During the entire day the water was very calm like glass to be sure, we were heading into Norfolk Va.. To remove the Admiral who had been stricken by a ( Stroke or Heart attack ? ) during the day, it was felt that it was safer to go into Norfolk rather than to remove him by aircraft, as we were close to the base no more than a hundred miles or so it was decided to take him in. We were moving at a good 30 knots when about 23:15 as I was heading toward a coffee locker forward to get a coffee before I went on watch. Suddenly we hit something that every one at the time thought possibly was a submarine. We hit with such a momentary stopping force, not to say that it stopped us by any means, but to say that it caused a hesitation in our forward motion for sure. I took about three quick steps to regain my balance as the ship went into a wallowing type movement as if suddenly we hit wallowing sea's, as we gradually came to a complete stop and then began to back up. As you looked over the bow with large flood lights you looked down into a BLOODY but calm sea and as we moved back a large whale which was almost completely cut in half surfaced, it was about 90 feet long as I recall.
We were all relieved that it was not a manned vessel, but were a bit sad for that sleeping whale that never knew what hit it. I don't recall what happened to the Admiral other then the fact that we did get into Norfolk the next morning. That whale had punctured our fresh water and diesel tanks. We had sickening tasting water until it was straightened out some time later on.
That was my recollection of the event, possibly maybe some one can add to it later on.
My memory isn't so good anymore, if anyone would care to add or make changes to this
story as they remember it. Please drop me a note.
Bill Higgins, recallection of
the whale strike.
click on this line for Bills recall.