Friday, October 28, 2011

A Great Day out in lovely Freemantle....

It is quite unbelievable but we have ended up in Perth the weekend of CHOGM.

Police seem to be stationed at every intersection between the airport and the city with their lovely white gloves on. Helicopters are flying above the city, monitoring 'situations' most of the day.

Talk of the Queen's activities are always on the airways....

All a bit exciting, but I don't think it will affect our 'sightseeing' activities here in Perth too much. We may even attend the picnic with the Queen on Saturday.....

We headed off to the lovely Fremantle today for some sight seeing action....boy she did not let us down. A busy, beautiful port is Fremantle.

We didn't meet the 'Freemantle Doctor' but we found a truly great place bursting with pride and history..

 The WA Maritime Museum was our first port of call and we were fortunate enough to go on board the decommissioned submarine 'HMAS Ovens' with one of its actual crew members, Richard, as our guide.

HMAS Ovens was built in 1967 (good year) and was decommissioned in 1995. She used to have 70 plus crew onboard. 

Lots of ammunition in the form of torpedoes to talk about. Apparently $160 million worth (in 1992). 

It was wonderful to listen to first hand accounts of how things worked, how they ate, how they went to the toilet, how they disposed of rubbish, how they could escape in an emergency, how they slept, how they had fun, where they stored their beer etc etc.

This is one of the 'escape routes' and 'escape suits'. 
The tiny little kitchen where the cook catered for the 70 plus crew.
4 meals per day, with 2 choices!!
Richard said the food was great!
These screens are used for missile launching.
They could even change direction of the missile after it was launched.
The steering wheel.
They took 1 hour shifts.
You had to take your pants off outside the toilet because the rooms were so small.
The engine room.
Sacrifices, hard work, not a lot of sleep, lots of training, cramped conditions, hard beds (with seat belts) were all normality to these highly trained and dedicated Sub-Mariners.....incredible people doing an incredible job keeping our country safe. Truly mind blowing stuff.

We also went on board a replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour which was fascinating to say the least.
Apparently this is the best replica of an historical ship ever built using the same techniques (no nails).

Some of the things we picked up from the volunteers:

Sir Joseph Banks paid a fortune to go on the expedition (more than 10 times the cost of the boat). He slept in a better room than Captain Cook but then had to sleep on the floor because he was to tall for his bed. He also took (2) dogs and 9 staff.

Captain Cook was firm but fair and treated his crew reasonably well. The 'cat of nine tails' was used for extreme disciplinary situations.

Just a little less than half the crew died of dysentery due to contaminated water taken aboard in Batavia (Indonesia) on the return voyage to England.

It was fascinating. The truly sad thing is that the real Endeavour was 'scuttled' off Rhode Island with (7) other ships during the American War of Independence to form a blockade to prevent the French fleet from entering the port. It still lays there today. Very sad!!

Phew! Big day out!
We all slept well last night!

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