Saturday, October 1, 2011
"Got a Whale of a tale t'tell ya lads..."
Well Sir, here be a true sea story about sumthin that Cookie experienced back in 1965 while standing "Port Topside Lookout" on the Submarine USS Piper(photo in the sidebar). We were running on the surface heading south on what was affectionately known as a "Rum Run" down to various Caribbean Islands. The enlisted crew called these sojourns "Rum Runs" because while down there we would purchase as much Rum and other alcohol spirits as we could afford at "Duty Free", and inexpensive prices, and sell the booze when we returned, usually making a hefty profit.
At any rate, it was very nearly sundown and the Montauk Point Lighthouse on Long Island was roughly 10 miles to our starboard (right side) stern. As a lookout, my duty was to report just about anything I see to the OOD (Officer On Duty) who was on the Conning tower bridge with us. The setting sun was behind me and I was basically looking easterly out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Then I noticed two roundish shapped objects about 20 to 30 feet away from the "Boat" that appeared to be glowing. Remember, the sun was behind me a few degrees above the horizon. I immediately informed the OOD of these objects. As we all looked to identify what they were, the OOD said "Holy Shit! Look down!" We all looked and there were two long tentacles with large pads lightly feeling the side of the submarine as we passed. It then became clear that we were all witnessing a Giant Squid who was probably checking us out as a possible meal. The two round "glowing objects" were the squid's eyes reflecting the setting sun. Holy Shit, shades of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".
We continued on and the squid was left in our wake, the entire incident only lasting less than a minute. Now Sir, at the time of this occurrence Cookie was only about 21 years old and did not realize that what we had just witnessed was something very unusual and rare. To this young Sailor, I thought it was something that probably happened somewhat regularly but it would make a great story to tell my kids and grand kids.
Over these past years when watching the Discovery, History and National Geo. channels about marine biology or giant squids, the narrator almost always made the statement "No one has ever seen a giant squid on the surface alive." Well Sir, this man did, along with two other shipmates.
TRUTH, I swear by my tattoo!!
If'n y'all don't believe the Cookie, watch this video!