The modern-day US Navy SEALs originated in World War II as Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) that provided hydrographic reconnaissance and underwater demolition of obstacles prior to any amphibious landing. The Navy UDT-SEAL Museum stands on the site where those first divers trained, at Fort Pierce, Florida, an hour’s drive north of Soverel Harbour Marina.
Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps
Suspended from the ceiling was a SEAL Delivery Vehicle. The flooded-design submersible is designed to delivers SEALs clandestinely for covert missions. The occupants are exposed to the water and breathe either through their own SCUBA gear or the SDV’s compressed air supply.
Looking into the cockpit of a Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R). The 33-ft boat has a beam of 9ft and draws only 8 inches at speeds up to 42 knots. This particular vessel logged 192 missions during 1050 hours and travelled over 3400 nautical along the Tigris River in Iraq between 2007 and 2008. SEALs always use the latest and best hardware they can get—we noted that the navigation software was Furuno NavNet vx2, state-of-the-art back on 2007.
The Mk V carries a crew of 5, plus up to 16 SEALs in seats specially-designed for maximum comfort and shock-mitigation in high seas or heavy maneuvering. With the roof removed, the vessel can actually fit, barely, inside a US Air Force C-5 Galaxy aircraft. With a second C-5 carrying the rest of the detachment and gear, the Mk V can be deployed within 24 hours of landing.
When the Apollo capsules splashed down, Navy UDT divers jumped from waiting helicopters and attached a floatation collar around the capsule to prevent it from sinking. They then opened the door, decontaminated the astronauts, and helped them safely be lifted out and into the helicopters. These are two of the mock capsules the UDT divers trained with.
Navy SEAL Chief Edward C. Byers was awarded the Medal of Honor for rushing into gunfire to shield an American hostage in Afghanistan. His name was being added to the SEAL Medal of Honor statue the day we were there. Only six SEALs have publicly received the Medal of Honor. Unfortunately, many SEAL missions are classified, so there can’t be a public award.
We finished the day with Happy Hour at Carmine’s Ocean Grill at our marina. We arrived shortly before a torrential downpour. We’ve been seeing a lot of thunder and lightning storms recently—time to head north.
Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.
On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.