Run silent, run deep… for generations
Above, and bigger here , is a ward room scene aboard the USS Salt Lake City last Sunday. It’s messy because the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (quite a visit in itself) had already strung work lights in preparation for shutting down all the sub’s power systems. In the shot, Rich is telling the current captain, Cmdr. Tracy Howard, how in the 80’s there was a pull down screen where the big plasma display is now, and they played 8mm films from a projector in the pantry. It was just a cool coincidence that the junior officers happened to be playing that old b&w WWII sub movie as the ‘elders’ conferred.
All week I’ve been thinking about that sub, and what it must be like to crew one. Rich tells me that, even on a big one like this, there’s so much engineering that not every crewman gets a private berth (which are, ahem, kind of squeezed together anyway). I even rented a documentary, Submarine: Steel Boats: Iron Men ;(excellent), to get some more feel for it. It is crowded living. While sub technology may be amazing—this one went 21 years on one charge of fuel—even more so are the skillful, gentle men who run them.