Sunday, June 19, 2005

seatrials sea story...

where our intrepid reporter almost became crab food.

during an exchange of ah sh*ts, i alluded to and promised to post about sea trials, and bad things that can happed during them.

a short quote from the post here on my blog

so here we are, on sea trials. for the uninitiated, sea trials is where the shipyard and the navy try everything they can to make sure all systems work as advertised at all advertised depths. taking the boat down to test depth the first time is a long, slow, and carefully orchestrated evolution. once there, you cycle all kinds of stuff to make sure it doesn't bind up and that it will work when called upon in a real world situation. huge test program. at the end of the evolution, we did an airless surface, which means we drove the boat to the surface without blowing down the ballast tanks. slowly.

so we've been to sea for a couple of days, and sea trials seemed to be going alright. there were some minor dings, but overall, things were working well. this was a testament to the thoroughness of the shipyard test program throughout the entire overhaul sequence. we were getting close to the end of the evolution, and only had an emergency blow to the surface from depth to complete that phase of seatrials. things were going so well that the engineer allowed E-div to work on one of the motor generators, because the brushes were sparking something fierce. the boat was leveled to a zero bubble, no way on the ship in preps for the major depth excursion test when...BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. five extremely loud explosions rocked the boat. i was in my rack, just waking up to get ready for watch relief. SLAM the after watertight door in the engineroom hit the stops, and SLAM the ventilation bulkhead flappers were shut and latched. the bitch in the box gave her typical two clicks on the 1 MC that preceded all announcements and then "FIRE FIRE FIRE IN THE ENG..." and the whole boat went black. i mean fucking black. it was so smokey in the stern room berthing area that you couldn't see the emergency battle lantern mounted on the forward bulkhead 20 feet away.


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