I started sailing in 2012 in an international cadet, but on the August 22 this year I moved into something a little bigger for a couple of days – the Young Endeavour, a glorious tall ship with two masts and three yards.
I was completely blown away by the sheer size of it compared to my little 10-foot dingy. The Young Endeavour is currently making its way around Australia and I was lucky enough to be able to hitch a ride from Gove to Darwin in the Northern Territory. This involved 11 days on the boat and several days without setting foot on dry land.
This majestic tall ship is staffed and run by the navy but you don’t have to be part of the navy to sail her and she usually carries a youth crew of 24 lucky 16 to 24 year-old sailors. These 24 “youthies” are in charge of all the hard work on board, like climbing the mast or steering the surprisingly responsive helm. Together the staff and the youth crew sail the Young Endeavour from place to place and are currently circumnavigating Australia.
Not only was sailing on the Young Endeavour a fun and educational journey, I was given the opportunity to give back to the community. At the end of every voyage the crew hold a half-day sail where we invite people on board for the day who would otherwise be unable to sail her.
I was lucky enough to help hold and participate in a half-day sail for Down Syndrome Northern Territory, I had the opportunity to get to know some very interesting people as well as give back to the community while having the time of my life.
Sailing the Young Endeavour is a wonderful experience – not only is it fun but you also get to work as a team, become a leader and help those around you. Before my voyage I was nervous, but as it unfolded I became much more confident with who I am and what I know – I have been able to take away many life lessons from my voyage.
I would whole-heartedly recommend to everyone who is eligible to sail the Young Endeavour to give it a crack. I have had the time of my life and will never forget the fun I had climbing the mast and steering a boat of that size.
The Young Endeavour is a wonderful boat and is always full of interesting and vibrant people – and to be a part of her history, even if it was just for 11 days, is an honour I will always remember and be very proud of.
For more information about the Young Endeavour head to the website.