SKATE USS (SSN-578)

Built as a nuclear submarine under yard no 147 by Electric Boat Co, Groton for the USA Navy.
18 July 1955 ordered.
21 July 1955 laid down.
16 May 1957 launched as the USS SKATE (SSN-578)
Displacement 2,590 ton surfaced, 2,894 ton submerged, dim. 81.56 x 7.6 m,
Powered by S3W nuclear reactor, geared steam turbines, two shafts, 6,600 shp (4,900 kW)., twin shafts, speed 15.5 knots surfaced, 18 knots submerged.
Armament: 8 – 21 inch torpedo tubes, 6 forward and 2 aft.
Crew 84.
23 December 1957 commissioned.

USS SKATE (SSN-578), the third submarine of the United States Navy named for the SKATE, a type of ray, was the lead ship of the Skate class of nuclear submarines. She was the third nuclear submarine commissioned, the first to make a completely submerged trans-Atlantic crossing, and the second submarine to reach the North Pole and the first to surface there.

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics on 18 July 1955, and her keel was laid in Groton, Connecticut on 21 July 1955. She was launched on 16 May 1957 sponsored by Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss, and commissioned on 23 December 1957 with Commander James F. Calvert in command.

Operational history
SKATE conducted shakedown training out of New London, Connecticut until 29 January 1958, when she cruised to the Bermuda operating area, then returned to her home port on 8 February. Sixteen days later, the nuclear powered submarine set a course for the Isle of Portland, England. Before returning home, she had also visited ports in France and the Netherlands.
On 30 July, SKATE sought the Arctic where she operated under the ice for 10 days. During this time, she surfaced nine times through the ice, navigated over 2,400 miles (3,900 km) under it, and on 11 August, 9:47 pm EDT (the week after USS NAUTILUS ) became the second sea ship to reach the North Pole. SKATE was unable to surface precisely at the Pole on the August voyage due to dangerous ice conditions as noted in the captain's 1960 book, Surface at the Pole: The Extraordinary Voyages of the USS SKATE, where Calvert said, "Seldom had the ice seemed so heavy and so thick as it did in the immediate vicinity of the pole. For days we had searched in vain for a suitable opening to surface in." The closest was to make radio contact at the surface from a polynya around 30 nm away, but not to surface fully owing to the risk of damage from ice. SKATE did manage to surface and make contact with Drifting Ice Station Alpha at 85ºN, 300 nm away.
After being denied access to visit Copenhagen in Denmark, she sailed into Bergen, Norway on 23 August. There she was inspected by king Olav V of Norway, US ambassador Frances E. Willis and minister of defence Nils Handal. The submarine made port calls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before returning to New London on 25 September 1958. In recognition of the dangerous and historic feat, the SKATE and its crew was given the Navy Unit Commendation award for "... braving the hazards of the polar ice pack...."
While the SKATE was unable to surface on its first voyage to the pole, on 17 March 1959, she became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole with Calvert describing the historic moment in his book, saying, "Slowly we blew the tanks and the SKATE moved reluctantly upward. It was apparent we were under heavier ice here than any we had experienced before." While at the pole, Calvert and the crew planted an American Flag in a cairn they built out of ice blocks and put a waterproof container in the cairn with a note commemorating the event. The crew also held a ceremony for the late Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins and committed his ashes at the pole. In 1931, Sir Hubert had conducted an Arctic expedition in the disarmed research submarine NAUTILUS (ex-USS O-12). After reaching the Pole, the SKATE continued its mission to pioneer arctic operations during periods of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating "... for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter...." In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, SKATE participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses.

SKATE returned to General Dynamics in January 1961 for a regular overhaul and to have her reactor refueled for the first time. She put to sea in August and, for the next 11 months, conducted exercises to increase the operational readiness of her crew.
On 7 July 1962, SKATE again set course towards the North Pole. Five days later, USS SEADRAGON , did likewise from Pearl Harbor. The two submarines made their rendezvous on 31 July. After meeting, they operated together for over a week. Both submarines surfaced at the North Pole on 2 August and official greetings and insignia of Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet and Submarine Force Pacific Fleet were exchanged.
SKATE returned to New London and performed fleet and local operations for the next several years. She entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 April 1965, the first nuclear submarine overhauled there, for nuclear refueling and installation of the SUBSAFE package. SKATE was the first submarine to finish this major conversion program, which was instituted after the loss of USS THRESHER in 1963. The process was not completed until September 1967.

After sea trials and a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, the submarine returned to New London and participated in exercises involved in the development of new undersea tactics and equipment.
In October 1968, SKATE was deployed to the Mediterranean where she operated with the Sixth Fleet for two months. The polar veteran operated under the Arctic ice again in March and April 1969, in October 1970, and in February 1971 . The remainder of her at sea time was spent in various Atlantic Fleet and NATO exercises. In July 1971, she began her third regular overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and did not return to New London until 17 November 1973. In August 1974, SKATE operated as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.

In late 1977, SKATE transferred to Pearl Harbor, where she joined the other three SKATE class submarines as a member of Submarine Squadron 7.

Decommissioning
SKATE was decommissioned on 12 September 1986, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 October 1986, and disposed of by submarine recycling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 6 March 1995.

Awards
SKATE received two Navy Unit Commendations and three Meritorious Unit Commendations during her career. The first Navy Unit Commendation was for the period 9–12 August 1958 and the second for the period 4 March through 6 April 1959. The Meritorious Unit Commendations were for the periods 24 March through 15 April 1969, 12 October through 18 November 1970 and 26 February through 9 March 1971. (Source – US Navy Unit Awards Webpage.)

Popular culture
SKATE appears in Tom Clancy's 1993 novel Without Remorse.
SKATE appears in the 1961 film, Parrish as the submarine upon which the title character is stationed.
The 1978 disaster film Gray Lady Down features a fictional SKATE-class submarine USS NEPTUNE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_SKATE_(SSN-578)
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CENTENARY OF PETER CAFE SPORT at HORTA

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CENTENARY OF PETER CAFE SPORT at HORTA

Postby aukepalmhof » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:09 pm

2018 Peter Cafe Sport MS.jpg
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2018 peter cafe sports.jpg
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Portugal issued four stamps and a miniature sheet for “Café Sport” in Horta, Azores, and one stamp has some ship models on it, while the MS shows pages of a visitor’s book which shows a sailing yacht. In the beginning of my seaman’s career (late 1950s) the ships stayed in port for a long time and you had time to go onshore, in the end loading and discharging were going so fast, you did not have any time for shore leave, or the berth was so far from town that it took many hours to reach it. I have never made a call at Horta, many times passing it.
Café Sport was well known by the early sailors but I think not many seamen are visiting it today and this bars are mostly visited by tourist and crews of visiting yachts.

The Portuguese Post gives by the issues:

About “Centenary of Peter Cafe Sport”
Something as comforting as a gin and tonic and a knowing smile in the middle of the Atlantic. It is more than that, of course. But if you ask someone to say the first thing that comes into their head when you mention Peter Café, in Horta, it isn’t hard to see how easily such a pleasant image becomes embedded. This vision becomes clearer as, like a boat ploughing through the ocean towards terra firma, we begin to hear the many tales of intimacy and spiritual comfort. Like the story of the origin of the name of one of the most charismatic establishments in Portugal. Peter was the nickname given, in 1943, to José Azevedo (1925-2005), son of the owner of the Café Sport, Henrique de Azevedo, by the commander of the Royal Navy’s H.M.S. LUSITANIA II (ex HMS CHANTICLEER built 1942), a way for the Briton to evoke the son he missed at home. The ship had anchored there in 1939, after having been hit by a depth bomb. The obliging boy who ran errands captivated the British crew. The name stuck and quickly spread around the island.
It was in 1918 that Henrique de Azevedo (1895-1975) opened the Café Sport, which still operates in the same building today, on Rua Tenente Valadim, moving the business established 17 years earlier by his father from the building next door. In 1901, Ernesto Lourenço S. Azevedo (1859-1931) established what could be considered the direct predecessor of the current Peter Café, when he opened, a stone’s throw from the harbour of Horta, the Azorean House, a varied enterprise, which added food and drink to the sale of traditional products of the region. Embroidery, lace, hats and wicker baskets, feather flowers and ‘embroidery anglaise’ were items that the family was already selling in the Bazar of Fayal Manufactures & Products, on Largo do Infante. In 1888, the products shown at the Industrial Exhibition in Lisbon were awarded a distinction. But the true cosmopolitan vocation of the shop came from its location. Horta was a strategic port for shipping fleets crossing the North Atlantic, among them those of the four foreign companies that chose the island of Faial as a base for planting their undersea cables.
This international spirit had always had an influence on the Café Sport, starting with the name – a direct reflection of the passion for sports cultivated by Henrique Azevedo, a footballer, rower and billiards player. This attitude revealed the British influence, as was the case with his particular fondness for gin and tonic, a drink that would become one of the symbols of the establishment. It was thanks to English clients that the spirit came to be sold there. The development of this taste even led, years later, to the local production of tonic water, since discontinued. The British sailors were excellent at enlivening the space, drinking, smoking, playing cards and dominos and fraternizing with the natives of Faial, people known for being easy to deal with and possessing a universal appeal. The Dutch joined them, from 1921, when they established a tug base to help the vessels of their fleet in case of difficulties in the oceanic immensity.
It was the Dutch who donated the blue and black paints, used in the maintenance of their boats, which came to adorn the outside of the café. But, like the British, they were also decisive in shaping the spirit of the interior, which, from the 1950s, began to mature when the development of yachting gave a definitive boost to the popularity of Peter Café, which, since the start of the 20th century, had been the place where much of sailors’ correspondence was sent, a convenience known as poste restante. More recent is the Peter Museum, opened in 1986 by José Henrique (b.1959), son of the man who made the café famous. In this upstairs space, there is an unparalleled collection of scrimshaw art, engravings and paintings on whale teeth. This is something that can be appreciated by all, including the sailors arriving in Horta on 18 June 2018, as part of the commemorative regatta for the centenary of the Café Sport, held in partnership with the Ocean Cruising Club.

https://www.wopa-plus.com/en/stamps/product/&pgid=46126
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