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One Liners - Part 1

I was the Sonar Division LCPO on board the USS Jacksonville in 1987. We got a new Captain and he was reviewing our Equipment Status Log (ESL) and he looked up at me and said, "Chief, I see the word "bad" written in on almost every one of your ESL entries. I don't like the word bad. I want you to put in something a little more descriptive."

I nodded and told the Captain that I would take care of it. Then I took the ESL back to Sonar and gave it to my Leading First, with the instructions to cross out "bad" wherever it appeared and replace it with "naughty".

I could hear the Captain laughing all the way down in the Chief's Quarters!

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Heard aboard the USS Providence (SSN-719) during a night transit. Circa about 1987

Bridge, Quartermaster.... "what is that star in the southern sky?"
Quartermaster, Bridge...."I believe that is the planet Uranus.

30 second pause.

Quartermaster, Bridge....."Sir, upon further review of the celestial navigation picture, we've determined that "star" is far to small to be Uranus.

- Dennis M. Tobin (STS2/SS/DV), USS Providence (SSN-719)

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USS James Madison (SSBN 627) Gold - 1972. Picture it - State five seas and proceeding to periscope depth during dinnertime. The messcook was delivering a refilled bowl of corn to the Chief's table, and had just arrived at the table when the boat lurched to starboard. The refilled bowl dumped its steaming contents onto the Master Chief's lap "Oops. I guess that's Corn on the COB!" said the messcook.

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USS James Madison (SSBN 627) Gold - 1973. I was one of the junior ETs in the Navigation Center. One of the other ETs had brought a wire-guided remote control race car on patrol with him, and I was driving it around the NavCenter, one day. I finally (after many attempts) negotiated the corner from the computer aisle to IC Alley, and was feeling good about making the straight-away into the Attack Center. The LtJG on the Conn heard the whining of the motor as I approached the periscope stand and leaned out to see what the noise was. "Smith, get that car out of control!" he shouted. Just then, I veered to the right and collided with the Torpedo Fire Control Panel, then backed up and collided with the ECM Bay equipment. I threw up my hands in surrender and announced, "It *IS* out of control, Sir!"

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USS James K. Polk (SSBN 645) Gold - 1978. "Joe Cool" on the helm, ordered course of 090 degrees. His thoughts were on his Honey, back home, and the next thing he knew he was receiving a right rudder command from the Conn, "Come right, make your course 270." After a few seconds of awakening and assessing the situation, we heard, "You mean you want me to turn 345 degrees to the right, Sir?" There was laughter in the Control Room. "Helm, mark your head!" the Conn shouted. "Mark my head, aye, Sir - 285, coming right to 270, Sir," was his report. "Helm, shift your rudder!" the Conn said, holding his head in his hands as though it would explode at any minute.

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USS James K. Polk (SSBN 645) Gold - 1979. I was Chief of the Watch with an Under-Instruction watchstander. The boat was at periscope depth, and I had lost track of the actions of my UI, but the first indication of trouble was the fully extended, trembling arms of the Helmsman/Planesman. I looked at the BCP and found From Depth Control and From Forward Trim. I discretely directed my UI to secure Forward Trim. Then I directed him to secure Depth Control. Next, I directed him to wait until we returned from PD, then ask permission to pump DC to FT to the mark. He did exactly as I directed, and about five minutes after his commencement of pumping, the Diving Officer finally realized it was an unusual request, and asked why he was pumping. "While we were at PD," my UI cheerily replied, "I emptied Forward Trim to Depth Control to see if your Helmsman/Planesman was on the ball." Before the laughter started, I add, to my UI but loudly enough for the Control party to hear, "See, I told you he wouldn't notice!"

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One morning on a school dive in Long Island Sound aboard SS303 Sablefish the Captain ordered "Surface" for lunch. I was assigned the maniforlds and the Diving Officer ordered me to blow the forward group. I turned the main valve full open and the rush of air through the manifold caused a noise that obliterated the order to blow the after group. We durfaced at an extreme "Up" angle.

Unfortunately the cook had the luncheon set up on the tables and lunch ended up on the deck.
Luckily, I was not kicked out of Sub School over that experience.

- Bob Sharkey S1/C

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Round about 1975, the Sam Rayburn had the priveledge of playing host to four midshipmen during a normal refit and patrol. Needless to say, we had tons of fun with these guys. We also had some regular crew who weren't wrapped too tight. One of them was a seaman whose name escapes me - but not his shenanigans. This fellow was about the best helmsman we had. Really did a good job. Anyway, one day (or night - who knew?!) a midi was on the conn under instruction. The OD told him to tell the helmsman to mark his head. So he turns and loudly says "Helmsman, mark your head" where upon this individual replies, "Mark my head helm aye" and takes out a magic marker from his shirt pocket and swipes it across his forehead. Needless to say the midi was speechless for a minute or two.

- Brad Hale, STS2/ss, Sam Rayburn (B)

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The USS Boise (SSN-764) had been underway for about two weeks when we began having problems with our 700 psi reducer back aft. Myself and two other A-Gangers were assigned to troubleshoot. We began to perform a valve lineup, when suddenly one of the guys shouted "Hey! I found the problem!" We rushed over to see what he had discovered, and found him examining the 1 foot piece of relief piping protruding from the top of the 700 psi reducer. He looked up at us, serious as hell and said "Look at this... SOMEONE REMOVED THIS PIPE!"

MM2/SS Hartmann, USS BOISE SSN-764

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Here's a quote from a sonar sup to control. I wasn't there, heard about it from the rider who was on that trip, but I do know the sonar sup who said it and it's definitely something he would say! - Tom Owen

"Conn, Sonar, I don't know what it is, but I would stay away from it!"

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While standing QMOW on the midwatch one night a LTJG just qualified OOD came to look at the chart.  He saw a symbol along our track circled in red and labeled KEEP OUT. 

OOD: Is that a buoy?
ME: Yes sir, a super buoy.
OOD: What's the difference between a super buoy and a regular buoy?
ME: Well sir, it wears a red cape and boots and flies around the ocean fighting crime.

He walked away from the plot without a word.

- ET2/SS Adam Kingsley, USS Hyman G. Rickover SSS-709 

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While on the way to Yokuska, Japan in late February 1998,  STS3 Robinson asked the following Question to STSCS Jerrigan:

Robinson: Senior Chief does it Snow in Japan?
Sr. Chief: No you Idiot. That's why they just held the Winter Olympics there!

- C.M. Tiboni, U.S.S. Asheville (SSN-758) From the Westpac 98 Quote book

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While serving in USS HARDER (SS568) about 1958-59 we had a new Ensign come aboard and was put in charge of the deck gang. While weighing anchor, I was the bridge phone talker, the new Ensign was at the forward capstan. We went through the procedure, i.e.,"anchors aweigh, anchors up and down", etc.,and when it broke the surface the forward capstan stopped it and told the bridge, "anchor is clear". 

Then Between phone talkers: "From the Captain, house the anchor"
From the new Ensign.."fine sir!!"

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On the surface at night off the Jacksonville Op Area:     

Bridge: Contact Coordinator, bridge, we have an aerial contact bearing one-eight-zero (this was being discussed for about 10 minutes).    

Sonar: (from smart-ass Jerry Mitchell)  Conn, Sonar (with a serious tone)  Sonar does not hold this contact.

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Heard over the 7mc standing watch in the maneuvering room:    

Bridge-Con: Contact bearing so & so
Con.-Bridge:  What's the CPA
Bridge-Con: Control room

- Mike Burns Elect. on the Pickerel SS 524, 1961  

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Sonar operator after a dispute with the sup: Sup your an A%% hole.
Sonar sup: I'm only an A%% hole to you; your an idiot to everybody, now turn around and mind your *%#%*$ stack.

Auggie Taylor

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On coming below decks: What you got?
Off going: Nothing. The only red reading I got is a bilge low level alarm.
On coming: Are you gonna clear it?
Off going: I was going to but I didn't know where to get the water to fill it.

Auggie Taylor

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Officer of the deck: Were did all this oil come from ? referring to the mess under the dive station.

"A" ganger in response: " Well sir there was all these dinosaurs and they all died, they were covered up and and after millions of years the decayed "........... The OOD walked off before the story could be finished.

"A" ganger to officer: " Sir why do all you officers have you heads up your asses? Officer: " Because it so nice and warm"

"A" ganger: " Where is my god damn Division officer" ? 
Voice from behind him: "I'm right here".

Dirty Harry

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One day we had a new junior officer reporting aboard and was scheduled to meet the Capitan. Well the CO was tired so he gave his bars to the " A" div senior chief -one of those classic examples of a bearded old salt.

When the new Officer reported aboard and was lead to the ward room he was meet by the nastiest example of Naval misfits to every to wear the uniform. 

Ensign #$%%$% reporting aboard !
CO - Hey you got a car ? I wrecked my last night I was kind of drunk , give me your keys .
Ensign - uuuuuh, Yes sir I do ....
CO - Well hand the over, got gas in it?
Ensign - uuuh, yes sir it does...
Co - Got any teenage daughters ????
Ensign- just one sir ....
CO- got pictures ?
Ensign- yes sir....
CO - Hand them over bud !

Well this interview went on for about 20 minutes while the real CO sat down in the goat locker. It was amazing the rest of the ward room was able to keep a straight face. Finally the real CO (complete with senior chief bars) came in and DEMANDED he be given control of the ship. The fake CO stood up and said "sure take it- its yours and you can have this Ensign with it." Well that was it everyone finally broke down into laughter. It took a week for the Ensign to recover.

Dirty Harry

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Onboard the USS SUNFISH (SSN 649) we had a COB who was quite a character. His name is Jerry Bonnevechio (sp). Jerry was a TMCM(SS) who came to us from the USS GRAYLING. Whenever someone was screwing up the COB would almost always say "Well, are you going to be a Shipmate or a S$*#head." 

YNC(SS) Tom Gilmer

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1988 on station in classified waters somewhere in the Pacific, I relieve the Diving Officer for a P-call. The OOD is constantly yelling "Make your Depth"

"62 Feet, Sir"

This sequence to be repeated 4-5 times in the next 6-8 minutes. Finally, " Why is your 62 feet different than the last diving officer??"

To which I replied "Because he's 6 inches taller than me."

W.S. Wantland QMC(SS)
USS Hawkbill SSn 666 

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On board the Robert E. Lee SSBN601B, the crew stole the XO"s door. The next day's POD said there were to be no movies until it was returned. For privacy the XO, E.O. Warren hung a blanket over the opening. 

By the 3rd day he had gotten into the habit of walking thru the blanket instead of moving it. On the 5th day we replaced the door. Re-hanging the blanket over it, and then settled back to watch the fun.

Suddenly the XO came running down the passageway enroute to his stateroom and thru the blanket/curtain, coming up very short upon meeting the door. Nose bleeding and demanding an answer, the CO came to his rescue. 

After surveying the damage the Co, R.W.Aldinger, marched to control, grasped the 1MC and announced, "This is the Captain. The XO's door has been found. MOVIE CALL!"

W.S. Wantland QMC(SS)
USS Hawkbill SSN 666

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Around 1969-1970 the Squad dog of Squadron 7 owned a VW and his parking space was at the small boat landing of S-9 Pearl Harbor. The Uss Barbel SS-580 was loading torpedoes on this eventful day. When the load was over the "cherrypicker" had to back around, causing it to back into the VW .... pushing it into the harbor. As the VW passed the topside watch he reported on the 1MC 

"VW passing"

W.S. Wantland QMC(SS)
USS Hawkbill SSN 666

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1969 enroute to station somewhere in the pacific.

I was standing midwatch QMOW on USS Barbel SS-580. As was the norm we were snorkeling on 3. Around 3AM the CO Capt J.W. Reynard came into the conn. He was wearing boxers, t-shirt and socks.

"Chief of the Watch, something is broken on my submarine and I want to know what it is!"

During the stunned silence that followed maneuvering reported, "Conn .. Maneuvering... Dead short on battery exhaust fan" 

"See I told you something was BROKE"

The exhaust fan was located outboard of the COSR and after listening to it for 3 years he sat straight up when it quit. He said he didn't know what woke him just that it sounded wrong.

- W.S. Wantland QMC(SS), USS Hawkbill SSN 666

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We were on a WestPac run, in a "touchy" area, with an ensign known as Admiral Charlie on the conn. Sonar reported a noise level.

Sonar, Conn. Have you classified the noise level?
Conn, Sonar. Negative

The above transmissions were repeated numerous time at approximately two-minute intervals.

Sonar, Conn Have you classified the noise level?
Conn, Sonar. That's affirmative. I believe the noise level to be a diesel generator in a light house, conducting switching operations in a train yard.
Conn aye.

Jim Lowman IC1(SS)
USS Bonefish SS582
Westpac 1967

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We had a Fireman Denham (hey dude!) onboard who was a real cool guy but as helmsman, couldn't drive the boat if it was on a rail. When Denham had the watch, the Sonar Supervisor would often contact the Conn asking if we were doing a course change. But no, it was Denham at the helm. Hence, we coined the term Denham Wiggle (the King of unintentional baffle clears). Although once when I was on stern planes (with Denham at the Helm), I just happened to look up and noticed that we were 40 degrees off course. No telling how long we had been doing this. I whispered to Denham that we were off course and he discreetly got the boat back on course. Nobody even noticed! 

YN1(SS) Jeff Martin

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We were on an ice run in 1984, and one of the ways we passed the time, (seventy-eight days), was to write down something funny that happened to us that day in a notebook the QM's kept up in the control room. Whenever we wrote something in it, we'd put our name by it. Some things needed a little bit of setting up the situation, or the joke would be lost on the reader, so the word "Scenario" would precede the joke. We were nearly done with the ice run, and on the way back to San Diego. Some of the notebook's authors were gathered around it up in control, and one of our A-gangers heard us laughing as we read, and wanted a look at the book. After a few minutes of reading and chuckling to himself, he looked up from the book and asked, "So, who's this guy 'Scenario', anyway?".

Mike Peterson
USS Pintado '83-86

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This happened during my 2nd patrol in the spring of 98. We had been on alert for quite awhile and things were , as usual on a boomer going 4 knots to nowhere, a little slow. One of the off going sonar operators got an idea to start power growling the Sonar shack from various locations on the boat.

When the sonar sup would pick up , he would proceed to make a whole manner of noises and then slam the handset down. It tok a couple of these for the shack to figure out who was doing it. Then, about the 10th time, here it cam again. The Sonar Sup picks up the handset, frustrated and yells into it: "Hey #$*% face! I know it's you!!"

He went deathly white when heard the response: "No, Sonar, this is the Weapons Officer."

Kenneth R Price STS2(SS)
USS Kentucky (SSBN-737) (Gold)

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Foot and Mouth Disease

With the crew taking their written ORSE exams in the crew's mess, at one table the ORSE inspectors were quietly combing through RC Div's paperwork with Chief Bob and the RC Div O, Selle. At one point, Selle tells the inspectors," Check this one out, this is a gimme." The division looks up from their tests in shock as Chief Bob apparently shifts in his seat a bit closer to Selle.

Next heard from the indignant Selle," Owwww! Why did you kick me?!"

David B. Copenhaver, ET1 (SS)
USS Haddock (SSN 621)

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Bridge: "Helmsman where's your rudder?"
Helmsman: "Back under the after torpedo room sir".

EMC(SS) Covert, ret.

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Several Midshipmen were aboard, all were in their last year at the academy. Each was assigned to a watch section under instruction. 

Being the dive officer on the mid-watch, our section really became an experience to look forward too, almost to good to be true! We actually looked forward to the "mids" - our crew at the time, was so well tuned that any and all situations were "just a matter of fact" regardless of the moment. 

This particular evening, Midshipman Hansen was "Diving Officer of the Watch, under instruction" from South Carolina, he was. His wanting to be the best was paramount, "Ahead one third" was rang up, "Make your depth 150 feet". Several crew members off watch as well as on watch were in the control room, sitting on the various benches along the Mk113 panel and scope stand, as the boat slowed, it was suggested to trim up or plane up as the boats speed decreased, I asked Hansen what he was going to to do. 

He looked at the bubble and then at me and said, "All rise" so we all stood up in silence, "Repeat the order sir" from the officer of the deck, "Please be seated" from the Midshipman, "depth, 150 feet sir!"

Steve King MMC (SS)
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The boat was having a swim call and this seaman climbed out of the water and asked the XO why one of his shipmates was carrying a rifle. The XO replied "to shoot you just in case the sharks gets you". Needless to say, the seaman never got back in the water.

YN2/SS Colyes L. Brown

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Two sailors were at a picnic, sitting around, drinking a cool one or two, when one of them told a story about a WestPac trip and mentioned he was on Catfish (SS339). The other dude sitting there asked when he was on the CATFISH. They determined they were on board at the same time, but did not know one another. The torpedoman asked the other sailor what his rate was. The answer was that he was a ships cook. The torpedoman replied:" That's why I don't know you, every time I went into the after battery, it was so filled with black smoke that I could not see who was in the galley" And this is a No S---er!

Joseph McGrievy
WestPac Cruise

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While I was an instructor at NPTU Charleston aboard the MTS-635 (the former USS Sam Rayburn SSBN-635) we were running drills when a particularly nervous EOOW student inadvertently sounded the collision alarm when a Fire was reported over the 4MC. Without skipping a beat our leading crew Chief, MMCS(SS) Thomas, said, "Don't worry about the fire, the flooding will put it out!"

ET2(SU) Chip Muser
NPTU Charleston , Crew E, June 1996

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A new on board E1 striker was told to clean the CO and XO's head. When asked if he did the task he replied, " Well, I cleaned the CO's head but the XO's head was spotless."

MM2/SS Patrick M. Linkenhoker

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While serving on the USS Jallao (SS-368) about the spring of '58, my maneuvering watch station was port lookout. We were coming up the Thames and as we were passing the State Pier a series of signal flags were hoisted on the USS Fulton, the Sub Tender tied up at said pier. 

The OD, Exec and Captain were all puzzled by the flags as was the Quartermaster who hustled below to check his flag book. I said that I could read the flags and all three quickly turned towards me with a look of skepticism. "What do they mean son" said the Captain.

"My speed zero" I replied. 

Submitted by: Harry "Greek" Shuris SA at the time.
Email: JAMREC0RD@aol.com 

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A couple patrols ago, two of the officers on my boat were making their last patrol. 

Said one officer to a question, "I have no idea." The other officer looked at him, and back to the interviewee, and then said, "I agree with him."

Email: Siedge42@aol.com 

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During an ORSE, the ORSE Team member wanted to know who was who in the Engineering spaces. He went up to the Reactor Operator and asked him " What is 2 + 2?". The Reactor operator pulled out his calculator, punched in 2 + 2, and answered "4". The ORSE Team member said "Yep, you're a Reactor Operator.". 

Next he asked the Electrical Operator. "What is 2+2?". The Electrical Operator started whining on why he got asked all the questions, but finally answered "4". The ORSE Team member said "Yep, you're an Electrical Operator."

Next he asked the Machinist. "What is 2+2?". The MM started thinking and counting on his fingers, but still couldn't figure it out. Finally he said "3". The ORSE Team member said "Yep, you're a Machinist Mate."

Now the ORSE Team member wanted to ask an ELT. He finally found one coming out of nucleonics. He asked the ELT. "What is 2+2?". The ELT looked all around and then back at the ORSE Team member and said "What do you want it to be?".

Submitted by MM1/ ELT/SS Jeffery T. Moreau USN(RET)
Email: jeffmoreau@bresnanlink.net 

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A newly married sailor was informed by the navy that he was going to be stationed a long way from home on a remote island in the Pacific for a year. A few weeks after he got there he began to miss his new wife, so he wrote her a letter. 

"My love," he wrote "we are going to be apart for a very long time. Already I'm starting to miss you and there's really not much to do here in the evenings. Besides that we're constantly surrounded by young attractive native girls. Do you think if I had a hobby of some kind I would not tempted? "So his wife sent him back a harmonica saying, "why don't you learn to play this?" 

Eventually his tour of duty came to an end and he rushed back to his wife. "Darling" he said, "I can't wait to get you into bed so that we make passionate love!" 

She kissed him and said, "First let's see you play that harmonica."

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I was standing Aux of the Watch on board the USS Annapolis and from the OOD came, "Dive - make your depth 4000 feet."

Before the dive could respond, the stern planes responded, "#$!#, no!  And you can't make me."

MM2/ss Johnathan K Shultz
USS Annapolis 92 - 96

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Submarines are safer than airplanes. Proof in the fact is there are more airplanes in the water than submarines in the air!

C.O.B. USS Michigan SSBN-727 Blue

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D.O. "Sterns planesman do you have control of your bubble?"
S.P. "Yes sir, I have it trapped in the corner, Sir"

Miguel Emerson

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Response from a junior (very junior) sonar watchstander

"Sonar - Conn, Report all contacts in preparation in coming to periscope depth"
"Conn - Sonar, I hold no contacts - how 'bout you..?"
"Sonar - Conn, Supervisor to the Conn"

STS2/ss Bradley W. Hale (Sonar Sup)
USS Sam Rayburn SSBN 635B circa 1976

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QMOW: "Navigator we're on a course for sea mounts."
NAV: "Exec we're heading for shallow water."
EXEC: " Captain, we're running out of water."
CAPT: "What, no water, ...very well, secure the showers."

I wrote this down as it happened!

Tom Fisher, QM2 (ss)
USS Finback SSN670
2 April 1976

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Heard as I was standing COW at PD with a sea state 1...

OOD "Dive, Mark your depth! Belay that, I'll get it off the rudder!"

MT1/SS Kevin H Windham
USS Benjamin Franklin SSBN 640(B) June 1989

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