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Old 28-06-2020, 06:45   #1
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In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

Keep your distance.

The patrol boats and their young skippers were like a hornets nest that had just been poked by a stick keeping boats at least 500 yards away from the sub.

I'm maybe 550-600 here just outside the shipping channel.
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Old 28-06-2020, 07:00   #2
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Keep your distance.

The patrol boats and their young skippers were like a hornets nest that had just been poked by a stick keeping boats at least 500 yards away from the sub.

I'm maybe 550-600 here just outside the shipping channel.
Very common on the approaches to Norfolk. Of course it is easy to know they are coming because they are broadcasting constant advisories on CH16.

Except... for the smaller subs. Those donít get the same protective shield as the big boomers, and sometime donít even broadcast securite messages. Last time coming in we had a small sub get way closer than Iíd like without a bit of notice. Nothing dangerous, but a case of ďWhatís that? Right over there?Ē They are hard to see!
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Old 28-06-2020, 07:27   #3
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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Very common on the approaches to Norfolk. Of course it is easy to know they are coming because they are broadcasting constant advisories on CH16.

Except... for the smaller subs. Those donít get the same protective shield as the big boomers, and sometime donít even broadcast securite messages. Last time coming in we had a small sub get way closer than Iíd like without a bit of notice. Nothing dangerous, but a case of ďWhatís that? Right over there?Ē They are hard to see!
Yep, same distance no magnification.

If you are even a mile or two away, it can look like a buoy or something
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Old 06-08-2020, 14:12   #4
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

Cool shots.
Yea, the big boys will brodcast and keep everyone away coming back in. The attack boats will just blow by you as they're diving to disappear.
One of these days I'll find out much closer to the real top speed of those sneaky little buggers.
(Prolly not, but I know they can flat fly)
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Old 06-08-2020, 14:18   #5
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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Very common on the approaches to Norfolk. Of course it is easy to know they are coming because they are broadcasting constant advisories on CH16.

Except... for the smaller subs. Those donít get the same protective shield as the big boomers, and sometime donít even broadcast securite messages. Last time coming in we had a small sub get way closer than Iíd like without a bit of notice. Nothing dangerous, but a case of ďWhatís that? Right over there?Ē They are hard to see!
Are you trying to tell me they don't use AIS?
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Old 06-08-2020, 14:42   #6
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

They're even more fun when running out the ship channel in heavy traffic with just the periscope showing. I couldn't figure out why the roro was leaving the separation zone until I saw a black buoy coming past me fast.
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Old 06-08-2020, 15:12   #7
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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Originally Posted by hscrugby View Post
Cool shots.
Yea, the big boys will brodcast and keep everyone away coming back in. The attack boats will just blow by you as they're diving to disappear.
One of these days I'll find out much closer to the real top speed of those sneaky little buggers.
(Prolly not, but I know they can flat fly)
I doubt any of us will really know, but I think the top speed is heavily influenced by prop type and depth of the boat, if they are real deep they can shower a LOT of power to the prop and it not cavitate, but shallower they can’t due to water pressure allowing the prop to cavitate. I think it’s a matter of go fast and loose stealth or go slow and be sneaky, but a nuke isn’t a quiet boat, or at least not as quiet as a Diesel / electric can be.
I think but don’t know the Skipper of the boat gets to choose between a fast prop and a quiet prop.
It’s my understanding that the Soviet Alpha was actually faster than our torpedoes back then, but going that fast they were completely blind as their passive sonar was ineffective due to the noise they were making and they made so much noise that everyone knew exactly where they were, even if they were really far away, but they were the fastest?

I have no idea if any of this is true, I was very interested in submarines as a kid and never understood the public’s fascination with the U boat, it was the US submarines that actually succeeded in strangling a nation, the U boats failed.
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Old 07-08-2020, 00:44   #8
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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It’s my understanding that the Soviet Alpha was actually faster than our torpedoes back then, but going that fast they were completely blind as their passive sonar was ineffective due to the noise they were making and they made so much noise that everyone knew exactly where they were, even if they were really far away, but they were the fastest?
The Soviet Projekt-705 boats are absolutely fascinating; a technological tour de force, the most radical submarine for its time ever produced. We know them for their speed and for their titanium hulls, but the most interesting features of these boats were the automation, and the propulsion system. The were radically automated in order to reduce the crew, as little as 14 in the original design, eventually 27 (compare Los Angeles class with 134). The technology was incredible for the 1960's. The other radical feature was the liquid metal reactor with greatly increased power density compared to pressurized water reactors, another leg of the design brief which was intended to create a boat which was as small and powerful as possible, highly maneuverable, with rapid execution of commands due to compact crew with short chains of command, basically a Ferrari of the deep, or maybe McLaren. The Soviets allowed us to believe that they were going to build these in a large series, which scared us into spending untold billions on various weapons systems to counter it, but in fact only 7 Projekt-705 boats were built; they were actually never intended for large scale production.


Much of the technology was used on the brilliant Akula-class boats, however, which has less than half the crew of Los Angeles class boats due to the highly advanced automation systems developed from the Alfa class boat systems. But the liquid metal reactor was not carried over; the Akula has a normal pressurized water reactor like our subs have. Large scale production of the Akula was interrupted by the fall of the Soviet Union; a few have been produced since for a total of 15. Some are being used in the Indian Navy.


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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I have no idea if any of this is true, I was very interested in submarines as a kid and never understood the public’s fascination with the U boat, it was the US submarines that actually succeeded in strangling a nation, the U boats failed.

True, but you can't compare the Japanese merchant fleet of the 1940's, with the Anglo-American one. Our subs only sank 5 million tonnes of Japanese shipping, but that amounted to 60% of their fleet and was enough. The Kriegsmarine sank 21 million tonnes of English, American and Greek ships during the war. It was not the U boats which failed; it was the shipyards cranking out Liberty Ships which won. We built 39 million tonnes of just Liberty Ships during and just before the war, nearly double the entire tonnage sunk by U-boats.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:19   #9
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

This is what happens when the Sub says everyone has to be 500 yards away and the Container Ship says it canít leave the channel.... look near the bow of the Ship.

The worst encounter we had with a sub was being screamed at to stay 500 yards away, asking where he was so we could ensure that we complied and being told that he was submerged and would not give a position. We werenít sure how to deal with that so just kept sailing (off one of the rivers in Connecticut) and eventually they stopped hailing.
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Old 07-08-2020, 03:41   #10
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

Same thing happened here a weeks after I saw the Virginia Class Sub (no diving planes on the sail) in photo above.

The sub this time was a small attack sub maybe 637 Sturgeon Class and there was a huge foreign container ship on the way out as the sub came in.

I was headed south toward my marina having crossed the bay and crossed the shipping channel maybe 800 -1000 yards ahead. The patrol boats didn't approach me maybe because they were with 3 big cats keeping them out of the shipping channel.

I ducked in right behind the container ship and crossed just before it got to the sub. Calm seas except ships wake....and about 92 degrees
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:13   #11
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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Interesting report on a very near miss between a RN sub and a passenger ferry in the Irish Sea


https://assets.publishing.service.go...NSubmarine.pdf
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:25   #12
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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This is what happens when the Sub says everyone has to be 500 yards away and the Container Ship says it canít leave the channel.... look near the bow of the Ship.
I find the Navy to be reasonable if you talk with them. USS Illinois caught up to me with their escort just as I approached the Thimble Shoal Channel cut through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. They put a patrol boat between me and the sub and they passed just after the cut. Good communication. Great pictures...somewhere.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:11   #13
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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I find the Navy to be reasonable if you talk with them. USS Illinois caught up to me with their escort just as I approached the Thimble Shoal Channel cut through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. They put a patrol boat between me and the sub and they passed just after the cut. Good communication. Great pictures...somewhere.
It usually depends on who is on the patrol boats and their temperament and how many boats are getting too close and no responding to their calls on channel 16.

You can see the wake of the patrol boat that passed between me and the sub in the photo above reposted here. He was near full speed.

After they got ahead of the Sub a bit they made a high speed almost 90 degree turn to run off some other boat. The patrol boat operators are mostly young kids (early 20's) so you get all types.

It's sometimes enjoyable to listen to them even when 10 miles away from the channel which I was monitoring as I approach last time and hoping I wouldn't have to wait for the Sub to pass.

I actually headed away to the SW to go behind the ship as it was too close to pass in front of and then ahead of the sub..

Btw, the Commander and crew members on the top of the sail are all tethered on according to the Sub guy I have here as a tech.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:56   #14
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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It usually depends on who is on the patrol boats and their temperament and how many boats are getting too close and no responding to their calls on channel 16.
No question. I'm pretty Johnny-on-the-spot and called them while they were still a couple of miles back.

You're really in the middle of things down there. I have some good stories about interactions with military traffic. My favorite is coming up the Elizabeth River and being called directly by 'Warship 41.' I was below working on an article and my wife was on watch. She hollered down the companionway "Daaavve - it's for you!" I love my wife.
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:42   #15
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Re: In Bound Sub (Ocean to Chesapeake Bay)

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No question. I'm pretty Johnny-on-the-spot and called them while they were still a couple of miles back.

You're really in the middle of things down there. I have some good stories about interactions with military traffic. My favorite is coming up the Elizabeth River and being called directly by 'Warship 41.' I was below working on an article and my wife was on watch. She hollered down the companionway "Daaavve - it's for you!" I love my wife.
Nice!

"Daaavve - it's for you!"

That's great!

Yeah, it can get pretty busy with the shipping and the military. It seems like whenever I'm in a hurry to cross the shipping channels especially Thimble Shoal Channel it's busy.

At least now that I have AIS and OpenCPN, I can get an idea of the traffic before I'm close enough for visual.

Before those ships had a way of jumping out from behind the Tunnel Islands at speed and causing problems for my planned crossing of the channel.

It's only about 4 miles or so from the mouth of Little Creek to Thimble Shoal Channel so you are just getting settled in good for a weekend cruise etc North when you are at the channel

Some of the patrol boats are out of Little Creek also. Plus you have the stealth Seal Fast boats with maybe seating for 12 seals plus a ramp for a fast deliver craft
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