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View Full Version : When is "High Speed" not High Speed?


Mitch
10-15-2009, 03:52
In a PM to SdAufKla earlier today - we got to talking about Dainish Scout Swimmer School (not one of my favorite schools), but having avoided it for years - it was good to finally get it over with. We used the old Dry Suit, that you climbed in via the neck - and sealed your self up with a hood and a neck ring - this becomes important later on. The time is August of 85 and I was on 053 of the 10th - let me relate:

"I see that my previous message got chopped - I was saying that best part of Scout Swimmer was weekends back in Copenhagen. Worst part, was not the 10K, it was the jumps off that High speed rocket powered boat (supposedly the casting portion of Cast & Recovery, also, the boat was not Rocket Powered, but was powered by three turbine engines). We had to be going about 50 or 60 miles an hour. At that speed all you do is bounce on the water - we stepped off the side, not the stern where it would have been a bit choppier (I think), and a bit softer (who knows).

The last leap was so violent that the skin cracked on my hands, between my fingers where I had them interlaced behind my head. After a few bounces, I finally sank, and continued to sink - the neck ring came undone and the suit started to fill with water. I couldn't get my fins on because I would have to duck under the surface to pull them on - and then more water would seep in. So I tried to just fin without the fins, but that didn't work - so finally I ducked under put on one fin, then the other and then finned hard and started working on fixing that neck ring.

With my bloody hands, I finally got it re-rigged and sealed but by then had a suit awash with water. The whole experience sucked and I know they took us that fast just to screw with us.

The worst part about the 10K was holding back a piss for the last hour of the swim - that sucked too."

Just a question, is this still being done? Are we still sending teams over there - if so, there is a Log over there with my name carved into it. You are welcome to add yours too.

SdAufKla
10-15-2009, 11:20
Mitch,

Like I said in my reply to ya, I must just be one nasty SOB, cause there was no holding that piss for 10k.

I think everybody on my whole team just bowed to the inevitable right up front. All it took was just a little extra washing everything out at the end of the swims.

Now, the weekends in Copenhagen... oh yea!

Mike

Mitch
10-16-2009, 08:25
Mitch,

Like I said in my reply to ya, I must just be one nasty SOB, cause there was no holding that piss for 10k.

I think everybody on my whole team just bowed to the inevitable right up front. All it took was just a little extra washing everything out at the end of the swims.

Now, the weekends in Copenhagen... oh yea!

Mike

So no one knows if we are still sending folks there?

You mentioned the "Monkey Faces" earlier - I had forgotten about that - just imagine what you look like when you spend several hours on your back with the sun bearing down on you, but with half your chin, half of your cheeks and half your forehead is covered by a tight fitting rubber hood - you look like a dork. We got that on the shorter swims, but the 10 K was a cloudy day, in fact we swam into a fog bank for about half an hour - we couldn't see the safety boat unless it was 20 feet from us - used the compass to keep on going. We were still all linked up at that point too. Stayed linked up unil the last kilometer - then we released the speedsters (that wasn't me).

A big problem also was the tide was down when we got in and they don't stop the clock until you are standing on the dock. I couldn't even reach the dock. Had to Fin hard to grab it and then pull up - it took me three trys before I was ever able to get that done - just too exhausted.

Then - turns out we missed dinner (which was no great loss anyway - just fish and pudding) - but we were hungry. So most of us jumped on our bicycles after we got everything cleaned up and put away, road up to the little store about 3 kilometers away and bought all the junk food they had to sell.

Richard
10-16-2009, 08:53
ODA9 was the Scout Swim team in Bad Tolz. Several of the guys on the team - including the TM SGT - had completed the Danish Scout Swim program and trained the rest of us.

Our training and FTXs took place in the rivers and lakes of Bavaria and the Mediterranean around the Livorno/Elba area - most of it at night for tactical reasons.

The 'monkey face' look was a sure give away of a scout swimmer - unless you were one of those fanatic sun worshiping types like Purgalis who always had a deep tan no matter what time of year it was.

Wearing panty hose under the insulated underwear helped some with the inevitable chafing of the dry suits - and swimming in your own urine (sometimes feces) was an accepted hazard of the technique. I hated swimming in dry suits and moved to be the Sr Medic on ODA7 (a W9 slot).

ODA9 swam the English Channel as a team from Portsmouth to Normandy in 1977.

And so it goes...;)

Richard :munchin

Mitch
10-17-2009, 03:18
Our training and FTXs took place in the rivers and lakes of Bavaria and the Mediterranean around the Livorno/Elba area - most of it at night for tactical reasons.

The 'monkey face' look was a sure give away of a scout swimmer - unless you were one of those fanatic sun worshiping types like Purgalis who always had a deep tan no matter what time of year it was.

Richard :munchin

For sure - the only tacitical way a scout swimmer attack coud be successful would be at night - the darker the better. But that presents other problems. As good as you are, navigation to a dark beach, without some reference point is difficult and on a 10 k swim, with any kind of a running current, you could easily be 500 meters off. Swimming on your back doesn't help. A 10 k swim will take you 5 hours. To move 100 meters up a beach to the nearst cover could take up to 2 hours - it would be bad then to find yourself 500 meters off target.

Needles to say - I was never very enthusiastic about this method of infiltration. But that's the SCUBA attitadue talking probablly - if you've got to be in the water, might as well enjoy it.