If it were not so true, I would be reluctant to identify the author (a submariner) of a quote like the following:
"i sailed aboard a rustbucket submarine, the good old pierwolf SSN-575. pierwolf because she ALWAYS found a way to delay getting underway, unable to let go of the relative comfort and safety of a shipyard homeport pier. " - US Navy submarine veteran who a works at a research reactor for a california university.
Now, before anyone draws false conclusions about the legendary 575 boat being welded to any pier, you will find her mentioned in Blind Man's Bluff
, and here
, and here
See the crumpled bow from her unofficial ship's stationery (above)? The Wolf was damaged in a collision with something underwater (very nerve shattering). This was after its dangerous, liquid-sodium coolant nuclear reactor had to be replaced, but before compound malfunctions (not a drill) and a most fortuitous recovery saved the ship and crew from a submariner's worst nightmare (you had to be there).
The Wolf was in commission (useful for taxpayers) for 30 years and a day, longer than most boats before or since. Besides some classified missions and modest notoriety
throughout her life, she was also a platform for many, bold experiments (photo). Not all worked this well
, but some directly benefited our early space program. By the time bothenook served aboard her, she had been used very hard and saved from several awful fates with much difficulty. A rather special submarine, Seawolf went on to complete still more important missions
From my friends in the day, I am fairly certain the majority of submarines and submariners have fairly similar and hair-raising experiences throughout their useful lives.
Submarines are always silent and strange.
Labels: Seawolf experiments stationery