Welcome to day 45 of the Voyage. We have safely arrived in Cadiz and I know that I said last night was the final Log for this voyage but I was wrong again!! . I was reminded by the lovely Sian that she still had one final entry for Passage Two’s World Voyage Captains Log and I wasn’t going to deprive her of having the final word. Sian is an amazing lady who has contributed so much to this voyage and she has continued to do more by writing this Log. Please enjoy the final log for this voyage beautifully written by Sian.
Until next voyage, take care
And so it is… over but never to be forgotten. 46 days of life on a vessel that has offered each WV (World Voyage) individual onboard a very different journey – but one that we all set off for together, and one that sees us now in Cadiz, together still but in a very different way. A very deep way, some staffies may say.
Thanking people who have held you up, pushed you, taught you, laughed with you, encouraged you and challenged you is never easy. Words are words, and in many ways, they never mean enough. However a final log would not be complete without expressing genuine and heartfelt thanks to the people that make life aboard the ship functional and the learning environment so rich.
To our watch leaders and assistant watch leaders who work shifts with us throughout the days and sometimes-long-nights; Lauren, Kenny, Jodie, Lindsay, Tenielle and Taffy. We appreciate every moment we had with you on the bridge, every conversation, every load of washing, every brew, every cheeky mint slice/zoopa-doopa, every piece of advice and encouragement. Even when we weren’t at our best, your dedication to the position and to us all as individuals was monumental. It’s often said that a Watch Leader is the best role to have on the ship; from our perspective, it is undoubtedly the role that has the vastest and most positive influence on our experience as WVs. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
To the most high-energy man I know, whose role on the ship as Sail Master sees him managing the plans for our day and maintaining overall responsibility for our development; Dion. When we met Di in Rio, his enthusiasm was infectious and when stuck in a 2hr traffic jam amid Carnival revelers, he was the man you wanted by your side. Thank you Di for sharing yourself, your kindness, your inspiring perspectives on life and your seemingly-endless knowledge and passion for the Young Endeavour Scheme and ship. You are the kind of man that makes you want to run away and join the circus – because with his encouragement and positive outlook on life, he makes you feel like you are capable of anything. And I guess we all are. Much love to you!
To the ‘Big Cahoona’; Captain Gav. Thank you for trusting us with your ship, a vessel that we know you love dearly! More than that – thank you for instilling in us an example of a calm and astute manner of leadership. In observing your patience and diplomatic approach to Captaining the Young Endeavour, we’re able to see how you successfully develop not only the WVs but your incredible crew for a successful staffies future. Best of luck on the year ahead around the other side of the globe. Cheers to you, dear Capitano!
To the Navigator (who I know never guesses) who sailed us safely into Cadiz amidst pea-soup fog; Matt. Ever the joker on the bridge or in the chart house, thank you for maintaining your light-hearted persona throughout what was at times, a trying voyage. Difficult weather and extensive legs of travel required you to often alter course/plans and it was always with a smile that you shared our progress or explained how to go about the various navigation exercises. Thank you for getting us the long way across the Atlantic (virtual hug time - 3,2,1 – out).
To the Watch Officer extraordinaire who says little but says it very well; Sandy. Thank you for bringing another version of humor to the bridge; be it with water pistols, balls, during a push up competition or just throwing out a few heaves between fixes. Your genuine interest and knowledge in sailing was second to none and we can’t thank you enough for making the information so accessible and relatable to all. Your regular stints as the Salty Sea Dog were greatly appreciated and enjoyed (though feared). We hope you gained pleasure in putting them together as much as we sometimes enjoyed hearing or viewing them! Kindest thanks to you!
The creator of all things edible; Aaron. Thank you A-Aron for so many things throughout this voyage. Obviously your meals bring people together and become the morale-booster that is often needed when seas are rough or people are sleepy. Your persistence in the confines of the galley don’t go unnoticed and we thank you for withholding the cups early on to ultimately teach us respect for your mini workspace! You offered us so much more than food though, and particular enjoyment and comedy was gained from your facial hair sculpting. Best wishes and adventures to you in the future!
To a man who hobbled for the first chunk of the voyage but made up for his early absence in the later stages; Shaun. Thank you for sharing your Engineering expertise with so many of the WVs. There was never a time when a WVs question went unanswered or their involvement in ship’s engineering went unenthused. Your love of your job is evident and we thank your for sharing it with us. Happy sailing ahead and thank you.
To the staffies who reside back in Australia and supported this journey from afar; thank you all. We barely know the extent of the logistics and planning that allowed 24 of us to arrive at a hotel in Copacobana Beach, Rio De Janeiro and dock in Cadiz, Spain 5000nm away whilst stopping over in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands along the way. Whilst you may miss the interaction with the WVs in a face-to-face sense, please take this little note as a tiny thank you from us all to say this – thank you for supporting the youth of Australia to reach their potential aboard the Young Endeavour. Your work means that this World Voyage went from an idea on-the-ground (or is it sea…) to a real-life event. We’re all so thankful to have your backing.
And finally in the thank you category, I’d like to add some other ladies and gentlemen who arrived with backpacks, bags and suitcases to a glorious beachside location 46 days ago. To the World Voyages from Voyage 2, 2015; thank you for sharing your big adventure in such a beautiful way. Thank you for being true and honest examples of yourselves. Thank you for your friendships – big and small. Thank you for never getting so low that a hug/roll of the ship/new nutella jar/gorgeous sunset couldn’t always fix any problem. Thank you for allowing everyone on board to have their own experience, opinions and beliefs in whatever way they wanted. A great woman I know says that people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Thank you to every World Voyager for being a part of my life.
I’ve been incredibly grateful of the reflection that this trip has offered me. I have never taken the people in my life for granted and yet this trip has clearly recaptured for me the love I have for each of them. On day one of the voyage I decided to take a full ‘break’ from my life outside the YE – no emails, texts, calls between me and the outside world. I did it for no reason other than to take advantage of the limited opportunity we are given to ‘switch off’ in today’s life. Whist it didn’t stop me regularly talking and thinking about the amazing people in my life, the old adage of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ (though clichéd) could not be more fitting for this little exercise. I challenge you to have a go yourself; turn your phone off for a weekend, go for a walk sans electronics, temporarily disable your Facebook account. Discover the quiet that comes about when you remove the non-vital distractions around you. Let yourself enjoy it. I guess it’s just called being present. And I’ve loved it.
I had my first and only little cry on Day 44 of our voyage as we relaxed in the waters close to Cadiz. It was a glorious day, one of the sunniest and flattest we’ve had for a few weeks and I took myself out to the bowsprit to just sit and enjoy. And I lost it. I was overcome by the immense experience I’ve had. I can’t tell exactly if it was the fact I can now say I have sailed over 5000nm from Brazil to Spain, the joy of the ‘bonus’ stops in Cape Verde and Canary Islands, the 35 people I’ve had the great privilege of living, learning, working and playing with for 6 weeks, the chance to put my life on hold and jump at this big adventure or if it was remembering the enormity of the past 18 months in my life which has contained the greatest change, tragedy, loss and love I’ve ever known. Whatever it was, the opportunity to sit and experience that moment will never leave me – and always remind me how much of a positive impact the Young Endeavor experience has been for me. An opportunity to gain clarity I didn’t know I needed. And I have no doubt each of our WVs have a similar moment to tuck in their pockets for posterity. Sometimes the greatest things aren’t really things at all. (Sorry – not my quote but I can’t remember who’s it is…!)
As with many big experiences in peoples’ lives, it is often the support network that you leave at home that requires credit and thanks for getting you to where you are. So as the Bluey’s mentioned in the log a few night’s ago – thank you to the families, friends, partners, workplaces and universities that have allowed the WVs to come along on this trip. Be it from a perspective of financial support, emotional support, academic exemptions, release from personal or professional commitments, leave without pay or a wonderful partner simply understanding the need for their other half to have an adventure – thank you. Two words that, when you really mean them, don’t ever mean enough.
And while we’re thanking people, I’ve expressed our appreciation to the Navy staffies previously however they have supporters too. The staffies are by our side constantly, making this voyage all that it is; support, encouragement and challenging us are but a few things they have given us. However, they too leave at home support networks – friends, families, husbands, wives and children. So I’d like to thank all those people who have allowed the WVs to benefit from their short-term loss. I can assure you, they speak of you often, share stories of how you met, were born, have grown and all the fabulous things you do and share together. We loved your loved ones, and we did our best to keep them from being too homesick whilst away from you.
Early on when I was offered a position on this voyage I asked some close friends what I should do – take the leap and sail across the Atlantic Ocean or not? It seems to me, now, a ridiculous question, though I’m grateful for that warm spring afternoon at the local water park where my friends got excited for me and told me I was crazy – of course I should do it and there was no good reason not to! I’m so thankful that another 23 Australians had people around to support them to seek this adventure, as I did. And I’m so thankful that each of those 23 Australians will head home and share the joy of the experience and really spread the word – an adventure made unforgettable by the friendships formed, challenges overcome and memories we can pack away but won’t ever be forgotten. What a joy it’s been.
With endless amounts of love and hugs to each person who has joined our log along the journey, I bid you all farewell on behalf of all our WVs and staffies of V2/15. Check back here often though, as this lovely ship has a long way to go! Our batch of WVs may all be jumping on trains, planes and buses to get back to Australia – but for this ship, an ocean adventure is the only way home.
Good luck finding your own adventures in life.
Much Love, Sian