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.)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bad Luck Boats

WillyShake follows up on my earlier posts about the fires on USS Jacksonville and USS Connecticut by asking if people believe in the concept of "bad luck boats". USS Greeneville (SSN 772) comes to mind as a recent boat that suffered a series of "unlucky breaks" (collision with Japanese fishing trawler, grounding in Okinawa, collision in Arabian Sea). Previously, USS Guittaro and USS Houston were generally considered to be "bad luck" boats. USS Jacksonville can certainly be added to that list, when you consider the collision she suffered in May 1996, along with a few other incidents. I agree that a lot of it may be self-fulfilling prophecy, some may just be statistical anomalies, and some may be actual evil spirits. For instance, although I can't put specifics here (and not meaning to sound flippant with respect to the two injured Sailors), I happen to personally know that the battery well on the Connecticut is a place where evil resides; the original battery on the Connecticut failed right before I was supposed to leave the boat, so my transfer got delayed while it was replaced (a relatively long process on a Seawolf), and I had to stay until we completed the examination that was postponed due to the battery replacement. They ended up fixing that battery as best they could and putting it on the Carter for the first year before they got a new one -- I used to go down to the battery well at least once a week and yell at it. The newer shipyard workers thought I was crazy, but the older ones knew that I was justified.
Seriously, I do believe that ships have "souls"; their soul is made up of all the blood, sweat, and tears that everyone who serves on the ship gives to her, and from the little pieces of themselves that every crew member leaves behind, be it their hopes, fears, or dreams. I've left part of my soul on each of the ships that I've served on, but have also taken some of their personalities with me, so I think it's a good trade...

Going deep...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to read "The Ship That Found Herself" by Kipling for probably the best description on how a collection of iron and rivets becomes a Ship. I rode the Omaha (SSN692) from Bravo trials onward, and she settled down to be a good ship, even with strikes and such at Electric Board during her construction.

2/21/2005 10:28 PM

Blogger chaoticsynapticactivity said...

During the years of 90-93, as the CSA inspector for CNSL, I managed to set board on most every ship on the east coast under SURFLANT each year. This gave me a pretty unique opportunity to see many COs, XOs and department heads come and go on the 2 yr/15 month/18 month tour cycles respectively.

I came to the conclusion, added to by the 14 years of service before this point, that ships had personalities. Occassionally, one would show a shift in it's collective mannerisms and attitude, but over all, they pretty much stayed the same.

Earlier in my career, I was on a TAC DESRON and since the Commodore volunteered us for every "good deal" he was in earshot of, I was watch officer for a number of ships. The track record of tactical performance of those units stayed the same when I was doing CSAs. Almost spooky, but it was something I came to expect.

2/22/2005 10:49 PM


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