A Branxton teenager marked his 17th birthday in an out-of-the-ordinary way on Thursday morning.
Sitting on the mast of the Young Endeavour, with more than 20 of his shipmates, Lachlan Cooper listened while the chorus of Happy Birthday rang across Newcastle Harbour, as the famous ship reached the end of an 11-day journey from Brisbane.
“I’ll never forget it,” he said.
“There were some really rough days there – we were all sick a little bit – but we all pulled together.”
The Young Endeavour offers youth the chance to develop skills, confidence and leadership while spending time as crew on the ship.
Lachlan wasn’t the only local on board – Liam Deer, 16, from Eleebana was also a crew member.
The vessel will depart again on Sunday, with a new team. But a free open day will be held at Queen’s Wharf between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday.
It will be a chance to chat with crew members and climb aboard the ship, before it sets sail again.