Currently at anchor 1nm to the east of St Helens (Isle of Wight) and experiencing light-moderate SW winds with nil swell. Current temperature is 12 degrees.
Welcome to day 50 and the last night of our voyage, well not really as the majority of the World Voyage Crew will be sleeping onboard tomorrow night before departing the Ship for the last time on Sunday morning.
This morning everyone had a little sleep in before rising for breakfast at 0700 then morning brief at 0900. For most of us Staffies it was a late night because we didn’t end up anchoring off St Helens (Isle of Wight) until 0130 this morning so as usual not many of us had much sleep.
Following morning brief everyone put in some hard work at cleaning stations, polishing the brass work, rust removal and finally rigging the awning. By the end of this great team effort the Ship really did look good and will look fantastic when we sail into Southampton tomorrow morning.
With all of this work complete the World Voyagers made themselves a picnic lunch then were ferried ashore to the small sea side Township of St Helens where they enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours exploring a very small part of the Isle of Wight. By 1600 everyone was back onboard and following an early BBQ dinner all of us enjoyed a little time to ourselves so that we could have a short rest or catch up on those domestic chores like doing some washing.
Later this evening we will all gather at midships and the World Voyagers will screen a slideshow of photo’s taken throughout the voyage. This is one of the tasks which is left from the Command Period and always proves to be a ‘hit’ on the last night of the voyage. On completion of this activity I will present all of the World Voyage Crew of Passage Four with a Certificate of Achievement for their fantastic efforts during the past 51 days.
Overnight everyone will stay in their watches so that they can conduct ‘End of Voyage Talks’ with their Watch Leaders and make the most of this final night at anchor together.
Tomorrow morning it will be an early start as we have to weigh anchor by 0630 so that we can pickup our Pilot at 0645. Once the Pilot is onboard we will enter the Solent and conduct our long passage up to Southampton berthing for the final time for this voyage at 1000. Hopefully if we have some wind we will manage to set some sail along the way and we will make our normal grand entry into harbour with all of the World Voyage Crew manning the Yards.
Once alongside we will put harbour furls on all of the squares then set up for tomorrow evenings ‘Sundowner’ function were we will host a number of guests including the ships designer Mr Colin Mudie and a number of the ships original delivery Youth Crew. I’m sure that it will be a great night and a fitting way to farewell the World Voyagers of Passage Four who have been a fantastic Crew.
For some of us Staffies we have now been away for 174 days and once we have the Ship safely in Southampton it will be time to take a break. I for one will be taking 3-4 weeks leave before coming back to Captain the Ship for the second half of the World Voyage and a number of the other Staff will be taking well earned breaks. The Ship itself will be going into a four week maintenance period so like me it will be ready to sail again in mid July.
It continues to be an honour to be the Captain of Young Endeavour and I am extremely proud of the Staff Crew who give so much to this amazing ship and the program we so passionately run. Since the Ship was gifted by the people of the United Kingdom and Ireland back in 1988 this is the first time that she has returned and for all of us it is wonderful feeling to bring her home.
Anyway enough from me, hopefully while I have been writing this the World Voyagers have also been writing their final Captains Log which I am sure you will enjoy. I will attach it when finished.
Until next Voyage, Take Care
Captains Log 12 June 2015
It seems like yesterday, and at the same time several lifetimes ago that 24 almost-complete strangers arrived on the 24 of April 2015 outside the Kalyon Hotel in Turkey, with a single thing in common: all were World Voyagers about to step aboard the STS Young Endeavour and sail her from one end of Europe to the other. Some of us had already met each other and travelled together prior to this point, but this was the first time we had gotten together as a complete group. But by the end of the voyage we all felt like one big family, having travelled together a total of 3740.5 nautical miles, which equated to around 1176 hours, visited nine ports and transited through 15 seas, channels and straits.
The first night aboard the ship in Cannakale was rather crowded as we still had on board the 24 World Voyages from the third passage, who had delivered the ship from Cadiz, Spain. It was a privilege to be able to share the ANZAC Centenary with the off going crew. So all 48 of us (plus staffies and dignitaries found a little corner of the ship to curl up in as the night grew colder some found themselves asleep in the café or sharing bunks throughout the night; whilst the others found themselves curled up together on the upper deck. Midships looked all too similar to a pile of puppies that night.
It was all worth it as those aboard witnessed the sun rising over ANZAC Cove. It was a surreal experience to be a part of the Naval Flotilla, saluting the memory of our fallen soldiers on the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.
It had not quite sunk in for many of this passages World Voyagers that they were actually standing on the Young Endeavour at one end of the Mediterranean, about to live aboard and crew her for the next 49 days.
The following six days involved exploring Cannakale and the surrounding countryside, including a tour of the Gallipoli Battlefields, and returning to Istanbul for more sightseeing and our first of several ‘Sundowner’ functions. It was here that we ‘lost’ our first Staffy, Adam. This was to occur twice more (with Jen in Volos and Kenny in Gibraltar) – not our fault we promise and we certainly didn’t make them walk the plank!
Finally we were able to sink our teeth into the sailing part of things, as we made the short transit across to the Greek city of Volos, one of the largest cities in the region. The Greeks made their appreciation of our arrival very visible, with water cannons, a flotilla of vessels complete with horns and welcome signs in semaphore (flags), all trying to outdo each other and a very excited media team.
It was from this point onwards that the days started to run into each other and we settled into life at sea, interrupted several times by visits to ports such as Valletta (Malta), Gibraltar (UK) and Spain, Portimáo (Portugal), Morgat (France) and the Isle of Wight (UK). On board, we learned the essential skills for keeping the ship and all crew aboard safe such as how to set and furl sails, lay aloft (climb the masts), helm (steer), navigate, keep watch and help Chef Jenko out in the galley.
Life was certainly very different to a standard day for a landlubber and presented many different challenges. For some it was the height of the masts or the length of the footropes. For others it was the realisation that there were going to be feeding the fishes far too regularly for their liking (staffies were not immune from this affliction). For yet others, it was how to stay awake during watch hours, when any sane person would otherwise be asleep, on a limited amount of sleep. But once we hit the rougher swells closer to the Gibraltar and in the Atlantic, all found a common challenge: that of staying upright – both above and below decks.
And away from WiFi, mobiles and other everyday concerns, simple things in life were enjoyed. From watching a sunset, or a pod of dolphins, to having a pool party on deck with a fire hose, and standing at the bow getting absolutely drenched as the ship crashed through the waves.
We head into Southampton tomorrow, taking the ship back to where she was built for the very first time after 28 years and meeting the designer himself Mr Colin Mudie, a real honour for those youthies who’ve gained so much from her voyages . But for now, the night is for reflection on what we have achieved, what we will take from this voyage, and what an absolutely incredible once in a life time experience and opportunity this has been. 50 days of sailing Europe East to West, attending ANZAC Day and getting the royal treatment everywhere we went is something we will all treasure forever.
We thank you for taking this voyage with us, in spirit if not in person. It has been a journey that will shape us all in some way or another in life. Young Endeavour really is about the journey and not the destination. May you all forever have fair winds, following seas and safe passages.
Nik, Mitch and Zach on behalf of World Voyage 04/15 signing off for the very last time on this day June 12th 2015.
If you’re reading this log and are in the age bracket suitable to apply for a Young Endeavour voyage, you should apply! Do it! Do it now! Life is for the living! Thank you to everyone who made this voyage a possibility for me! – Ann
A very special shout out for the last time to all my family and friends, especially to my gran, hope you start feeling better soon. Also, a big thank you to all the staff of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme for making these voyages possible. Cheers, Ailesh
Over the past few weeks I had the privilege of getting to know some pretty extraordinary people, everyone on this trip has a very special place in my heart and they will never be forgotten. They have taught me many lessons about myself, other s and life in general. I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity to come aboard again and it is one that I will cherish forever. These past few days it has been hard knowing that this amazing trip is coming to a close but I have come to realise to not be sad because it is over be happy because it has happened. - Mon
So it’s the last day before the end of the voyage and that as a returnee, it has been an absolute privilege to come back onboard the Young Endeavour. I wasn’t selected for the Main Round offers, but was offered the V04/15 Cannakle to Southampton with only four weeks notice. At the time of the offering, I almost turned down this voyage because of other commitments; however circumstances permitted me to participate. Even as I spent the first night, I wondered what I got myself into and at times, had felt a little low. However, the highs and lows are part of any adventure and everyone, regardless of what they are doing are going to experience it. Being there for the Centenary of ANZAC Day, being on the ship heading towards ANZAC Cove, which both Australians and New Zealanders did, in very different circumstances 100 years previously, is something that writing or showing videos can never fully capture. But to me, the return to the Young Endeavour was about completely throwing myself out of my comfort zone, specifically climbing heights. I was never a fan of heights and aside from adjusting the positions and pulling ropes, climbing is a very big part of sailing and it took several attempts to climb to the topgallant, which was 30m in the air and needed a bit of basic acrobatics to climb. However in the Bay of Biscay during Command Day, I finally did it and not once felt scared. My objective had been completed and that I can leave the ship knowing that I had fulfilled a contract that I made with myself and my watch at the start of the voyage.
So to wrap up, for those who didn’t get the main round offers but get a call up for one, do it regardless if you have done it before or not. Learning to sail does change you, especially when you are doing it for 50 days (like this voyage) because you realise that you are so much more capable of doing anything and when you get off, you know that most problems won’t seem so significant. Don’t settle for whatever you are doing and turn it down. Two important lessons I’ve learned is “Life begins where your comfort zone ends” and “You can regret things that you haven’t done, but you can’t regret things you have done”. You may not feel changed the moment you finish the voyage, but a staffie onboard whom I was with previously who expressed concerns about my return was blown away by the changes I made in the 5 year absence and I didn’t at all set out to prove anything. I hope this has helped returnees and newbies decide on taking their next voyage and as the ship’s motto goes, Carpe Diem; Seize the Day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMSIE! I hope you had a ripper of a day! I was thinking of you lots today and how I can’t wait to show you all my photos and share all my stories with you! Who would have thought 50 days at sea has past! Yikes – time certainly flies by! I look forward to seeing you soon! Lots of love Al xox.
Hey everyone! This voyage has been the trip of a lifetime, I have made friendships that will last well into the future, experienced the world from a unique point of view and most importantly, had the privilege of sailing Australia’s Sail Training Vessel across the length of the Mediterranean, visiting some incredible and rarely visited ports along the way. The Young Endeavour Scheme is second to none as a leadership and communication program and I can only encourage each and every young Australian to apply for an experience you will not regret and never forget.
Hey to Mum, Dad, Tess, Sheila and everyone else back home, thinking of you all and can’t wait to get back to Aus and bore you all with photos and videos of the past few weeks. Hope you haven’t been missing me too much, sorry I haven’t called much Mum. Gotta go, Love you all, Mitch.
Heyo, Yak here, Just letting everyone know that this has been the best 50 days of my life so far and has set the bar extremely high for future endeavours and adventures. I’ve met the most amazing people and been to the most incredible places. Both staff and other crew members have inspired me to live and get out into the world and enjoy every moment of it. I’ve also come to realise that sometimes you just have to take a step back and appreciate all that is going on around you. I write to all those out there who wish they could experience some of the things we have on our voyage, take experiences like Young Endeavour when you have the chance , you’ll have no regrets and like I have, have a blast. To all my family and friends, if you’re on your butt, get up and get out, go on an adventure and have fun. I love each and every one of you and I’ll be home in a couple of weeks! Love Jacob xoxo
G’day all, not a shoutout to my family or friends today (although I love ya all) but rather to all the staffies onboard and all the folks working behind the scenes on Young Endeavour. It’s been mentioned several times already – this was truly the adventure of a lifetime and I feel so honoured and privileged to have been a part of it. Many, many thanks to everyone who made it possible. Fair seas and wind in your sails, Able Seaman Doyle.