Playtime at The North Pole – Bears just wanna have fuh..nn.
Where are you off to…..??
This – sailors – will never work….hope your boat is better designed !!
Looking For The Pole
A highly recommended (Kindle available) work by Alfred McLauren, ex-skipper of USS Queenfish (SS651) is Unknown Waters addressing the 1970 maping of the underice view of the Siberian Coast. Summary below:
Charting the Siberian continental shelf during the height of the Cold War
This book tells the story of the brave officers and men of the nuclear attack submarine USS Queenfish (SSN-651), who made the first survey of an extremely important and remote region of the Artic Ocean. The unpredictability of deep-draft sea ice, shallow water, and possible Soviet discovery, all played a dramatic part in this fascinating 1970 voyage.
Covering 3100 miles over a period of some 20 days at a laborious average speed of 6.5 knots or less, the attack submarine carefully threaded its way through innumerable underwater canyons of ice and over irregular seafloors, at one point becoming entrapped in an “ice garage.” Only cool thinking and skillful maneuvering of the nearly 5,000-ton vessel enabled a successful exit. The most hazardous phase of the journey began 240 nautical miles south of the North Pole with a detailed hydrographic survey of an almost totally uncharted Siberian shelf, from the northwestern corner of the heavily glaciated Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago to the Bering Strait via the shallow, thickly-ice-covered Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi seas.
The skipper of theQueenfishhad been trained and selected by Admiral Hyman Rickover and, inspired by this polar experience, McLaren became one of the world’s foremost Arctic scientists, studying first at Cambridge University and then obtaining his doctorate in physical geography of the Polar Regions from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
A note: I liive in Bailey, Colorado above Denver, my son lives in Boulder and I qualified on Queenfish (SS393) in 1961. Some connection here.
FYI a review from Amazon: CAPT McLaren’s splendid account of USS QUEENFISH’s historic under-ice survey is well-written and gripping. As a former submarine sailor and arm-chair Antarctica junkie—I had little difficulty translating the submarine-speak and ice-speak. Some who have reviewed made the point of the “trade language”—I would offer the potential reader the following: CAPT McLaren’s explained (more than once) the more esoteric terms—and had the grace to include an exhaustive glossary. I plan to purchase this book for one of my children–who has never served on a boat—and advise marking the glossary for quick reference. The prose is somewhat repetitive, but the nature of their work was repetitive. CAPT McLaren managed to make a topic that had potential to be dull and boring into a riveting story of a time not so long ago when submarine skippers had no leash. Based on the story and a few people of acquaintance who know of CAPT McLaren, I could recommend this book for up and coming leaders—regardless the vocation. By all accounts, CAPT McLaren was/is thoughtful, honest, and courageous—good attributes for anyone, particularly anyone in a position of leadership.
My Take: The author from first hand experiences provides the layman with interesting information…..about as much as possible given the need for secrecy in our business. Good read but he uses the first poerson a little toooo often.