Submariners Association Of Canada East

Dolphin Code: LCdr Keith Nesbit

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 precised enough, surface ship simile known as the "Falcon Code" that originated sometime in the 1960's.
Historical Note: When he was CO of HMCS OKANAGAN, Keith Nesbit was responsible for developing the "Dolphin Code" as a Lieutenant Commander in 1975-6. During his tenure as C.O. 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 vernacular "Pandera Rosetta" whose animated figure of the "Pink Panther" is illustrated on the front of Okanagan's fin to this day. 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 St.Think about it! Wanna have fun? 

Once a Submariner, always a Submariner.

The Dolphin Code

The unofficial code used between diesel submarines and

surface ships engaged in exercises 

1. Your last surfacing procedure was:


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 will 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 practice 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 evasively as you wish.

12. I am 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 exercises because of difficulties with:

        a. Technical systems which are difficult to explain.

        b. Batteries/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. 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. Submariners 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. Your helicopter frightened me.

         a. Your helicopter didn't frighten me.

         b. I frightened your helicopter.

         c. I wasn't aware you had a helicopter airborne.

26.Thank you for your valuable assistance.

          a. Had assistance been rendered, I would have been thankful.

         b. No, thank you, I do not require assistance.

         c. Please do not render assistance. I require 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 have to stop the war.

31. The adverse weather is affecting us greatly - the movie projector 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 have only 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 out-drink your CO and XO.

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

49. Happiness is 500 feet in Force 10.

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.

54. D. B. S. F. W.

55. B. U. F. F. S.

56. P. P. P. P. P. P.

57. S. M. F.

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.

         e. The OPORDER.

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. Writers cramp.

         b. Typewriter unserviceable 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. RPC (Request the Pleasure of your Company) for:

         a. Noon cocktails.

         b. Informal operational discussion.

         c. Post-exercise punchup.

         d. Light meal and refreshments.

         e. Sarnies and sludge.

68. MRU (My Regrets, Unable) because:

         a. I am otherwise operationally committed.

         b. I am otherwise socially committed.

         c. Your last such event was disasterous.

         d. I am unable to maintain your pace.

         e. I don't want to come.

69. WMP (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. Disasterous, 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. Very well done.

         a. Well done.

         b. Well done, sort of.

         c. Not well done.

         d. Badly done.

         e. Very badly done.

         f. 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 S.O.B. 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

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