Guardfish on the Rocks

One of the things I most enjoy about attending SUBVETS meetings is listening to the sea stories. This morning over breakfast there was a lively discussion of the grounding of the USS Guardfish (SSN-612) on a Christmas Eve outside Pearl Harbor. One of our members was an engineering Officer for the Squadron command and received a call at home to get down to the base right away. Nobody would discuss why over the phone, so he got dressed and went into the office. There he was told “It’s your job whether you want it or not,” and to get down to the pier and tell the families that Guardfish would not be arriving today (Christmas Eve).

Now imagine that. You can give them no further information, other than the boat is overdue! In truth, she is on a reef just outside the harbor, stuck aground, but the chill that must have gone through those families heart would have frozen hell. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the boat arrived a couple of days late.

I did some digging and found the following entries on the Guardfish memories website, which make some interesting reading from the ships company point of view. But as always, there’s another side to the story!

Guardfish On the Rocks

Yes, I can tell you what it was like during the grounding of the Guardfish….it was a nightmare!!!

My maneuvering watch station was in the diesel generator room; as you know, almost on the bottom and near the bow of the boat! I don’t know what speed we were making for our approach to Papa Hotel but there was some trouble up in control getting the hatch open to man the bridge. All of a sudden there was the most terrible screeching and tearing sounds I had ever heard. The boat shuddered and bounced, then the noise subsided and we started to heel over to port, it seemed like it would never stop. For a few seconds, I thought we were going to roll over! I was really scared but training took over and I started checking hull fittings and equipment to see if there was any damage or if we were taking on any water. Everything checked out OK and I reported to Control. Then I remember just listening as the CO and maneuvering kept talking back and forth as they tried to back down off the reef. I think maneuvering was afraid for the “plant” but the Captain wanted Guardfish OFF THAT REEF! I remember an order something like, “Keep that astern bell on until I tell you to take it off”! We blew main ballast tanks to try to raise the boat in the water and everything else the Captain could think of but nothing worked,,,,, we were stuck! The rest is history, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day out there and they got us free about noon the day after Christmas, but not before a bomb scare when divers found an old bomb just astern of us. It turned out to be a practice bomb full of sand and the tow went off as scheduled at high tide. When we got in and tied up I was really embarrassed because not only was my Wife Marsha there to meet me but my Dad had come out from Ohio to visit and he was an old great lakes sailor. He always stressed to me how important it was to know your waters and keep your boat out of trouble! All I could say was “I don’t drive the boat Dad”! We were all very tired but very happy to be home!
– LT Eldon Peck

Another viewpoint on the grounding…

We were all at our maneuvering stations as Eldon stated. Mine just happened to be helmsman/lookout. Captain Hines was the first man up the sail and I was right behind him. We had just set up communications with the control room. I don,t know if we had taken the con at the moment. I had my safety harness on and was snapped in the cockpit but I was working out on the sailplanes trying to get the safety lines rigged. All of a sudden, I was hugging the sail for dear life. I bet I left fingernail marks there forever. No matter what the Captain tried, we could not get free. We were pounding on that reef really hard. We had a constant 30-degree list and every time we rose up a bit, we would slam down again on the reef. Finally, we vented the ballast tanks trying to settle down and relieve the pounding as much as possible. The worst part of the whole thing, after the situation stabilized, was the fact that we were within sight of the Air Force base right next to Pearl Harbor. We all could see our wives and family members on land through binoculars. It was one hell of a way to spend Christmas. The day after Christmas, we were pulled off the reef by two fleet tugs and an ASR and towed into port. We got liberty that day and had to report back early the next day to move to the dry dock. The damage was not as bad as everyone feared. We got a nice stay in the dry dock for a while and then went on our first WestPac cruise.-MM2 Dennis LaHines

The Official Story of Guardfish on the Rocks
Submarine Grounding

Brief: Submarine goes aground while entering port.

What Happened? A submarine was returning to homeport at night after deployment. Upon surfacing it was found that the bridge hatch was stuck shut. One of the two periscopes was inoperative. The OOD and navigator shared the remaining periscope to conn the ship and navigate. The maneuvering watch was fully manned with the exception of bridge watchstanders. Visibility was not a problem. An apparent gyro error of 8.7ø with the operative periscope was being used. Thirty nine minutes after surfacing the ship had approached within 2 miles of the harbor entrance point and had ordered all stop from speed 12 knots. Navigational fixes obtained indicated that the ship would pass landward of the harbor entrance point but not to landward of the harbor entrance buoys. Forty eight minutes after surfacing the bridge hatch was successfully opened. The ship had advanced 2750 yards from the point of the all stop bell and was well to the right of the harbor entrance range having crossed the range from west to east. Thirteen minutes after the bridge hatch was opened the ship was ordered ahead 1/3 and then 2/3 to make the turn to enter the channel. The Commanding Officer went to the bridge with a lookout and a quartermaster. The lookout was busy rigging for entering port; the quartermaster was trying to call the signal tower by flashing light. About this time the Commanding Officer assumed the duties of OOD from OOD in the attack center. Neither had the channel entrance buoys in sight although the buoys were on the port bow at a range of about 1000 yards.
Navigational fixes obtained were open to question because of gyro transmission errors in the operative periscope and the poor bearing spread of available navigational aids. A course to enter the channel between the channel entrance buoys was recommended by the acting assistant navigator, an experienced QM1. This course was essentially concurred in by the navigator, however the recommendation was not sent to the bridge.
The two channel range lights and a buoy pair (5 and 6) with the same light characteristics as the entrance buoys (1 and 2) occupied the attention of the navigator and the Commanding Officer (OOD). The stage was set. As buoys 1 and 2 slid unobserved down the port side the submarine went aground.

Comments/Lessons learned:

A missing locking key for the periscope bearing transmitter, a stuck bridge hatch, one inoperative periscope – none of these directly caused the grounding. When the additional factors of haste, pre-occupation with details rather than keeping the big picture, inadequate communication between the navigator and the bridge and inadequate preparations are added, a casualty is in the making.

The sea merely lies in wait for the innocent but it stalks the unwary.
-EM1 Herb Edmonds


Wendall & The Kraken | Plausibly Live

Source: Wendall & The Kraken | Plausibly Live

In 1944, a submarine slid sideways into the Manitowoc River near where it empties into Lake Michigan. As she kissed the water, some 1500 miles to the west, a young man who wanted to be a farmer heard the clarion call of his country, left his home in Ogden, Utah and joined the US Navy. After a detour through Connecticut and New Guinea, he would arrive in Manitowoc and report aboard that new submarine.

Commissioned in September, the USS Kraken (SS-370) would sail down the Mississippi River, through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean where Wendall would make all four combat patrols of USS Kraken, and eventually leave the Navy after the war ended. He would return to Ogden and become well involved in farming. Kraken would be decommissioned and placed in reserve until she was needed again.

The United States Submarine Veterans exists “To Perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”

In 1982, almost 38 years after she touched the waters of Lake Michigan, Kraken was scrapped. Last year, Wendall passed away, after a long and fruitful life.

I just thought that you might like to know their stories…

Navy Identifies Sailor Killed in Manbij, Syria

A Sailor assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66 (CWA 66), based at Ft. George G. Meade, Md., was killed while deployed in Manbij, Syria.

Source: Navy Identifies Sailor Killed in Manbij, Syria

Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, was killed while supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and teammates of Chief Petty Officer Kent during this extremely difficult time.  She was a rockstar, an outstanding Chief Petty Officer, and leader to many in the Navy Information Warfare Community,” said Cmdr. Joseph Harrison, Commanding Officer, CWA-66.

Kent, who hailed from upstate New York, enlisted in the Navy December 11, 2003, and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in February 2004. Her other military assignments included Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Gordon, Ga.; Navy Special Warfare Support Activity 2, Norfolk, Va.; Personnel Resource Development Office, Washington, D.C.; Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Meade, Md.; and Cryptologic Warfare Group 6, Fort Meade, Md. Kent reported to CWA 66 after the command was established on Aug. 10, 2018.

“Chief Kent’s drive, determination and tenacity were infectious. Although she has left us way too soon, she will not be forgotten, and her legacy will live on with us,” said CWA 66 Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collections) Denise Vola.

Kent’s awards and decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.

For news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit or follow us on Twitter @USFLEETCYBERCOM.

A “360 Degree Turnaround”Congresswoman Starts Furor with Lindsey Graham Tweets

Rep. Ilhan Omar is pushing back after being labeled a bigot by critics for two tweets, one about Sen. Lindsey Graham and the other about Israel.

Source: Rep. Ilhan Omar: Freshman Dem slammed for tweets on Graham, Israel

WASHINGTON – Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar is fighting back after being labeled a bigot by critics for two tweets, one a recent post about Sen. Lindsey Graham and the other from more than six years ago about Israel.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Democrat posted a tweet about Graham, saying, “They got to him, he is compromised.” The comment was made with a retweet of a post featuring a 2015 CNN interview in which the South Carolina Republican called then-presidential candidate Donald Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”

When asked about the tweet on CNN Thursday, Omar said her point was “we have seen many times where Sen. Lindsey Graham has told us how dangerous this president could be if he was given the opportunity to be in the White House and all of the sudden he’s made not only a 180 turnaround but a 360 turnaround.” (A 360 would technically mean Graham came full circle and opposes Trump again.)

“So, I am pretty sure that there is something happening with him, whether it is something that has to do with his funding when it comes to running for office, whether it has something to do with the pull that they might have in his district, or whether it has to do with some sort of leadership within the Senate,” she continued without explaining who she meant by “they.”

“He is somehow compromised to no longer stand up for the truth,” she concluded from his change of opinion.

When pressed on how she could make such a charge without evidence, Omar at first asserted “the evidence really is present to us” but then backtracked, explaining, “My tweet was just an opinion based on what I believe to be visible to me and I’m pretty sure there are lots of Americans who agree on this.”

Although she made no reference to Graham’s sexuality, many conservatives denounced her for homophobia, saying her tweet about Graham being compromised was a reference to long-running and unsubstaniated rumors that he is gay.

“This is ignorant, homophobic and unacceptable,” CNN’s S.E. Cupp tweeted with a link to the CNN interview in which Omar made no reference to Graham’s sexuality. “Democrats, this is becoming a very bad look.”

S.E. Cupp


This is ignorant, homophobic and unacceptable, @IlhanMN. Democrats, this is becoming a very bad look.

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

Rep. Omar: “Lots of Americans” agree with me that Trump is blackmailing Sen. Graham over his homosexuality

Embedded video

5,975 people are talking about this

“Here we have Ilhan Omar, a sitting Congresswoman, floating around a conspiracy theory with absolutely zero evidence that Lindsey Graham is secretly gay and the GOP is holding him hostage. Unbelievable,” tweeted social media strategist Caleb Hull.

Embedded video

Caleb Hull


Here we have Ilhan Omar, a sitting Congresswoman, floating around a conspiracy theory with absolutely zero evidence that Lindsey Graham is secretly gay and the GOP is holding him hostage.


2,760 people are talking about this

Jason Howerton


Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s conspiracy about Lindsey Graham is literally no better than birtherism.

I can’t believe this is where we are.

See Jason Howerton’s other Tweets

Omar responded with a tweet of her own.

“I love how revealing the Right is in their assumptions of me,” Omar said Thursday in response to a Breitbart News link to an article about the controversy. “Pro-tip- just because you are homophobic, doesn’t mean everyone else is.”

Ilhan Omar


I love how revealing the Right is in their assumptions of me.

Pro-tip- just because you are homophobic, doesn’t mean everyone else is.

Deal with your own bigotry and Islamophobic views of me, and stop with the hateful smears.

1,793 people are talking about this

In another tweet, she said conservatives jumped to the conclusion she was being homophobic “because the Right thinks being homosexual is ‘compromising.'”

“Well I have news for them, being LGBTQ+ isn’t something we should be ashamed of!” she said. “Y’all know my tweet had nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with his blind cooperation w/ Trump. Let’s focus!”

Ilhan Omar


Yes, because the Right thinks being homosexual is “compromising”.

Well I have news for them, being LGBTQ+ isn’t something we should be ashamed of!

Y’all know my tweet had nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with his blind cooperation w/ Trump.

Let’s focus!

Peter Daou


ALERT: The right is spreading a false claim that @IlhanMN accused #LindseyGraham of being compromised because of his sexual orientation.

SHE DID NOT SAY THAT. She said it may be due to his financial ties. Anyone pushing this fabrication is engaging in a smear against Rep. Omar.

3,558 people are talking about this

But Cupp and others did not accept Omar’s explanation. When asked to remove her tweet calling Omar’s comment homophobic, she tweeted, “No. A member of Congress jumped on the patently homophobic ‘Lindsey must be hiding something’ bandwagon and offered precisely ZERO proof, only wholly invented, baseless hypotheticals. That’s irresponsible…and also ignorant, homophobic and unacceptable.”

S.E. Cupp


No. A member of Congress jumped on the patently homophobic “Lindsey must be hiding something” bandwagon and offered precisely ZERO proof, only wholly invented, baseless hypotheticals. That’s irresponsible…and also ignorant, homophobic and unacceptable.

Peter Daou


You should delete this tweet @secupp, as @AaronBlake deleted his. It is based on a pure fabrication. Watch the video. The only person being smeared here is Rep. Omar. 

2,316 people are talking about this

Omar was not alone in her commentary on Graham.

On Sunday, Jon Cooper, who heads the Democratic Coalition super PAC, tweeted that a “Republican just told me that he doubts @LindseyGrahamSC is kowtowing to Trump (and indirectly Putin) because he’s being blackmailed over his sexual orientation (an open secret) or even financial corruption. Rather, he thinks it probably involves some pretty serious sexual kink.”

Jon Cooper


A Republican just told me that he doubts @LindseyGrahamSC is kowtowing to Trump (and indirectly Putin) because he’s being blackmailed over his sexual orientation (an open secret) or even financial corruption. Rather, he thinks it probably involves some pretty serious sexual kink.

9,883 people are talking about this

Cooper added in a follow-up tweet that “as an openly gay man myself, I couldn’t care less about Lindsey Graham’s sex life (gay, straight or otherwise). However, Graham is the Senate Judiciary Chair and there’s a strong likelihood that he’s being blackmailed by the Russians. If so, that needs to be revealed.”

The same day Omar posted her controversial tweet about Graham, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle suggested Graham had a change of heart about the president because “Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham.”

And on Saturday night, “Avengers” actor Chris Evans called Graham “Smithers” in reference to a sycophantic character on “The Simpsons” who spent 26 seasons as a closeted homosexual before coming out in 2016.

“What do they have on you? I can’t tell if this shameful 180 is born of fear or thirst,” Evans tweeted to Graham in response to the senator’s call for President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency to secure funding for a southern border wall.

Chris Evans


Hey Smithers, remember when you said this:
‘You know how you make America great again, tell Donald Trump to go to hell.’
What do they have on you? I can’t tell if this shameful 180 is born of fear or thirst. Either way, we will always remember you as nothing more than remora.

Lindsey Graham


Replying to @LindseyGrahamSC @realDonaldTrump

Mr. President,

Declare a national emergency NOW.

Build a wall NOW.

19.4K people are talking about this

Graham’s office declined to comment when asked by USA TODAY. But in 2018 the senator did address a series of tweets from comedian Chelsea Handler, some of which included highly offensive language, that also implied he was being blackmailed for being a homosexual.

“She wants to live her life that way, that’s up to her,” Graham told TMZ. “She knows zero about me. To the extent that it matters, I’m not gay.”

Another Omar tweet from 2012 has drawn accusations of anti-Semitism against the congresswoman, who was appointed to a seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday.

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” Omar, who is Muslim of Somali descent, tweeted during an Israeli military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I am deeply disappointed in Speaker Pelosi’s choice, a choice that threatens the Committee’s long history of bipartisan support for Israel,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement Thursday.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said it was “disgraceful that Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat majority gave a coveted seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee to a member who has a documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”

On Thursday, Omar told CNN her tweet was a regrettable way of expressing” her point and said she didn’t know her “comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans.”

The night before, she told Christiane Amanpour that she thought her choice of words was “unfortunate.”

“There’s a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking a particular people of faith,” she said.

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More Than Half of All Coffee Species Are at Risk of Extinction | Smart News | Smithsonian


The popular Arabica bean, used in such rich blends as Java, is amongst the species threatened by climate change, deforestation

Source: More Than Half of All Coffee Species Are at Risk of Extinction | Smart News | Smithsonian


Male hermit crabs evolved larger sex organs to avoid losing homes

A study suggests hermit crabs with more valuable, easily stolen shells have evolved larger penises to more safely mate.

Source: Male hermit crabs evolved larger sex organs to avoid losing homes

HERMIT CRABS ARE a common sight scuttling across warm beaches, but many of these charismatic crustaceans wield something surprising and hidden—very large penises, sometimes half the length of their shell-anchored bodies. New research suggests the crabs evolved such outsized organs to help them mate without straying far from home.

Some of these hermits expend a lot of energy “remodeling” the inside of their shells, which unlike most crabs they, of course, cannot grow themselves, says Mark Laidre, a biologist at Dartmouth College and a National Geographic Explorer.

These animals can whittle their shells and secrete erosive chemicals, allowing them to create a smooth and expansive interior. These refurbished homes give them space to grow and may even provide room for egg storage—making the shells extremely valuable. They are, in other words, not something that you’d like to leave—even temporarily—which many hermit crabs have to do to mate.

But what if you could have a large enough sexual organ to reproduce without exiting your shell, which rivals may steal?

Varying sizes

While studying land-dwelling hermit crabs at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Laidre noticed that the animals’ penises, also known as sexual tubes, varied widely in size. But the species that did the most remodeling—and thus had the most valuable shells—had the largest penises.

Laidre’s new study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, suggests that hermit crabs evolved bigger sexual organs to avoid becoming homeless.

To test his “private parts for private property” hypothesis, Laidre took a closer look at the genitalia of land crabs in the genus Coenobita, but also set of related hermit crabs over a wide range of habitats and lifestyles. Some crabs modify their shells to varying degrees, while others do not. Some were tiny, tidepool residents, and others, like Petrochirus diogenes, are massive deep sea-dwelling animals.

Laidre also included the watermelon-sized coconut crab—the world’s largest land-lubbing invertebrate—which doesn’t need a shell home.

Upon measuring the penis-to-body-size ratio of more than three hundred museum specimens, Laidre found that the more extensively a given species’ shell was carved, the longer its penis was for its body size. Laidre even ruled out alternative hypotheses that could explain the pattern, like the possibility that penis length went up with body size, or that particular habitat types were responsible.

This makes sense because terrestrial hermit crabs’ lives revolve around their protective shells. The cunning creatures are ruthless about spotting and stealing superior shell property from their neighbors.

Get a grip

“They get into quite a lot of shell shenanigans, where individuals are constantly at risk of being evicted,” says Laidre, noting that remodeled shells are even more apt to being snatched away, since their smooth interiors are even harder for the crab to grip.

Enlarged genitalia are “really a very sensible evolutionary solution to what is one of the most dangerous things [the crabs] can get involved in,” he says.

Losing a remodeled shell makes fatal desiccation all but inevitable, and the crabs have become so specialized, they can’t even fit into unimproved shells as a temporary fix. “If these guys lose that shell, within 24 hours, they’re doomed.”

Because of this, Laidre envisions the enlarged penises as an insurance policy for protecting a crucial investment, one that is bolstered by other behaviors that make sex as safe as possible.

Shell to shell

When mating, the two crabs face their shell openings towards each other and get as close as possible to allow the male to deposit sperm without either crab leaving the shell. (There is not penetration involved.) Laidre notes that the process is fairly speedy in remodeled shell species compared to other crabs, and executed in secretive locations, likely minimizing risk further.

This is in stark contrast to coconut crabs, which have one of the smallest penis-to-body-size ratios among crabs in the study. Coconut crabs use remodeled shells as young but become too large to need them before maturity. With no shell to protect as adults, the danger in copulation erodes, as does the need for enlarged genitalia.

“I thought this study was extremely clever,” says Justa Heinen-Kay, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Minnesota who was not involved in this study. “It is quite remarkable that these animals have actually evolved longer penises in order to stay close to home while copulating.”

“It is quite unusual for an object to be involved in the evolution of sexual traits,” Heinen-Kay notes.

Atlas Shrugs | Plausibly Live

In Washington, D.C., the shutdown has paralyzed parts of the government. Meanwhile, business and life goes on for commercial enterprises, including the making and selling of Beer.

But (insert ominous music here) the government is closed and cannot be bothered to regulate the commercial free speech that it has decreed is required in order for the Beer Brewers to label and sell their product.

So… if the government is required to approve speech, is it really free speech?

Source: Atlas Shrugs | Plausibly Live