The voyage went for 10 days and hosted 27 youth crew members from across Australia between the ages of 16 and 23.
Brendan was fortunate enough to gain sponsorship from The Moree Plains Shire Council to take part in the “life changing journey”.
The Young Endeavour was a gift to the youth of Australia as a Bicentennial present, in 1988 and since then has had more than 11,000 Australians take part in voyages.
The Young Endeavour is known as a tall ship and consists of 10 different sails, three of these being large square sails.
“Throughout our journey we were able to use all these sails, but unfortunately we didn’t get to have all 10 set at the same time,” Brendan said.
He boarded the Young Endeavour with 26 other youth members, none of whom he had met prior.
“This was one of the first challenges I encountered,” he said.
“When we boarded the ship we were all given name tags and groups for the trip; these would be our watch groups for the next 10 days,” he said.
On the first day the crew motored around Newcastle Harbour and berthed in the Harbour for the night.
However, this gentle start all changed when about 10.30pm they were all told to put on harnesses and prepare to climb “aloft”, which meant they had to climb the 33-metre mast.
On day two of the voyage they sailed out of Newcastle Harbour into the Tasman Sea and headed north towards Brisbane.
The sea swell was around one meter to 1.5m in size and even though the staff on board assured the crew that this was small, it still caused a lot of people to get seasick.
“I was lucky enough to miss out on getting seasick and found my sea legs pretty quickly,” Brendan said.
The first night at sea was an experience Brendan says he will never forget. During the night they would keep sailing, and the three groups would be on watch throughout the night at different times.
The watches were:
First Dog Watch, 4pm-6pm
Second Dog Watch, 6pm-8pm
Evening Watch, 8pm-12am
Guts Watch, 12am-4am
Sunrise Watch, 4am-8am
Morning Watch, 8am- 12pm
Afternoon Watch, 12pm-4pm
The first watch for Brendan was the guts watch.
Once a group’s watch finished they would go and wake up the next group for their watch and then go straight to bed.
During the first four days they learnt how to pull in and set sails, tie knots, work as a team, untie sails, to navigate and all the other jobs that had to be done while on watch.
Around lunchtime on day four they sailed into Trial Bay at South-West Rocks where they anchored for a day.
“Here we made a trip ashore to relax on the beach and play some touch footy on the sand.
“As the sun was starting to go down we headed back to the ship for a barbecue on the decks, which was awesome,” Brendan said.
The following day, after a quick swim off the side of the ship they pulled anchor and sailed back out to sea to continue the sail north.
Throughout the day the staff would organise different activities for the crew to do.
There was an activity called rope races where the three groups would compete with each other about their knowledge of the boat.
“The questions included names of sails and positions of ropes; it was great fun.”
The crew was then given their biggest challenge yet, command day.
Command day is 24 hours when the staff members go hide below deck, and the crew has control of the ship.
“We are given a list of tasks to complete and goals to achieve,” Brendan said.
“Here we were put to the test challenging our leadership, teamwork, and navigational and sailing skills.”
The day was a great success with the crew completing 19 out of the 22 tasks.
“My role throughout the day was as a general crew member, but I did quite a lot of the climbing because once we took control, the sea swell rose to about 2.5m and the wind rose to around 25-30 knots so a lot of people were quite sick and weren’t too keen on climbing aloft with the big swell and high winds,” he said.
According to Brendan the voyage was an amazing experience.
He has memories that will last a lifetime and skills and friendships that will as well.
“This trip tested my leadership, teamwork and communication skills, as well as building a big understanding as what it is like to be leader and communicate with a team.
“I would like to thank the Moree Plains Shire Council, for their sponsorship for my Young Endeavour voyage.
“It was an amazing experience, I learnt a great deal about myself and what I am capable of,” Brendan said.
“I would strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about the voyage to do it.”