Ellen cap­tains the Young En­deav­our

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

A THREE word sen­tence was enough to sum up Ellen John­son’s ad­ven­ture on board the STS Young En­deav­our. “It was awe­some.” The Air­lie Beach lo­cal started her jour­ney on Tues­day, July 12, and ar­rived in Cairns last Friday af­ter spend­ing 11 days at sea.

Prior to hop­ping on board, Ellen, 23, said she was most look­ing for­ward to climb­ing the rig­ging and it was ex­actly what she’d hoped it would be.

“When they got me up there, they couldn’t get me down,” she joked.

Af­ter seven days of train­ing, the youth crew is put in charge of sail­ing the ves­sel for the re­main­der of the voy­age.

Ellen was handed the role of cap­tain by her peers and she said the ex­pe­ri­ence was try­ing but re­ward­ing.

“We had 24 hours to sail from Dunk Is­land to Fitzroy Is­land, which was 64 miles, and we didn’t have much wind,” she said.

“It made plan­ning out the course quite dif­fi­cult and daunt­ing but it ended up work­ing.”

Ellen learned a host of va- lu­able skills, in­clud­ing lead­er­ship and teamwork skills, as well as how to get along with peo­ple in con­fined spa­ces.

But there was one high­light Ellen said took the cake – hav­ing her crew nom­i­nate her as cap­tain on com­mand day.

“We would nom­i­nate our­selves and then the youth crew would nom­i­nate who they wanted to be cap­tain,” she said.

“It was a pretty amaz­ing feel­ing to know they trusted me and be­lieved I could do it.”

It seems Ellen’s lead­er­ship skills made her a stand-out personality on board as she was handed an ex­cel­lence award from the Or­der of Aus­tralia As­so­ci­a­tion.

The award is only given to one mem­ber of the youth crew at the end of the voy­age and Ellen said it was a “flat­ter­ing” to be the re­cip­i­ent.

Ellen was joined by 23 other youths from all around Aus­tralia on the once-in-a-life­time voy­age.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the STS Young En­deav­our visit www.youn­gen­deav­our.gov.au.

Photo con­trib­uted.

HANG­ING ON: Air­lie Beach lo­cal Ellen John­son, 23, on board the STS Young En­deav­our.

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