PHOTOS: The Young Endeavour sails into Gladstone Marina
LIFELONG friendships and a whole new range of skills - these are the biggest takeaways for the young Australian crew members who arrived today on the STS Young Endeavour.
The tall ship is now safely docked at Gladstone Marina where it will stay until Sunday after its 11-day voyage from Airlie Beach.
Crew on board the ship came from five state and territories, range in age 16-23, and are fully supported by an Australian navy crew.
One of the youth crew, Anders Glew, said the experience was life changing.
"It was a really good experience where every day just kept getting better," he said.
"I know I've made lifelong friends and every night we got together we just gelled, learned lifelong lessons and it was just such a great experience.
"I've never been on a ship like this and never been on a boat.
"So it's something new for me. I was out of my comfort zone."
The ship will remain docked at the marina until Sunday when a new crew flies in and takes the helm.
The public will have the opportunity to view the ship during an open day on Saturday.
Lieutenant Commander Adam Farley described the voyage as "fantastic", praising the young crew for its hard work and determination.
"They joined first day with nerves and some shyness and anxiety but we worked together day by day giving them the confidence and skills required to sail this beautiful tall ship," he said.
"The seasickness as well and living in confines with each other is quite a challenge but they learn about themselves and that they're adaptable and more resilient than they thought.
"The whole program culminates in an expansion of their own personal knowledge that they can do things if they set their minds to it."
At the end of the day there was one simple message for the young crew.
"We'll go away today with these lifelong friends and know we had each other's back, and supported each other," Anders said.
"We're so glad to keep in contact and see where our friendships go."