I spent my first year onboard the Roosevelt not knowing anything about going to sea on a submarine. But finally, we were ready to leave the Charleston Yards and go to sea. Submarines do not replenish at sea. Therefore, everything has to be loaded onboard, prior to leaving port. Everyone gets involved in loading stores, and it makes for a long, hard day. In addition to all of the food and other supplies, we had to load TDU weights. These are weights designed to sink our garbage so no one could track us by our trash. They aren’t very big, just a few inches across, but they weighed 10 lbs. each. And they come in boxes of eight. So each box was about half the size of a shoe box that weighed eighty lbs. Lucky me, I ended up in the middle of the Attack Center hatch. I reached up to take the box from the Topside guy, then bent over to hand it down to the guy in the Attack Center. Over, and over, and over again.
Right in the middle of this evolution, Spike decided he had to get Topside on some mission. Spike was my LPO, but I can’t remember his real name because nobody called him anything but Spike. We quit passing TDU weights, and I made myself as small as I could in the hatch. I’d heard that Spike was ticklish, so I decided to check as he passed by me, and I grabbed his waist. YEP! He sure was ticklish. He turned loose of the ladder and rolled into a ball. He’s sure lucky that he didn’t weigh much more than a box of weights, because there I was, holding a rolled-up Spike over the open hatch.
USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600)
Larry’s Home Port