Testing their courage, leadership and tolerance to motion sickness, two Curtin University students boarded the Leeuwin II for the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation’s first ever ‘Uni Challenge’ voyage in November last year.
Alex Castledine and Sarah Henn joined 38 other students aboard the traditional tall ship for a week-long excursion off the coast of Fremantle. More than 200 university students applied for the challenge and those selected received a scholarship from the McCusker Charitable Foundation covering most of their voyage fare.
The students spent the week at sea learning how to sail and live on the 1850s-style ship, from climbing the rigging and furling the sails, to braving wet weather and unusually high swell. More than a few fears were conquered and even one or two dreams came true.
Nursing student Alex remembers as a child hearing her older sister rave about her experience on the Leeuwin II.
“Since then, it has been a dream to come and join the Leeuwin crew but due to lack of personal funds I have not been able to realise this dream until I applied for the Leeuwin scholarship,” she says.
“As my sister told us time and time again, the Leeuwin is the most wonderful way to learn about important skills such as innovation, initiative, teamwork and leadership and as she promised, I made new friends and learnt an incredible amount about sailing.”
After well and truly earning their sea legs, the students disembarked at Port Beach where they heard a reflective address from Justice James Edelman and were presented with voyage certificates by Mr and Mrs McCusker.
The Leeuwin Uni Challenge is again planned for late 2015 and Curtin students are encouraged to apply for this unique experience. Scholarships will be available for this voyage and others throughout the year.