July 12, 2006

A few of us in sonar went over to see the nuclear submarine Toronto today, that was moored next to the large ship as well.  The experience made me thankful to be the Elrod.

My little tour will work as an it could be worse” salve that will surely get me thought at least the next month.  Their living conditions are about as bad in my viewpoint as an uninitiated civilian would think mine is.  I’m not kidding.  The living spacing are like a very cramped trailer, and the work spaces are like walking through a car’s engine.  And some, without other any place to be, their beds are actually down on the torpedo room, and they sleep right next to torpedoes, like they could roll over and hug it in their sleep.

And the lights are always on there, because again it is a working space, so they have to sleep in the light, and they also share their bed with three other sailors, so the only time you can ever sleep is when the other two are not.  The room you’ve also seen I can store things in?  Divide that by three, for each person.  Prisons now seem much better.  The only “common room” where there is any room at all is the mess-decks, smaller than your room last year, where there always at least large portion of the crew watching movies.  I wanted to leave after a little while, and I felt bad when I gave the Toronto guys a tour of our frigate.  Everything suddenly seems so white and clean here, and…. Big!  Here, look at this room where we have all to ourselves, where I can watch TV and relax!  The submariners seemed sad to leave.  The worst part I think was their email situation, where they only send/receive when they rarely surface, and their server is so small that they can only send emails as long as this example of a one day’s happiness.

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