Arctic Ocean: Forty Days in the Belly of the Beast; The Oceans; Scientific American Presents; by Coakley; 2 Page(s)
Lying prone on my narrow bunk, I heard the unmistakable sound of water trickling, as though from a faulty faucet. It did not soothe me, as I tried to get some sleep during my first night on a nuclear submarine, cruising below the surface of the sea. Like a camper in a suspect tent on a rainy night, I checked my bunk for damp spots and braced for the inevitable arrival of the drips.
Nestled next to a torpedo tube, I was bathed in dim light. I heard the trickling, the hum of pumps, the click of electrical relays and, from time to time, bits of nearby conversations. Once every hour a navy enlisted man would open an access hatch in the floor near my bunk and climb down into the bilge below. This was to be my life for the next 40 days, a witness to deliberate, continuous action, a confused observer.