WELCOME ABOARD HMS TUNA…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a submariner? How would you feel about being enclosed for weeks at a time, maneuvering in the depths of the ocean on secret missions?
Jos Bogaert, a renowned retired submariner for the Royal Netherlands Navy, has written a first-hand account of what being a submariner actually involves.
He shares his story through this series of blogs and details what life is really like onboard a submarine.
READY TO GO TO SEA
It is Monday morning 0945, HMS Tuna is getting ready to go to sea. It’s a bit of a blurry day with a lot of wind and a choppy sea so the boat will be lively once she leaves port.
Since 0800 the crew has been busy with the last preparations for a 6 weeks deployment. The cooks have been loading the last of the fresh produce, the mechanical engineers are testing the engines, the electrical engineers are disconnecting the shore power supply and the coxswain is inspecting the casing to make sure all the hatches are secured, they cannot make sounds once the submarine is underwater.
In the boat, chiefs are making their rounds to see that everything is secured for sea. All safety systems have been checked and all checklists are completed.
Everyone listens as the tannoy sounds “Manoeuvring stations” indicating that every sailor needs to take his position according to his designated role.
The casing crew put on their life jackets and began to head to the deck to let the mooring ropes go on the command of the Navigation Officer. The Commander is going on deck to report to the captain of submarines that he is ready to go to sea.
After a crisp salute, he goes down in the submarine and emerges at the bridge.
At exactly 1000, as planned, the casing lets go of the moorings and the boat slips away from the pier. Although tugs were ready to support HMS Tuna, the commander decided to leave under his own power. Once away from the pier the casing crew enters the boat, an engineer cleans the hatch, puts a small layer of grease on it, and closes it. If all goes well the hatch will not be opened before the boat enters harbor again in six weeks’ time…
Checkout part II below…