The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour rounded Cape Horn on Australia Day, 36 days into a twelve month circumnavigation of the world.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett congratulated the 36 seafarers on board the square-rigged tall ship, including twelve Royal Australian Navy crew and 24 alumni crew specially selected for this passage.
Vice Admiral Barrett said the passage around the southernmost tip of South America remains one of the most challenging nautical routes on the planet, and is a significant achievement for the crew of Young Endeavour.
“Young Endeavour’s Navy crew are specially trained and the alumni crew were selected for their experience sailing the brigantine previously.
“This Australia Day weekend marks 27 years since Young Endeavour was gifted to Australia and began delivering youth development voyages, this is the first time the vessel has rounded Cape Horn, and her safe passage is a credit to the crew on board,” he said.
The passage around Cape Horn’s notorious waters went without incident and the rare relative calm allowed the crew to celebrate Australia Day in appropriate beach attire.
Lieutenant Commander Gavin Dawe, Captain of Young Endeavour, said the achievement was made all the more special because the crew could also celebrate the 27th anniversary of the ship’s arrival in Australia, on 25 January 1988.
“I am thrilled with this achievement, but more than anything ,I am so extremely proud of the crew because without their efforts we would not have made it,” said Lieutenant Commander Dawe.
And as put by youth crew members Reece Barrel-Smith and Grace Collins in their joint log:
“Land Ho!!! It’s been long, it’s been cold, it’s been bumpy but finally today we sighted the fabled snow swept peaks of Tierra Del Fuego. The southernmost part of South America. We have made it.
“This beautiful ship has taken us halfway around the world and given us memories we will never forget.”
Young Endeavour set sail from Sydney on 22 December 2014. The alumni on board are the first of eight youth crews who will join the ship during the twelve month circumnavigation. They will complete their 55 day voyage at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Young Endeavour is the bicentennial gift given to Australia by the United Kingdom. During the World Voyage Young Endeavour will sail to Europe, Africa and the Americas, visiting 16 countries and representing Australia at the 2015 International Tall Ship Races.
For more information about the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and to apply for voyages aboard STS Young Endeavour, visit http://www.youngendeavour.com.au.
Images of the voyage are available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20143889.