Two trans-Atlantic crossings, catching a cable car up to Cape Town’s Table Mountain, and sailing through the North Sea in company with 80 other tall ships was how one Navy officer spent part of 2015.
Australian Defence Force Academy Divisional Officer Lieutenant Miquela Riley joined Young Endeavour and her world voyage crew in Cadiz, Spain, navigating through the Gibraltar Strait and into the Mediterranean Sea.
From navigation challenges in Europe, such as the Corinth Canal in Greece, the English Channel and the tall ship races, Lieutenant Riley trained her replacement on two trans-Atlantic crossings before disembarking in Cape Town, South Africa.
Lieutenant Riley arrived at Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred waterfront in late November and said the city was fantastic.
“We received an amazing welcome, from both the people on the wharf and some local seals and humpback whales,” she said.
The world voyage crew joined local youth for a community cricket clinic, and also volunteered to paint a school in the township of Durbanville.
“We visited Robben Island, and had an opportunity to tour the region before the ship set sail for the final voyage home to Australia,” Lieutenant Riley said.
“Crossing the Atlantic from Rio de Janeiro was my final passage of the voyage.
“Awesome winds allowed the ship to sail the whole way, which was fantastic, and we got really close to lots of wildlife - whales, seals, and lots of fish.
“The flat seas we experienced when we left Rio soon became big swells as we got going into the Atlantic Ocean.
“We also had the opportunity to sail in company with the Chilean Navy tall ship Esmeralda.”
Lieutenant Riley posted to Young Endeavour because she wanted a different Navy experience.
She said working in Young Endeavour brought challenges that a navigator wouldn’t encounter on other Navy ships, such as the amount of notice to find anchorages and rendezvous points.
“I’ve never been in company with 80 tall ships before, and that, as well as navigating through all the spectator craft, is something I would never do otherwise in the Navy,” Lieutenant Riley said.
“The atmosphere was great, and everyone was there to have a good time sailing, working hard, and meeting other tall ship sailors.
Lieutenant Riley would definitely recommend a posting to Young Endeavour for other navigators.
“The weather and environments are not something I had previously considered as a navigator,” she said.