16 year old Murray High School student Matt Murphy recently returned from an 11 day adventure under sail on tall ship STS Young Endeavour.
Albury Legacy provided the scholarship berth to the Year 11 student on Australia’s national sail training ship.
Matt joined 26 other young Australians in Sydney for the voyage that would take them along the coast of New South Wales to Newcastle.
The youngest of four siblings to have sailed on Young Endeavour thanks to Albury Legacy, Matt said he was pretty excited to sail.
“I was really keen to sail on Young Endeavour, my brothers and sisters had told me it was a really fun thing to do and a great experience,” Matt said.
Stepping aboard the square rigged tall ship, Matt said the Navy staff crew taught the youthies how to navigate, keep watch, climb the 30 metre mast and take the helm.
“I learnt how to cook in the galley and how to set sails. It was a really good experience climbing the mast, it was something new and it was pretty exciting.”
Living between decks in close quarters with other young people and getting used to a 24 hour watch routine was another new experience for the teen.
“No one knew each other before but we made friends really quickly. There were no dramas.”
“The staff crew have also been really nice and fun – I wasn’t expecting that,” Matt said.
Near the end of each voyage, youth crew elect a command team who take responsibility for Young Endeavour for 24 hours.
“I didn’t know that we’d actually be taking over the ship. It was so much fun and a big responsibility.”
“I was part of the muscle and had the job of setting and furling sails,” Matt said.
While Matt didn’t find any of the physical aspects of the voyage too challenging, he wasn’t sure about giving up technology for 11 days.
“I was a bit edgy about that, but I liked it. If they didn’t take your phones it wouldn’t be the same experience. It was nice to have a break from technology,” Matt said.
So how did the voyage stack up to Matt’s expectations?
“It beat my expectations and was a blast,” Matt said.
“I hope Legacy will keep sending more kids.”
Each year Young Endeavour conducts up to 20 voyages along the east and south coasts of Australia between Cairns, Adelaide and Hobart. Young Australians aged 16 to 23 years are able to apply for a berth via a ballot at www.youngendeavour.gov.au