Tag: <span>submarines</span>

Green Buoy in the ocean. Photo by Atypeek Dgn: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photograph-of-a-green-buoy-12264234/
Not A Mail Buoy

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Going down to the sea in ships can best be described as weeks of mind-numbing boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror. Based on my Navy career with about twelve years actual sea time, I can attest this is true.

So, sailors come up with very creative ways of filling in those weeks of mind-numbing boredom. One way is to play pranks with new crew members just starting their seagoing careers. On my very first submarine sea voyage I became the star attraction in a mail buoy run.

In the Navy

The OCeanGate Submersible "Cyclops I." Predecessor to the "Titan" Lost on June 18, 2023. Attribution: Isabeljohnson25 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44018722
The OCeanGate Submersible “Cyclops I.” Predecessor to the “Titan” Lost on June 18, 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

This is my commentary as a former US Navy submarine sailor, and former member of the Navy’s deep submergence community, on last month’s event when five people died on a rickety submersible while diving to the wreck of Titanic

I qualified in submarines on the nuclear fast attack submarine USS Scamp (SSN 588) all the way back in 1976. Although my qualification board was forty-seven years ago, I retain membership in the highly exclusive community of submarine veterans.

Ron Charest Rons Archives

The Oceangate-Owned Submersible "Titan"
The Oceangate-Owned Submersible “Titan”

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Unless you’re lucky enough to avoid news in general, you’re already aware of last month’s global-crisis-level unforced error, in which five people died on a rickety submersible that imploded while diving to visit the wreck of Titanic.

As a former submarine sailor this event strikes pretty close to home. This loss didn’t need to happen. It did happen as a result of unchecked arrogance on the part of the corporate owners and engineers who built the damn thing knowing full well it wasn’t safe. But they did it anyway, for reasons that had no relationship to sound engineering and concern for passenger safety.

Opinions & Commentary Quora Re-Posts

comparing service on navy submarines to service on surface ships.
Composite of submarine USS Scamp and cruiser USS Port Royal

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

My Navy career was rather unusual as I served on both submarines and surface ships. These were considered “different navies,” with different traditions and duty requirements. In that era, very few sailors ever made a switch between surface and subs. For the most part, the only sub sailors who typically went to the surface fleet were those kicked off subs for disciplinary issues, and who also lost their “Qualified in Submarines” status.

I qualified submarines on USS Scamp, SSN 588. I maintained my submarine qualification status when, years later, I joined the Aegis Cruiser USS Port Royal , CG 73. This dual service gave me an interesting perspective on the different communities that make up our U.S. Navy.

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts

Movie Poster of “Crimson Tide”

In my quest to provide insightful answers to pressing issues asked by alert Quora readers; a while back I wrote a movie review. Not just any movie review, this one was on a topic near and dear to me – submarine movies.

I watch a lot of movies. A lot of what I watch is science fiction (or at least what passes for science fiction in the minds of Hollywood movie producers. Don’t get me started. And who in the hell came up with the stupid “SyFy” moniker?). Beyond science fiction, I also enjoy submarine movies, fiction or otherwise. Given that I have a bit of background with submarines, I have a certain level of expectations with submarine movies. For a fictional movie I don’t expect complete accuracy on submarine operations. But I have limits.

Quora Re-Posts

Research Submersible Alvin
Research Submersible Alvin. Woods Hole Institute

A Quora member posted another interesting question on submarines. The question was “Can you winch a submarine up from the bottom of the ocean, say 8000 feet?” This question gave me the opportunity to write about two famous submarine incidents. One of these involved one of my favorite submersibles ever, the DSV-2 Alvin.

Family Stories Quora Re-Posts

Navy Command Master Chief badge
Navy Command Master Chief badge

My Navy career was unusual for the number of different types of ships I served on. Few people get to serve on both submarines and surface ships. Even more unusual, I served on two very different types of submarines, and two very different types of surface ships. This background gives me some unique perspectives on Navy life. So when I saw this Quora question, I felt I had the background to give a solid answer.

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts

The smell of a submarine - amine, sweat, smoke, hydraulic oil,

One of the reasons I don’t post here much is because I’m writing in several other venues. Facebook, regrettably, occupies a lot of my otherwise available writing time. I periodically post to my account on Daily Kos or comment on other people’s posts. But a new writing venue (for me) is the site Quora

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts