The shipyard removed and refurbished some detectors that we own back at the beginning of the availability. They were recently restored, and it was on us to calibrate them to get them back on service. After waiting for the shipyard to provide us some special equipment, we finally got down to business two days ago. We went to fill the first one...and it leaked, so we couldn't proceed. I had duty on Tuesday, and I had the mid-watch, so I was very tired when we started again Wednesday. That entire morning was consumed by testing to find out where the leak was; one spot sounded particularly culpable, but we're replacing all the associated isolation valves. We proceeded to the same detector for the opposite side; we got it filled, and it didn't leak, but by then it was 4:30 pm, so we elected to stop for the day. But wait - I've got to generate paperwork for a completely unrelated deficiency! I didn't leave until 5:20 pm, after thirty-six consecutive hours on Seavey Island.
Spending that much time at the Submersible Death Trap compelled me to drink - and to drink a lot. When I woke up this morning, my stomach was still turning, and the morning was physically unpleasant. The feeling was amplified by the continuation of our testing. We aligned the detector that we successfully filled, but when we went to check that alignment, it failed miserably. After much consternation and churning of paperwork, we elected to refill the detector and then realign it. We got the fill done this afternoon before packing it in until next week; most of the crew will be traveling to Groton tomorrow for my Chief's retirement ceremony. I have duty, followed by another instance of forty-four wonderful hours off. It was about 5:00 when we called it a night, and after getting to my car and picking up dinner, it was nearly quarter to six. Some net results of this have been my inability to get to the laundromat, nor to my apartment complex's office to pay the rent and water bills.
I've had the place to myself for a week now, as my roommate is back home in California on leave. It's definitely nice. It'd be nicer if I had more time this week to actually enjoy the comfort of my apartment.
Today The Stupid Shall Be Punished talks about an initiative by the Navy called a "retention deep dive," where a team is going to visit one Groton-based submarine and determine why they can't keep their people in. The prevailing opinion at TSSBP is that this will be a fruitless endeavor, and I agree. There are many factors contributing to these retention problems, and a great many of them are not the fault of the boat itself. Even if they may not be looking in the right place, it does say something that the Submarine Force recognizes that there's an issue here - one need only look to the graph I posted here last week to see numerical evidence of that.