Thursday, 4 October 2012

I let the boys use a big gun

Be afraid! Here are Thomas and Jonathan manning a gun on board the HMAS Castlemaine, a decommissioned navy minesweeper that saw active service in WW2. It's a museum now. It's berthed at Gem Pier in Williamstown, and you can look around on weekends. They let us on board today because they were between tour groups, and we looked interested. Now we know how they got rid of mines - they towed floats behind them, which had fins that made them veer off to the side. The rope had a cutting edge that would cut any mines free, and they would bob to the surface. Then the crew could take a shot at them from a distance. Ian, our guide, who served on this class of ship, told us sometimes the mines would go off too close to them, and rattle all the cups!
So take the kids to see the Castlemaine. If it can keep my grouchy 14 year olds engaged, it will be interesting enough for you!

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