Australia’s national Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recently, completing an epic 55 day voyage across the Pacific Ocean and around Cape Horn.
The 24 young Australians and 12 Royal Australian Navy staff crew set sail from Sydney on 22 December 2014, calling at Wellington, New Zealand, before undertaking one of the vessel’s longest ocean crossings – a 28 day passage in latitudes known as the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties.
On completing the voyage Leading Seaman Lauren King, Young Endeavour’s medical care provider, reflected that while the voyage has been challenging, she was happy to be onboard, working in some of the most exciting circumstances Navy can offer.
“The most challenging part has been the long passage sailing across the Southern Ocean to Ushuaia, Argentina,” said Leading Seaman King.
“The bitterness of the cold, especially on deck and on the open bridge, the long journey and the isolation from friends, family and everything at home."
“Mentally it’s very different to other Navy ships, but because the crew are hand-picked there is a very high work ethic. Visiting Rio de Janeiro during Carnivale has been fantastic, and I’m looking forward to the next passage to Cadiz in southern Spain," she said.
Leading Seaman King joined Navy as a medic in 2006 and transferred to the reserves in 2013. She signed on again to join Young Endeavour’s world voyage as she wanted to be part of the experience of a lifetime.
Posted as one of three members of the crew with medical care provider responsibilities, Leading Seaman King’s duties in Young Endeavour are diverse.
“If there is an incident on deck I provide medical care, but most of my time is spent as Watch Leader,” said Leading Seman King.
“Leading a watch involves mentoring young Australians and delivering the youth development program - teaching them to sail and work as a team in an unfamiliar environment.
“I’ll be at sea for eight months of the world voyage, and am most looking forward to visiting Turkey and being part of the Anzac Centenary commemorations. For those of us in the Navy it is an honour just to be there.
“Participating in the world voyage is an experience hard to come by, and I am very grateful and fortunate to have been offered this opportunity."
Young Endeavour rounded Cape Horn on 25 January, her 27th anniversary of gifting to Australia by the United Kingdom, and arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina, on Australia Day. The crew then sailed north along the eastern coast of South America, visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina before arriving at Rio de Janeiro 14 February.
The youth crew who sailed the ship from Sydney to Rio de Janeiro were experienced with the ship and had undertaken previous voyages. The next passage is to Cadiz, Spain with a newly embarked Australian youth crew, who have flown to Brazil to join the ship. Many have never sailed before.
Young Endeavour was the bicentennial gift given to Australia by the United Kingdom. Since 1988 more than 12,000 young Australians have completed the Young Endeavour Youth Development Program, and a further 10,000 guests from organisations supporting youth with special needs have joined a community day sail. During the world voyage Young Endeavour will sail to Europe, Africa and the Americas, visiting 16 countries, participating in Anzac Centenary Commemorations, 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 www.youngendeavour.gov.au