EIGHTEEN-year-old Armidale resident, Matthew Kertson has just returned from an epic adventure sailing the Young Endeavour ship.
Mr Kertson was selected to sail by his fellow teammates at the Armidale SES branch.
The trip, which kicked-off on September 18 from Darwin, saw Mr Kertson battle the seas for 13 days with 23 other young Australians.
“Everyday changed regularly, we were put into groups where we had to go on watches and take care of the ship for about four hours,” he said.
“We had to go through the night doing that too.
“Also we could go on shore excursions to places like Bigge Island.
“Bigge Island is where they have all the Aboriginal cave paintings which was pretty cool.
“It was very humid… there were one or two days where it got quite rough but apart from that it was quite calm.”
The trip, which undertakes around 20 voyages each year, aims to teach participants leadership and teamwork skills.
The skills learnt by young volunteers are then brought back to their work at home.
“We had to steer the ship and go through the rounds which includes things like checking the temperatures of the freezers,” he said.
“If we were on anchor we would check the degrees of the anchor.”
The best part of the journey was getting onto the shore, Mr Kertson said.
“The shore excursions were really good.”
“Some of the places we went to were places where I think less than one per cent of the world’s population has been.
“The islands were pretty sandy and there were heaps of rocks around.”
Mr Kertson hopes that the experience will improve his performance as Deputy Administration Officer at the Armidale SES branch.
“On the boat it really showed me that everyone needs to work as a team and everyone needs to contribute,” he said.
The Young Endeavour Scheme is run in partnership with the Royal Australian Navy and is supported by Commonwealth funding as well as private donations.
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