To the expectant crowd waiting on the B Shed wharf at Fremantle it must have been with a sense of historical re-enactment as the Leeuwin sailing ship gracefully slipped into berth.
What soon became obvious to the onlookers was the feeling of camaraderie and esprit de corps between all on board as the crew and those waiting gave a resounding cheer. There were handshakes, hugs, the promises of ongoing Facebook friendships and the presenting of certificates to the young crew who had just completed their first voyage on an ocean going sailing ship.
It was a different group of sailors seven days previous as nervous participants boarded the Leeuwin at Monkey Mia on June 1st, clinging to their swags and possessions and hoping that they would acquit themselves with honour or at the least without being sick below deck.
Now, eight days later, they moved with confidence, giving tours of the ship and naming articles and areas with a sea going swagger and pride in their new found knowledge.
Five of these students of the sea were from Carnarvon Community College, four students in year nine who attend Carnarvon Follow the Dream Partnerships for Success and Sam Blamey a year 12 student.
Marcus Stratton, Zain Roberts, Danika Councillor and Nancy Murray have officially found their sea legs and to some extent achieved goals set prior to embarking on the voyage; one of self discovery.
Carnarvon is such an isolated environment, we are always looking for something that will not only challenge the students but provide them a vehicle to better themselves and see them not only set goals but achieve them and test them to the limits.
The students have returned with a better sense of their own abilities and an increased self confidence.
They were challenged, they pulled through and they were treated as young adults – an equality you don’t find everywhere.
Story from Challenge News: Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation, June 2014.