Australia’s national sail training ship STS Young Endeavour has crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in more than twenty years, arriving in Europe to participate in the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations and the International Tall Ship Races.
24 youth representing every Australian state and territory joined the Royal Australian Navy crew for the 47 day voyage from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, arriving in Cadiz, Spain on 3 April 2015.
As Young Endeavour approached the Spanish port, outdoor education teacher Sian Cameron sat on the bowsprit to appreciate her final hours on board, reflecting, “I have sailed over 5000 nautical miles from Brazil to Spain, crossed the equator, experienced the joy of visiting Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, and met 35 people who I’ve had the great privilege of living, learning, working and playing with for the last six weeks.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the adventure and reflection that this trip has offered me. The opportunity to sit and experience that moment off the coast of Cadiz will never leave me, and will always remind me how much of a positive impact the Young Endeavour experience has had for me”.
During Passage Two of the twelve month world voyage, the crew spent 38 days at sea and sailed more than five thousand nautical miles. Each spent at least 240 hours on the bridge helming, navigating and undertaking lookout duties, more than 80 hours on deck setting and furling sails, 40 hours cleaning the ship, four days assisting the chef in the galley, and countless hours watching whales and dolphins playing off the bow, climbing the 30 metre masts and singing sea shanties.
The weeks of training culminated in the youth crew electing a captain and taking command of the square-rigged tall ship from the Royal Australian Navy staff crew. The successful completion of the 48 hour command challenge off the coast of Morocco proved that these young Australians could work together to safely navigate the ship and manage all routines and duties – including cooking 216 meals – while sailing 200 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
On arriving in Spain, 19 year old student Vincent Russell said, “Prior to the voyage, I thought I may emerge as a different person, however I now realise that this has been an opportunity to learn more about myself and to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I am thankful to have been lucky enough to complete such a voyage with such an amazing crew, and I now look forward to the next adventure”.
During the twelve month World Voyage Young Endeavour will sail to Europe, Africa and the Americas, visiting 16 countries including Turkey, where the crew will participate in the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations. The ship will also represent Australia in the Sail Training International Tall Ships' Races – promoting international friendship, and furthering education and development for young people of all nationalities.
More than 200 youth will have the opportunity to join one of nine voyage crews as Young Endeavour circumnavigates the world for the first time in over twenty years.
For more information or to apply for voyages visit www.youngendeavour.gov.au.
– Jennifer Reilly/Department of Defence