Toowoomba teenager Erin Higgins went on the South Passage sailing ship. Photo Contributed
Toowoomba teenager Erin Higgins went on the South Passage sailing ship. Photo Contributed Contributed

Voyage under sail sets Erin’s compass anew

EMBARKING aboard the 30.5m schooner, South Passage, wasn't something that Toowoomba teenager Erin Higgins ever saw herself doing, but when she did, it was the voyage of a lifetime.

The 15-year-old Fairholme College student described the journey as one that "couldn't be put into words".

Erin boarded the gaff-rigged sailing vessel with 20 other young people, who were all given the responsibility of manning the ship with help from the crew.

"We learnt all about the different sails, and ropes according to those sails," she said.

"One fun part was a knot-tying competition - we were split into our groups and had to get the quickest time as a whole."

Erin said her group had won overall best and she claimed the title of "most enthusiastic".

During her trip of five days and four nights, Erin had the chance to go snorkelling around shipwrecks at Tangalooma and that was something she found to be quite challenging.

"You appreciate everything - it's very overwhelming," she said.

As she was falling asleep she was able to hear whales singing to each other through the hull of the ship.

She said the trip tested her and she now realised how much she could achieve if she set her mind to it or gave things a go.

Erin took part in the South Passage adventure during the September school holidays as part of her application for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which recognises young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises.

SOUTH PASSAGE

  • South Passage - Adventure under Sail owns and operates the 30.5m gaff rigged schooner.
  • Designed specifically for 14 to 17-year-olds to experience adventure under sail.
  • For more information visit http://www.southpassage.org.au


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