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.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

USS San Juan In Souda Bay

Navy NewsStand has some pictures (here, here, and here) of USS San Juan (SSN 751) heading into a port call last week in Souda Bay, Crete. Here's one of them:

I've never been to Crete, but I've heard it's a good liberty port. Does anyone have any good Souda Bay stories?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I really can't share them on a blog...

5/30/2007 5:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly indicative of a good liberty port!

5/30/2007 6:18 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

SSN 750 went there in 94 before I arrived. The old hands requested Souda liberty for our '96 Med Run, so we pulled in on 17 November. Not exactly the tourist season in Crete, November...

And 17 November happens to bear special meaning for Greek hoodlums..

What's more, during the previous week, some merchant sailors had had a small disagreement with the local boys about some local girls. We squids went ashore for a quiet evening of music and libations, but within hours a full-fledged riot developed. Bricks and bottles were flying in the streets, and the more sober of us led the crew through the winding alleys back to the boat - discretion the better part of valor, as they say.

One of my guys got a broken jaw, so we medevaced him to Ramstein.

Alcohol may have been a factor.

5/30/2007 7:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there in 2005 with Squadron 22 onboard USS Emory S. Land, just before the Tomahawks flew to Iraq.
The locals weren't happy with the impending war and staged a 'non-violent' protest outside the gates leading to our pier. About 200 auxilliary police were stationed at the gate - mostly teen-aged cadets led by some wayyyy pudgy regulars.
When the protest crowd decided to march and force the gate, the young cops lost their cool and started launching tear gas. The crowd tossed back some rocks, and the cops panicked. Thinking some tear gas was good, so more was better, the police launched ALL of their canisters - about 100!
Then the wind shifted. What had been generally blowing across the road, now shifted to blowing down the road, straight into the police positions. It was a good news, bad news situation: the bad news was the police took off, the good news was the whole road down to the piers was covered in a huge yellow cloud of tear gas so the protesters decided they had achieved a moral victory and departed.
Otherwise, my only thought about Souda Bay is that it had more rocks than La Maddalena and we couldn't even read the signs. Oh, and if you've never drunk greek wine with pine pitch added, you haven't really missed out much.

5/30/2007 9:31 AM

Blogger loddfafnir said...

We went to Souda on our Summer '97 Med Run. Winding roads, speeding duty vans, goats, olives, wine, a lesbian bar, those illegible signs, lots of friendly Scandinavian girls on holiday. It was an ok liberty port.

5/30/2007 12:36 PM

Blogger submandave said...

"Oh, and if you've never drunk greek wine with pine pitch added, you haven't really missed out much."

Ah, Retsina, I believe it's called. In my estimation it tastes like a so-so white wine that's been strained through moldy bread. Interesting thing we discovered, though, was that the larger the gulp you took the less aftertaste you had to contend with.

I have to admit, Joel, sometimes being a non-drinker has its advantages.

5/30/2007 12:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


It was 2003, not 2005. I was there on the Providence.

Uncle Petey

5/31/2007 4:31 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Hey fast neutron, what billet did you hold at the time?

Souda was my last liberty port on ... yeah, the San Juan, when she was there in '03, right before she went to launch tomahawks. I remember those semi-regular protests

And as bullnav said, I won't be sharing those stories, to protect the guilty (and to protect myself - it was my farewell port, after all...)

Although, I will say that the XO's wife showing up unexpectedly to visit her husband can be a blessing - because that way there is a spare hotel room ashore that the JOs can pour a destroyed PBS, a mean anonymous JO!, into after he has had too much...

5/31/2007 4:37 AM

Blogger Brainy435 said...

I celebrated my 24th birthday, my last one in the Nav, in Crete. There was a little, out of the way bar called the "Fun Pub." It was a cool little bar, rather basic, but they liked to set the bar on fire periodically. The guys kept buying me shots just to hear the waitresses try and pronounce the sexually suggestive names. I handled it pretty well... until someone bought me a "Flaming Lamborghini." Ugh. I don't know what was it in, but it consisted of 5 different shots, one of which was on fire. I remember NOTHING after that one. Supposedly I almost got into a fight with a salty M-div chief who was a mean drunk and didn't like my dancing, was literally carried back to the boat, was forced fed some food so I didn't die of alcohol poisoning and still somehow managed to wake up in time for duty the next day.

It was a LONG day, too....

6/01/2007 11:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice port, gotta hit it in the late spring/summer though. The whole island is a major european tourist destination. Nice views, wonderfull food, and yes, beautiful women. 5 day visit in May, 2001 turned out to be one of my best liberty ports. Not sure if thats a jive on my tour on an ssn or a compliment to Crete...?

6/03/2007 12:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there twice. First time we almost had an international incident when our duty driver ran into the mayor's olive tree and almost toppled it (olive trees are protected in Greece). Second time I was there we were having outstanding liberty partying with an all female Belgian Patriot missile battery crew (gotta love those French-Belgian accents)in Chania, when an idiot from my duty section decided to try to run after he and another guy was grab-assing and ended up breaking a candy store window. Unfortunately he ran into the only Ninja-trained off-duty police officer in Crete who proceeded to put him on his ass. The COB placed us all n Cinderella liberty. I dropped a leave chit in a heartbeat so that I would not disappoint my Belgian sisters-in-arms.

6/10/2007 9:08 PM

Blogger F-ingBeaupre said...

Ah, Souda Bay...I'll not remember too much of that one. But, since I'm now out (Miss y'all on the San Juan!) there's nothing that can follow me!
Shore Patrol on MedRun '05 was great... a fellow no-named M-div buddy got me pretty lit while I was 'patrolling'...more or less looking for good spots for the next day. And then, at the stroke of midnight and our shore patrol duites officially over (more or less), we let the shots roll! Then had to corral some more drunks (apparently duties not yet complete...and wicked late at night, too) at some local hotels. Finally got back to the boat sometime around 3:30 am (hehehe...0330 for you military types) and managed to get to my rack without pissing myself or falling right the hell off the boat. The brow gets REAL steep when the tide's out.

6/20/2007 10:49 PM

Blogger Pat said...

Pulled in there Mar 03. Strange weather, had snow and sun on manuvering watch. TM's did not get much liberty (1 day). Returned Apr 03 after missile launch. Was 1 of 4 boats moored outboard of the tender. We had to us a liberty launch as a brow. I have a good picture of it.

6/25/2007 7:31 AM


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