Three students from Galston High School recently embarked on a life-changing voyage of the high seas as part of the Young Endeavour program. Students had to apply and then go through a rigorous interview process. These weren’t the only skills that resulted from the experience, as they explain:

Keenan: The experience threw us straight into uncomfortable situations and forced us to interact with new people, pushing our self-confidence. We were living with 26 strangers from ages 16 to 22 and from all around Australia. The eleven day trip was an amazing experience providing us with routine objectives each day. I was a part of white watch. A watch was a period of time when your group was in charge of looking after the boat. These were often during the night meaning sleep was very precious. I was sick when we first went to sea and this lasted about two days. Overall, my favourite thing had to be climbing aloft. First entering the ship I was scared of heights; excited and scared about the fact I knew we had to climb the mast of the Young Endeavour. I no longer have a fear of heights, after multiple climbs I performed, either tying or releasing the sails, sunrise climbs or just climbing for fun.

Harrison: During the voyage there were lots of times where you had to show your grit and had to work hard and rely on your watch. My example of this is on one of the stormy nights my watch had to furl (roll up) the sail as the winds were too strong for it; I remember working together heaving in on the rope, after we did it we were all tired but we had a sense of accomplishment. I have taken many things away from my time on board the Young Endeavour. I now have a greater sense of responsibility and understanding of how my role can affect others, I’ve learned how to work better as a team, I learnt what it’s like working when you are tired and under pressure which I believe will help me in the future and in the workforce. During the voyage, communication is key as if one member doesn’t know what to do it can cause problems for others so being able to communicate clearly and effectively was a skill that was enhanced during the voyage.

Paige: During the first 7 days we are taught everything in order to sail the ship on our own for 24hrs. These days were jammed packed with amazing tasks, games, competition and lots of laughs shared within our watches. This period is called Command day, were I was privileged enough to be elected Sail Master, where I took on the responsibilities of running a tall ship in hand with the Captain. With command day falling on my birthday I was even lucky enough to have pancakes for breakfast. For all three students, the highlight was sailing into Sydney Harbour. As Keenan explains, ‘…sailing back into Sydney Harbour my group was on the Topgallant sail which is the top sail. Being this high was amazing and was the best view of Sydney Harbour no amount of money could buy. The experience of sailing under the Harbour Bridge while firing the cannons and singing songs with my new mates whilst the sunset around us, will never be forgotten’.

Thank you to Bendigo Bank who sponsored 2 of the 3 students who attended.