Monday, August 29, 2005

Submarine Organ Story

Commenter forendy's comment (responding to the preceeding post) about a wind operated mini organ powered by a footpump or the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner in his UK boat years ago reminded me of certain eccentricities in my old boat, the USS Seawolf SSN-575.

According to crew lore and as verified in the Goat Locker here (11th bullet down), SSN 575 had an electronic organ in its unoccupied, "prayer room" space. Although the organ and sodium-cooled reactor had both been removed by the time I reported aboard, the prayer room was still called that. For recreation, we also might have had a nickle slot machine (legal to play only in international waters, of course).

The prayer room was a nice storage space (rare on submarines). On occasion, various prototypical equipment was installed there for both trial or dedicated operational use. Finally, the space became permanently used by equipment maintained by some of my guys.

Oh, have you noticed an unfamiliar, unicorn-like device in the above photo? Seawolf has been called an experimental boat, not to deny her obvious, operational achievements (during the 30 years from her delivery to her decommissioning).

As the picture proves, experimental may be an understatement. This was before my time, and it raises another question. Would this organ have fit in the prayer room? What is the billiard cue-like device? If anyone cares to guess, I will let you know.

Oh, and before either complains, the geezer pictured on Seawolf's deck is neither GEEZERNUKE of OK2B NOUGHT to whom forendy replied, or bothenook of A GEEZER's CORNER.


At 7:03 PM, Blogger Charlie (Colorado) said...

I'm guessing it's a magnetometer, stuck out there to isolate it from the pressure hull.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Vigilis said...

Yes, that is close enough, Charles. It definitely looks like the MAD on the tail of a P-3 Orion.

Now, who knows the photo's vintage?

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Jumper In Tow said...

Been lurking in the back of the classroom for a while now and I have to say to all the contributers that "Ultraquiet." is nothing less than spectacular. It's become a morning "must-read" and I swear even my coffee tastes better here, especially when I realize that I might actually know the answer to the Seawolf question.

The photo with that..."interesting afterthought?" of an ELF sensor was taken in 1963.

Fair Winds!


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Vigilis said...

Karen, you answered a very tough question correctly!

Thanks for your kind compliments about our Ultraquiet No More. Your EB insights are always be welcomed here.

Fair Winds!


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