Back to work!

by The Boatswain | December 28th, 2005

I’ve been blaming my goofing off on the holidays, but I’ve been lazy (and shopping!).
I mentioned that there were two old moored mines in the harbor that we needed getting rid of. There wasn’t much ship traffic to worry about and the native canoes (BANCA’s) drew so little water they could go right over them. Seemed like a simple job to destroy them. HAH!!!

The idea was to swim down, tie a line to the cable or chain that held them in their location, slide a fused block of C-2 explosive (like chunks of wax), go ashore and wait for the mine to float, then destroy it by hitting the horns with rifle fire.  (The mines were similar to the one pictured below, but older and with more horns.)

Well, we got a line on the cable and one of us stayed in the canoe while the other swam down, carefully, and did the job. Luckily the water was warm and clear as glass. When we had slid the C-2 down the line, we paddled like mad to shore and waited for the mine to bob up! We saw the water splash from the explosion, and then the mine burst up, fell back, and blew to pieces! YAHOOOOOOO! Success! Now for number two!

AGAIN, HAH! People came out of nowhere and dove in the water, launched canoes or threw nets because of the HUNDREDS of fish killed by the explosions and floating all over!!! Feast days, for sure! It was several days before we could continue and that time everyone was already waiting on the shore! This time we did have to use the rifles, but not much. Sure don’t know where all the fish came from, but there seemed just as many the second time! LOL!


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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.



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