19 May 2019

Grafton Teen Develops Leadership Skills on Tall Ship Adventure

By line: Natalie Staples

16 year old Pacific Valley Christian School student Finn Naylor recently returned from an 11 day adventure under sail on tall ship STS Young Endeavour.

The teen who is a Leading Seaman at TS Shropshire was awarded a scholarship berth by the Australian Navy Cadets and said she had the trip of a lifetime.

“Sailing is one of my passions. Being on Young Endeavour has been absolutely crazy. The people I’ve met have been wonderful and the staff are beautiful people.”

Finn joined 26 other young Australians in Sydney for a voyage to Newcastle and was taught all the skills required to sail a square rigged tall ship.

“We were taught about navigation, how to set and furl the sails, keep watch and helm.”

“We also cooked with chefo Marcus in the galley – his food was exceptional,” Finn said.

While the ANC has already given her a lot of confidence and taught her about leadership, Finn said the Young Endeavour program helped hone her skills.

“It has 100% taught me new skills. With such a diverse range of youthies on board, I’ve learnt how to interact with different people, lead them and how to learn from others,” Finn said.

Near the end of the voyage, youth crew elect a command team who take responsibility for Young Endeavour for 24 hours.

“I was a watch leader on command day, I was assigning people to set sails and doing what my sail master told me to do.”

Aside from being a good learning tool, Finn said the youth development voyage was heaps of fun.

“Being out on the open ocean with the sails up and gunning it, it was so cool.”

“We saw heaps of dolphins, which was a big highlight for everyone. We also saw shooting stars as there was no light pollution, so it was gorgeous,” Finn said.

During the voyage Finn experienced living between decks in close quarters with other young people and got used to a 24 hour watch routine, which she said was excellent preparation for her future Navy career.

“I definitely want to join the Navy. I’m not sure what I want to go in as yet, but it’s been my goal since I was 12.”

“I really like the rank system, having set routines and being able to grow with others. I’m also a patriot and I love the thought of being part of something bigger,” Finn said.

So does Finn recommend the experience to other cadets?

“I 100% recommend it. I had a blast. If I could do it again I would,” Finn said.

Young Endeavour conducts up to 20 voyages along the east and south coasts of Australia between Cairns, Adelaide and Hobart each year. Young Australians aged 16 to 23 years are able to apply for a berth via a ballot at