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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at 5 days underwater in a submarine, as a civilian.  Anyone been there, done that, have any helpful advice, or information.  I don't know what I'll do if they tell me I cant take my kindle!  I can go 5 days with out cigarettes, and Coors light, but please don't take my kindle.
 

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bookfiend said:
I am looking at 5 days underwater in a submarine...
Why? What will you be doing there? How did you get that opportunity?

I'm not trying to be nosy, I'm just curious (ok, maybe I am nosy). It sounds like it would be an interesting adventure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I work on commercials, film, and TV.  I think this is part of a documentary.  No one said any thing about confidentiality, so I'm pretty sure its OK to talk about.  It will be cool, but hard work.
 

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i presume you mean a US navy nuclear sub but i'm surprised they would let a woman stay on board for five days since female sailors aren't allowed to serve on subs unless that changed.   i know very little of submarine life but i think its typical once the sub reaches deep water it will submerge and go through "angles and dandles" which are a series of very steep ups and downs and side rolls to shake loose any objects that weren't properly secured. you don't want to make any unnecessary noise once the subs leaves friendly waters since they rely on stealth and sound travels much faster and further under water compared to air so a pan hitting the floor might be heard miles away.  anyway angles and dangles must be fun.  maybe they'll do some emergency blows to surface the sub at high speed.  that must be fun too.  subs operate 24 hours a day so you might have to share a bunk with another crewman, not at the same time of course but being a female guest i would suspect you'll have a private quarters to sleep in. the air you breath will be filtered so getting a cold or flu isn't likely.  the food should be good.  once back on shore they'll put you in a dark room to see if you glow in the dark...not really but you might have to wear a thing on you throughout the cruise to keep track of your radiation exposure from the reactor plant which on US subs should be negligible especially for such a short time.  

have fun and report back how your experience was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You dont make it sound very fun to me.  One of the reasons Im going is because they ran out of bunks for men, and only had openings in the womans quarters, so I wont be the only one.  Why do you think its a nucular sub? Are they all, I dont want to glow in the dark.
 

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i know for sure it would be fun for me.  i didn't know they had female sailors deployed on us subs.  they used to be the only navy ships not to allow females.  these days the us navy only operates nuclear subs except for a few conventional diesel/electric subs they use just for training to simulate a hostile countries conventional sub.  i wouldn't doubt for a second the us navy nuclear subs are the safest in the world and for that matter they have the best trained and equipped crews.  now days it's very rare things go tragically wrong on us subs but that happens in all walks of life.  i'd worry more about getting struck by lighting.  of course a nuclear sub is a combat weapon with a variety of arms including nuclear weapons so there's danger inherent to that too.  still i would gladly pay to spend 5 days on a nuclear sub and would pay triple if it was a seawolf or virginia class sub.

have fun  :)
 

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Sorry just curious, but if it's for film/tv/movies/commercials etc. Why does it have to be a US nuclear sub? I may be missing something here.

 

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How cool is that?  Be sure and let us know if you glow, kidding, let us know your adventures as you can!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know if its nuclear or not.  I was just hoping someone here had been, and could give me advice on what to pack.  Like if they keep it 45 degrees, I'd pack warmer cloths.  If I'm aloud to take my kindle, I will probably convert the whole sub crew.
 

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Are we talking a US Navy sub?  You never said.  They keep 'em around 68 I think, except it's usually warmer in the engine room -- though they're not likely to let you there.  Not all Navy subs are nuclear, but don't worry if it is.  The reactor is very very very well shielded.  Even less chance of them letting you near the engine room if it is.  :D There are also diesel subs.

I toured a nuclear sub once when I was stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power School that used to be in Orlando.  The sub was docked at a pier around Canaveral somewhere.  Later I would have had the opportunity to go out for an overnight cruise but I'd just found out I was pregnant and they wouldn' t let me.  :(  (If they haven't asked you that, it's probably not nuclear :) )

I would not recommend taking your best stuff. . . .ships/subs are notoriously stinky (diesels worse than nukes but even nukes have diesel engines) what with all those bodies and engines and stuff.  Yes, the air is filtered and recirculated and all.  But my Navy wife friends whose husbands served aboard all said that when their men came home from a cruise their clothes went straight into the laundry. . . .not even allowed in the house.  (Fortunately I didn't have that problem as my DH was a Civil Engineer Corps officer and our tours were always land only.)

Wear comfortable shoes, no heels, I'd go with minimal jewelry, jeans or slacks rather than skirts, and short sleeved modest shirts but I'd have a jacket just in case.   Or are they going to provide 'uniforms' for you?

I hope you are short.  :D  The passageways and spaces have a fairly low overhead and the hatches tend to have to be stepped over/into while ducking .  Expect bruises on your shins.

I'm sure the Kindle won't be a problem. . . but if it was me I would NOT take my Oberon cover.  You won't have a lot of space to stow your stuff and it may or may not be lockable.  I expect, as a civilian guest, you'll have quarters roughly equivalent to officer berths.  So probably sharing with one person, probably just a sink in the room.  Don't recall if you'll have a head attached, but showers are definitely shared.  And don't plan on standing under the water for any length of time when you shower.  You pull a chain and water runs; you let go and it stops; so you have to let go to soap up, then pull the chain again to rinse.  No standing under and enjoying the steam.  :)

That's all I can remember off hand. . . .the tour I had was over 25 years ago and they were mostly showing us the reactor control area because that's what we were supposed to be able to understand to teach the math required.  I mostly remember that all the spaces were small. . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Ann.  I have a very rugged job, so will defiantly be wearing jeans and work boots.  Hearing 68, I know know jeans instead of shorts, that's a big heads up (Thanks).  Luckily, I am short, 5'3", so Ill probably be the only one not ducking, but maybe I should bring a pair of light weight soccor shin guards. ;D. I haven't heard if they are going to provide uniforms, or not. The job is a bunch of weeks from now.  We had to get approved, and stuff, I am expecting a call for the Dr. interview any day now.  Thanks again Ann
 

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To the best of my knowledge (it's been over 15 years now since I was somewhat in the loop on USN matters), all front-line US subs are nuclear-powered. If you are going on one of them, I would guess it's more likely to be on an "attack" sub (SSN), one of the Los Angeles or Sea Wolf class, than a ballistic missile sub (SSBN, a.k.a. "boomer") of the Ohio class, as the latter are much more sensitive as far as security concerns since they carry the ballistic nuclear missiles and spend most of their time at sea being a "hole in the water", trying not to be detected by anyone. The Navy did have some diesel/electric boats as training platforms, but I do not know if they still do. Most other countries with submarine fleets have diesel/electrics for some or all of their boats. (BTW: the US Navy refers to all subs as "boats", even when they are as long as a football field.)

Whatever you end up on, you'll have it a lot easier than the men who served in submarines 60 years ago or more. If you ever get a chance to go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, check out the U-505 exhibit (a captured German U-boat). Even the smaller Los Angeles class SSN's have cruise ship accommodations when compared to that WWII era boat. :)
 

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Sounds like so much fun and adventure! Update us after you are done let us know how it went!
 
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