23 March 2010: For Jessica Cannane, a student at Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Ballarat Campus, stepping aboard the tall ship Young Endeavour was a dream come true.
Jessica Cannane on board the tall ship
The 23-year old Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine student embarked on the 11-day journey to get out of her comfort zone and “learn a little bit about sailing.”
“Sailing out of the Heads, it was foggy, raining and terrible sailing weather,” Jessica said. “No other sailors were going out. We had complete command of the ship, and it was such an empowering and rewarding feeling.”
“On day three I woke up in the middle of the ocean and all you could see was water. There was this amazing sense of leaving society, no phones, no iPods and no computers - just your shipmates to talk to.”
Jessica said the highlight of the experience was being nominated Captain of the $43 million dollar ship, and taking a group of kids from Ronald McDonald House sailing.
“The children we met that day really made me re-evaluate my life,” Jessica said. “Things that seem hard in my life really aren’t bad compared to some of the situations those kids are facing.”
She said the experience of sailing aboard the Young Endeavour taught her the importance of having fun in any situation and not taking yourself too seriously.
“The whole trip was such an accomplishment for me,” Jessica said. “On the first day we said we would never be brave enough to scale the 33 foot yard arms, but on our return, as we sailed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there we were all climbing up and sitting there with no hesitation.”
“To anyone considering embarking on a Young Endeavour journey I would say definitely do it, it’s worth every minute of the sailing experience and the lifelong friends that you make.”