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.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Submariner's New Blog

Submarine junior officer "Spinnaker" started up a new blog over at "Don't Call Me Sir". Looks like it'll be a great addition to your submarine bookmarks!


Blogger John Byron said...

As in "Don't call me sir - I'm just as good as you are?"

1/16/2009 5:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ducky, Who was the SSBN OOD that you served with who was chewed out by Don Kniss, and then later went on to a command and a Navy Cross?

1/16/2009 6:59 AM

Blogger reddog said...

No submarine commander has won a Navy Cross since World War II, as far as I know. I understand that Bronze Stars, Silver Stars and Navy Crosses all require actual combat.

My Captain got a Legion of Merit. He was a real good guy but we were the ones that really won it for him. They couldn't really give one to everybody in the crew, could they. We were good sports.

That's the reason so many WWII Sub commanders got Navy Crosses, to honor their crews. They were brave enough but most of them were Ivy League frat boys and couldn't tuck their dick back in their fly without help.

My Captain was from Princeton. He was better than most. His dick was only hanging out about half the time. Came from the best frat on campus.

1/16/2009 8:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great. A whiny JO on a shipyard boat has a blog.

So which SSBN is he on? Does CO know?

1/16/2009 9:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I just found this. Feel free to opsec anything you deem in need of it - I'm thoroughly non navy/military and haven't got a clue.

And now something complety different from <- forum thread

Snowdens Secret <- Poster
Dec 29, 2008 <- Date

Ok. This is long and like any good sea story really requires big hand gestures and swearing. Nothing in this is remotely secret (I hope.) In order to get the full effect of a sea story you must be pretending to wipe oil off of hot piping while you read this.

Certain countries that we are hostile to employ old Russian diesel submarines. These boats are mediocre hunters with a skilled crew, and these guys do not have skilled crews. So instead of really trying, they just kind of go to the bottom of the ocean (it's shallow there) and sit there, on batteries. It can be frikkin hard to find them as they make about as much noise as a flashlight and they're hard to distinguish against all the other bottom clutter. Plus if you shoot at them the torp goes right at them and hits rocks or something. But in a war we need to kill them, so the USN comes up with some neat tricks.

Well, we need to test these tricks. So we got our buddies the Dutch to bring one of their (much better than the Russian) diesel boats down to play around. They're supposed to hide and pretend to be retarded to accurately simulate the bad guys. Please keep in mind that sub-sub warfare is like trying to shoot an intruder in your house, but all the lights are off, you can't hear poo poo and you can only aim by sense of smell.

We get these Mk 48 ADCAPs with special programming to hunt them with. Now an ADCAP isn't like a sissy surface ship torpedo. They're about 20 feet long, about two tons and when the fuel burns it makes nerve gas. Newbie sailors routinely share bunks with them. Also, the warhead is big enough that the torp doesn't even bother hitting ships, it swims right underneath and snaps them in half. Anything smaller than about 20,000 tons is one shot, one kill. It can be wire guided by the firing sub or it can use onboard guidance. Of course, the ones in this story are range torps, so no warhead. And FYI I don't recall anyone outside of a Tom Clancy novel ever calling them fish.

What makes this batch special is they have some secret squirrel stuff to hunt bottomed submarines. I don't know what, so don't ask. Knows not to run into rocks. According to Wikipedia there was a project named CBASS to improve ADCAP shallow water targeting, so these were probably mutated CBASS. Oh, and you know the torp safety everyone who's ever seen a sub movie knows about? The one where the weapon disables itself if it turns around 180 degrees? Yeah, removed. For some reason the plan to shoot these involves facing away from the bad guy, I guess to mask the launch noise and not give away the fact that there's a torpedo a'coming to kill him.

So we go out and wander around and think we find the Dutchman. She's about 10 nautical miles straight off our port side. We set up the shot to run slow and cut basically a semi-circle through the water. Torpedo away.

Well, it turns out she wasn't 10 nm out. She was 1 nm out. This is collision-risk range. She's way close enough in to hear our shot but hadn't picked us up beforehand so she goes to torpedo evasion and snap shots back. Torpedo evasion means go as fast you can in approximately the other direction, which for a diesel on batteries is a pretty sorry sashaying affair. A snap shot is when you fire a torpedo unguided down a bearing and hope its internal guidance picks up whatever shot at you along the way. It's like if you see a muzzle flash in the dark and you pop a round in the approximate direction, with about the same chance of hitting. We hear the snapshot and go to torpedo evasion ourselves, only my boat is a late-model 688I and when we give it sail we don't gently caress around. Captain, we're cavitating. So of course in the process we lose the wire to our own torp.

Now an ADCAP is a smart bitch. As soon as it lost the wire it starts looking for something to kill. Well, let's see. About a mile away to the left we've got something that sounds like a sewing machine frantically trying to run away at maybe 8 knots. And Oh poo poo What Do We Have Here but a 688I boat right behind me laying tracks in the ocean and making a whole helluva lot of noise. Good thing I have my reverse safety disabled.

So it turns around and kills us. Like I said, this is a 20-foot, 2 ton spear. Warhead or not, it's bad news. There's a good pic somewhere of an old boat from the '60's or so that got a range torp punched halfway through its sail like those old arrow-through-your-head gags. So these new ones, the range programming is designed to override the targeting and swerve to avoid you at the last minute. So you get to hear it swoosh on by singing that it killed you. Not pleasant.

Well, this fucker decides that since it isn't in torpedo heaven yet with 72 robomermaid virgins that it must have missed. So what does it do? Reacquire target. Hmmm, there's that sewing machine again. And Oh poo poo What Do We Have Here but that 688I again. Thought I killed that guy. Well, second times the charm. Comes around and kills us again.

At this point our officers in charge realize we're blowing ourselves up. As another safety measure the range torp is set to have a floor, a depth it won't go below. So we dive below it.

This loving thing then proceeds to circle above us, waiting for us to come back up so it can kill us again, until it finally ran out of fuel (range torps float.)

Oh, the Dutch torpedo went sailing off to God knows where, having never acquired a target in the first place.

1/16/2009 10:42 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

First Anonymous: Re: your note to Ducky, if you E-mail me at joel(dot)bubblehead(at)gmail(dot)com I'll send you the gist of the E-mail he sent to me on the topic.

1/16/2009 12:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the EM Log? Did it get moved?

1/16/2009 5:11 PM

Blogger beebs said...

EM Log is dead and gone. Donno why.

1/16/2009 7:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a good and growing discussion over on his blog about active duty blogging (especially among submariners!) and the associated trials and tribulations.

Bubblehead, as a fairly bulletproof retiree, you provide the force a great service by running your blog. Everyone especially appreciates how you police it against improper posts and how you keep the posts and discussions timely and on message.

"dare2believe", blunoz and j120 have been giving the new guy some sage advice. I hope you're doing so as well! He seems like a good young guy and I'd hate for his youth to come back to haunt him. Many of us old guys (sorry, BH, but anyone over 40 like you and me certainly qualifies!) have experience (and thus discretion!) and many of us are at a point in life where fitreps/performance evals/office politics/water-cooler-talk has less effect.

So, enough rambling. Thanks Bubblehead for being the leader of responsible american submarine blogging and congrats on your recent awards!

Anonymous Poster Who Still Needs His Anonymity!

1/17/2009 10:09 AM

Blogger Nixon said...

His blog looks good so far, I just hope he can wither criticism well. He already pulled off one of his posts because it wasn't "motivated" enough I think! Ack. If there's one thing a JO should do it's how to take humiliation in stride. Best of luck to him.

1/17/2009 3:48 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

I've always thought Bette Midler has the right response to critics...

1/17/2009 4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, his blog was removed. Probably wasn't as anonymous as he would have liked to have been.

1/20/2009 7:40 PM

Blogger Nixon said...

Hmm, that didn't last long. Never underestimate the importance of anonymity. He could have had a great blog, what a shame.

1/20/2009 7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he had time to run a blog, he wasn't working hard on his boat - or definitely wasn't on an SSN.

Reminded of the 3rd Law of the Navy (which I try to heed):

Take heed what you say of your seniors,
Be your words spoken softly or plain,
Let a bird of the air tell the matter,
And so shall ye hear it again.

1/20/2009 7:56 PM

Blogger J120 Bowman said...

Helm, Bridge All back full!

Wow, that blog vaporized faster than a fly in bug zapper!

Poor bastard didn't stand a chance though. He even admitted he over relied on being anonymous and when he realized that he wasn't, he pulled his post slamming his SWO and wardroom member.

I'm interested in how Blunoz's blog will affect his career. The job related topics he touches on are pretty benign and sometimes helpful, but one has to wonder what the Big Nav thinks of it. No matter what is said in public, standing out in a crowd is not the Navy Way!

1/21/2009 10:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor guy. Joel, I'd be interested in a discussion piece on the perils of milblogging and the service's on-again/off-again policies regarding milblogging!

1/21/2009 4:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theory! Bubblehead is pointing readers to "great new submarine blog"s like Greeneville ART, EM Log and Don't Call Me Sir. Then he calls in his former-Eng connections and gets them shutdown, thus improving his chances in the next Bloggie Awards (by eliminating the competition), while looking like the champion of the little-guy submarine blogger. Very Stalinesque!!

J/k. Made you think, though! :P

1/21/2009 6:28 PM

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5/14/2009 2:32 AM

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