Submarine story

Lars S. Mulford (
Fri, 20 Aug 1999 18:48:13 -0400

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Thos. Westerman wrote:

> Im sure we would like to hear about this one, sounds interesting, could you
> post some story about it to the group?

Thomas, East Coasties, Web Gang:

I think I may have shared this once before on the list but here goes! Several
years back I was out on Delaware Bay in an area called "The Hundreds" near a
long abandoned lighthouse. This area is just about in the middle of the bay in
a significantly wide portion of the bay. I was on an Irwin 23 and we were
anchored off the lighthouse, fishing. When it started to get dark, we made
anchorage a smidgen closer to the old lighthouse to cut down on the north-south
fetch in the bay. Sometime after midnight, my buddy and I heard what I can
only describe as something quite large "pushing" water. We could not see what
it was, but knew it was in a generally north direction from us. At this point,
the old lighthouse caisson was blocking our view to points north, so we sat
back and watched and listened. It was so eerie, as we could just hear the
water being disturbed and no mechanical noises of any discernable kind. Then
we saw it. What we saw simply appeared to be a very dark moving wall of water,
probably over 12' high. If we hadn't known better, it gave the appearance of a
great living thing, some giant watery whale or the like.. I will fully admit
at this point that we were both quite shaken by the site of this "thing". Then
out of nowhere, an amber beacon split the night and began rotating 360
degrees. The light at first appeared to be disembodied, hovering over this
moving watery mass. As it passed to the south we had what little light there
was that night in our favor and we could make out the conning tower by which
this rotating amber light was mounted. We knew immediately that it was a
submarine and if making out the conning tower didn't do it, the most unusual
wake which dropped us down into a trough for what seemed like minutes (only
seconds I'm sure) and then popped us back up would have given it away.

We watched it for a while longer and then, just as quickly as the light had
appeared, it simply winked out. Shortly after that, we could see nothing.
Either the sub submerged or they simply turned the light off, perhaps only
turning it on when they detected the presence of annoying sailors out in the
dark! (g)

The whole experience had a really creepy feel to it, due in some part to the
total absence of any mechanical noise or the like. After a while, our nerves
calmed but my friend had had enough and we raised anchor and headed back toward
Lewes and called it a night.

"Sea" ya!

--Lars S. Mulford, President East Coast Potter Association (ECPA) Come visit us at s/v Always P15 #2125, lateen rig, sailing greater Chesapeake region "Forgive, and live. Life is worth the challenge of living." --LSSM "Love is good; Love hurts; Love sustains; Love remains." --LSSM