September 18th last year, I embarked on the trip of a lifetime. I sailed from Darwin to Broome on the Young Endeavour, and it changed my life.
I'd never sailed before, never had the confidence to give it a try. I was going through a rough time at school and at home, so I wanted to take up a challenge that would motivate me to be a better person and grow in confidence. I'd always loved the sea, always wanted to be out on the water. I wasn't able to do that until I moved to the southern coast of Australia after growing up in the outback of Central Australia. That was early last year, and since then I have become involved in anything I could that had to do with the ocean and being physically active. Then I found the YEYS website, and I applied straight away. I was so keen to give sailing a try. And it was the most incredible time of my life.
I enjoyed everything about the voyage and the ship, but my favourite activities had to be seafurling, late night/early morning watches and definitely laying aloft. And it was all because of the great people I met, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people with whome to share this incredible opportunity.
Over the 12 days I made lifelong friendships, learnt some really cool skills in sailing, and became more confident in trying new things and just giving it a go. And I also took away a newfound passion to sail, and learn more about it.
After the voyage on YE, I rocked up at the local sailing club in Port Lincoln and asked to get involved. They're always looking for newcomers to join them, so they welcomed me into the club. After one ‘come and try’ day, I sailed with Cassie in her International Cadet a few times, then went to Tri-Series in Adelaide with her. I was invited to sail with Cassie in the Nationals in January but unfortunately the boat was too small for me as a crew. Since then, I have been sailing with Tom, who owns a 420 which is a lot bigger than a Cadet and also involves me out on the wire keeping the boat balanced.
This year, I joined my school sailing team, and this week we are heading to Adelaide to compete in the State Titles. Team sailing involves three pacer boats (two people per boat) working together to complete a course while using many strategies and tactics to beat the other team to the finish line. We train twice a week and club race on Saturdays which involves a lot of different types of boats (Cadets, Optis, Sharpies, 420s etc.).
I really enjoy both small boat and tall ship sailing, but nothing beats the thrill of climbing the mast of a tall ship and being part of a large group of people working together to sail the ship. When I leave school, I want to pursue a career in sailing, because for me, nothing can compare to it.
I'm currently in year 11 at school, and for my SACE Research Project I'm investigating how have tall ships have contributed to the development of Port Lincoln. This topic includes early exploration, the transport of cargo and passengers and most recently the benefits of tall ship training programs for young people. This has given me an opportunity to learn more about tall ships and their history.