The Commanding Officer of STS Young Endeavour and his crew, together with the current youth crew from voyage 2/2014, welcomed some special guests aboard the ship in Devonport on recently.
Twenty-five children and their carers from St Giles boarded STS Young Endeavour for a three-hour sail in Bass Strait. St Giles provides services and support for around 2500 Tasmanian children and adults with disabilities and is Navy Headquarters Tasmania's ‘adopted’ charity.
Also joining the ship for the voyage was Saskia and Darren Vos, and Hannah and Scott van Tuil from Hobart. These two couples secured this opportunity by out-bidding the field at a charity auction raising money for St Giles. Since the auction, both Saskia and Hannah have had babies (Hudson and Jet respectively). Jet was born on Christmas Day and, at just three weeks old, is probably the youngest passenger to have ever sailed aboard Young Endeavour.
At the other end of the ‘age spectrum’, also on board for the voyage, was 97-year-old Donald Garnham. Mr Garnham was a ‘Cape Horner’ who served on the Moshulu, a 394-foot square-rigger that carried grain from Australia to England in the 1930s. During the Second World War, Mr Garnham served, initially in the Merchant Navy, and subsequently in the Royal Australian Navy.
Each of the children from St Giles was paired with one of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme participants (or ‘youthies’) or a member of the ship’s crew. Toby Coplestone ‘buddied’ with Sub Lieutenant Evan Healy and assisted him in a range of duties around the ship.
Toby’s parents, Linda and Adrian Coplestone, were delighted and full of praise.
“This has been a wonderful experience for all the children and their families,” Linda said.
“This is Toby’s first trip on a ship and he is having a ball.
“The professionalism of the crew and the enthusiasm of the young trainees is simply fantastic - a real inspiration.
“We cannot thank the Navy and the Young Endeavour team enough,” she said.
Another parent, Deanne Sherrin, said that her son Hayden was a bit nervous before boarding the ship.
“But now he is on board and helping out, he is having an awesome time,” she said.
As well as an exciting three hours under sail, the guests were treated to a light lunch and some on-board entertainment provided by Petty Officer Musician Brett ‘Dougie’ Douglas and ‘youthy’ Katrine Horne.
The smiles on the faces of all the passengers as they disembarked told a similar story. A day well spent, many happy memories to share, and genuine gratitude for all the Navy personnel involved.