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Country Discussion Topics
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Submarine Patrol-1990
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Clipper    Posted 05-18-2004 at 19:19:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
This was the year of my most memorable Submarine Patrol in the 16 years of which I served in the Submarine Force. We were operating under the Artic Circle at a cruising depth in excess of 250 feet.Water injection temperature was at 36 degrees which is pretty darn cold any way you look at it. Our time was spent mostly playing the cat and mouse game with submarines other than those of our own Fleet. With the sub in Ultra-Quiet mode we could hear whales chatting to each other. Often a pod of whales would surround our sub and the whistling,beeping noises these giants of the deep made would sound as if they were within inches of our thick pressure hull.
After 3 months of patrol the crew was getting restless for any activity other than movies and card games. The Captain decided that we would breach the ice and take in a few hours of sunshine and cold fresh air. After proper precautions were taken the sub was brought up fast enough so that her steel reinforced sail smashed through the Artic ice with enough force to drive the sail completely above the surface ice which was in excess of 6 feet thick. Only the black sail of the sub was visible above the ice with the rest of the sub snuggled tight against the underside of the ice pack. Up went our #2 Attack Periscope for a look around. I was in the Control Room at this point and heard the sharp intake of breath from the Skipper as he peered through the Scope. It was at this point that the Skipper informed the crew that we had managed to pop up through the ice right next to another Submarine! The other Sub was less than 50 yards away from our position. The Skipper gave the order to open the Sail Hatch and the crew started up to get on the ice.
We quickly realized that the fellow Submariners already on the ice were......Russian. Quickly brought up from our Sub was a large seabag which contained all the baseball equipment needed for a good game. After tenative waves and smiles the two Submarine crews faced each other on the solid ice.The baseball gloves were quickly passed out;bases and Home Plate were neatly spray painted onto the ice;and within minutes the first un-official baseball game between the United States and Russian Navies was underway!There was much slipping,sliding,hits,errors,and laughter on the ice for the next 2 hours. With the game over (it was a tie game)we exchanged handshakes,smiles,Submarine chest insignias,and cigarette lighters. Each crew then re-entered their respective Submarine. Minutes later we flooded ballast and sank back into the depths of the Artic Ocean. Our Sonarmen confirmed that the Russian submarine had done likewise. Rather than pick up the cat and mouse game the Russian submarine high-tailed out of the area with a Flank bell put on and was soon miles away.
For just a short period of time in a desolate part of the world two enemies sworn to kill each other in a deadly undersea war had met face to face;played;laughed at each other;and then returned to the dangerous job of being Submarines protecting their own Nations.
I still have the gold Russian Submarine Dolphins and cigarette lighter I traded for with my Russian counter-part. I also have the memory that men can find peace and laughter if they so desire it..... no matter where they are in this world.


Red Dave    Posted 05-19-2004 at 05:32:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story Clipper


mud    Posted 05-19-2004 at 05:23:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
well i swear.

thank you sir for sharing that.

batter up!


Alias    Posted 05-19-2004 at 03:15:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
To coin something a man once said to me, "That's a keeper". The past day or so I'm seeing a whole nuther side to our man Clipper. Not only is he witty and runs a good saloon where we can all get together, but this guy can write. I absorbed every word. Thanks for sharing this story with us. but, now you know, you gotta keep em coming.....gfp


Ron,ar    Posted 05-18-2004 at 20:35:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
good story clipper, I had in my mind you were in the brown water navy, not a sabmariner. That explains a lot about you:^)


Clipper    Posted 05-18-2004 at 20:44:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Brown water Navy 1968-1972
Submarine Force 1973-1978
1978: Left Navy: Police Officer for 3 years
1981: Re-entered Navy Submarine Force
1993 Retired MMC/SS US NAVY :^)


Herb    Posted 05-18-2004 at 20:22:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Very good Clipper. Do you write for a living? If not, maybe you should.


KellyGa    Posted 05-18-2004 at 20:11:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for sharing these experiences in your life with us, I really enjoy it. Keep em coming. :)

Hey, include a Justin Wilson memory in there for me too. :)


Larry in CO    Posted 05-18-2004 at 19:56:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Really enjoyed the story. Keep 'em coming.
Larry


~Lenore    Posted 05-18-2004 at 19:51:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks, Clipper, that was really special.
I got that feel of being under the ice and
for a momment made me think of one of my favorite books when I was a kid "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea".
I am sure real existance in a sub was nothing like the novel but I enjoyed your telling it.


cornfused    Posted 05-18-2004 at 19:29:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story Clipper!


Fern(Mi)    Posted 05-19-2004 at 04:21:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Now I know where all that funny colored ice in them saloon drinks has come from. Now if'en ya had harvested some of that slow ice, instead of that Russian ice, I could do better keeping up around here.
Very, very good story. With a second example of this once hidden talent, I'll stir the polar ice in my watered down drink while waiting for your next one.
With a new respect.
Fernan


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