The Cairns RSL Sub Branch recommencement its 11 day Youth Development STS Young Endeavour Scholarship, worth $2,000 this year. William Davy from St Andrew’s Catholic College was selected to receive the 2021 Scholarship. William embarked on a life-changing 11-day journey – learning not only how to sail a square-rigged tall ship, but how to lead, support others and work together as a team.
Willam has documented his trip and shared his experience and adventures with us. Please read about his amazing trip below.
My Voyage Experience V09/21 onboard STS Young Endeavour
Ahoy there shipmates, landlubbers, and armchair sailors, join me on my amazing story. On 28 July, I was lucky enough to set sail with 16 other Youthie’s onboard the STS Young Endeavour for a voyage from Cairns to Airlie Beach which would take approximately 11 days. I was excited and ready to go for the journey ahead, but little did I know how amazing it would be.
The voyage was suggested to me by my parents, and I investigated it further to discover that the Cairns RSL Sub Branch was providing a scholarship for a place on the Young Endeavour. I was successful in my application and cannot thank the Cairns RSL Sub Branch enough for the opportunity that they provided me.
I found that I could do things that I never thought I could do, like lead a team of strangers, learn to sail a tall ship and be able to push myself past my personal limits. I also learned some life experiences, like where my life is now and what I need to do to achieve my goals in the future. This experience helped me disconnect from the world of technology and learn more about myself and the people around me.
There were many highlights on the voyage, including island exploring, learning how to sail, seamanship training, and leading a team on the command day. However, if I was to pick one, it would have to be watching the sun come up over the vast expanse of the ocean while sitting up high in the rigging with only the sound of the wind and the waves.
Every day was different depending on whether we were sailing or at anchor. There was never a dull day onboard the ship, daily routine consisted of a 6:30 am wake-up with a morning activity, followed by breakfast. Then the rest of the morning would be taken up by some lessons on how to sail the square-rigger, which included setting and furling sails or climbing the masts. Lunch was next, followed by the main event of the day whether it was going onto land and exploring, or snorkeling, or team activities on board. After that was dinner and possibly another activity whether it would be climbing aloft or debrief/lesson. There were watches that would continue throughout the night lasting for 4 hours, these watches were covered by three groups: Red Watch (the best watch), White watch, and Blue Watch.
I encourage the youth of Australia to get involved in this program either by contacting their local RSL or through the YEYS website for more details because it truly was a life-changing experience and something that I will never forget. I made lifelong friends on my voyage, learned leadership skills, and was pushed outside my comfort zone but the best part of all; I learned how to sail a tall ship! This program is one of the best things you could ever be a part of it, especially now as we are all very connected to our phones, and electronic devices this program gives you the opportunity to escape those distractions. This program helps you learn about yourself, your boundaries and makes you aware of your surroundings without being connected to anything. I personally have loved every minute of it.
Thank you to the Cairns RSL Sub-Branch, my fellow Youthie’s, the Crew of V09/21, and the best Captain of all LCDR Adam “Charlie” Farley.
Will Davy V09/21
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible…pretty soon you’re doing the impossible. “