I went through Hurricane Gloria a thousand years ago while based in New London, CT. I was the ship’s navigator and 3rd in command. It’s a scramble.Johnny Mac wrote:the turn has started and hopefully will continueOGSB wrote:Still at 1 mph but now to WNW
Marcus, I may have asked before, but how are subs affected in storms like this if they are submerged deep? Is it really turbulent deep down from the high seas above?
A submarine cannot stay in port alongside the pier during a hurricane. It will get destroyed against the pier, or the pier will be destroyed, or both. A submarine base with enough notice will order every submarine to sea that does not have a hull cut. About a hundred miles out to sea outside of each base there are grids in the ocean—in our case it was the Narragansett Bay OPAREAs, or NBOAs. Every boat will be assigned a grid and ordered to sea in a big conga line. It’s like watching a bunch of jumbo jets lined up to take off...tugboats and gunboats escorting each sub out to the river mouth.
Each boat submerges deep, in excess of 400’ (that’s all that is unclassified) and stays deep the whole time. However, each boat is required to copy the satellite broadcasts at least every 8-12 hours, in peacetime and in wartime. Remember that down deep the world could have blown up in th meantime and the only way a submarine knows is to come up to snatch a very quick satellite broadcast. However, it’s not a simple evolution to come to periscope depth, even without a storm. The key is not to hit anything coming up and that requires a passive search on sonar, making sure the ship is ready to come shallow, etc.
In my case I was the Officer of the Deck bringing us to periscope depth right in the midst of Gloria. We were experiencing 10 degree rolls at deeper than 400’. Passing 200’ we had 20 degree rolls. When I proceeded to 150’ the boat got sucked up to the surface, or broached. I looked aft through the scope and half the boat was out of the water and I could see the propeller spinning free in the air. This was a 360’ long, 7000 ton submarine getting thrown around like a bath toy. I estimated wave heights 80-100 feet based on breaking on the submarine upper hull. Most everyone in the boat had puke buckets and the waves were pounding us so hard I thought we’d break something. I grabbed the satellite pass as soon as I could and went deep. One of the most pucker inducing feats of my life.
The next day upon return to port the shores were littered with smashed small craft. The one-ton anchored sea buoy out near Long Island Sound had moved a quarter mile. The Shore was without power for over a week. It’s not nice to underestimate Mother Nature.