Published on: 7 June 2013

As the final voyagers of the Year 8 Leeuwin Adventure returned home this week, Keaton Wright (Year 8) shared his experience on board the tall ship in the World Heritage Site of Shark Bay. The experiential six-day journey aims to expand boys’ capabilities and sense of themselves through a highly challenging and inspiring team experience.

Q: What were your expectations leading into the voyage?
A: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect although my brother (Aaron, Year 9) had already done it and loved it. He loves sailing. Seasickness was my biggest concern as I’d been seasick before. So I was pretty happy that I wasn’t actually sick!

Q: What was the highlight of the voyage?
A: Seeing a meteorite shower during night watch on night anchor. There was no wind and no cloud. You could see all these shooting stars. One burnt up and lit up the entire ocean. It was pretty amazing.

Q: What was your greatest challenge?
A: There were a few! Unravelling the sails from the yards while standing on the wire is quite scary. Then you get used to the heights and it becomes more fun. Going to the top of the mast was also scary. Also, starting night watch when a big storm came through and having to ‘clip on’ in the lightning and thunder. And of course, not puking!

Q: Why do you think it is a good program for Year 8 boys?
A: It introduces us to the ocean and to sailing. It teaches us about the history of the Leeuwin, the history of Australia and how it all links in together. It is also an once-in-a-lifetime experience that not many people get to do.

The Year 8 Leeuwin Adventure, a partnership between Christ Church and the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation introduced in 2011, allows every Year 8 student to spend six days on board the tall ship as part of the School’s outdoor education program. The students are among the youngest sailors to sail on the training ship and Christ Church is the only WA school to offer the compulsory program.