Ah, shipmate, now you're discussing my area of expertise. I don't know as much about the surface, but I do know about submarines. First of all, what makes you think it was an SSBN? You can't distinguish SSN from SSBN/SSGN just from the periscope. I couldn't, and I'm Qualified in Submarines. So you definitely could not.
ok, You don't realize how quickly we can go deep. Here is a video that shows an SSBN going from surfaced to submerged in about one minute:
YouTube video of SSBN submerging
That's a normal submergence process; if the OOD sees a surface ship too close while looking through the periscope he can call "EMERGENCY DEEP!" and the boat will go deep FAST. Much faster than in the above video, especially since they would already be submerged at PD.
So, trust me, as a submarine veteran, you were in no danger here. Assuming what you saw was actually a submarine transiting at PD, the OOD knew exactly what he was doing. We're trained to do that, and we are elite units.
(I would also point out the discipline of that submarine crew and the lack of "pandemonium" aboard. I have never served on a surface ship, so I don't know what their bridges are like, but on submarines, even though we are a lot more "laid back", in many respects, than the surface, when it comes to the Control Room, people are quiet and make as little unnecessary conversation as possible. Like I said...elite units.)
But look...the way you guys do things in the Merchant Marine and the way we do it in the Navy are going to be different. We have different missions, ok? You might say right now "oh I would have done this" or "I would have done that", but if you're actually the OOD on a Naval surface combatant, you might not do it that way. You would instead do it the way the Navy does. And the way the Navy does things might not work for a civilian container ship, just like the way the container ship does things might not work for a Navy Destroyer.
Having said that...obviously both ships made mistakes in this USS Fitzgerald incident. Both of them should have seen each other, both of them should have been able to take the appropriate actions to avoid collision.
lol....look, Submarine operations are classified. We don't say that to be flippant. I really do mean SUBMARINE OPERATIONS ARE CLASSIFIED. Or as one of the instructors in Submarine Sonar "A" school said, "guys, this isn't a movie. We really DON'T want other countries to know this stuff."
They aren't going to tell you, "oh yes, there was a submarine transiting by the port of Los Angeles while submerged. They were on a counter-terrorist mission. Here's all the details: they were headed south to hunt a ship which we believed to be carrying a nuclear weapon, in order to prevent terrorists from smuggling it onto US soil. That ship was located 300 nautical miles southwest of Los Angeles, traveling at 15 knots on a heading of 060 degrees. We always tell civilians exactly what submarines are doing, because that would not put our national security in any danger. After all, what we're doing is not that important. And of course, we need permission from random Merchant Mariners, since they know more about Naval operations than the Navy does." lol
lol...Yeah, they're not going to tell you, man. Assuming the Command you called even knew. That's like calling the nearest Army base to complain about how a Delta Force member didn't use his turn signal on the highway, and trying to get his contact information so you can sue him, and expect they're going to discuss it or acknowledge that he's Delta Force.
I missed out on meeting with a woman I knew in college because of submarine secrecy: she wanted to know if we were going to go into San Diego, and if so, what date and time, because she was interested in meeting up. I told her I can't tell her because it was classified information. I knew we were going into San Diego, and I knew when...but it was classified.
Let me put it this way...if someone asks me if I know anything about the Russian submarine Kursk, all I am allowed to say is "as a matter of national policy, the United States Navy does not discuss submarine operations".
Hence the phrase "the Silent Service". (well, that and other reasons.)