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Sid Note: The first NTINS below and the follow-ups were part of the same BBS thread in response to Cowboy's question.

Posted on The Submarine World Network BBS by COWBOY on December 30, 1999
I got to thinking about the stupidest, dumbest, and most embarrassing thing I ever did while on the boats.

When I reported aboard my first boat, the Sterlet, in 62, I had shipped over regular Navy from the Reserves, and while in the Reserves had made several dives, including a weekend with Roy Ator and John Clear aboard the Diodon, so being on and around a submarine was not a "new" experience to me.

I crossed the brow after requesting permission to come aboard of the topside watch, and reported as ordered!

I was told to lay below to the after battery where I would be met by the yeoman who would take my paperwork from me and get me settled in.

Went to the AB hatch, yelled the requisite "look out below" warning before dropping my sea bag down the hatch (no, I didn't hit the COB with it, you're getting ahead of me), and started down the ladder after it.

Now, I had climbed up and down the after battery ladder on no less than five boats since I had joined the reserves, including the Cabezon, our training boat. No big deal, right?

True, except for a BIG case of nerves, bein as this was my first "real life" assignment. I somehow got my knees up in front of me on the ladder, and was stuck tighter than anything you can imagine! I didn't panic, kept a cool head and was trying to unwedge myself when the Topside Watch wandered aft of the sail and saw me.

He, being a very salty NQP immediately figured out my problem, and instead of offering to help he went forward and called down to the Control Room so the whole damned duty crew could gather either on deck or in the AB to laugh their asses off at me!

Finally took two guys pulling on my arms from topside to get me out of that predicament! And it took me over a year to live that down, if in fact I ever did!

Ok, who's next?


Posted by Paul Perris on December 30, 1999

OK there Cowboy.


On my 21st birthday I got into the gilley and put just about a 1/2" in the bottom of a coffee cup and filled the rest with tang, seeing how we were on the surface for some dumb reason heading to Yoko after an ops.

On a 580 class there's a 3" lip at the top of the ladder from the attack center to midships to try and keep any saltwater from heading down to the battery wells or else it's there to grab unsuspecting sailors as they attempt to be cool and just slide down as is the habit.

EXCEPT this time the boat did a real quick up angle as it tried to plow with a wave and . . . everything went into fast forward from that point, especially the deck! My feet got hooked on that lip, I was already pushing off and then the midships deck came so fast and slapped me in the side of the face that I demolished my glasses and I think I actually left beard hair on the non-skid. But I was cool!

I yelled up to the attach center that I was alright and using braille made my way to my rack and stayed there.

Everything was blurry the rest of WestPac and I had the most Gawdauffle headache I think for over a week. It hurt to comb my beard. Hell it hurt to brush my teeth. I had one pulled and two fixed before we left Pearl and now I had another loose one. But I was cool!

Yep Cowboy, I can relate!


Posted by John Bay on December 30, 1999

I dropped one of those BIG crates (I think 50 dozen) of rotten eggs from the Middle Level Missile Compartment to the Lower Level.  Think I got an extra tour of mess-cooking for that one, and I know I used a lot of vinegar trying to clean it up!

Posted by Gary Walker on December 30, 1999

The evening that I "Drank my Dolphins" at the Gate Bar, had everlasting effect on my life. As you all know how it works, the crew took me to the Bar for the festivities and each bought the drink of their choice for me. I dropped my bright shiny new Dolphins into the mix and started to drink. I slightly remember the "hooting etc." and I did catch my Dolphins in my teeth without getting too wet. I don't remember much after that.

The next morning, I stumbled out of the barracks heading somewhere. As I started down the couple of steps a very pretty young lady was coming up the stairs. She was an old sweetheart from my hometown and she was paying a surprise visit. At the very moment that my brain was going in and out of consciousness and I recognized her, all of the "night-before items" that were in my stomach decided to paint the sidewalk in front of the lady. Needless to say, I haven't seen her since.

Gary Walker


Posted by Patty Wayne on December 30, 1999

I wouldn't tell the world the dumbest thing I did......but here's a not-so-smart thing.

Anchored off the coast of Lahaina, Maui in February of '85 I was told to install and energize the forward anchor light. I was an NQP at the time and wasn't fully familiar with the structure between the pressure hull and the outer hull. Well the forward line locker, forward of the sail, was where the anchor light connected. I told the topside watch to let me know if a wave was going wash over into the locker. He laughed and agreed. I just got the connector screwed in place when I looked over to my right and saw a wall of water coming at me. Not from the locker's hatch, but the free flood area. It felt like I bounced around in there for what seemed like hours.

I got out, after finally getting my bearings. I asked the topside watch why he didn't warn me. He said he knew it wasn't the water coming in the hatch that I had to worry about, but the dip the bow took washed water clear up to the sail and he skedaddled.

It wasn't long after that I studied and got my checkout on Tanks and Compartments.

Posted by Chuck Hindes on December 30, 1999

My first Dumb Thing

I reported aboard the USS Caiman in Feb of '63 as she was in preparation for a WESPAC. Of course I was to start lookout watches at sea and was instructed by Quartermaster Davidson on all the requirements for clearing the bridge for a dive. The Caiman had a high sail with two decks of "tall" ladders. You grab the ladder rail with your hands AND feet and slide down. Turn and grab the second ladder and slide down. That's easy enough.

My first opportunity to clear the bridge came on the 18-24 watch when I came on watch and took over the bow planes.

Shortly we surfaced the boat and we went up to the bridge with binoculars. It was cold and very wet. In the usual training style, we immediately got the "CLEAR THE BRIDGE" command. Tuck in the binoculars, duck under the superstructure and grab the ladder rails. BAM !! I found myself on the Nav Deck. I turned to grab the second ladder rails and BAM !! I was looking at the Conning tower hatch.

No one told me not to slid down when the rails were wet (or until I learned how). The rest of the watch went OK except for my sore ankles and crew members asking me what all the noise was about.

Happy Millennium !! DBF

Chuck Hindes FTG2(SS)

Posted by Marlin on December 30, 1999

The dumbest thing I did occurred prior to reaching my first boat. I was at Nuke school in a Reactor Physics class with a Sea returnee Lt. as an Instructor.

We were well ahead of schedule and the class started asking the Lt. about operations at sea. I listened for a little while and had just watched a TV show about giant squids whales etc... With this fresh in my mind I asked if the subs were ever attacked by whales or other large sea life. Without missing a beat and deadpan serious the Lt. answered ONLY DURING MATING SEASON!!!

After a brief delay the whole class erupted in laughter. Needless to say even four months later at our class graduation my class picture was signed by my classmates warning me to watch out for the whales.