Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dolphin Code...

The Dolphin Code was a method of encrypted communications designed to enable submarines, submariners, ship captains, helicopter pilots, and anti-submarine aircraft to speak to each other in areas of submarine operations or in many cases, social and domestic activities surrounding people of the "Trade". It came as a follow-on from the popular, but not precise enough, surface ship simile known as the: "Falcon Code", which originated sometime in the 1960's.

The Dolphin Code was authored and published by Captain(N) K.G. Nesbit, CD (Ret'd) while serving as the Commanding Officer of the Canadian submarine, HMCS/m Okanagan, as a Lieutenant Commander in 1975-6. During his tenure as CO Okanagan, Lcdr Nesbit played many gimmicks in order to "kill" the foe. Aboard, he had among the crew many who spoke French and two others who spoke in Spanish and Icelandic respectively. Together with a plethora of language and noise making devices such as an electric razor resonating in a pipe tobacco tin, 'Nezzie continued to baffle his surface, sub-surface, and aerial aggressors over the underwater telephone from any depth below the layers.

It was at this time when Okanagan adopted the spanish moniker: "Pandera Rosetta", whose animated figure of the "Pink Panther" was illustrated on the front of Okanagan's fin until she was decommissioned in 1998. It was also at this time when the submarine's main engines were dubbed "BERT" and "ERNIE" in commemoration of the stokers' love of the TV program, Sesame Street.

This then, is:

The Dolphin Code.

1. Your last surfacing procedure was:
A. First class.
B. Surprisingly good.
C. Understandably awful.
D. Indescribable.

2. I presume you got your ticket in a raffle.

3. For the last serial you could have used any fishing vessel.

4. My battery is:
A. 100%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine if you wish.
B. 75%, I will simulate a Nuclear Submarine for a short time if you wish.
C. 50%, I will not simulate a Nuclear Submarine, regardless of your wish.
D. 25%, I wish to simulate a Conventional Submarine, and will hot-pipe if you wish.
E. DEAD, I hot-pipe now, regardless of your wish.

5. I was unaware that medical standards had been revised. You must be blind as a bat.

6. During the last action you displayed noticeably suicidal tendencies.

7. Once again you have demonstrated a commendable ability to practise basics.

8. The last serial was so bad that we watched a double feature.

9. Your exercise instructions are simple. Simply awful.

10. I am unable to act as evasively as I wish.

11. I am unable to act as unevasively as you wish.

12. I am surfaced (surfacing) because:
A. I must make repairs.
B. I wish to bale out water.
C. Your chances of locating me are negligible otherwise.
D. I wish to barbecue the next meal.

13. I must temporarily withdraw from the exercise because of difficulties with:
A. Technical systems which are to difficult to explain.
B. Battery/motors/generators, I no go right.
C. Sonar, I no hear right.
D. Ingress of water, I no float right.
E. Fire/smoke, I no breathe right.
F. Personnel, I no lead right.

14. Please accept my apologies for failing to make the assigned rendezvous. My reason is as follows:
A. The navigator is a Newfoundlander.
B. I was doing something else at the time and didn't think you'd miss me.
C. I erroneously assumed that you would be where you said you would be.
D. My navigational equipment has not been updated since the Boer War.

15. If you don't ask me to raise more masts I won't ask you to fly with your wheels in the water.

16. Your last attack is assessed as follows:
A. Excellent, within 500 yards.
B. Good, within 1000 yards.
C. Marginal, 1000 to 2000 yards.
D. Poor, over 2000 yards.
E. Awful, over 3000 yards.
F. Unmeasurably distant.

17. It is difficult to believe that you and I are operating in the same ocean.

18. Your message (Date/Time/Group ________):
A. Appears to have been drafted hastily.
B. Does little to foster good relations.
C. Is a shining example of illiteracy.
D. Is not held by this unit.
E. Is held by this unit, but we wish it wasn't.
F. Requires the sort of reply I am not used to making.
G. Was a crippler.
H. B.O.H.I.C.A. (bend over here it comes again).

19. When we were surface sailors we also used to do silly things.

20. If you decide to graduate to advanced exercises, please hire a different submarine.

21. If you ask me to fire another smoke, I'll scream.

22. Submarines never cheat and rarely lie.

23. It's a pity that in wartime we'd be on the same side.

24. Your approach to the problem was impossible but tactically sound.

25. A. Your helicopter frightened me.

B. Your helicopter didn't frighten me.
C. I frightened your helicopter.
D. I wasn't aware you had a helicopter airborne.

26. A. Thank you for your valuable assistance.

B. Had assistance been rendered, I would have been thankful.
C. No, thank you, I do not require assistance.
D. Please do not render assistance, I need your help like a hole in the head.

27. You have been on task for several hours. You must be suffering terribly from crew fatigue.

28. We have been on task for several weeks. Next week we will probably begin to suffer from crew fatigue.

29. Tracking without attacking is the commonest form of military masochism.

30. I suppose the worsening weather will mean you'll have to stop the war.

31. The adverse weather is affecting us greatly: The movie projector has tipped over twice.

32. If you're so good why aren't you in submarines?

33. Submariners do it deeper.

34. Submariners think deeper.

35. Deep down you know it makes sense.

36. Submariners are super.

37. Submariners have bigger balls.

38. Diesel boats forever.

39. Black is beautiful.

40. Breaker one nine, this is rubber duck, I think we got us a convoy.

41. Ten Four.

42. Please be gentle, this is my first time.

43. We think the water has been sufficiently ensonified. Maybe you should try something else.

44. You have the uncanny ability to complicate a very simple exercise.

45. Intelligence is a God-given gift. Doorknobs are man-made. Mental midgets only have God's love. Is my point clear?

46. After working with you I now realize why some animals eat their young.

47. My CO and XO can outdrink your CO and XO.

48. When someone is as good as me it's hard to be modest.

49. Happiness is 500 ft in force 12.

50. With friends like you, who needs enemies?

51. Don't knock a stern shot until you've fired one.

52. If you provide the fresh water, I'll provide:

A. Soap.
B. Towels.
C. 60 dirty bodies.
D. Whiskey.
E. All of the above.

53. G.O.Y.A. (Get Off Your Ass)

54. D.B.S.F.W. (Don't Be So Fucking Whiney)

55. B.U.F.F.S. (Buck Up For Fuck's Sake)

56. P.P.P.P.P.P. (Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance)

57. S.M.F. (Smart Mother Fucker)

58. With sub-killers like you around, I look forward to a long life.

59. Missed me again.

60. Can I go home now?

61. We may be small but we're slow.

62. My bite is worse than my bark.

63. I was delayed in returning to periscope depth because:

A. A large whale was holding me down.
B. I forgot to vent my depth gauge.
C. I was waiting for the last reel to finish.
D. I had to resolve my plot.
E. I wasn't sure if I knew that you knew where I was.
F. I wanted to annoy you.

64. Many thanks for:

A. Your kind hospitality.
B. The newspapers.
C. The skin books.
D. Nothing.

65. Excuse me sir, but I think you have confused me with someone who gives a damn.

66. My reports/reply/message/letter was (will be) late for the following reason(s):

A. Writer's cramp.
B. Typewriter unserviceability due to overheating.
C. My priority list didn't coincide with yours.
D. We didn't think you'd notice.
E. I plain forgot.
F. The XO plain forgot.

67. R.P.C. for: (Request the Pleasure of your Company...)

A. Noon cocktails.
B. Informal operational discussion.
C. Post-exercise punchup.
D. Light meal and refreshments.
E. Sarnies and sludge.

68. M.R.U. because: (Must Return to Unit...)

A. I am otherwise operationally committed.
B. I am otherwise socially committed.
C. Your last such event was disastrous.
D. I am unable to maintain your pace.
E. I don't want to come.

69. W.M.P.: (With Much Pleasure...)

A. You offer so few invitations I can't afford to pass up this one.
B. Let's do it again.
C. for a short time.
D. For as long as you'll have me.
E. With bells on.

70. Your social event was:

A. First class. Thank you.
B. Disastrous, as expected.
C. One which should never be repeated.
D. Most detrimental to health.
E. A crashing bore. Better luck next time.

71. Unbelievable. Will advise Mr. Ripley.

72. A. Very well done.

B. Well done.
C. Well done. Sort of.
D. Not well done.
E. Badly done.
F. Very badly done.
G. Don't do it again.

73. Have lost the bubble. Will retrieve.

74. Bubble found.

75. What can I say?

76. Reason(s) is (are) as follows:

A. I goofed.
B. XO goofed.
C. Somebody goofed.
D. Inattention, for which some son-of-a-bitch will pay.
E. Temporary decline in usual high standards.
F. Another example of usual low standards.
G. I thought I could get away with it.
H. Misdirected malapropism.
I. Lapsus lingae.

77. This port is:

A. Fantastic. Better not send surface ships here.
B. Outstanding. Can we come again?
C. Reasonable.
D. Not the sort of place Submariners should visit.
E. Hostile.
F. Only good for storm avoidance.

78. Wish you were here.

79. Bet you wish you were here.

80. Glad you're not here


It would not be fair to publish the infamous Dolphin Code, without also posting the original Falcon Codes, which started this whole trend of official "unofficial" military communications codes... The problem is that nowadays, it is hard to find an original, authentic copy of the Falcon Codes themselves. The ones which are touted as being the "Falcon Codes" that one might find listed online nowadays, are nowhere near what the true ones were. They have been "Americanized", bastardized and corrupted to the point of having lost all semblance of their former character. They have become crude and crass, where once they were merely irreverent and humorous. There have been 'codes' added to them and the originals have been changed to curry favour amongst those who perform carrier ops. They are pale, pale imitations of the originals... In the end I don't suppose it should be surprising. These type of things are living entities, that morph and change with the times, it seems. I don't think the Dolphin Code has, however. I suppose those submariners who serve in the Canadian Navy (and other navies of the Commonwealth...) are more apt to know and follow tradition. The Navy itself, is based on a long and wealthy bedrock of tradition.

Should I manage to find a true copy, I will most certainly post them as a future entry. Should there be any 'hairybags' or 'aerdales' who read these musings, if any of you lads or ladies know where a real copy of the Falcon Codes rests (circa 1960-1986), please advise accordingly.

Ready Aye Ready!

1 comment:

Matthew Pemble said...

68 - The TLA "MRU" is usually expanded to "Many Regrets Unable" to accept your invitation, because ...