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Oral History

History > Oral History > Sea Mines. Nurki. (Greek). A fascination with dynamite.

History > Oral History

submitted by George Poulos on 12.10.2004

Sea Mines. Nurki. (Greek). A fascination with dynamite.

[Tony Fardoulys is a Real Estate agent in Liverpool, Sydney, Australia. In the past decade he has travelled to Kythera every Kytherian summer. Town of origin: Ayia Pelagia. Parachoukli Alai. He recalls the following about sea mines].

Sea mines - are called nurki or nurkes (plural). They were big and round ....about 1½ metres wide. They had detonators every 7-8 inches ( 16 cm's). Many of them washed ashore in Kythera.

To immobilise them they were dragged out to shore. Kytherians would stand in the water up to shoulder height, and slowly unscrew all the detonators. Once there was no longer any chance of their exploding, the men would use chisels to cut them in half - like a watermelon.

They used to chisel along a seam in the mine, which ran from end to end. Inside was two tanks, and between the two tanks were all the explosives and detonators.

On either end were two plates - like steel caps - which were fastened with bolts. The men would unscrew those to gain access to the wires linked to the detonators.

When they obtained the cordite, they put it in jam tins to store it, and then used it to make small bombs with....usually for fishing.

The drum halves of the mine shells were often used as feed troughs for animals. For example to put hay in for the donkeys. These are still in use at Kalamitsi, near Ayia Pelagia for this purpose.

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