Byline: Natalie Staples

Year 11 Moruya High student Bridget Lunn recently sailed on the voyage of a lifetime on tall ship STS Young Endeavour from Eden to Sydney, with the support of the Order of Australia Association – Narooma.

The 16 year old set off on the 11-day voyage with 18 other young Australians aged 16 -23 and quickly found her sea legs.

“I heard about Young Endeavour through school and thought it looked really fun.  I was keen to learn something completely new and being on board looked like an adventure,” Bridget said.

On Young Endeavour Bridget learnt the skills required to sail a square-rigged tall ship; including how to navigate, keep watch, cook in the galley, take the helm and climb the 30 metre mast to work aloft, setting and furling sails.

“Being on Young Endeavour was amazing.  I was always calling dibs for climbing up the mast.  The views were amazing.”

Near the end of the voyage, the youth crew elect a command team who take full responsibility for Young Endeavour for 24 hours.  Bridget was elected sail master for Command Day and says it was a challenging but great experience.

“I was pretty surprised to be elected as there were so many good candidates.  Being sail master was a bit stressful as you have to choose which sails to set and there are lots of people relying on you to get it right.  We started off doing a big loop, but then we got it right and it was great.”

During each voyage, youth are encouraged to pursue personal and team goals and challenges.  For Bridget, the hardest part was learning to speak up.

“The staff had to teach me how to shout.  It was a bit embarrassing at first, but you need to be loud to be heard on board.  It got easier though,” Bridget said.

 “Being on Young Endeavour has given me more confidence and I’ve made some great friendships.”

“I’ve also learnt to take risks and how to deal with stressful situations.  When things are stressful I now take a step back and look at the big picture and don’t focus on one little part.  This makes things go much more smoothly.”

The Young Endeavour conducts up to 20 voyages a year, predominantly up the east coast of Australia.  Since the program started in 1988, over 13,100 Australian youth have sailed on her and benefitted from the program, which increase self-awareness and a sense of community responsibility while developing teamwork and leadership skills.

Applications and more information can be found at www.youngendeavour.gov.au