I rediscovered a book I remember reading in junior high school: The Frogmen, by T.J. Waldron and James Gleeson. It's about the very, very early days of scuba and underwater warfare by the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy in World War II. One passage made me chuckle.
The authors were talking about the R&D the Royal Navy was doing under orders from On High, with no clear idea on the part of the researchers as to what the ultimate objectives might be. One thing they figured out was that the two main areas of interest were the Norwegian fjords and the shallow harbors of the Mediterranean. How did they figure this out?
In the high summer of 1941, they had to buy two and a half tons of ice to get the temperature in the endurance tank down to what the divers and X-Craft could expect in Norwegian waters; and in the dead of winter, January of 1942, they had to heat the water in the endurance tank up to Med temperatures.
I guess you know what they say: "There's a right way, and there's a wrong way, and then there's the Navy way."
Funny.......when I was in the Navy, I jumped into 29-87 degree water numerous times. The only thing I figured out was that the Navy was trying to find out how quick they could turn a Seaman into a Wave in the frigid water. Six months after I got out of the Navy, my left nut finally dropped again. I guess it had to be sure...........
Yeah, Bob, we all remember that plunge. At the Zoo, cadet candidates in dungarees and life jackets had to jump (after being taught the correct procedure) from the boat deck of the training ship into the water fifty-odd feet below, then swim back to a jacobs ladder dangling down the side of the ship from the open hull doors on the main deck two decks below the boat deck. Considering that they were doing this at the end of August and the water temperature never got much above 50 degrees even in high summer, and that the wind blew at a pretty much constant 10 knots across the campus, it would be a cold "young swine" with chattering teeth who finally made it up to the main deck, where he would he handed a towel and told to dump his life jacket in the pile on the hatch cover, then double-time back to the dorms and change into dry khakis.
In July of 1978, we went DAS(dead at sea) and had a swim call. Only problem is is that we were North of Iceland and those pretty white clouds on the northern horizon wasn't clouds, it was the polar ice cap! There was no wind and the ocean looked like glass.......... So stupid me, and a couple other dozen sailors decide to dive off of main deck into that tempting water. Yeah, we all got our "Blue Nose" certificate and got our nose painted blue, but we were already blue from that frigid azz water! The captain of our ship is lucky that no one drown or died from hypothermia. That water was just as cold, if not colder, than the water that those on the Titanic dove into.......and we all know how that ended......
__________________ Warning! My dog has a gun and refuses to take his meds!
While in college and as a young SCUBA diver, myself and my dive partner decided to make a dive 'under the ice'. It was winter in Reno and finding a lake that was ice covered was no problem. We dove Fallen Leaf Lake one bright sunny day entering the water under about 3" of ice at a place where a air hose had been left running to keep a dock ice free. We were using 1/4" wet suits with hoods. Our 72 cu.ft. air bottles were normally good for about an hour if one stayed above 50 ft. We sucked those tanks down to reserve in 8 minutes! I have never been so cold in my life. That was my first and last dive under ice. I later dove as part of my Construction Engineering duties to inspect the ocean bottom where we were going to build a ship's dock way out in the Aleutian Islands. That was just about as cold being salt water. ........ Big Cholla