Mariana Trenches

anyone ever had swim call in the Mariana Trenches? I remember back in'59 while on the USS James E. Kyes DD 787 our Skipper told the OOD to pass the word "swim call...swim call".The skipper got on the 1mc and told us to dive as deep as we wanted  without worrying about "bumping into anything...the bottom is seven miles down" we had the gunners mates patrolling in the motor whaleboat looking for sharks with M1 Garands.

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  • I have never SCUBA dived in my life!  In Guam, I was just snorkel diving.  A pair of flippers and a mask was all I had. (still have that same mask, too!)  Snorkeling inside the rim of the reef in Guam was a lot of fun.  Looking over the edge into oblivion was  what scared the hell out of me!

    • Hi David,sorry about the mix up about your swimming mode...I'll bet the view was fantastic down there,no matter how it was viewed,but on our way down to Australia we dropped  anchor in Pago Pago,Samoan Islands in the harbor and was told to NOT swim anywhere because of sharks...seems a few shipmates didn't get the word,and dove in with others standing watch,Didn't take long for some rather LARGE FINS to break the surface,and we shouted a warning to our errant shipmates to do a little DOUBLE TIME,which they did.Thankfully they were just a little bit faster than the sharks,but watching that little episode gave me a brand new respect for ALL under-water creatures...Nowdays,I don't go any farther than ankle deep when I am at the coast.

      • That's Ok.  I never saw any sharks at all.  The water was crystal clear and warm as bathwater and was real nice to swim in.  The fish I did see were very beautiful and many different kinds.  I have a few shells I found which were live critters when I found them, one is called a "marlinspike" and is a long tapered snail with a white shell with black spots down its length, the other is one of those Giant Clams like in the old movies the guy gets his leg caught in, only this one is just a bit bigger than your fist. They sit on my cabinet here at home now.  My flippers died from rot many years ago, but I have new ones now.  My mask is in good shape and in storage, and I updated my snorkel to one with a new valve on the bottom so I don't need to blow the water out when I surface any more.  I use them occaisionally at the local swimming pool or lake when I want to swim.

        The shows I see on TV now, off the coast of Florida, there are so many sharks, they can't count that high and people don't even know they are there..It seems that is a migration route for the sharks and has been for thousands of years.  If people were going to be attacked, that would be the place to do it!   Most shark attacks are becasue the shark thinks you are looking too much like their favorite food....seals.  People paddling along on surf boards look like a seal from underneath, so the shark gets them, like the gal in Hawaii that lost her arm.  Great White Sharks off South Africa slam the seals up from underneath so hard they actually fly up out of the water with the seal in their mouth!

        Bull sharks can swim HUNDREDS of MILES up FRESH WATER rivers to SPAWN in lakes and strams where most people have NO IDEA they are even there!  Bull Sharks attack more people than all other sharks.

        The shape of the sharks teeth tell how it attacks.  The Great white has triangular teeth and it bites, shakes its head and cuts off large portions.  Mako's have teeth that lets them swim and slice off a chunk, or your leg, with a quick pass.  Clean as a whistle.  Highly efficient those sharks!  They don't get cancer and as a matter of fact, sharks are helping doctors and researchers use their livers to find a cure for cancer.  We have leeches here in our lakes in Alaska.  The saliva from a leech can help prevent heart attacks.  Seems letting a leech suck on you ain't so bad after all!

        •   I  have never went snorkeling,but it appears to be something to get hooked on;just gliding along like you're flying under water,and I bet when you finally did cruise over that big absyss it DID give you a special scairy feeling.Not a feeling I want to have.Plus,I just can never feel safe again after seeing all those monster grey whites in the Pacific

          • It took me a while to get used to breathing with the snorkel, but the new ones are easy to use.  You don't need weights or a wet suit.  Just flippers and a mask and a snorkel.  Just float along using the flippers as propullsion

            The sun was so strong in Guam, the top half of my legs, which were the back sides, got real red/tanned, but the front half stayed pale white-boy color!  Looked kind of silly, but I didn't mind.  I wore a T shirt too, so I didn't get sun burned, which is a court martial offense.  Still had a good time.  Gab Gab beach was best as there wasn't a lot of other people there.

            • I think I would need to get me a SPECIAL SHARK RAY-GUN,to ZAP those buggers when they start looking at me as their next that had eyes for each direction...But I suppose (maybe) just being alert .(..we're talkin paranoid here)...would also help...I recall being on Driftwood Beach in the Phillipines,and swimming in the ocean,and actually had no fears at all,but didn't drift very far from shore.

              • My wife, her friend and her sister went and saw the movie "Jaws" when it first came out.  My wife had a large>>>read again "LARGE"<<< Popcorn and was between the two of them.  When the guys head poked out of the bottom of the boat, they both grabbed her, and she threw her popcorn all over the guy behind her.  Yes indeed, sharks are scary creatures to be sure, and they are taken out by thiose who fear them a lot.  BUT sharks do a lot of good too!  They keep the oceans clean and have a lot to teach us.  We (humans) are justy beginning to learn about them.  We still don't knjow how they breed and spawn their young.  NO sharks have been observed doing these things.  We only know stuff based on what has happened to others and the little bit oceanographers have done.  A lot of people are afraid of them, almost to the point of terror, soI know what you mean.

                We were both in the Navy.  Did you ever think what it would be like if the damn boat sank?  A lot of good Navy men found out.  USS Indianapolis of example.

                I must be different from a lot of people.  I have tried to condition myself away from fearing so much.  I have gone hunting, canoeing and camping alone here in Alaska many times.  I have had to face bears and all that kind of stuff, and am still here to tell about it, but then theyre are people such as "Tasty" Timmy Treadwell who just get ate for their efforts.

                Go figure.


                • It seemed that the FORMER "tasty" Mr. Treadwell's life raft had a slow leak in it,and he just didn't appear to WANT to patch it up,and as a result it finally went in "down the hatch"...of a HUGE grizzly.Ya GOTTA use a LITTLE common sense every once in a while...a stitch in time saves nine,or so I've heard....oh well.By the way,I have noticed that the name of the "PORPOISES"that we used to see swimming and frolicking alongside our ship years ago have had a NAME-CHANGE...they are now feferred to as  DOLPHINS  Wonder where all of the PORPOISES got to?

                • Me & the big sharks have made a life time pact: I'll just stay out of THEIR WATERS,and they'll stay out of MY LAND_LOCKED domain...Yes.I have thought about what to do in case my ship  should ever have gone under,and didn't come up with a very good solution....Guess I was just luckyit never happened during my sailing years,thank the GOOD LORD!!...Back to the movie "JAWS" I saw it on tv several years ago,and experienced a little old fashioned  d'eja vu.There is another movie about two couples whose yacht goes under,and they are constantly harrassed by a monster great white,who gobbles them all,except one...Saw a WATER SPOUT near the equator back in '59,enroute to Melbourne,Aus.That was something to behold!Had enough of open seas for a while...

  • Been to Agana & Apra Harbor Guam a few times,but it seemed to be so hot & humid I just couldn't adjust to the climate,and couldn't wait to shove off to parts unknown,,,Like Yokosuka,Subic Bay,Yokohama,anywhere  else.

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