As soon as I stepped on board Young Endeavour in Sydney, I knew the next 11 days were going to be the best days of my life. They definitely were.
The Youth Scheme is open to all young Australians from the coast to the outback, I live on a farm in western NSW a far cry from the sea, I never thought it would be possible for me to experience such a dream as to go from drought-stricken farm life to an amazing life-changing experience at sea. The voyage changed my everyday life dramatically,
The 11 days that I spent on board were nothing that I imagined. I don't think anyone can understand the great and magical feeling that I got until you sail on Young Endeavour.
This experience was the most physically and mentally challenging thing that I have done, from the 12 am wake ups, seasickness and being in an environment I had not been in before, these factors though made the voyage 10x better! Being pushed to the limit and still being able to get through to the end is so rewarding. I accomplished so many amazing things that I never thought I would including climbing up the 30-metre mast, taking on leadership positions in activities and learning how to sail this magnificent vessel.
In such a small environment the friendships you make are very special. Going through the same struggles and achievements creates a bond that you wouldn't have with anyone else. As a watch group and as a whole crew, we were able to overcome every challenge that was thrown at us either at anchor or in the middle of the sea, Youth Crew came together and achieved amazing things with plenty of encouragement so we could achieve team and personal goals.
Onboard I learned so much more about myself, the good and the bad! I believe I found my true identity on board through self-reflecting activities. I discovered so many strengths along with some weaknesses that I am going to improve on and overall I have plenty of takeaways for life.
Watching the spectacular sunrises and sunsets from aloft, setting and furling sails, taking the helm under a milky way night, sitting on the bowsprit with dolphins dancing at your feet, trips ashore, command day, hearing inspiring stories from the Staffies, enjoying amazing meals every day from Chef Zac and the freedom you feel when sitting 30 metres aloft are memories I will cherish for life.
I would like to thank the amazing Staffies that did so much for us during our Voyage. You are all truly inspiring, amazing people. You provided so much encouragement and support when the going got tough, while also sharing many laughs and great memories along the way! You guys are awesome!!
Young Endeavour is definitely a voyage of a lifetime and I can't recommend it enough to other young Australians who love a challenge and adventure while making lifelong friends!
Charlee Masters - v13/19