It was a long 9 day journey from Sydney to Brisbane. Being on board with strangers around my age but we became friends very quickly. My first days I was suffering from sea sickness, however I still kept going as I was intrigued by the adventure. Cold early mornings, music playing for a wake up that brought smiles to everyone on board, despite the yawns and tired faces. As a crew we followed duties required to help get us to our destination whilst viewing the northern east coast.
Visits from dolphins and whales followed, memories and photos captured. We had our first anchor and watched a blooming sunset form over the warm sandy beach. Kangaroos came, a sight to see and friendly they came to be. I was scared to pat them but I held that back and stroked its head. It walked forward towards me then leaped away I stood there in shock and I thought it was my friend.
When it came down to food, the chef was the best. I initially thought it was high class food, some dishes on the menu I’d never had. Playing card games and chats with fellow crew mates whether at dawn, lunch or sunset brought us closer as a voyage 9/22 family.
The learning of different skills and aspects of the ship, and hearing inspiration from the Staff Crew helped us discover empowerment and resilience. I was quiet on the voyage, and I stood alone sometimes, afraid to chat, but eventually that was changed when I was asked ‘if I’m okay’. At that time I was watching the waves rock against the ship as we hovered over them and listening to the song “Hymn for the weekend” by Coldplay in my head.
I didn’t hear the question at first but they asked again and I turned around quickly to see who it was. I replied with “yeah I’m okay.” I smiled and chuckled a bit. Our watch gets called suddenly for a watch shift and I’m told to steer the ship. It was very easy I found but I was confused with the mention of port to starboard. I didn’t understand the terms until I asked. Then it became obvious!
At the time of the voyage I was in year 12 and studying for HSC. I’m from Western Sydney in the Blacktown area close to the new Sydney Zoo. The initial thought was that the voyage was a holiday away for me but I realised that there is a lot more to take away and remember than just a simple holiday. When I got back to school the following week, I was asked where I’d gone and most students actually thought I had disappeared. I told them about the voyage and they’d had never heard of Young Endeavour. I showed photos of the ship to them and one person said to me that “I had guts to go on a ship like that for 9 days”.
Voyage 9/22 isn’t just one story. I wrote a poem to read out on the last night to bring a concluding smile to the voyage.
The poem reads –
Some say the sea is a chase,
Some say the sea is a mystery.
Adventures are the ones that tell the tales,
A journey at one’s feet
It starts there 1,2,3
You may hide away and be afraid.
But in the end its been long and far.
Speaking of time, the seas get rough
When the wind and tides meet.
Visual sides are far,
From Port to Starboard.
Ships dock, anchor, sail past and wave.
Marine life come along, sail behind and toboggan along.
Through the solemn waves of the Queensland coast.
Whales jumping jumping up and over the waves.
They say hello and carry on under the sea.
Ahoy Ahoy ship is anchored.
Ahoy Ahoy it comes with makeshift,
Sailing along while singing in 3.
Wait, that’s just a drill.
Don’t worry just chill.
We’ve come far
As a crew,
Staying alive, renewed, energised and soon.
Being able to know that safety is key.
We’ve come along the coast and seen heaps of views.
From sunrise to sunset,
We thought we’d sail like a cruise
Signing off Young Endeavour,
One hell of a great crew.
These memories taken aboard to never for forget. Voyage 9/22