Those who have ever dreamed about a deep-sea voyage are in for a treat. Not only are submarines one of the most versatile underwater vehicles, but people actually live in them. From bathroom rules, sleeping arrangements, and daily physical activity, here are the most surprising aspects of living aboard a submarine.
It’s Either Boring Or Very Dangerous
It takes a certain kind of person to spend their life on a submarine. While most of the time it will be incredibly boring and monotonous, things can turn at the drop of a hat.
The sailors who live on submarines need to be ready for danger at any moment, which is why they go through intense training before climbing aboard.
They Operate At Six-Hour Intervals
Those who choose to live and work on a submarine need to get used to the strict rules aboard. One guideline all sailors must follow is the six-hour segment routine.
They live their lives in three six-hour increments. First, they get six hours for sleeping. Next, they must spend six hours on watch. Finally, they get six hours of free time.
They Have To Keep Oxygen Levels Low
Submarines are required to keep their oxygen levels low due to safety concerns. However, that can lead to some dangerous side effects for people.
Lower oxygen levels can make it difficult for people to recover from injuries, make the sailors more tired, and cause them to become angrier than usual.
Checking For Leaks
The sailors living aboard submarines need to be diligent, especially when it comes to leaks. Every time they come out of being completely submerged, they need to quickly check for leaks.
Even a tiny leak can make all of the difference. Once they find any leaks, they need to patch them up in record time.
Working Out On A Submarine
While living on a submarine may make it seem difficult to get in a good day’s workout, it’s not impossible. Most submarines have gyms for the sailors to get their exercise.
These gyms are usually pretty cramped but come with a decent amount of workout equipment such as weights and treadmills.
Grooming Habits Are More Lenient
Most sailors are told to keep specific grooming habits such as short haircuts and no facial hair. The rules are a bit more lenient on submarines.
Since the sailors on submarines aren’t interacting with the outside world too much, they can let their grooming habits slide. For example, the photo shows sailors getting groomed before arriving on land after a long voyage.
What They Eat On Submarines
Some may be wondering how sailors eat on a submarine. They usually have a crew aboard who is in charge of the cooking.
Sailors are supposed to have three meals a day and food supply usually isn’t resupplied for weeks or even months at a time. Their food isn’t actually that bad with some common meals being pizza or fish.
They Can’t Keep Track Of Time
When a submarine is submerged under the water for long periods of time, it can be difficult to tell what time of day it really is. Sailors aren’t able to see sunlight or moonlight.
This causes the crew to lose track of time, which can mess with their circadian rhythms.
Training To Live On A Submarine
Those who want to spend their lives on a submarine need to go through a lot of intense training beforehand.
According to a former Navy crew member, “…for the first few months, you spend 10 hours a day studying non-stop before marching back and forth. They essentially cram four to six years of college-level information into a six-month period.”
Earning A Dolphin Pin
The sailors who train to live on submarine hope to secure the coveted Dolphin Pin. This distinguished honor signifies that the crew member knows the basic functions of the submarine and are able to use the submarine as a weapon.
In order to earn the Dolphin Pin, sailors must complete a test run by their commanding officers.
Looking For Directions
Going out into an endless sea can seem daunting. The crew members can’t rely on regular maps, so they must navigate through something much more complicated.
Submarines travel by complex electronic machines that provide detailed information on how to navigate the ocean. Everyone on the submarine has to rely on these machines to get them to their destination.
Sleeping Habits Are Intense
Some crew members had strange experiences when it came to sleeping on a submarine. Since the oxygen levels are lower, it messes with their circadian rhythms.
Also, the sailors learn to go into such a deep sleep that they can’t hear someone having a loud conversation next to them. However, if they hear their name whispered, it wakes them up instantly.
Sleeping Next To Something Dangerous
Sleeping on a submarine is already cramped enough, but it gets even less spacious when the sailors are forced to share their bedroom with dangerous weapons.
Their bedroom is also referred to as the missile room because it is loaded with weapons such as ballistic missiles, torpedoes, and nuclear warheads.
They Share Beds
Sleeping on a submarine is one of the most challenging things the crew members do. Not only are their sleeping quarters limited, but there usually aren’t enough beds for everyone.
The racks typically have two or three beds on top of each other, but sailors will often have to wake up a sleeping comrade to trade places after a shift.
Never Steal On A Submarine
It’s important that the people aboard a submarine are able to trust one another. This trust can go out the window if people start stealing from each other.
Those who are caught stealing will have to deal with some dire consequences. The perpetrators will get kicked off the submarine and dropped off at the next port, get demoted, and drop in rank.
They Form Incredible Bonds
Going away for months or years at a time means that sailors are bound to get close to one another.
The crew members are going to become one big family, so they form a tight bond. This allows them to work together as a team and distracts them from any homesickness.
The Eerie Nickname For Submarine Beds
Only those who are brave enough will be able to withstand a submarine journey. One thing that may scare some potential voyagers off is the nickname for submarine beds.
These are usually referred to as coffins because of their small size and that the beds are practically stacked on top of each other.
Gathering In The Mess Hall
Living on a submarine shouldn’t be all work and no play. The crew members are allotted at least six hours a day for their free time.
Most sailors will spend this time in the mess hall. They go there to gather with their peers, eat, read, watch television, or play games.
The Usual Timeline For A Submarine Trip
Those who want to look into joining the team on a submarine should know how long a typical trip lasts. Working on a submarine is a huge commitment.
The shortest trips usually go for no less than 90 days, but they will probably go a lot longer. Most trips are close to six months.
Bathroom Space Is Extremely Limited
Everything is extremely cramped inside a submarine, especially when it comes to bathrooms. Submarines have to fit large machinery, so they leave little room for other necessities.
While it may seem hard for just one sailor to deal with this, they must share these small quarters with the rest of the crew members.
Be Careful With What You Pack
Before arriving for a submarine journey, sailors are prepped on how much space will be available to them. Crews are usually made up of over 100 people, so there isn’t much breathing room.
This is why crew members are told not to overpack because there most likely won’t be room for all of their belongings.
Say Goodbye To The Outside World
Those who are wanting to lose contact with the outside world for a while are in luck while on a submarine.
Submarines travel in the middle of the ocean, so they hardly ever come into contact with anyone else. However, submarines do have the capability of showing their location, but they don’t usually do this for safety concerns.
The Passageways Are Very Narrow
Living on a submarine means crew members need to get used to not having much of their own space. This is evident in all parts of the vessel, including the passageways.
Submarine passageways are so narrow that only one person can walk through them at a time. Two people can’t even pass each other going two separate directions.
No Room For Showers
Those who choose a life on a submarine need to get used to small spaces. Not only are the bathrooms tiny, but there is even less space for showers.
There is barely enough room for people to stand in the showers, so they need to learn how to navigate the space they are given.
Find Some Space In The Kitchen
While places such as the bathroom, bedroom, and passageways are very cramped on a submarine, there are other rooms with more space.
The submarine kitchens are actually pretty spacious because they need to keep a large supply of food. The chefs also need a decent amount of room to cook.
Everything To Know About Watch Duties
Watch duties are one of the most important tasks aboard a submarine. Each crew member must devote at least six hours a day for their watch.
The time and place of watch duty depend on the sailor’s rank and training. The higher the rank, the more responsibility they will have.
What Crew Members Do For Fun
Being stuck on a submarine may seem a little claustrophobic, but the crew members learn how to keep themselves occupied.
In order to add balance to their life at sea, the sailors on the submarine usually do things found in typical recreation rooms. These activities include cards, board games, and watching movies.
Turning The Lights Off
When crew members start a submarine trip, they have to check for leaks and complete initial tasks. When this is done, they turn off all the lights in the submarine.
The lights are turned off to give the crew members some extra sleep before they get started on more intense work for their journey.
Submarines Have To Travel A Certain Way
Submarines have to ascend and descend at a certain angle in order to function properly. All submarines need to do this at a 45-degree angle.
The submarine does this on its own, which causes a little discomfort for the crew. This basically looks like people leaning on the floor to keep themselves upright.
US Submarines Can Go Anywhere
There are submarines all over the world, but the United States is one of the few countries that can travel anywhere they want without being detected.
American submarines are able to do this because they have long strike capabilities that are more powerful than the rest of the entire world.