Sailing east of New Zealand towards the International Date Line, the crew aboard Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour will be some of the first in the world to celebrate New Year's Day 2015.
Ten days into a twelve month circumnavigation of the world, STS Young Endeavour's captain Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe OAM RAN and crew have sailed the ship more than 1,500 nautical miles from Sydney. They are currently charting a course to South America, where they are expected to round Cape Horn before visiting Argentina and Brazil.
"We have a magnificent, freshly refitted tall ship to sail, a highly motivated Youth Crew and some challenging oceans to cross," said LCDR Dawe.
"Completing a circumnavigation of the world is a significant undertaking, and to do so with eight crews of young Australians - many of whom will not have any sailing experience before joining Young Endeavour - is both a challenge and a privilege".
This is LCDR Dawe's third posting to Young Endeavour, and his second in command of the Royal Australian Navy operated square-rigged tall ship. He joined the crew as bosun during the vessel's first World Voyage in 1992, before returning as captain from 2008-2010.
With a naval career spanning 38 years and a specially trained Royal Australian Navy crew on board, LCDR Dawe is well equipped to sail the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans, as well the Mediterranean and North Seas, during the twelve month deployment.
LCDR Dawe says being captain of Young Endeavour is the best job in the world, and is also the most rewarding.
"It's always inspiring to see young people, thrown together in an unfamiliar environment with complete strangers, challenge themselves, learn new skills and build great friendships.
"Some of the young people on board have just finished secondary school. Some have been working or travelling for many years. They all bring different experiences and talents to the ship and will complete their voyage with a new appreciation of their own strengths and abilities.
"This World Voyage is a fantastic opportunity for Young Endeavour crew members to represent Australia at events including the Centenary of Anzac commemorations at Gallipoli, and the 2015 International Tall Ship Races - which aim to encourage international friendship and promote education and training for young people.
"As we celebrate the start of 2015 we will certainly be looking to live up to the ship's motto: carpe diem - seize the day!"
During the World Voyage Young Endeavour will sail to Europe, Africa and the Americas, visiting 16 countries on five continents. More than 200 youth will have the opportunity to join one of eight voyage crews as Young Endeavour circumnavigates the globe for the first time in over 20 years.
The current crew includes twelve Royal Australian Navy staff and 24 youth representing every Australian state and territory. These youth will complete their 55 day voyage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where 24 new crew members will join Young Endeavour for a 46 day voyage to Europe.