Arnold-Forster Letter Transcripts

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April 6th 1902

My dear Father,

We dived in the dock again yesterday, and this morning we went out to Morecombe Bay in a tug, the submarine boat in tow of a steam launch. It was a fine day with a slight NE wind and slight swell remaining from the SW gale.

We laid down four small mark buoys the eastern ones being two miles apart, ready for an underwater run. It was rather a scramble getting on board the boat on account of the swell and her fat round sides, however we got in all right and got close to the first buoy when we filled the ballast Tanks and trimmed for diving. There were 11 of us in the boat, Captain Bacon, myself, Spence, one of our artificers and a torpedo instructor, 3 yankees and 3 of the firms people, one of the yanks in charge. We went ahead with the motor and dived all right but the depth gauge showed nothing although we were under the surface so we came up again and examined it, found it choked. After cleaning it we started again, dived and ran 2 miles at an average depth of 8 feet, Captain Bacon steering by means of the optical tube. We came up close to this last buoy and were afraid we had cut it in half.

Up to that time I had been understudy for the diving wheel. On the run back I worked the diving wheel for the first time and kept her at about 10 feet for two miles. It wants a lot of practice but once I had got her steady I found I could keep her running within a few feet of the depth ordered. I found it rather tricky to steady her after the first dive and towards the end of the run I got her on rather a steep angle which sent a bucket flying along the deck nearly upsetting Capt Bacon at the optical tube. We had lunch in the tug at about 2.30 and came in again, the trial having been very satisfactory. The oil engine has some new ailment which is to be put right tomorrow, and I expect we shall have a trial outside with that on Tuesday.

I hear they are putting 23 motors into the Ariadne so we shall be quite up to date.

I remain your affectionate son


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