Is this your first time aboard the U.S.S. William H. Bates at the SSN-680.org website?
If so, there are a few things you need to know. First, you're dink. Get hot, get qualified, and don't expect to see sunshine until you pin your dolphins on. Sound familiar? Well, I'm not your sea-daddy, but there really are a few things you need to know.
One, you need to REGISTER - that tells us who you are, how you are connected with the Bates, and a gives us a way to contact you. We have a routine newsletter that goes out once or twice a month, so make sure you are signed up for it when you go through the registration process. We in the submarine community are pretty fussy about posers and pretenders, submarine life being a pretty good filter for those sorts of things, so we ask you use your real name and contact information. If we decide you're not being straight up with us, your access will disappear faster than a water slug.
To register, use the tab in the upper right corner.
Everyone is welcome, former crew members, family or relatives of crew, friends of crew members, and even people who are just interested in life in submarines in general. But you do have to register.
Registering gets you access to many features on the site. Think of registration like qualifying submarines. Until you're qualified, you can't touch anything. But once you pass your board, life gets easier, and a whole lot more fun!
When you respond to the confirmation email that completes your application AND we authorize your registration (sorry for the delay, but it prevents malicious attacks on the site), you will be able to LOG IN. To log in, use the tab in the upper right corner.
Once you are logged in, you can start exploring and reconnecting with old shipmates.
On the Quarterdeck, you'll find the Deck Log, a guestbook where you can comment on the site.
We have a Ship's Office, where you can read the "P.O.D." for news, current happenings, and site information. You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions there as well as Links to other sites. There are archives of the P.O.D., the 1MC, and all the Familygrams that have been sent out.
If you show up for Quarters, you can check out the Master Sailing List, and the lists of Registered Crew Members and other users. Take a look at the Missing Shipmates list and if you know of someone not listed that hasn't registered, you can add him to the list or use the Contact Us page to let the Missing Shipmate Coordinator know what you know.
Swing by the Crew's Mess and jump into the conversations in our forum, the Scuttlebutt, where you can discuss just about everything. Submit your own sea stories in our cleverly titled Sea Stories section. (Request authoring status from the Administrator, and keep 'em clean, please, this is a family site!)
Relive the 'salad days' of long deployments and exotic foreign ports. Examine embarrassing photographs of yourselves on liberty years ago, along with a spectacular photo history of the nuclear powered fast attack submarine, the U.S.S. William H. Bates, in all her glory in our Up Scope photograph section, and submit your own photos in the Crew Gallery.
Render Honors to shipmates on Eternal Patrol, the Ship's Awards, past Leadership, and Honorary Crew Members. Check out Reunion plans and revisit past reunions. Like the old boat herself, we have a Logroom where you can find Archives of boat related articles, and a history of the old girl herself.
One thing we learned on board the U.S.S. William H. Bates was that the sailors that served on board were part of a closely knit and elite community. We have carried that thinking in the SSN-680 website with features designed to help build, restore, and maintain that sense of community.
So second, check the Current Watchsection, find yourself, click on your name, and UPDATE YOUR PROFILE. It gives you tools to connect with other former shipmates, to communicate easily, and to keep track of friends and shipmates.
Third, this site is a work in progress. You'll find places that aren't finished or are missing, so be patient, things change quickly. If you think of anything that is missing, or have some ideas about what should be included, contact the Administrator, and let us know. Oh, and watch out for missing deckplates.
Fourth, check out the Frequently Asked Questions, the FAQs for help in finding your way around. Don't forget the links to other Bates sites, submarine sites, and the sites of our sponsors.
Finally, this place is for you. You are encouraged to participate - write articles, post on the forums, mark up the guestbook. Have fun - enjoy the photos - find old shipmates, and most of all, never forget that we were part of that great adventure, the U.S.S. William H. Bates.