A ringing success: Kenn Reefs expedition, days 7 and 8

Lee Graham and his trusty tow-board. Image: Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation.

Lee Graham and his trusty tow-board. Image: Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation.

While the dive team was busy documenting sites KR10 and KR11 on the morning and afternoon of 14 January, the magnetometer team took advantage of the calm weather and sea conditions to run a survey along the outside of the entire Kenn Reefs system. The first area surveyed was along the outside fringe of the ‘foot and ankle’, with specific emphasis placed on detecting offshore components of known shipwreck sites (such as KR1, KR2 and KR4). Because sea conditions were calm, the team also ‘deployed’ Lee on a tow-board behind the magnetometer.

The tow-board (also known as a ‘Manta-board’) is a flat, hydrodynamic-shaped board with handles that is connected to a towing vessel with a length of line. The person using the tow-board grips the handles, is pulled through the water at low speed, and can visually search the seabed for shipwreck material. Most tow-boards are designed so that their users can turn, dive and ascend through the water column at will, simply by changing its orientation with the handles. Lee was positioned 10 metres behind the magnetometer in the hope he might be able to visually spot and identify any anomalies it detected.

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Kenn Reefs expedition, day four (continued) and day five

Silentworld Foundation CEO and project team leader John Mullen uses a metal detector to search for artefacts in shallows off Observatory Cay, while Jacqui Mullen (background) documents a find. Image: Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation.

Silentworld Foundation CEO and project team leader John Mullen uses a metal detector to search for artefacts in shallows off Observatory Cay, while Jacqui Mullen (background) documents a find. Image: Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation.

While the magnetometer crew conducted its initial search west of Observatory Cay, a second team embarked upon a metal detector survey of the cay itself and searched for evidence of survivor camps associated with the wrecked vessels Bona Vista and Jenny Lind.

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Restoring hope and a fishing boat called ‘Freedom’

With all the rain in Sydney recently, you could be forgiven for forgetting what blue sky looks like. But for the Lu family, who arrived in Australia in 1977 on the Vietnamese refugee boat Tu Do, the colour sky blue is forever etched in their memories as the colour of freedom.

After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, South Vietnamese businessman Tan Thanh Lu pooled resources with friends and built a fishing boat, Tu Do (meaning Freedom), to escape Communist Vietnam. Mr Lu painted the boat sky blue to blend into the ocean and to evade authorities and the notorious Thai pirates who preyed on boat people. Continue reading

Voyage Log: Wrap up Brisbane visit

The captain and crew of HMB Endeavour would like to thank the people of Brisbane for the overwhelming success our visit to your city has been.  We would like to thank the traditional owners of the land, the Jagara and Turrbal people, for conducting a welcoming ceremony for the ship and her crew.  It was a very moving experience which will stay with the crew for many years.  We would also like to thank the Lord Mayor for hosting a civic ceremony to welcome the crew to Brisbane, the Port of Brisbane for hosting Endeavour and Riverfestival for allowing the ship to be part of this wonderful annual event. 
 
Thanks to all who visited and all the volunteers

Thanks to all who visited the Endeavour in Brisbane and all the volunteers who helped.

Over the 5 days that the ship was open to the public, we averaged 1105 people through a day.  Without the help of our wonderful Brisbane volunteer guides, we would not be able to show the ship to the public.  Thank you for volunteering your time to share the stories of the original Endeavour, her people and the replica. Thank you to everyone who visited the ship, especially over the weekend, and patiently waiting in line for tickets.  Your support and contribution keeps Endeavour sailing, in order that we can fulfill the Australian National Maritime Museum’s commitment to sail the ship to all Australian states over the next few years