Ocean College

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Wild Caribbean Sea and an Interview about Submarines

Date: 02.02.2022
Author: Clara N.
Position: Caribbean Sea
Geographical Position: 13 22″9 N 078 57″9 W

Chris, who was working on a submarine

Today I want to write a bit more about the presentation from Chris about Submarines, which was already mentioned in Leons last report. It’s actually a really interesting topic and one don’t really know a lot about it. And who knows more about it than Chris himself. So I asked him for an interview and he said yes. Let’s start right away:

How long have you been part of the Royal Navy?

I was six years full time in the Royal Navy and in 2005 I left. In 2016 I rejoined and now I’m working half time. So if the Navy calls me, for example we would have war or in a special situation like Corona, I would need to come back. Last year I was called for six weeks and helped in South England with Corona stuff.

How did you become a submariner?

I didn’t volunteer for the job because the Navy selected me. I was not that excited and a little bit disappointed, because I wanted to work on controlling vessels. Small boats are way more fun!

What was your first Job on a submarine?

I joined as an officer. I was in the control room when we were under water and did the navigation. I did a lot of safety control of the submarine and did watch when we were above the water on the surface.

What is the most difficult thing when you live on a submarine?

Getting used to this really new environment. Not having fresh air or sunlight and in the beginning you have a lot to learn. You need to be as quick as everybody else with the systems and get along.

Do you have any rituals, when you first join a submarine?

After you had all your qualifications and you do an oral exam with the captain, you get a glass of rum with your dolphins in it wich you need to swallow at once and catch the dolphins with your teeth.

What was one of the best moments in your time there ?

Getting home ;). No, being on watch at the surface because you just have one lookout and not that much technical stuff to do like in the control room. You need to think a bit more and it’s more exciting. And you are in the sun.

Did you ever have to do hotbunking?

(Hotbunking means when people share one bunk. When the other one is on watch the first one sleeps and when the other one goes after him one watch the other one directly goes to sleep in the same bed.)

No, I was on bigger submarines so we didn’t need to share.

Did you sometimes panic because of the small space?

No, some times I was overworked but I never panicked. (Chris is a really chill captain and I really never saw him in a big rush or the smallest bit off any panic)

What exactly would you do in an emergency, when you need to leave the ship ?

That would be a very bad day, but everybody is really well trained and knows what to do in which case.

How was the food?

The best food in the Navy.

Participant Ariadni with food on the Pelican

Why did you leave?

I had a knee injury before and the treatment was more difficult. Also I didn’t intend to be a submariner and on the ship I worked on, I didn’t get along with everyone. All in all, various reasons.

Otherwise the day was a littlebit boring and not that much happened. After breakfast, the school started again and we had math and seamanship, where we did the basic knots again and learned something about which garbage we can throw over board and which not. For example: Food waste is in the most areas allowed, as long as you are further away then 11 Miles from the coast. But to let oil into the ocean is of course never allowed.

Participants on the ship while lesson

After Lunch I had watch with Matt. Where we thought him some new German words as always. Today the most liked one was “kotzen”, because we’re all still seasick. The waves are pretty much coming directly onto our bow and this is really unpleasant.

Participants on the wheel in watch

After Watch I sleept a little bit, which is in this moment the most common activity on the pelican. After dinner, we were lying on the deck and just enjoyed the stars and tried finding some star constellations.

Connor: Ich grüße Lene und wünsche dir alles Gute bei deinen Profilwochen.

Daisy: Ganz dicke Kufis nach Berlin an die beste Schwester der Welt. Ich hab dich lieb.

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