In “Life On A Submarine: Raunchy, Cramped, And Occasionally Smells Like Sh*t,” James Clark of Task & Purpose delves into the unique and often challenging life aboard a Navy submarine. Through interviews with former submariner Walter Lyon, the article reveals the daily realities of living in close quarters, coping with limited privacy, and enduring long periods at sea. The article also touches on the peculiar traditions and humorous ways submariners maintain morale during their demanding and risky missions.
- Life in Tight Quarters: Submariners live in extremely cramped conditions with limited privacy, often sharing space with torpedoes or food supplies, and practicing “hot-racking” where multiple sailors share a limited number of beds.
- Lengthy Sea Deployments: Submariners can spend extensive periods at sea, with Lyon mentioning the longest stretch without touching land being around 70 days, during which food supply determines the duration of the deployment.
- Unique Submarine Rituals: Rituals like the “Crossing the Line” ceremony for sailors crossing the equator involve humorous and bizarre activities, including wearing polished trash weights, swimming in urine, and eating M&Ms from a fat sailor’s belly button
- Adverse Sanitary Conditions: Challenges with sanitation systems on submarines can lead to uncomfortable situations, such as waste systems backing up into living spaces.
- Coping with Risks and Stress: Submariners engage in activities like “angles and dangles” and creating makeshift go-carts to relieve stress and boredom, balancing the seriousness of their work with moments of fun and camaraderie.