Thursday, June 22, 2006

Submarine Ride

USS Maine
Trident-class Submarine

Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay

Friends and Family Cruise
May 1997

In May 1997 my son-in-law was in the Navy - stationed at Kings Bay, Georgia. Family and friends were invited to tour the USS Maine submarine and go for a day-long cruise. Buddy declined due to his inclination for seasickness, so I took my friend, Sheila. Our daughter Melissa couldn't go - she was expecting and couldn't fit through the hatch…

We left before daylight, climbing down the narrow ladder through the small hatch into another world. We assembled in the galley deck, probably the biggest common area. The Captain welcomed us all and proceeded to distribute Dramamine tablets first thing - just in case.

All the crew members were very helpful, giving us tours and showing us how everything worked. We saw the torpedo tubes, the helm, the periscope, the sleeping quarters. We got to go up on the bridge and see the view, no land in sight!

Pictured - Ed and Bobbie enjoying the view from the bridge.

Everything on the boat was very compact, and it made us appreciate our SIL living there for three months at a time while out at sea. At one point the order was announced "Dive!" and everything began to tilt. Plates and cups slid to the edge of tables, if you weren't sitting already, you wished you were.

Pictured - Look out - woman driver - Sheila!

But of course the most interesting part were the Trident missiles. The 24 missile tubes are lined up vertically the entire height of the boat, 12 on each side, with the hallway running down the middle of them and the sleeping quarters in between.

We learned that fresh oxygen and drinking water are made from sea water, and a nuclear reactor powers the propulsion system.

A great time was had by all, an experience of a lifetime. In a word - Awesome!

USS Maine


Motherkitty said...

Our son was a submariner for several years on the USS Bremerton. They were based in the Pacific and would go out on six-month cruises. He traveled to all sorts of exotic ports throughout the Far East. When he got out of the Navy, he went to work for a company that is contracted to the Navy. He installs reverse osmosis water systems on subs (converts sea water to potable water).

We were invited to go on his sub (family day), but at the time we were unable to make the trip to San Diego. We regret it now. The description of your experience on SIL's sub sounds exciting. Glad you had a good experience.

Jeanne said...

How thrilling, and a little scary!
Jeanne :)

LZ Blogger said...

This sounds like fun! Well… unless you happen to be claustrophobic! ~ jb///

jellyhead said...

Sounds awesome alright!! You've done some amazing things, Susan.

John Cowart said...

Wow! Waht an adventure. I envy you.