My voyage on the Young Endeavour was an amazing experience. I sailed from Sydney to Brisbane more than ten years ago and the memories are still fresh in my mind. I have listed some of my favourites in order to illustrate some of the many different aspects of my trip on the Young Endeavour.

  • The view of the Opera House at night when we were anchored in Farm Cove.
  • Getting an authentic first sailing experience as we headed out through Sydney Heads on a windy day.
  • Four of us wrestling with the Fisherman’s Staysail for the best part of an hour during a windy middle watch.
  • Trying to get some sleep while my bunk was far from horizontal during a gale warning night.
  • Silent sailing when the generator was turned off.
  • Sunrise over the ocean being a fitting reward for a 3:45 am wake up for morning watch.
  • Standing next to the youth crew XO as he led us through a flawless midnight tack (much to the disappointment of the actual crew who were on a 24 hour holiday).
  • Sitting on the topgallant yard 35 metres above the water as we sailed past the Gold Coast several miles out to sea.
  • Seeing dolphins swimming next to the bow.
  • Claiming Moreton Island for ourselves before an impromptu mob wrestled all willing and unwilling crew into the bay.
  • Swinging off the rope swing as far as possible.
  • Playing games on the beach at Mooloolaba.
  • Having a BBQ dinner on the deck as we anchored off Mooloolaba at sunset.
  • Experiencing the power of enthusiasm and savouring the feeling of tiredness after a windy watch knowing you have worked hard and achieved something.

Despite all these amazing memories, the one thing that really sticks out in my memory is how good it was to unplug from my phone and computer for 10 days. Just living in the moment and savouring the experience. Unplugging also allowed me to interact with new friends in a really genuine way without the distraction of technology; just having fun like when I was a kid. Chatting and telling jokes on the bridge with my watch as we sailed into the night ensured strong authentic friendships that would normally take much longer to develop.

If you ever get the chance to do a voyage on the Young Endeavour make sure you take it; it is an amazing experience.

Vaughan Cruickshank