaman Jones", barely mentions the aft-end gang and you have to credit Sonar Techs even more.

Thank you!

ST1(SS) Epperson

7/11/2013 9:28 PM

Anonymous former squadron rider said...

On the surface coming out of Halifax in October, RO comes out of his chair, spins around and deposits his lunch in the trashcan on the side of the EOOW's desk.
EOOW: "Reactor Operator, mind your panel!"

7/11/2013 10:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On surface on SSN-714 coming back in to Norfolk, I think right around hurricane Hugo, EOOW (me) calls in EWS so EOOW can go to ERLL and lose lunch. EOOW returns and EWS leaves and promptly loses lunch.

CO calls Squadron and says BS on this, turns around and goes out to submerge so we can come in next day when weather better.

Same boat, Engineer like to put pinhole in soda cans at chin level of his watchstanders while no one looking, then watches them to see how they react.

7/12/2013 10:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1980, USS Skate (SSN-578) took a shortcut from Pearl Harbor to Lahaina, Maui, after PCO OPS to maximize liberty time there. Unfortunately, the shortcut required a surface transit. The weather was rough by Hawaii standards, so everybody not on the bridge was losing their lunch, some more than once. At least one watchstander in Maneuvering was wearing a clear garbage bag over his head so that he wouldn't mess up his panel. Painful as that transit was, four days in Maui was easily worth it.

7/12/2013 12:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember being in the Wardroom while the EDO in shipyard had to call the CO to report that NRRO had caught the SRW in the act of duct taping the SRO to the chair...SRO was fully immobile! CO was a well known screamer! Critique was hilarious!

7/13/2013 5:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

During PD briefs the OOD would never look at Fire Control so as FTOW I would perform a striptease behind his back. One time I got my whole poppie suit off, and everyone is trying to keep a straight face. The OOD turns around and I'm standing there in my underwear he asks about contacts I report them and he turns back around. After watch he told me my burlesque days were over.

7/13/2013 12:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Young QMOW, on many midwatches, I would take a break and go see the one of my MS friends doing the next day baking. He would not just give me plates of donuts, but sometimes full cakes to smuggle up to the control room. Imagine a full large cake hidden inside the MK-19 plotting table under the chart. We would do this so routinely, the midwatch OOD and DOOW would come over and sneak a piece while on watch. Going to PD rigged for black was especially a treat.

7/13/2013 6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early on a boring midwatch, boomer patrol,rigged for red. OOD (me) blackened out two upper front teeth with sonar contact grease pencil, grinned at QMOW. Wiped off teeth out of his sight. He spent the next five hours trying to catch me smiling without being obvious.

7/13/2013 9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late 80s on a T-hull, you find things to "do" on watch. I was in ERML, ELT on watch in ERF. I heard a very loud sound like a sudden in rush of water!! At least that was my assumption....but no... ELT had taken an old Jenny wand, cut off the end, hooked it up to 700 # air and blew a bolt from ASW to back of Condensate Bay completely through one of those industrial strength black 3-ring binders and put a dent in the purifier workbench! Chowder Head! Frank....if you're out know of what I speak.

7/13/2013 10:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mid-watch QMOW on NYC in transit, exceedingly bored. Saw the COW nodding off and had fluffed out his fro. The FTOW and I took pieces of eraser and were chucking it across the control room to stick in his hair. The OOD was mildly amused and the DOOW pretended not to notice. Pices of eraser everywhere but most in his hair. Until he perked up and muttered "What the MotherF@#$".

7/14/2013 1:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early 1980s on USS Skate (SSN-578), one of the Helmsmen (an FN) was whining constantly about having been restricted to the boat twice. Finally, the DOOW (a TMCS(SS)) couldn't take any more, so he challenged the Helsman by betting that the TMCS(SS) had more days on restriction than the FN had in the Navy. A check of Service Records after the watch proved the TMCS(SS) was right, he had a total of well more than a year of time on restriction.

7/14/2013 3:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early 1970's, still at NPS Bainbridge, standing evening watch at the school. A particularly obnoxious ensign came in, one that no one liked, wearing his peacoat with civvies. The other watchstander and and discussed it for about 10 seconds, andd I went in to the office and innocently asked the duty chief, "Is it all right to wear a peacoat with civvies?" Didn't mention who had done it. Answer, "Absolutely not. Get him in here!" So, went down to his room, "Ens. Smith, the duty chief said he'd like to talk to you if you've got a minute." Still wearing his peacoat, went to see him. Don't know what they talked about for 5 minutes. About a minute after the ens left, teh duty chief came out, glared at us both, and in a low voice, "Don't ever do that to me again.", and disappeared back into the office.

7/15/2013 6:06 PM

Blogger Harold said...

On the 630 (blue), part of an A gang that never filled PW tanks with saltwater (How do you do that, anyhows?), there was an MT new on board who swore up and down that no one, no one could ever rig him. I normally didn't participate in any such antics, but he made you just want to.

He came into machinery 1 bearing a large inflated garbage bag, duct taped closed. "Here's the air sample from the missile compartment." I took it, looked it over, handed it back, "It doesn't have the OOD's signature. Can't test air samples without the OOD's signature." "D--- it, they didn't tell me that." And he went off.

A few minutes later, just before the MT returned, my div O called me. "PO Smith, why did I just sign a bag of air?" I explained, he laughed.

7/15/2013 6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mid 80s at PSNS nearing completion of a refueling overhaul on a 637 class the Eng was doing a crawl-through white glove inspection. He emerged from the Wine Cellar with a taped up poly bag. He was beaming with pride that he had found something "overlooked" during the multitude of Field Days.

As soon as the Eng's knife pierced the bag, a horrible smell filled the ER. Eng about gagged. LOL

Eng immediately created a new ENOB entry "No defecating in the Eng spaces. If you must go, a watch relief must be obtained so you can go forward." Of course, thanks to the new rule, for weeks after we were finding Mad Shitter bags o' crap stashed everywhere. SMH

7/15/2013 9:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While tied to Kings Bay pier, an ETC(SS) uses a PVO tool-wrench to violently assault an EOOW in Maneuvering. ETC(SS) had discovered the EOOW had been arranging an RO's EMI schedule in a peculiar manner. ETC(SS) had surmised that the EOOW was frequently visiting the RO's wife in base housing while RO was stuck aboard doing EMI. Navy wives do like to spy on each other.

Injured EOOW disappears via base EMT ride to hospital ER. Is never heard from again by anyone.

ETC(SS) goes to mast where the CO restricts ETC(SS) to boat for duration of forthcoming patrol. ETC(SS) later finishes his career doing an NFAS end-of-tour.

7/17/2013 12:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Standing watch as the Sonar Broadband operator on a certain midwatch, I woke up from my slumber and looked around the shack to find that everyone was sound asleep. I therefore concluded that it was ok to go back to sleep until I got relieved.
P.S. We didn't hit anything.

7/17/2013 9:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late 80s pierside at PSNS with a steam barge alongside preparing to do ER testing. It was an unusually warm spring day, so while stationed as the "steam isolation valve operator" topside, I had my dungaree legs pulled up as far as they would go, socks down, shirt sleeves pushed up as far as they would go, Ray Bans on, and was was kicked back in a rope and duct-tape hammock we had concocted. Since I was ridiculously stationed (just in case) to "watch" a valve that was danger tagged locked closed (with a logging chain and padlock to which I did not have a key), I had no qualms about catching some Zzzzsss.

At some point the Eng ("Wingnut" - a real screamer) crosses the brow probably 100 ft from me. He can't see my eyes, but screams "NAME!!!!!! Were you sleeping?!!!!!!!" Upon hearing my name, I stirred awake, heard his question, recognized correct answer and responded with, "Umm, no sir."

He yells back, "You'd better not be." After he went down the hatch, I went back to sleep.

I also witnessed that guy's shiny new BMW get a test tube of acid poured on the hood. I didn't do it, but saw it happen. hehehe He deserved EVERY drop.

7/19/2013 11:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On one patrol aboard 630 the AMR1 watches were diligently doing their duty testing the MEA in the scrubbers. I was going to the ELTs every other week to get the sample bottle refilled. Got told by the ELT we better cut back, or we'd run out before patrols end.

Meanwhile, a certain chief's khakis were fading faster then anyone elses, and he was beginning to bitch about it. Then, someone casually mentioned to me that maybe, just maybe, some of the nitric acid might not be going to scrubber testing.

Had a private talk with the laundry queen,and mentioned casually mentioned that while the Wascomat's stainless steel drum probably wouldn't be harmed by any additional acid, the seals and bearings were a diffferent matter, and that he should pass this on to subsequent laundry queens.

Consumption of nitric acid dropped back down to normal levels.

7/20/2013 8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: The Dallas moving to Dallas... they might also be using one of these:

It's how they are moving Shuttle booster rockets around to museum spaces.

7/23/2013 2:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come nobody ever brought up showing your road map with a flashlight when riged for black?

7/23/2013 6:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MO-ron. External shuttle fuel tank empty is 58k pounds. That's a few pounds shy of 6000 tons.


7/24/2013 2:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking back on Clancy's descriptors, it's more like porn than a reactor plant...

7/30/2013 10:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Known joker Reactor Operator pulled one of best I've seen or heard of. Ever heard of a fart machine? Loop of hanger wire, rubber bands and a hard cardboard rectangle. Put it down yer trowsers, lift up and the cardboard spins around making the fart sound. Okay, RO puts the fart machine down his trow, adds a Hershey bar in a plastic bag, and goes on watch with a known weak Ensign EOOW. Of course, the Throttleman, Electical Operator and the Log Recorder are clued in. About an hour or so into the watch, the Hershey bar well melted, the RO gives the machine a whirl. The Throttleman and the EO give out the required "d__n man, knock it off" and such to keep up the ruse. The EOOW remonstrates with the typical O'gang elite "control yourself, Reactor Operator", and began mouth breathing. The RO repeats the performance one or two more times until allowing a long buzz from the machine, followed by "D__n, I just s__t myself". The RO then stands up in front of his chair and plunges his right hand down the back of his trowsers, pulls it out with a mass of brown stickey stuff on his fingers. The Throttleman fades to the right yelling "Ohh...Gross". The EOOW recoils gagging. The RO looks at his hand, states "What the hell will I do with this? Oh, well.." and proceeds to lick the brown goo off his hand and fingers. The EOOW blows chunks everywhere. All the watchstanders break out in crazy laughter. Made for an interesting 04 to 08 watch...

8/02/2013 6:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hunt for Red October had a lot of Hollywood in it. One of my favorites: at the beginning of the movie, Seaman Beaumont couldn’t identify a biologic, but by the end of the movie he was running the sonar shack.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

8/04/2013 11:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby Lee 1976, we had an ERLL who almost every watch masturbated almost continually. He would growl me in MSUL to tell me of each occurence.
My first qualified watch they locked me in the decon station when I went to take a leak and turned on the shower. Eng didn't bat an eye when he walked through about a half hour later and i was soaking wet.
An ex-Nebraska football player also tackled me on watch between the switchboards and gave me a hickey.

8/14/2013 8:22 AM

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9/22/2013 4:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe I missed this thread many to choose from:
Underway on the 623 in early 80's - Fri morning field day in progress. O-gangers typically disappear in the middle of this for training (doily folding and tea cup holding). During that time, an RO who lived up to every stereotype associated with their ilk found himself covered in EB red, naked with his junk, mouth, nose and eyes visible. To get a twofer out of this, he was placed in the XO's stateroom with a huge cigar burning in his mouth (XO was an adamant anti-smoker; CO was a three pack a day man - guess who won?)with the door shut. We then waited...
Shortly after Officer training broke up, there was was a 1MC anouncement by the XO for "whoever left their shit in the XO's stateroom, to come remove it immediately or field day will continue till evening meal". A group of nucs went to collect the RO who still had the cigar in his mouth as the XO wouldn't touch it and the victim was afraid to drop it and damage naugahyde or carpet in the stateroom. Amazingly, no followup or further problems came of it. It was rumored the CO thought it was hilarious!

Should we talk a jello filled tunnel catch tank?


10/19/2013 10:52 PM

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11/17/2013 3:27 AM


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