Tribute To Submarines On Eternal Patrol – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I write this blog as a tribute to all submarines on eternal patrol and for the ARA San Juan which has been missing and presumed lost in the south Atlantic since the middle of November 2017.

Submarines are a mystery to many but home for a small population of sailors worldwide. I was lucky enough to be an active submariner in the 1980s and 1990s and will always value this experience.

The probable loss of the ARA San Juan has emotionally impacted me over the past couple weeks because the sailors on this vessel were brothers and sisters of mine since we are a small community.

My heart goes out to the families of the ARA San Juan crew members since it is doubtful they will ever have closure since the reasons why the vessel disappeared will probably never be fully understood.

Although the United States has deployed hundreds of submarines since the end of World War II, we have lost four (4) submarines that are identified below.

  • USS Cochino – SS-345 – Lost 1949 in the Norwegian Sea.
  • USS Stickleback – SS-415 – Lost 1958 in the Pacific Ocean.
  • USS Thresher – SSN-593 – Lost 1963 in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • USS Scorpion – SSN-589 – Lost 1968 in the Atlantic Ocean.

It is believed that the US Navy Subsafe program which was implemented after the loss of the USS Thresher is responsible for the improved safety record since the 1960s.

What is known about the ARA San Juan last messages on November 15th.

  • 12:30 a.m. – The San Juan Captain contacted the local land-based commander via satellite phone informing them of flooding through the snorkel mast. The flooding short-circuited the bow battery system causing a fire that was extinguished. The Captain identified that the short was bypassed and the San Juan would continue to travel towards the base.
  • 6:00 a.m. – The San Juan transmitted the same message from 12:30 am as transmitted radio traffic.
  • 7:30 a.m. – The San Juan Captain contacted the local land-based commander indicating the San Juan was transiting, submerged, as planned, without additional issues.
  • 10:30 a.m. – An explosion and/or implosion was detected near the ships last location. The explosion/implosion was not identified as occurring through recorded acoustic data.

There was hope that the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan would have enough air to last seven (7) to twelve (12) days if the submarine was submerged but disabled. Unluckily, we have exceeded this timeline so the current mission is probably a recovery mission.

A multi-national team continues to search a 40,000 square mile area for the ARA San Juan although results are doubtful.

Indications are that the casualty was a combination of flooding and fire.

  • Experiencing one (1) of these casualties is a major challenge that submarine crews constantly drill for.
  • Experiencing two (2) of these casualties and additional catastrophic failures related to the battery compartment would likely cause loss of the submarine.

We may never know what occurred with the ARA San Juan but our thoughts and prayers will be with the crew and families forever.

Wishing you health, safety, and success. I am Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen (50 Plus Going On 15) and I hope for a miracle.

Jay Patterson


Expanding Your Horizons – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I have always believed you can teach an old dog new tricks and sometimes you learn by choice and sometimes you ask what is going on when you run into something new.

Building websites, blogging, and writing articles is new to me but in 2017 my family and I have been expanding our horizons.

2017 has been a transitional year for me since it was my first full year not working for my long-term after leaving in 2016. During the last twenty (20) months I have learned what I don’t want to do for a living during my third long-term career and what I may want to do.

During the fall of 2017, I selected a mode of self-agony I never thought I would choose. That choice transitioned me from being an NFL football fan to becoming an NHL hockey fan.

  • I will not get into details since I have discussed in earlier articles but I will state I have not watched an NFL football game this year for the first time since 1969. This is very painful since my Vikings are doing well but I am not budging.
  • My family and I have been Predator fans for years but I was not the fan my wife and daughter is. I wanted to follow the expansion Las Vegas Golden Nights since I had followed the expansion draft and was impressed.

So, we are 25% through the hockey season and we watch NHL hockey most nights on center ice and have pretty much written off NFL football which is nearly 70% complete.

Yesterday, I was helping my bride of thirty (30) plus years clean before company arrived for our Thanksgiving feast and I went to mop the kitchen floor and became frantic because I could not find a mop.

  • Normally, I would get on the floor with a bucket of soap and water taking me back to my submarine days but I am a bit stiff from all the driving I did in November so I asked why we don’t have a mop and bucket.
  • My bride informed me that we use something called a Swiffer now and I thought she was depraved.

So, I learned how to use a Swiffer and although it was not my preferred method of cleaning, I used the Swiffer and it worked pretty well. I guess my bride of thirty (30) plus years is pretty smart but I still cannot figure out what she sees in me.

Being in professional transition since early 2016, I decided to concentrate on sales during the summer of 2017. Sales were not new to me since it had always been part of my job which was multifaceted.

  • Jump-starting my professional path excites me since I am now able to provide solutions to devoted customers that I have total confidence in.
  • My bride of thirty (30) plus years shown courage and support in this decision.

So, all have not worked out as planned since I have been tied up in operations since I started my present position but you must crawl before you walk and I am still excited about moving in this direction.

My bride of thirty (30) plus years has also adjusted to our change in life and has been amazing. She could have fired me but instead has shown grit as we have rolled through our challenges. Renee has stepped up to the plate and has shown much heart working part-time and learning a craft to turn into a small business.

  • Renee returned to work part-time at the local school system which she loves. I believe working in the school system shows much bravery.
  • In addition to working part-time, Renee has been developing her para cord skills and we will be starting a small business and a website soon. She is addicted to para cording I believe.

This is a work in progress and I have examples of her work below. She also manufactures dog collars and leashes that are stunning. Wish her luck.

As you can see, we are in transition and there is truth to “You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks”. In fact, both of us are learning new tricks.

I am grateful that I have the ability to be fifty plus going on fifteen (50 plus going on 15) and it is uplifting that my bride has the courage to continue to be my partner through these changes.

How are you expanding your horizons?

Thanks for visiting this site and feel free to comment and make recommendations.

Wishing you health, safety, and success.

Jay Patterson

What Is Going On In 2017 – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

I originally started writing this in early November prior to traveling for work. I was unable to complete do to work related priorities and much has occurred during the month of November to further emphasize this article. So here goes.

When 2016 came to an end, I sighed a breath of relief believing that there is no way 2017 could be any crazier. Well, it would appear that it is time to ask “what is going on” as we start the eleventh (11th) month of 2017.

During 2017, we have experienced both highs and lows as a nation and world but one thing for certain is that we are not safer based on terrorist attacks, lone wolf attacks, and unstable regimes. Perhaps, we are safer but we do not know it but in my opinion, the world has become a more unglued.

Beyond world safety, we live in a world of political chaos. Portions of nations are trying to succeed from nations, politicians are fighting with politicians in the same political parties, and there are power struggles between special interest groups with similar goals. What was up is down and what was down is up.
In recent weeks, it has become apparent that many of the rumors we thought were true regarding the entertainment industry have been validated as not only accurate but also hidden from view. In times like this, we need to question if rules are equally applied but I believe we all know the answer. I will discuss further later in this article.

Since starting on this article, much has occurred to solidify my concerns regarding good and evil which was addressed in an earlier article.

Who would believe that a small town congregation in Texas would be massacred by a lone gunman who illegally possessed weapons and slipped through the system destroying many lives in his short life. This tragedy fell off the front page of news agencies much as the Las Vegas massacre a month earlier. So sad.

Starting in October 2017, the news has been saturated with “Me Too” reports involving people in powerful positions. I do not believe anyone is shocked considering certain people have been protected or untouchable and I hope these individuals get what is due to them.
My concern with the “Me Too” is that the issue goes well beyond our leaders in entertainment, politics and business and is a problem that goes beyond sexual harassment. Why is sexual harassment the big news item other than because sex sells?

Harassment occurs in all economic, social, racial, religious and gender groups and needs to be treated equally. I do not believe someone that has been harassed in small town USA or urban USA is treated in the same manner as someone harassed by a big name but I could be wrong.

I am not minimizing the issue but I am making a point that harassment is not being treated equally a form of hate.

This week, evil did take a hit with the death of Charles Manson. It is hard to believe that in the late 60s the massacre of a few people by Charles Manson and his followers was considered unacceptable and all involved were sentenced to life in prison.

At one point in our history, murder was not as common place as in our current environment but the murder of Sharon Tate and her unborn child was brutal. It is truly my hope that Charles Manson suffers wherever he currently is.
2017 has been a year that we must all ask “what is going on” and do everything in our power to turn the tide.

What are your thoughts on the events of 2017?

Wishing you health, safety and success. Its great being fifty plus going on fifteen (50 plus going on 15).

Jay Patterson