It has been a busy year for the Navy-operated Sail Training Ship (STS) Young Endeavour.
The 377 young Australians aged 16-23 who stepped aboard for one of 15 11-day voyages, helped sail the brigantine from Hobart in Tasmania as far north as Cairns in Queensland.
By stepping aboard, the youth crew accept the challenge of sailing a square-rigged tall ship and were taught by the Navy crew how to navigate, keep watch, cook in the galley, set and furl sails, climb the 30-metre mast and take the helm.
For the final leg of each voyage, they elect a captain and command team and sail the ship to her final destination.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Andrew ‘Kenny’ Callander, said the ship’s company had worked hard delivering the internationally recognised youth development program to young Australians.
“It takes a special group of people to take under their wing 24 young Australians from all walks of life every two weeks and teach them how to sail a tall ship,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.
“Not only do the young people develop sailing skills, they also learn a lot about themselves as they undertake an intensive youth development program.
“The crew has done a terrific job this year, supporting the young Australians through the program and keeping the brigantine ship-shape and sea-worthy.”
During 2019, a number of community groups enjoyed a morning under sail, including Down Syndrome NSW, Windgap Disability Services, Headspace, Scone Showstoppers and the Children’s Ward at the Princess Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
Young Endeavour took centre stage at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart in February, where she joined eight other wooden boats in a parade of sail before hosting public open days.
The ‘youthies’ on Voyage 12 enjoyed a particularly special morning, when Young Endeavour joined three other Australian tall ships and the Adelaide-class guided missile frigate HMAS Melbourne, escorting Chilean Navy tall ship Buque Escuela Esmeralda into Sydney Harbour.
With Young Endeavour now in her 31st year, maintenance remains a key priority, with the ship docked for almost three months getting her yards, boom and gaff refurbished, boat deck and bowsprit replaced and the hull scrapped.
More information on Young Endeavour can be found at www.youngendeavour.gov.au.