Nine students and one staff member were carefully selected through an extensive application process and won scholarships to experience life at sea on board The STS Leeuwin II. These students and staff member would like to thank the whole team at the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation and the McCusker Charitable Foundation for their generosity in providing this amazing opportunity to our school’s CALD community.

‘Our beautiful adventure began on a ship that was built 33 years ago and is an 1850s style tall ship. Ten people were selected to go on this trip from Cyril Jackson Senior Campus. There were also 30 students from other schools and 15 crew members. After learning all about safety and finding out how to live and sleep on the ship, we departed from Fremantle Harbour at 3:30 pm on the 12th of March for our 7-day adventure.

We were put into “watch” groups and we all learned to care for the ship and for each other. On the ship, we were taught how to coil the rope, climb to the top of the masts to bring the sails down, pack away the sails, how to pull the rope properly so we wouldn’t get hurt and how to steer the ship. The crew members also taught us how to be good team members and group leaders.

Every morning we had to do exercises and clean the boat with our watch. We had 30 minutes each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone got their turn to wash all the dishes and clean up the place. The chef cooked a variety of delicious food every day and the best sticky date pudding for dessert. We even had freshly baked biscuits for afternoon tea. We also had only 1 minute each for a shower (but I think we all had showers longer than that!).

We spent the rest of our time learning how to do everything on the ship. A watch leader would teach us how to bring down the sail. The best part was learning how to turn the ship into different angles. We also had to watch the ship at night with all of our group members. Every group had four hours to watch the ship. Sometimes, we had to watch the ship from 12 am to 4 am. The stars were amazing.

We all got very seasick at first and threw up for a whole day and all night, but next morning we all got up and cleaned the ship and were doing things together as a group. We helped each other and made friends with other people from different schools.

At the end of the day we all laughed, got sea sick and cried together. We all became like one big family and worked together as a team. We sang and swam together and we overcame all the difficult situations and encouraged each other. After this trip, we all felt if we could do this, so we can do anything in life.

This will be our once-in-a-lifetime experience and we never will forget all the people that we met on this ship. We all have become lifelong friends.

We would like to thank everybody involved in this adventure – The Captain and Andy and all the other crew on the ship, The Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation and everyone in the office there, the McCusker Charitable Foundation, Barb and Shannon and Mishayla for lending us sleeping bags, our teachers and everyone at CJSC for letting us miss class for a week and our families for all their support.

All students have the achievement recognised on their WA Statement of Student Achievement and could use this as a WACE unit as the program is endorsed by SCSA.

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