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Old 09-18-09, 11:31 PM   #1
Von Hinten
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 466
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Patrol report Subsim meet 2009

After a rather long trip which started at 06.00, the Dutch group arrived at our rendezvous point; the u-boot memorial. Or at least we thought we did. As it turned out there are two of them and they are roughly 8 kilometers apart.

Driving straight to the wrong one is what happens when you have three Dutch guys in a car ignoring their satnav. Obviously, because we thought we knew our way around Germany better than it, we ended up at the ‘wrong’ memorial first. On the other hand though, when you’ve just driven 550+ kilometers to see one of Germany’s last remaining subs, arriving at ‘that other’ memorial a few kilometers out is never really all that bad. But we had a schedule to meet, so we quickly shot some pictures and went on our way.

We parked as close as we could to the coastline and were greeted down the hill by Dan from Ubi who picked me out because I was wearing my Subsim shirt. Seems dress codes do still work, even far away in Germany. He then told us that the rest of the group was just about complete and pointed us to Neal who was already gazing over the German sub. That’s when the shake hands and the ‘who are you, and what’s your real life name’ game began. Only Neal and Bas couldn’t play because they are, well, Neal and Bas on the forum as well so there’s no real mystery behind their names.

Next up was getting to the sub which in terms of distance was not too bad since we were literally standing right next to it but the Ubi guys had something special in mind; they wanted to enter the conning tower and after they told us about their plan, we of course wanted too.

The best part was that there was first some negotiating about getting a group discount, even though we were one man short for that, and after that was settled and they told the lady behind the counter that we were the group that would like to enter the tower there was briefly some confusion about which tower: the one on the sub or the one standing next to the monument ... Towers, it seems, can have all sorts of meanings when you’re standing next to a sub.

But they got it done and accompanied by a mechanic, who apparently knew and plays the Silent Hunter series, we entered the sub. This moment alone would have been well worth the trip to me, it was awesome. All those dials, gizmo’s and the occasional call for ‘alarm’ were just fantastic.

The mechanic then opened up the hatch to the tower and Dan was first to go up. When he looked up into the tower he saw ... the sky! That meant that not only the conning tower had been opened up but that the deck was accessible too. He first went up into the tower and when there was no one to stop him there; he went all the way up. For some time that would be the last we’d see from him ...

Down in the sub we then asked the mechanic if we could all go up and he looked at us and replied ‘sure, if you want to go right ahead. Your group can go’. So in a matter of minutes, the entire Subsim group was crawling around on the deck of U-995, having one heck of a good time. And obviously the idea that no one normally gets to go up there made it even more special.

Simply having the time of our lives we eventually went all over the sub at least twice, looking around and talking to the mechanic who clearly had good fun finally talking to people who knew just that bit more about submarines. And he knew his fair share about the boat as well, which made it great talking and listening to him.

We had a little bit of trouble getting Dan torn away from the sub, for a minute it seemed he was going to stay there permanently, but after everyone was done at the sub we went up the hill to the memorial and looked at all that was there. They had a lot of scale model ships and an opened up TDC which had the full attention of the Ubi crew who were all over that thing trying to see how everything was connected and worked. I think they have been at it for at least three quarters of an hour and to me looking at and listening to them figuring things out was a treat.

Then we were notified that if we wanted to go up the tower we had to do so because that would close up first while the museum part would be opened a little later. So we all left for the memorial tower which was stretching a good 60 meters up into the air, giving us a great view of the area as well as a nice top down view of U-995. After this I quickly went back into the museum to get a clear shot of the TDC and joined up with the rest.

After a nice diner we assembled the cars and headed back to Copenhagen but that, partly because I asked Lars to stop at the first gas station we would pass, that didn’t all go as planned and before we knew it we were driving around the village, far away from the main road.

As soon as the van stopped I got out and went over to it and we agreed on us leading the way since we brought our satnav and should be able to get us out of there. That worked and after the needed pit stop where we also moved a few guys from the Subsim van to the escorts so each could have a little more room we went on our way to Copenhagen.

After we took the ferry across we lost radio contact with Neal and the van but found them again when we arrived at the hotel. The long but amazing day ended with getting the rooms sorted out and diving into bed to get some well needed rest.

To be continued.

Von Hinten
UC3 Nautilus' engineer for 45 minutes!
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