Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NUB-ly Education

Ok, so I feel I have to contribute to the growling list of sea-stories. This one is in the same spirit as many already posted – simply because anything having to do with San tanks is funny. I would post my massively long TINS about the Sanitary issues on Ustafish, but folks might think we bubbleheads had a fetish. Anyway…


So, as any submariner worth his salt will tell you, a NUB should never, ever, claim he could do a job better than a fully qualified guy. Especially when he can’t.

To set the stage: It was the day of the underway, we were supposed to be casting off lines from Port Canaveral, FL. But we were late. The reason? The Engineering Duty Officer from the day before had not loaded enough water, and the relieving EDO had not checked water inventory until right before we were supposed to start up. So, bad on EDO #1 for being stupid, bad on EDO #2 for not checking. The rest of us are in the wardroom as the Engineer rains fire and brimstone back aft, when “Mark” decides to give us his take on the situation. “How could anyone let himself get bagged like that?” he asks. “I would -never- take a watch that was that messed up. Nope, I would never let myself get bagged that badly.” Mark is, of course, the NUB I was referring to. He had just qualified surfaced OOD, and was still massively dinq on his dolphin quals. Our Weps simply rolls his eyes, shoots me a knowing glance, and says, “Don’t start writing checks you can’t cash, Mark.” But yet, Mark keeps prattling on about how he would only stand the most locked-on of watches.

Cut to several hours later. We had finally gotten underway, and I, as the Maneuvering watch OOD, was looking forward to a brief (~1hr) relief before I took the watch again to dive the boat (love the watchbill lineup). You guessed it, Mark, standing his first solo surfaced OOD watch, was my relief. And yes, he was late. So I stayed up in the bridge, chatting with the lookout that would be standing watch, oh so briefly, with Mark, stewing, and getting things set for the dive. Finally, 20 min. prior to the estimated dive-time, Mark shows up. I give him a brief turnover, which consisted basically of, “You are on XXX course, answering AA2/3, rig for dive almost complete, and sanitaries are lined up to blow.” Mark asked his requisite two questions, “What is still left for rig for dive?” ; “The bridge!” I refrained from adding any colorful adjectives at that time, and, “Why are we lined up to blow sans?” And here comes my line of hooey, “Because the dive comp assumed dry sans, so we are trying to make it easier for the ship’s diving officer.” ; “Oh.” He bought it, forgetting that the dive compensation could be easily, duh, compensated, and that I was the diving officer, so why would I set up a comp for conditions I knew to be untrue? Heh.

Now, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with 688 sanitary setups, the hull penetration for san 1 is on the port side of the boat, about halfway between the sail and the sonar dome. Forward of the sail. Typically when one blows sans submerged, it is done with a pressure just above sea pressure, to try and maintain a quiet profile, but one typically pumps sans inport and on the surface. Mark, however, forgot this practice, and almost as soon as I had descended into control I heard him give the order, “Control, Bridge, commence blowing sanitaries overboard.” Now, getting the san tanks to just above sea pressure using pressurized air is a tricky business when you are submerged and have a decent amount of water pressure. On the surface, well, you are going to have a lot more pressure on your san tank than you need, no question. This results in a veritable geyser blowing out from the side of the boat (why one normally pumps on the surface). Of course, if you are making headway, you are driving right INTO said geyser. So, needless to say, shortly after giving the order, a panicked call came from the bridge, “Control, bridge, secure blowing sans!!!!” Oh, did I mention Mark was happily standing on top of the sail, rather than in the clamshells, when I left the bridge? And the lookout, who had been warned by yours truly, had been hunkered down in his pooka, waiting, as soon as the order was given. So, Mark ended up with a less than pleasant bath. Oh, and the XO made him stay up there and rig for dive, rather than getting relieved to clean up. Mark never again tried to claim he would never screw up, especially when someone else was in the process of paying for their foul-up. Ahhh, sweet education, the submarine way.


At 9:47 AM, Blogger bothenook said...

i love it when you can pull one of those. hey, you didn't do anything. he did it all to himself. so sweet.


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