In May my son and I joined his Cub Scout pack for an overnight on a World War II submarine, the decommissioned U.S.S. Cobia. I arrived excited and impatient. By the time it was lights out, I was less than excited, but still impatient…to get off the submarine. I definitely learned a few things.
- The submarine’s diving alarm really does sound like “Ah-woooga! Ah-woooga!”
- Upon boarding the submarine you will start singing Yellow Submarine to yourself...and never be able to get it out of your head.
- It is fun to swing through the hatches of a submarine.
- Listening to stories in a submarine’s “dining room” is even better than listening to ghost stories around a campfire (the amazing submarine overnight staff are skilled storytellers).
- When they say ‘tight quarters’ they aren’t kidding. We could bring only sleeping bags, pillows and flashlights on the sub. There was zero storage, just bunks. I clutched my glasses in my sweaty hand all night long.
- Sleeping with your face eight inches from the red interior light on the ceiling is not quite the same as sleeping with a nightlight.
- You don’t need a sleeping bag. It can get H-O-T on the submarine.
- Until the moment we walked into the bunk area at 11:15 p.m. I had no idea I’m a wee bit claustrophobic. I found myself wondering if it was too late to jump ship and check into the Best Western next door.
- A triple-decker bunk-bed isn’t as much fun as I imagined it would be. It’s a little terrifying being that close to someone on all
sidesdimensions. 36 bunks in a room the size of your average living room.
- It turns out bunk beds on a submarine are taller than I am. It makes getting in and out of the top bunk ” a challenge”.
- The percentage of Cub Scout parents that snore is far higher than you might think.
- I know now why they call it an ‘overnight’ and not a ‘sleepover‘. See points 5-11.
- There’s no working bathroom on board.
- It’s pretty damn cool to be on a submarine in the water after-hours. Panic attack and all, it was pretty amazing. How many civilians can claim to have stayed overnight in a submarine?
- You don’t have to be a scout; anyone can
sleepoverovernight on the submarine. If you’d like to try the Manitowoc Maritime Museum overnight experience, you can.