Surfing USA


“Captain McGill, Sir, I can’t make that out. Do you know what that is, Sir?”

“Yes, I do, son. Mr. Nelson, recognize that?”

“Russian.  Typhoon class– Akula. Sounds like our old friend Grigoriy and the Sakharov, Captain.”

“How do you guys…uh, Sirs, know that?”

“That’s why we get paid the big bucks, son. Take her down, Mr. Nelson… Sonar, keep it trained on that boat and do not lose him. Now you know what he sounds like.”

“Yes, Captain. I’m recording him.”
The Captain of the Andrei Sakharov hadn’t returned yet. The First Officer, Mikhail Yeltsin, was getting anxious. These early morning outings of Grigoriy’s were violating so many regulations that Mikhail could have arrested the Captain and taken his command with little opposition–normally. However, there was no kinder, more competent man in the Russian Navy than Grigoriy Nikolaevsky and every man on the boat would defend him to his death. Besides, Grigoriy was his brother-in-law.

The Captain finally aboard, the ballistic submarine slowly headed away from the island, easily slipping through the surface water like a warm knife through butter as it submerged off the shores of Maui. So far, no one in the island chain noticed the massive sub dropping off and picking up an early morning surfer for the past three mornings. The First Officer wasn’t naïve. He was sure the Americans knew all about the Akula class sub in American waters. He figured it was for some nefarious reason that the U.S. Navy didn’t engage them…yet. Not even a call from the White House to the Kremlin.

The Captain was of the same mind and already they were closing in on international water. Many in the crew crossed themselves and prayed they hadn’t over-stayed their welcome. There was a small faction that wanted to take on the Americans: show them what the Russian behemoth could do to their pretty, little, toy submarines.

They were nearly in safe water. The crew no longer held their collective breath, but the Captain and the First Officer looked knowingly at each other. The Russians had something equivalent to Murphy’s Law, called, Khrushchev’s Big Mouth. So, when the sonar alarm went off, the two men were not surprised, unlike Khrushchev.

Waiting dead ahead was the ballistic submarine, USS Tennessee, Ohio class–the largest sub ever built for the US Navy. Captain McGill of the Tennessee radioed the Captain of the Sakharov and they exchanged greetings and asked about each other’s family, having met in Moscow a few years back. When the American Captain suggested the Russian surrender his boat for violation of international maritime law, the Russian Captain could not stop laughing. The Russian  sub was twice the size of the American sub.

McGill didn’t want to be in the middle of an international incident. After conferring with Command, the Sakharov left without incident. On the return voyage to Pearl, McGill was bothered by the seemingly benign activities of the Russians over the past few days. McGill wanted to know what took place underwater. Divers escorted their Captain to and from the boat. He decided to go take a look.

It took three days but they finally cracked it. As far as they could tell, there weren’t any bombs planted around the island, nuclear or otherwise. There had been two Akula’s, two teams of divers, two captains, two surfers. They were listening in to the Navy’s communications and they used the old trunk lines to do it. It all pointed to spying while looking eccentric.

The Russians were well on their way home. The Sakharov’s Captain knew McGill would solve the enigma of a commanding officer of a Russian submarine, carrying nuclear missiles, jeopardizing his boat just to surf in the Hawaiian Islands. Grigoriy hoped it would make the American laugh. Too bad he couldn’t tell him anything. The American would discover they were using the trunk lines.  The American would conclude they were spying–listening in to US Navy communications. Grigoriy laughed. Too bad…too bad for all of them McGill would be wrong. It had nothing to do with spying.

Once More With Feeling #20 at Cognitive Reflection
Photo Prompt:  Credit Sardelis
Word Count:  681
Thanks moi for hosting Once More With Feeling

Author’s Notes

The title of this story refers to “Surfin USA”, 1963, by The Beach Boys.
The US Navy Ohio Class Ballistic Submarine and the Russian Navy Typhoon (Akula) Class Ballistic Submarine do exist as described.  Everything else is the author’s imagination.





When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in fiction, humor, Once More with Feeling, submarine
15 comments on “Surfing USA
  1. Doobster418 says:

    Nice job. I looked at that picture over and over again and came up with nothing.

  2. moi says:

    Nice story. I am glad I provided the pic to be able to do the sub picture.

    Technically the Akula is a hunter killer sub, it would not be a ballistic sub (ie carry missiles), the Ohio class IS a ballistic missile sub and wouldn’t assume the role of hunter killer, it stays deep and very silent.

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. I just went by wikipedia and USNavy for Ohio and said is is ballistic with trident missiles. There are different varieties of both the Ohio and Akula. According to Wikipedia and USNavy the Akula is called the Typhoon class–NATO disignation and is ballistic. I wanted to show how much bigger the Russian sub is to the American sub. How do you know so much about subs? You might want to go to Wikipedia and see if it’s mistaken on sub stuff. I was going to indicate in beginning of story that Russian sub was Typhoon class called Akula. I might change that. Lucy.

      • moi says:

        I used to be into military stuff, the Typhoon and Akula (I thought) were different sub classes, The Typhoon is the one depicted in the film, hunt for red october if you have seen that, massive beast apparently.

      • Lucy says:

        I just revised the story. The Ohio is no longer fast attack and I put in the Akula as also Typhoon. Poetic license. I put in an author’s note as well about my imagination.It’s all very confusing about the Akula. Just call it behemoth class. Yes, I saw that movie. Sean Connery. Well, regardless, Akula or typhoon, they’re old and there’s a new sub in town the Borei. It’s not as big as the behemoth but still bigger than the Ohio. I grew up in Connecticut not far from the Submarine Base and Electric Boat where they build the subs.Just about every family in the area had someone who worked at Electric Boat or was in the Navy. I went on one of those dependent cruises for the day when I was a teen. USS Tench, WWII diesel sub. We weren’t allowed on nuclear subs. It was so cool. Submerging was a real blast. I got to say “up periscope” and use it. It’s a memory I will never forget. So, how are you doing? Anyone else submit a story? Lucy

      • moi says:

        You didn’t have to change it… I did debate actually saying anything as I feared it came across as picky. I hoped it had not but it possibly did. That was not my intention, so apologies.

      • Lucy says:

        Don’t feel that you’re being picky. I hate misinformation unless of course I’m totally making up stuff. I ask for input and I mean it.. A few bloggers have brought a few things to my attention and I fixed them and for the better. Always tell me. Did you know that I can have a background on my blog that’s all rabbits.? Fake-looking rabbits? Yeah. Nice huh? Lucy

      • moi says:

        Your the only one to submit one so far (bar my own entry) we still have the weekend to go. But I think it was a tough one.

        I am so so. Generally feeling bored and a bit unsatisfied at the mo. Hopefully that shall pass.

      • Lucy says:

        I had that earlier in the week–bored.It’s very hot here.but no worse than New Mexico. Hope your weekend fares better. Do something fun. Go to a movie or something. Lucy

  3. Kate Loveton says:

    Your ability to come up with a good story based on photos is impressive. It’s something I find very challenging. God job!!

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. Moi and I discussed the submarines. He knows a lot. He had promised he would give us a photo for which I could do a submarine story Then when the time came I couldn’t think of much. Lucy

  4. […] Thanks to those that entered <a Lucy […]

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© [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles], [2015-2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Lucy Conrad] and [Sapient Chronicles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

June 2014
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