😉 Sailors Dream - "Kidnapping by Submarine at Night"

in #art3 years ago (edited)

Most people probably think, that girls fantasies are more on the romantic side, along the lines of "kissing a prince" and such, like in yesterday's post. Of course I'm not saying it is so! Just like the guys fantasies are not necessarily always plain crude and simple... Au contraire.. our minds are constantly occupied with of the most complex phenomenon in the universe.. our (female) counterparts 😉


During the late cold war years in Europe I was a navigator on a submarine. When I signed up, I thought of it as a big adventure... little did I know. Anybody who saw "Das Boot" could get an idea, of what it was really like. OK, we were never in a real combat situation, but the rest of the life on the sub was very much like in the movie. Actually, the sounds were recorded on our boat and the author Lothar-Günther Buchheim went with us for a day. I found him quite unlikeable though.

We were mainly out on the North Sea and the Baltic See and I saw a lot of the coast through a periscope. Today it seems surreal, that I have some very good friends in countries, who were supposed to be the enemy. Goes to show you, how absurd it all is and it gets me really frustrated that we can't have peace on earth for all of us...

Oh well, before I start a rant, I should get back to my story and the painting. So, there we have this steel tube, stuffed with machinery a bunch of young men and of course we were all totally focused on defending the so called free world... NOT... ok, you guessed it, not all the time (🤡) ONLY every now and again (giggle) we thought of girls too..


The picture shows a digitally altered version of "Kidnapping by Submarine at Night", originally done in my Hinterglas technique.

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Thanks for sharing your story. 😊
I really like the background of this painting. So many details ... and I really wonder, what techniques you used to create these "patterns".

Glad you like it :-)

The background is mostly digital. I used the Photoshop plugin KPT from a long time ago. I don't think it even exists any more..

Ooh, so the submarine you mentioned a while back was no joke! I loved reading some background to your life, wish you will share some more. This is one of my favorites of your paintings, those legs and heels are amazing 😉

Yes, I really meant it with the sub , no joke at all :-)

Oh god, my life? Nothing but a sequence of nonsense ideas followed by years of "paying" for them...

Remember, when you did your high heels post a little while ago? It reminded me of this painting and I added the sketch for it to the comments..

I imagine that being locked up in a can with a bunch of young guys for a prolonged time with a war setting and highly stressful situation might result in an extremely lucid visions :) Like this one for example :) It would take an extremely brave girl to dive in to the boat full of hungry men :) Good thing is she has that hatch in the right place, though i doubt it would help. Amazing painting and i am ashamed of my comment lol So sorry for being too vulgar maybe? But i think it is still nothing when compared to the thoughts of 18 year old kids in "Das Boot" setting lol

Ah, not to worry :-) ... I know we are all a bit paranoid with political correctness and such, which is good for a big part, but its ok to laugh at a joke and be funny too, right? Its not as if we two are known for promoting violence and abuse!

No, i hope nobody sees us that way, as everybody should probably understand a good joke :)

And if there were more people like you, the world would definitely be a better place!

I definitely know at least one more lol Now this was really funny :D:D:D

Another sailor! Truth is that life aboard a sea-wessel is monotonous and boring.

Love the way you manage legs :)

You are so right, and there is nothing "romantic" about it. Problem on a sub at that time was, that you never got enough sleep. Our captain had a thing for "entertainment" and we constantly had to practice things like "fire on board" or "ingress of water" and so on.

What's your story?

I worked about a year as a fisherman in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic as a young man. No practice, but plenty of hard work. We once had a tour with the duty periods 18-6 (not sure of the real word in English... in Danish it is simply vagt). We were on the sea for 14 days and when I got home i sleept for 24 hours in one go. So being sleepy all the time is also what I remember :)

woah... that sounds like a pretty rough job. Plenty of bad weather and big waves up there too, I imagine. The Danish sounds like the German "Wache" in this context.

Most of our trips were 10 days, which is more than enough. Couple of 3 week tours too, thank god I never had to go on any of the longer trips. We were on duty 4 hours and then 4 hours off, with a 2 hour shift in the afternoon, so crews switched the bad night. The four hours off were not really free time... eat, clean up and "games" depending on the captains mood :-/ Of course one tried to get every minute of sleep possible in a bunk you shared with another crew member 🤢

Surprises me only, that you didn't sleep longer when you got home!

In the winter it is hurricanes all the time up there, so I have been in more than 35 meter/second, but on the smaller wooden boat that I later sign on to 15 m/s and rising felt much more violent than in the larger ship.

But else it sounds much the same - we mostly had our own bunk, but sleeping was the thing you longed for all the time :)

P.S. I think we called 4/4 Wache - Chinese Wache. I mostly went 12 or 14/6 and on the smaller boat we were going out at 3-4 pm - sleeping while we sailed to the fishing spot, then work all day and landing the fish at 11 AM - but I made a hell of a lot of money :)

Hurricane... that's pretty serious. When we got into such weather on the surface, nobody could stay on the bridge and the first officer had to direct the sub from the periscope. We were always happy when we reached our diving area and could get away from such ghastly conditions..

Money was good too on the subs. Some 600 German Mark extra, which was a fortune for us guys at the time. Plus we had the best food :-)

And I saw some nice places in Denmark, we even spent two days in Copenhagen once :-)

We had air dried lamb, air dried cod, pilot whale, boiled lambs heads and other local specialities.

Thing is... we agree that it was not at all romantic, but it does give you access to a secret brotherhood - just look at us chatting away :)

To me it was a great way to be accepted in my family in law (I call them the schooner Hansen-Nielsen). In that family it is important to have been on the sea and I was way more accomplished than most of them.

You are right, the sense of brotherhood is definitely there. Have always felt it with everyone who shared the experience.

The camaraderie on the sub was intense too, particularly since everyone's life depended on everyone else.

Funny thing is, my wife was on a ship too, when she was a young girl... made a much smarter choice than me though. There is a German TV show "Das Traumschiff" (equivalent to the American "Love Boat") and she was a barkeeper and stewardess on that ship!! Her memories are somewhat different 😉

So, your family in law, are they ship owners? Or why is it important to them to have been on the sea?

Believe it or not us women sailors also had our fantasies 😉

How interesting! I worked closely with our navigator as a quartermaster before I received Das Boot 🤐

But before that I dabbled in galley life as a cook, and before that, I worked as a boatswain's mate. Cheers! Excellent work of art 😊💛

Oh, I certainly believe it!

I'm not familiar with the ranks and jobs in the US navy... what does a quartermaster do? I'm also not sure I understand "...I received Das Boot 🤐", maybe you could take a moment and give me a hint 🙂

Although I was a navigator, I had a few "side jobs", like being a member of the deck crew. That was nice, because one was always with the first to be outside when we got to a harbor somewhere. Also liked to hang out with the crew in the back, by the engine.

Thanks a lot, I'll try!

Vvery impressed hearing of your past history Reinhard - on a submarine during the cold war wow that is fascinating stuff. I have seen that movie Das boo lol.
I personally do not know how you could cope being down there for so long. I am somewhat claustrophobic so it would not be possible for me.

Your comment about how you now have friends with those who were previously considered as" the enemy" is rather profound.
Indeed does highlight how ridiculous it all is. When I see the fabulous art you produce like this spectacular work it puts matters into even more perspective.
Make art not war is definitely the preferred way in which mankind should strive to forge ahead.

The texture and the amazing blue in this piece is a mystery to me how you managed to do it. It does not seem possible. I would would to be able to see the original face to face.
Quite breath taking my friend!

No way I'd ever do it again, but being locked up in that tight space wasn't really a problem. Fatigue and getting sea sick were much bigger issues. Or the stress during training..

Yes, Make art not war should definitely be it. When you think about it, its always only a few who bring misery and anguish to many. I wish mankind would finally learn the lesson.

The colors and textures come mainly from the digital overhaul.. the original painting is a lot less colorful.

It is the vision to use and how to use those colors and textures that is the real gift and skill Reinhard.
It is not then bow but the Archer that take the aim.

I like what you've done here, and your description gives a great background to the piece.

Thank you, glad you like it :-)

What an interesting life you've led.

At least you had access to the periscope! I've wondered if there'd be a line of people waiting to look through that thing, after a prolonged dive. Of course these days I'm sure they're rigged to video cameras. Maybe they were then?

Haha... "interesting" is an interesting way of putting it ;-)

It is true though, that as a navigator you had certain privileges. No video cameras back then, technology was still relatively simple. In fact, we were the first sub here to test satellite navigation. The device had the size of a refrigerator! Diesel-electric engine, not like the big nuklear powered giants of today.

With the periscope you had a hierarchy... Kaptain.. first and second officer.. navigator.. then the rest :-)

Best thing was, that it was the same order in which one was allowed on the bridge (top of the tower/outside), when the submarine surfaced. Only four men at a time... since smoking was forbidden inside, all the smokers were really nice to me, so I would always quickly make my spot available.. provided we had good weather... which, quite often, we did not :-b

Oh man, I can't imagine waiting for a smoke, working on a submarine! Ugh, I might even have to take up vaping.

My paternal grandfather was on the battleship Yorktown in the battle of Midway. He didn't talk much about the war, but the one story I remember was that no one was allowed to smoke on deck after dark. Apparently you could see a glowing cigarette for miles.

A Diesel-electric sounds fine to me. Ever since I read that story about the Russians and their failing nuclear reactor, and the heroes who had to go in and fix it, and die of radiation poisoning days later...

Did the satellite navigation work underwater, or did you have to surface to get a fix?

So many questions! Have you posted your submarine stories before? Guaranteed upvotes from me if you share them!

Yes, for the smokers it was hard. In a real combat situation, the sub would have never even fully surfaced and only stick out the snorkel.

Haven't posted anything else about my past as a submariner.... If you are interested, here is a clip, where you can see the type. There is quite a bit on u-tube. Sounds funny to look there for u-boot.. just look for "U Boot Klasse 206", they are no longer in service.

Yeah.. K19, very tragic story. When you served on a sub yourself, watching the movie is almost unbearable. You feel with your comrades, no matter what nation...

The satellite navigation was in its very early stages. The navigators had to take a 2 day class, just to be able to turn on that thing. The sub pulled a cable like antenna and we had to be close to the surface for it to work, and it wasn't very precise :-b

Those painting was awesome & you described the story well....

Many thanks to you for your friendly compliment :-)

What a story. I think I would feel quite claustrophobic in a sub more then an hour... Beautiful painting as always.

One gets used to it. Much bigger issue for me, that I got sea sick, when we had to stay surfaced in bad weather. Or trying to get some sleep and the Captain is in a "playful" mood :-b

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