For those people turning up today to Hobart it would be a bit disconcerting to see the famous Constitution Dock empty of wooden yachts.
On the day prior to the Wooden Boat Festival the idea is that all boats due to be on display join in Friday's Parade of Sail. Sailing up the river Derwent all boats then enter into the pond to be placed into position for the four days of the festival.
I had the opportunity to join the Young Endeavour as it sailed with the massive wooden boat fleet from Kettering to Hobart.
The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is a not for profit organisation which provides young Australians with a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea. Its voyages increase self awareness, develop teamwork and leadership skills and create a strong sense of community responsibility amongst members of the youth crew.
The Scheme began when the sail training ship STS Young Endeavour was given to the people of Australia by the United Kingdom as a Bicentennial gift back in 1988. Since then, the scheme, in partnership with the Australian Government and the Royal Australian Navy, has provided challenging training voyages for over 12,000 young Australians aboard Young Endeavour.
Young Endeavour undertakes around 20 voyages each year, mostly along the east and south coasts of Australia. Each voyageincludes 24 young Australians – the youth crew – and nine specially trained Royal Australian Navy crew, usually for an eleven day adventure at sea.
Most of the youth crew for this voyage were second-timers, which is not usually permitted by the scheme. The wooden boat festival is a special occasion; with most cruises on the boat being eleven days, but the Tasmanian festival only a five day sail from Sydney, some first timers are given the opportunity to sail again for this trip.
Needless to say the crew that sailed Young Endeavour was well drilled and showing great camaraderie. It was a fun day and a delight to see such young people taking the challenges of sailing a yard arm yacht with gusto. As evidenced by their desire the full youth crew climbed the ratlines for the move into Constitution Dock for the delight of the shore-side onlookers.
I look forward to visiting some wooden yachts over the weekend and bringing them to you.