Young seafarers visit Gladstone
IF CAPTAIN Cook were to come ashore today, he'd probably moor the Endeavour at Gladstone Marina rather than Bustard Head.
Dredging done by the Gladstone Ports Corporation late last year means Australia's national sail training ship, The Young Endeavour, with a 4m draft, can tie up safely closer to town.
"We haven't visited Gladstone for more than five years because we couldn't," Lieutenant Damien Munchenberg, commanding officer of the sail training ship Young Endeavour, said.
"It's only since the dredging that we've actually been able to access the inner harbour," he said.
Given to the youth of Australia by the United Kingdom as part of bicentennial celebrations in 1988, it's a gift that keeps on giving according to Gladstone locals Jayson and Shaun Hannant.
Jayson said he made enduring friendships with other crew members on his voyage three years ago.
He encouraged brother Shaun to take the trip in 2010 and now they're both ambassadors for the Young Endeavour youth development program run by the Royal Australian Navy.
"It was an unforgettable experience," Shaun said.
"We got to visit some really cool places, learned leadership skills and met lots of new people," he said.
"A mad amount of people, probably more than 1000, came out and saw us when we came ashore in Mooloolaba."
No sailing experience is necessary to sign on, but the Hannants say you learn fast.
"There were some flat-out sailing nuts on our voyages, but we didn't know a thing when we started," Jayson said.
Commanding Officer Lt Munchenberg said the young crews acquired enough skill to be left completely in command of the vessel on day eight of the 11-day voyage.
"They learn leadership, teamwork, management and of course there's always a lot of good old-fashioned fun," he said.
The Young Endeavour sails north today.
Take a Captain Cook
- Sails in Queensland in winter and NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia the rest of the year
- Companies can sponsor young crew through a corporate scholarship
- Not to be confused with the replica barque Endeavour, the Young Endeavour has modern fixtures and fittings
- Apply online at www.youngendeavour.gov.au