(For further information regarding Endeavour invovement with the surface buoy deployment please click the above link.)
It had been some time in the making.
Having but whetted her appetite by tasting the morsels of (Alas! Curtailed!) voyage seasons in the past few years under the flag & guardianship of the Australian National Maritime Museum, & yearning to take to her element once more, Endeavour was meticulously prepared to set out on what is to become her longest voyage since the beginning of the last decade: A circumnavigation of the Australian continent, no less!
Recognising the potential of this voyage, the ANMM explored the possibility of Endeavour joining the Voluntary Observing Fleet of Australian vessels, collecting & communicating meteorological observation data to the database of the Bureau of Meteorology during her times at sea. The first test observations were sent on 13 April 2011 & Endeavour’s officers have since submitted in excess of one hundred observations to BOM.
What started out as the rather simple task of collating & submitting weather observations soon grew into something altogether more interesting & involved, putting Endeavour back into the field of scientific exploration & survey like her earlier incarnation almost two hundred and fifty years ago, albeit on a very much humbler scale:
Endeavour was to deploy surface drifting buoys into the Hiri and Leeuwin currents, adding to the global network of approximately 1500 active and trackable surface buoys that is managed by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To delve into the scientific depth of this program is far beyond Yours Truly; you will find online links to appropriate web sites contained in a copy of our deployment instructions at the end of this text.
Suffice to say that, in the grey & overcast early hours of Monday, 11 July 2011, Endeavour reached the area of deployment, a stretch of ocean in the Coral Sea to the east of a line marked by the co-ordinates of 14°S/ 145°30’E & 13°S/144°20’E.
In the lead-up to the deployment of the first buoy & while discussing the ins and outs of this particular deployment, one of our supernumeraries, Mr Frank Mills suggested that, in the light of deploying the two buoys into the Hiri current & hence into the Gulf of Papua Gyre, it was but fair & reasonable to name the buoys in the Motu language of the Hiri people of coastal Papua New Guinea & given the task to produce such names he put forward upon reflection the name “Manu” (bird of the sea).
The buoys were named Manu 1 & Manu 2 respectively only minutes prior to their deployment. Manu 1 was sent on its way by Mr Mills at 0700 in position 13°20.5’S/ 144°44’E, followed by its identical twin Manu 2 thirty minutes later in position 13°18.7’S/ 144°41.7’E, launched off Endeavour’s rough tree rail with but a gentle shove & kind words of blessing from Mrs Kay Jaumees: Endeavour had completed her mission, rounding in her braces & shaping a course for Second Three Mile Opening, there to slip once more into the confines of the Great Barrier Reef, only twenty hours after allowing her and her longing crew to taste & roam the freedom of the rolling & blue waters of the open ocean; Alas! It had to end. But THAT is a different story.
By Chief Officer, Dirk Lorenzen