Aboard the Windeward Bound

Adventure. Circular Head Christian School’s Student Executive members embarked on a one day voyage with the Windeward Bound and its crew late last month.

Currently circumnavigating Tasmania in a three month voyage, the Windeward Bound docked at Strahan to welcome aboard the local students, introducing them to life on a ship through the Learning the Ropes program.

School captain Kurtis Maher shares the experience with Chronicle readers.

On Friday May 26 we had the amazing opportunity to go aboard the Windeward Bound ship on its stop at Strahan as a Student Executive group. We also were able to spend the night before in Strahan and do a couple of leadership exercises as a group and head out for dinner together.

When we went aboard the boat, we were split into groups of around five or six. Each group, called a watch, was then led by a crew member of the Windeward Bound and taken through many activities.

Firstly, we were able to go aboard a 20 foot longboat trim and attempt to row it together. I think it’s safe to say that it didn’t really go well at first. We managed to get in some sort of rhythm and stop rowing around in circles eventually. Every person had a turn at being the stroke, who was the person that kept the timing of the oars, who everyone was meant to follow for their timing.

Once this was done – and we had overcome cold feet and hands – we were taken for a tour around the ship. We went down to the sleeping bunkers, some of which are very small. We were shown how the ship works, all of the sails and ropes and were then given a chance to hoist the mainstay sail. After this, we put some harnesses on and were given the chance to climb the rigging on the side of the ship. It looked quite small from the deck to the top of the rigging but once we were up there, it was a lot higher than it looked!

While we were up there, we got to hang out on the yard, which is where the sails of a ship were set. We had to hang over the edge of the yard, which was slightly frightening especially when there was someone else moving the wire you were standing on. It was a load of fun though.

After this, we had a bit of lunch and were split into pairs. Our next task was to make a contraption that would stop an egg from cracking when dropped from the top of the rigging. Surprisingly, a lot more worked than I thought.

Once this was done we were able to sail the ship on course back to port which was probably the toughest part of the day as it involved a lot of rope hauling and moving around.

Overall, I believe that this was an amazing and beneficial experience that was completely worth it. As well as experiencing what it was like to be out at sea for a day I definitely grew closer to my fellow Student Executive members as we got to know each other on the boat and the night before. The Windeward Bound is an amazing initiative that I would recommend to anyone that is keen on growing their leadership skills while learning new things and having fun at the same time.

For more information about Windeward Bound and its youth development programs, visit www.windewardbound.com.au or email office@windewardbound.com.au