Top Ten Things Not to Do On a Trip Under the North Pole in 1958

 

Top Ten Things Not to Do

 

This week marks the 62nd anniversary of the historic submerged trip of the nuclear submarine Nautilus under the North Pole ice cap. All those who don’t suffer from claustrophobia certainly want to go along. Of course, we need to take a list of things not to do to make sure our actions don’t alter the course of history. So grab the list, and let’s head out.

Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Submerged Trip Under the North Pole Icecap in 1958 by John W. Howell Β© 2020

10 If you go, do not touch that valve that says do not move. If you do, at best it is the TV control. At worst, it is the doomsday valve designed to fill the ship with water for scuttling. (Okay, Maddox. Lucky for you, the captain knows how to reverse the action. You need to get a mop and bucket and pick up the water.)

9 If you go, do not get in Tiny the WWF champ’s way when the chow bell rings. If you do, at best, there will be a doorway you can duck into. At worst, because of the close quarters, you and Tiny will be having a moment. (Don’t try to get up, Mateo. The medical man will be here shortly. You sure look flat, though.)

8 If you go, do not ignore the klaxon horn and the announcement of the dive. If you do, at best, your wet feet will give you a clue to get inside. At worst, you will now attempt to beat the world’s record for treading water. (Yeah, don’t worry, Major. The boat will be back sooner or later. They plan to stay submerged for 1830 miles, so make yourself comfortable. Thank heavens for that cute duckie ring life preserver you are wearing.)

7 If you go, do not ask to visit Santa. If you do, at best, the crew will think you are joking. At worst, they’ll shoot you out the torpedo tube when the Nautilus reaches the North pole. ( Now you have a bigger problem, Murphy. The ice at the pole is fifty feet thick. I hope you can find a hole somewhere. In any case that holding breath exercise you did in palates class may come in handy.)

6 If you go, do not tell the captain that the compass heading is wrong. If you do, at best, he will ignore you. at worst, he will make you comfortable in the excellent brig down below. ( The point is, Marvin navigation beneath the arctic ice sheet is confusing. Above 85Β°N, both magnetic compasses and normal gyrocompasses become inaccurate. A unique compass was installed, which is the one the navigator is using. Excuse me, did you order bread and water for lunch?)

5 If you go, do not tell the crew you think the hull is going to collapse. If you do, at best they will be too busy to hear you. At worst, they’ll send you to the infirmary for a calmative. (The hull and sail of the Nautilus vibrate, Magnus. Everyone on board except you knows that fact. It is one of the things that required attention to future nuclear subs. How’s that calmative working? No, you can’t have another hit.)

4 If you go, do not ignore the announcement that the boat is entering the Bering Strait. If you do, at best, there will be enough room for the bost to pass. through. At worst, the ice is at least 60 feet thick, and there won’t be room between the ice and sea bottom. (So now you are wondering what all that scraping noise is, Morris? The captain has to find a different way, which he does. You can change your underwear right in there.)

3 If you go, do not have the intent to eat your garlic salami sandwich that you brought on board. If you do, at best someone will take it from you. At worst, you’ll bite it, and the captain will declare an emergency. (Now look at what you’ve done, Melvin. The captain was forced to surface to save the crew from garlic poisoning. There goes an underwater record. There is a message from President Dwight Eisenhower that he would like to see you when the boat gets back to the US. I don’t think it is to congratulate you.)

2 If you go, do not ask the captain when he plans to make the next fuel stop. If you do, at best he will be laughing so hard he’ll forget the question. At worse, he will ask you why you are interested in a fuel stop. Β (Now that the captain is suspicious of you, Mathias, are you going to tell him you were jonesing for a slushie? Better than to have him thinking you were going to harm his boat. You see, the next fuel stop is ten years off.)

1 If you go, do not try to open that hatch before the green light comes on. If you do, at best, you’ll get wet. At worst, the captain will want to ensure that you never ride on his submarine again. (Lucky for you, Milton, the pressure of the sea kept the hatch closed. A couple more seconds and it would have cleared the surface. Now you need to get the wet vac and clean up this mess.)

 

57 comments

  1. Great list, John. The more I consider time travel, the more I’m convinced I should just read more history.

    I toured the Nautilus at the museum in Groton, CT. I was wondering what that stain on the floor near the mess hall was. Glad I wasn’t sharing a bunk with Tiny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahah. I would love to do that tour. I moved prior to the Nautilus being decommissioned and put on display there. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Editor would not go into the sub. It is a little tight inside.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t blame her. Tight is not my favorite.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the bit about visiting Santa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liz. Sometimes there is a streatch in these. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Number three cracked me up, John. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. 😁

      Like

  4. My favorite is Number 4 – sure, what IS all that scraping? πŸ™‚ I’m not claustrophobic, and I would love to see Alaska, but I would NOT have been on that voyage!! 😝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you imagine over 90 days under water. Makes me sweat just thinking about it. Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Why do I think someone actually did 7? It’s too perfect a situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure they regretted it the moment they got out into the water. Brrrrrr. Thanks, Charles.

      Like

  6. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Years back I visited the Intrepid Museum complex in NYC and climbed down into the submarine Growler. That was a short visit! I don’t know how sailors manage the confined space. Great list, John. “Garlic poisoning”… πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on those tight quarters, Gwen. I don’t know how they do it either. Thanks. Have a super week.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Always a treat to come here on Mondays. We never know what we will learn about!
    I’m not overly claustrophobic but something tells me I’d become so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think after 90 days under the sea we all would. I don’t know how those submarine guys do it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me neither! Takes a special breed of peeps!

        Like

  8. Thank you, John, for this list, but I’ll pass on the trip. No way could I be holed up underwater for who-knows-how-long in a submarine!! I’m hyperventilating, just thinking about it! And during this time of wearing masks and social distancing — well, just know that I’ll gladly offer my seat to anybody who’ll take it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. I think you are very wise, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Um, maybe I’ve just got a broad yellow stripe running down my back, ha!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so claustraphobic that I can’t even spell it, therefore couldn’t go. I’d be waving from shore though so happy to be on land.

    When I read Teddy insisted on going down in a submarine when it was first launched, so to speak, I had to put the book down. And Debbie is right, mask life walks hand in hand with sub life. This gives…batten down the hatches, a whole new spin. These essays of yours are so much fun πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susannah. I’m with you on doing a sub. I have not a clue as to how those sailors do it. Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. πŸ™‚

        Like

  10. You’d never get me on a sub. I’m a little claustrophobic and the thought of being in confined quarters under all that ice and water – I can’t breathe.

    Like

  11. I’m a little claustrophobic, John, so even getting an MRI makes me weary. πŸ™‚ Great list, love #1 and Happy Monday.

    Like

  12. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    I could never ride on a submarine. I cant even do the submarine ride at a theme park…lol. Great list and brave people who do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? Don’t know where they find people to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Can I play my recording of Yellow Submarine on an endless loop for days on end?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you can. I’m trying very hard not to think of the words so I won’t catch an earworm.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Eeek! I gasp for breath just thinking about that close proximity and imagining the wall of ice above. I would never have made a good submariner. I sweat at the mere thought of enclosed spaces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right. Get that O2 tank and the gin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ‘πŸΈ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ›’Need a bigger glass for the gin

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I couldn’t find an image for a bathtub! πŸ™„

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I think point 3 should be a ‘do not’ in almost every life situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And penguins, dear John? What about the penguins? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The penguins refuse to get on the boat. They know better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are smart! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I toured a submarine once in San Francisco man it was cramped and the walls were full of levers, gauges, and stuff and it was HOT! I’d need more than a calmative to be on one at sea!

    They were brave!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they were for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ask to visit Santa, and the garlic salami sandwich… too funny! Thanks again for a great history lesson and the laughs to go along with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Well, just gotta say, Johnny Boy, mi amigo, ain’t no ice up there nowadays fifty feet thick. As usual, I’m better informed for having read you ten things. Thank you.
    P.S. The other night was not a “bad day.” I was a “drunk night.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Well it does explain the passion.

      Like

  20. This is a great list, but I started to hyperventilate just reading it. Have you ever seen the two-person Japanese submarine at the museum in Fredericksburg? If there’s anything I don’t want to do, it’s put on a submarine like an overcoat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not been to Fredericksburg yet. Need to go.

      Like

  21. I remember the Nautilus trip under the pole and being very excited by it. I think Tiny would block all the compartment doors! Great way to get to the mess at the head of the line!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He would do that for sure. Thanks, Noelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I don’t want ANY parts of a doomsday valve or a moment with Tiny. And not for nothing, but after reading this, I really can’t ever complain about the ice on my sidewalk in the winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Yes, sidewalk ice seems a little bit superficial compared to 50 feet of berg

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it does

        Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: