My first experience with the DC trainer (that's Damage Control for the non-quals reading this), is one event that I'll NEVER forget.
After going through sea trials, then a DASO (Demonstration and Shakedown Operation), we (SSBN-619 B) turned the boat over to the other crew. I know that this hard for a lot of you DBFers to understand, but that's the way boomers operated. We were pampered and we prepared ourselves for a winter in New England. If you've been here in the winter, you KNOW what I'm talkin' about.
Now I'm from the midwest, having spent many a winter in either Wisconsin or Michigan, so cold and snowy winters didn't bother me. However, those days never prepared me for the Wet Trainer portion of our DC Training. When I last went through DC Training, it was on lower base. Now they have a new facility closer to the NEW barracks.
In this first encounter, I went with both the Missile Tech div and Launcher TM div in the dead of winter Feb '76.
After going through the normal 2 days of classroom instruction and OBA training, we got to spend 2 glorious days getting wet. Friggin' water so cold that I think it killed all the male sperm in me (We know that women have that icy stare / touch / speech and that this wouldn't faze the female sperm). At least the coldness made my jewels numb... In fact, I was afraid they would break before they got warm. I had never felt water so friggin' cold!!!!
We had a sharp bunch of people and passed with flying colors, but in order to pass one particular drill, some of us performed above and beyond the call of duty. There was one time that, since we had stopped all the leaks given to us during one flooding drill (In a timely manner... Not record setting, but close) THE INSTRUCTORS DECIDED TO GIVE US MORE LEAKS!!!!!!! (Assholes). But, we were out of bandit material, DC plugs and most all the things that were needed to stop water from coming into the people tank.
Being the NQP's that we were, us JUNIOR guys asked,
"What the hell are we supposed to do now?"
My bright-ass TMC sez,
"Use your clothes."
Yeah right I thought, you can kiss my ass, I'm cold enough now and you want me to TAKE OFF MY CLOTHES?!?!
"That's the only way we're gonna pass", he sez.
"What about you?", I ask.
The sonuvabitch just grabs the corner of his friggin' collar and shakes it at me.
What do you think happened? About 7 or 8 of us stripped down to our skivvies to stop all the damn leaks, hell with as many 'holes' that there were in this boat, we could have drained some gahdam noodles.
Did I mention that I was "FRIGGIN' COLD!!!
But at least I knew that in an emergency we could stop most water from coming into our home away from home.
After we were done I asked the wise ol' TMC,
"Chief, why was the water so gahdam cold?"
"Hell that's good ol' water straight from the Thames river. There's a leak in the storage tank, so they're pumpin' it in right from the river. Besides dumbass, if you think this is cold, try stoppin' a leak while in the north Atlantic... You wanna talk about cold?"
"HELL NO, I don't wanna talk about cold, I AM COLD!! So cold, I can't feel my manhood..."
"That's what she said..."
"So now you'll be used to standing topside in the dead of winter in Scotland, a place where they only have 2 seasons... Wind & rain or wind & snow... Always cold, besides, it builds self-esteem."
"Honest to gawd chief, my self-esteem is the same color as my dungarees, and I think my gonads are too, can't we get the hell outta here?"
I've never been to the new trainer... Hear that it's real nice, heated water and all (Heard they import the water from the tropics) Too many bluejackets stayed blue I guess.
BTW, I never did find out where the water came from. If not the river, then they must had a spare storage tank IN THE RIVER!
Did I mention that I was really, really, REALLY COLD?
Billy Bob (brrrr) Lary