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Young Endeavour trip of lifetime

Benalla's Alyce Brightman took to the seas for a 10 day voyage.

MEG PIGRAM November 30, 2012 12:00am

Alyce Brightmore had never sailed in her life.

But the Young Endeavour Adventures was the perfect starting point for the FCJ Year 10 student, who said she wanted to push the boundaries of her comfort zone.

And she did just that during the 10-day voyage from Newcastle to Sydney during the September school holidays.

The Young Endeavour Adventure is about bringing together young people aged between 16 and 23 years to learn about communication, teamwork and leadership through a 10-day voyage.

Alyce said she was challenged with activities and tasks she had never tried before from the first day.

‘‘Our first task was to climb 33m high up the foremast at night,’’ she said.

‘‘When we started our journey towards Sydney it only took an hour for people to start feeling seasick,’’ Alyce said.

While not everyone succumbed to the uneasy feeling of being at sea, Alyce did — but she said it only took two days for her body to adjust.

With the journey fitting easily into its time schedule, the team had the opportunity to explore areas along the NSW south coast including Ulladulla, Jervis Bay and Broken Bay.

‘‘After four days at sea, making it to Ulladulla and being allowed to hop off the Endeavour and onto land was appreciated by everyone,” Alyce said.

‘‘We were all finding it difficult to walk because we were used to the constant rocking of the boat — all the youth crew hugged a tree once we got to land because it is the best cure for sea sickness.’’

It was difficult for Alyce to pinpoint the biggest challenge of the trip, but she believes being woken up in the early hours of the morning to do a four-hour watch duty was one of the toughest.

‘‘During the watches we had to learn how to set and furl sails, which meant that once we set the sails we were told to furl them again.’’

Alyce said at the time it seemed like a pointless task, but come Command Day the reasoning was obvious.

‘‘Command Day is when the staff crew go on a ‘summer holiday’ and it is up to the youth crew to completely sail the ship for 24 hours.’’

That means everything from navigating to cooking.

‘‘It was very challenging because the staff crew would give us no advice and wouldn’t help us when we needed help,’’ Alyce said.

Looking back on the trip, Alyce said sitting on the sails while going under the iconic Harbour Bridge was a memory she would treasure.

She said despite the swaying ride and giant learning curve, she enjoyed the entire experience and would recommend the Young Endeavour journey to anyone.

‘‘It is very challenging but extremely rewarding — you will meet the most amazing people and I guarantee you will have the time of your life,’’ she said.

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