Can you hear me now?

Here’s something you don’t see every day in the paper….

Those who operate and listen to hydrophones in the San Juan Islands reported hearing some unusual sounds on Tuesday night.

Val Veirs, who operates hydrophones in the San Juan Islands, picked up odd sounds that he and his computerized monitoring system have never heard in at least seven years of operation.

As best as anyone can tell, the sounds consist of a human voice interspersed with loud sonar pings.

Meanwhile, Jeanne Hyde of Friday Harbor, a frequent listener to the online Salish Sea Hydrophone Network said she heard the sounds and began making phone calls.

“I contacted the Bellingham Coast Guard Station and they called back and said it was the Navy, and it was a submarine,” Hyde said in an e-mail. “This was sonar all night, up until the last I was listening until 4:30 this morning.”

Turns out, USS SAN FRANCISCO was banging main frame and using UWC during her Sea Trials and got picked up by a civilian hydrophone network.

Not surprising that she’s testing those systems, after having been in the yard for a better part of the last decade, and going on initial tightness dives. Those are, after all, the emergency comms methods should all hell break loose during the sea trials.

Still, pretty interesting that a) there’s such a thing as a civilian hydrophone network and b) it caught a sub…..

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