Ambassador Story
6 March 2017

The Experience of a Lifetime

“After a few days sailing we finally arrived at King Island and anchored. We went into land and spent the day on the island being guided around on tours and seeing the icons of the island. We went to the famous cheese shop and done cheese tasting. I certainly ate way too much cheese. We walked along parts of the coast line and visited an art gallery. Our bus driver told us about the history of the island as we drove from one place to another. Of course, our last stop on the island was the General Food store. We stocked up on lollies and chocolate for the next few days at sea.

Once we got back on the ship, we all gathered in the café area to elect the captain, watch leaders, navigator, chefs, etc. for command day which was the following day.

The next morning we went to the beach on King Island. We played a soccer game, which was girls against boys. Though half way through I had to recruit more girls to the girl’s team because the boys were thrashing us, I’m pretty sure they were cheating though. After that we built sand replicas of Young Endeavour. All of them looked really cool and quite funny. Everybody had some pretty interesting ideas.

Once we got back on the ship we had to start command day which was when the youth crew took over the ship for 24 hours! That was pretty fun, scary as well, but fun none the less. The crew gave us a list of set tasks and we had to try and complete as many as we possibly could in 24 hours. We did succeed at completing most the task’s given by working together. One of the task was to build a rope hammock that would hold the entire youth crew, which was 22 people. The planning and process was long but somehow we managed to get it done, it was very funny.

We left King Island for our next and sadly last destination Stanley in the north of Tasmania. The youth crew sailed overnight and I was on watch at 4 in the morning when we spotted Stanley in the distance! This was extremely exciting but also saddening because it meant that our trip was coming to an end. When we arrived at Stanley later that morning we anchored just off the coast and took a smaller boat to the wharf. We climbed The Nut which is one of the things Stanley is known for. There was 4 youth including myself and one of the staff members who decided to run up the steep track. I certainly didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was but it was the perfect challenge to finish the voyage with. We had a whole youth crew photo at the top of The Nut at the lookout with the Young Endeavour in the back ground. We also had the entire youth crew join in and do the Nutbush at the lookout which attracted locals and other tourist attention. We then had a shop around Stanley and bought lots and lots of food for the last 2 nights on the ship.

That night we had a presentation that one of the girls and I put together. We included photos from everyone on the voyage. As stressful as it was to make, it was well worth it. One of the boys had written a poem with some help from another boy and he presented that to the youth crew and staff after the presentation. It had the whole group laughing. On the second to last night, there 4 youth crew members who decided to sleep on the top deck, though it started to rain at 2 in the morning so we had to pack up and go down below. For the last 2 nights we just had 1 hour watches with 1 or 2 other people instead of the whole watch which was always much better than the 4 hour watches. We done the rounds and then chatted while waiting to go and wake the next people to go on watch.

For our second to last day on the ship, we had a chance to play a few games on the boat, talk about how command day went, and to just relax. Some people started packing so they had a head start and weren’t rushing the next morning. Just after lunch we all went back into Stanley and separated into our watch groups. We then found somewhere nice to sit and had a chat about what we learnt on the trip, what we enjoyed, what we didn’t and if we achieved any goals. After that was finished we had a chance to spend an hour walking around Stanley and doing what we wanted to do.

On the last night we had 7 of the youth crew that decided to have a “sleepover” on the top deck. So we all got our sleeping bags and pillow together and wedged ourselves together. The next morning Horto played the usually Jonny Cash alarm VERY loud over the speaker, it certainly did its job of waking us all up! Once we were out of bed, awake, refreshed and ready we finished packing our bags and met on the top deck. The whole youth crew did one final climb aloft as we pulled up and docked at the wharf. Once everything was safe we were able to bring family and friends on board and give them a tour of the ship before presentations and last photos. We all said a very sad and tearful goodbye to all the friends we had made on Young Endeavour before the transport bus departed for Devonport.

I had a fantastic time on Young Endeavour and I know others who had been on other voyages around Australia have said they have had amazing experiences. I met so many new people who came from very different backgrounds and from all walks of life. I am so glad that in the end I chose to do it despite my worries and fears because if I didn’t go, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing out on. I have made lots of new friends and treasured memories that I will remember for life.”

Kate Johnstone