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  • Cheryl Osborne

Shipwreck Museum and "Deep Light" - from Richard's pen

It was a pleasant sunny morning as we descended Greenmount Hill and met the slow-moving traffic into Midland as we headed to Fremantle for the exhibition "Deep Light" at the Maritime Museum, where we found a parking spot right outside the impressive sandstone building. Directed to the theatre, we watched in wonder as, almost 2.5ks under the surface of the sea, the camera lit up sections of HMAS Sydney scattered on the ocean floor - engines, a lifeboat, interior spaces, deck infrastructure. Garden-like, parts of the wreck were encrusted in orange coral plumes and/or lichenlike growth and, poignantly, a lone boot sprouted a coral plume. 21ks away lay the remains of the raider HSK Kormoran, similarly scattered but not so encrusted - different grades of steel between the merchantman and the warship, we were told. It was a time of reflection as we were reminded of the tragic loss of life - 645 from the Sydney and 18 from the Kormoran - and pondered the futility of war and the loss of so many talented young men. Afterwards, we spent time viewing the many and varied exhibits, particularly those of the Batavia lost on the Abrolhos in 1629 and the many other Dutch ships wrecked on the cruel reefs of the West Australian coast. Once outside, we drove along the foreshore to a delightful, grassed, and shady picnic area at South Beach, where we tucked into our picnic lunches, generously supplemented by a box of hot chips from David and Carolyne. Conversation flowed, the "Fremantle Doctor" blew more strongly, it got chilly, time to head to the hills. It had been a very interesting and informative trip and we were reminded of how fortunate we are to live in the freedom and peace of Australia and enjoy its many blessings. Meg tinkling with th


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