West Moonah teen’s voyage of a lifetime

AT just 17 years of age, Hamish Roberts has undertaken a voyage of a lifetime, sailing from Sydney to Newcastle with the STS Young Endeavour.

The West Moonah local was one of 24 aspiring sailors to take part in a youth development program aboard the 44-metre brigantine tall ship under the tutelage of the Navy crew.

Hamish has been an Australian Navy Cadet in Tasmania for the past five years and said he “jumped at the opportunity” to take part in a voyage.

“I have friends who have been on past voyages and they loved it so I had to do it for myself,” he said.

“It looked like it would be a fantastic adventure and experience.”

Hamish said the most important thing he learned during the voyage was the value of teamwork in a new and unfamiliar environment, especially when learning to navigate the tall ship.

While there were plenty of challenges throughout the voyage for the crew, Hamish said his biggest challenge was climbing the 30-metre mast.

“I wasn’t quite sure at first because I had never been up so high,” he said.

“I gave it a go and overcame my fear of heights and now I love climbing aloft.

“It is so breathtaking climbing up and seeing the view from up high – it will be something I will never forget.

“This experience has definitely made me want to keep challenging myself in the future.”

The STS Young Endeavour was presented to Australia for its bicentenary in 1988 by Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales.

In the past 30 years, more than 13,300 youths have stepped aboard the national icon for the youth development program, which employs a diverse range of adolescents from around Australia.

During each voyage, up to 24 young Australians learn the skills to sail a square-rigged tall ship including how to navigate, keep watch, cook in the galley, take the helm and climb the 30-metre mast to work aloft, and setting and furling sails.

The program shows the youth crew how to achieve personal and team goals and how to deal with challenges through learning to sail the STS Young Endeavour.

Caption: Hamish Roberts, of West Moonah, aboard the STS Young Endeavour.