Young mariners set sail

TAKING the helm, setting and furling sails, washing up, cleaning, cooking and taking watch were just some of the activities two young local mariners experienced when they boarded the brigantine Windeward Bound for an eight day voyage to Strahan on the west coast.

The voyage was part of The Windeward Bound Trust’s “Future Mariners of Tasmania” program, which saw 18 young sailors aged between 15 and 25-years put their seamanship skills to the test aboard the Tasmanian sail training ship.

Windeward Bound’s event and voyage management officer Lisa Kluver said Future Mariners of Tasmania was a four-stage program that provided Tasmanian youth with the opportunity to have life-changing personal development experiences, volunteer in their community and attain qualifications that could lead to a career.

“The eight-day voyages aligned with the Windeward Bound’s biennial voyage north for its slipping in Devonport,” she said.

“The series of voyages have been supported by the Department of State Growth and provide young people with the opportunity to participate in our Youth Development Sail Training Program.

“Sail training is about living, working and playing with people you’ve never met – there’s no phones, no technology and the trainees have to work as a team to ensure the ship maintains its 24-hour operation.”

As part of the Hobart to Strahan voyage, the trainees had the opportunity to anchor in Port Davey, located in the far south-west of Tasmania. They also explored Macquarie Harbour and Sarah Island.

Among the young sailors to take up the voyage were Hobart residents Angelina Welsh-Hussain and Florence Dobie, who both attend Tarremah Steiner School in Huntingfield.

Miss Welsh-Hussain, 15, said she had been inspired to take up sailing after seeing a family friend voyage from American to Tasmania.

“He would take us sailing and teach us to tie knots, it was so much fun,” she said.

“When we found out about these voyages through school, I just thought it would be something different – I don’t know anyone who has ever done something like this, so it was a really cool experience to try.

“I was a bit nervous before setting sail, especially about sea sickness, but at the end of the day, it was just about trying something new, meeting new people and having fun.”

Miss Dobie, 14, said her expectation for the voyage had been to increase her sailing skills.

“I had never sailed before, so I didn’t have a lot of hands-on experience going in,” she said.

“But I just wanted to have a new experience, meet new people and visit some places that not many people have seen before.”

Ms Kluver said the youth development sail training voyage was an opportunity for any young person to step outside their comfort zone and do something new.

“You don’t need to have any sailing experience to join one of our voyages and you’ll learn so much more than you ever expected,” she said.

“You will develop leadership and teamwork skills, have heaps of fun and walk away with plenty of new friendships.”

For more information or to express interest in an upcoming voyage, visit www.windewardbound.com.au.

Caption: Young Hobart locals Angeline Welsh-Hussain, left, and Florence Dobie prior to their eight-day voyage aboard the Windeward Bound in May.

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