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Up Periscope: How to Surface a Submarine in the Arctic Ocean

Destin  Sandlin in Huntsville, Alabama,  is an American engineer and science communicator who produces the video series Smarter Every Day on his YouTube channel of the same name, which was launched in 2007. It’s one of the most consistently compelling channels.

Sandlin’s finest series so far is the one he produced during the time he spent aboard a nuclear submarine. In this series, he explored a number of items about life aboard these doomsday devices and the remarkable crews aboard. At one point he was required to crawl to the end of one of the torpedo tubes and sign his name to the hatch at the end of the tube. An unknown number of activities and equipment remained off-limits due to security requirements but the episodes that are available provide a unique and compelling look at a reality most will never see… or care about… until…

Here’s the beginning of Sandlin’s submarine sojourn…

The entire series is at Nuclear Submarine Deep Dive 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • gwbnyc August 10, 2021, 6:09 PM

    death of george floyd

  • gwbnyc August 10, 2021, 6:45 PM

    excellent video.

    the complexity, number of things that are/have to be done to get there pinpoint to a rope ladder.

    worth the watch.

  • Dirk August 10, 2021, 10:06 PM

    Go Navy. In early 1979 I was given permission by Comnavphil,,,,,to take a ride on the USS Grayback out of Subic Bay, PI. To watch associates launch and recover IBS inflatables. The Grayback had a Hanger on the aft deck, used by Navy Special Warfare.

    Was a diesel boat. Didn’t see anything, when we surfaced to RTB subic bay, I did ride on the deck with the special warfare guys.

    My associates made great sport out of ragging me, about watching them launch and recover out the rear mast window. One of the guys became a life long friend, my roommate in ROTA Spain, now retired in Brooking Oregon.

    He’s afflicted with Parkinson’s now, it’s thought that the oils in all the C4 he handled is a major contributing factor. Went on to become a regular under water demolitions guy,,,,, then Seal,,, Walrus Beluga whale handler for port security. And deep water submergible driver. Did 26.

    Shakes like a faggot at a weenie roast these days. I’d give my life for him always.


  • John Venlet August 11, 2021, 4:59 AM

    Never surfaced in the Arctic, while serving on the USS Los Angeles (SSN688), but I did experience numerous other adventures and sights during my 4 years onboard, some of which, I understand, remain classified. Destin’s onboard visits were short. Consider spending 2 months onboard, underway, without surfacing. Nuclear submarines are an amazing piece of engineering.

  • ghostsniper August 11, 2021, 6:23 AM

    Dirk sed: “He’s afflicted with Parkinson’s now, it’s thought that the oils in all the C4 he handled is a major contributing factor.”
    Oh dear.
    As a demolitions specialist I handled quite a bit and don’t recall any oils. Each 2.5lb stick was wrapped in OD green plastic. Punch a hole in the end, insert cap, wrap det cord around the stick, bundle or tie off. I haven’t noticed any shaking. My 69yo BIL has advanced Parkinson’s. Last year he was shaking so bad he fell and cracked his head on a porch table and spent 3 days in the ER. As BillH said, “Gettin’ old ain’t for sissy’s”.

  • Dirk August 11, 2021, 10:03 AM

    His story, not mine. Bob was a SEAL, I was not. After the Navy,,,,, I was a 12B combat Engineer Demo guy. My memory is similar to yours. I’m pleased that you mentioned duel priming. We mostly used blast box’s, or clackers, “ mid 80s”

    While I enjoy swimming, I do not set foot in the Ocean,,,,theirs shit out their that will eat you. I had a very close call of the coast of Trafager Spain in 1981.

    Some of Bobs tales of getting bumped by sharks while doing stuff underwater shakes me to this day. The most chilling for me is the sea snakes stories!