When Commanding Officers of two sister ships come together, it’s common for them to share stories and compare their ships and the roles they perform.
The Commanding Officer of STS Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Callander was joined by former Commanding Officer of Royal Malaysian Navy sail training ship KLD Tunas Samudera, Commander Saharudin Bongsu, while alongside Williamstown recently.
Both KLD Tunas Samudera and STS Young Endeavour are brigantines that were designed by Colin Mudie and built at Brooke Yachts in Lowestoft, United Kingdom in the late 1980s.
While visiting Australia for a course, Commander Bongsu was delighted to have the opportunity to tour Australia’s national sail training ship and meet his counterpart.
“I would like to say a million thanks to Captain Kenny and the staff crew of Young Endeavour for the warm welcome and tour. It was fascinating and a bit like meeting a long lost relative,” Commander Bongsu said.
While the ship and program have a number of similarities, there are also a number of differences.
“The biggest difference between our two ships is the layout. Most of Young Endeavour’s compartments are kept in their original order and below deck looks very spacious. As Tunas Samudera is a commissioned ship, we have extra equipment on board, as well as a fixed open bridge,” Commander Bongsu said.
The ships’ programs are also quite similar. Each nation’s 11-day voyages are delivered by specially trained Navy personnel and are designed to provide unique, challenging and inspirational experiences at sea to increase participant’s self-awareness, teamwork and leadership skills.
“Most of our programs are mirrored to Young Endeavour. We do activities like water confidence, games, ice-breaking session and our most awaited activity, the Pirate Day - where the trainees will be pirates and take over the whole ship for one day,” Commander Bongsu said.
“We do have the ability to modify our program based upon the background of trainees.
“We welcome aboard university students, naval reservists and youths,” he said.
In Australia, Pirate Day is known as Command Day, when the youth crew elect their leadership team and take responsibility for Young Endeavour, tasked with meeting a series of set challenges over a 24-hour period. Voyages are restricted to young Australians aged 16-23 years of age.
Lieutenant Commander Callander agreed that the visit from his Malaysian counterpart was very informative.
“It was a pleasure to meet Commander Bongsu and to show him around Young Endeavour.”
“We are both passionate about our ships and the programs that we deliver and it was great to compare notes,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.
Information on Young Endeavour is available at http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au.