BACK IN TIME: The STS Young Endeavour was the first ship of its size that sub-lieutenant James Lang boarded when he was just 17 years old. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.
BACK IN TIME: The STS Young Endeavour was the first ship of its size that sub-lieutenant James Lang boarded when he was just 17 years old. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times. Inge Hansen

A trip down memory lane for cadet commander

A trip down memory lane for cadet commander THE distant memories may be blurry but James Lang can still remember what it was like to first board the STS Young Endeavour when he was just 17 years old.

"It was the first time I'd been on a ship of that size," he said.

Now the Commanding Officer of the Whitsundays Navy Cadet unit - New training Ship Whitsunday, Sub-Lieutenant Lang said it was a unique experience to be a part of and great to see the ship vising his current home port this week.

"When I was serving in the Royal Australian Navy, when I joined in 1987, we had a chance to do weekend duties on board the Young Endeavour when it was berthed in Sydney," he said.

"Every second weekend we'd come down to the boat and perform watch keeping duties to make sure everything was running smoothly."

Before starting in the navy, at age 14, Sub Lt Lang was a navy cadet himself for five years.

At age 17, he joined the navy and it was his life for the next 10 years - an experience he described as invaluable.

"You get so much out of it," he said.

"I've still got very close friends who I keep in touch with."

Moving to the Whitsundays 10 years ago, Sub Lt Lang said he loved being able to give back to cadets what he got out of his navy experience.

"Now I'm doing something that I really enjoy and I get to do it all with the cadets," he said.

"I get to share with them the enthusiasm and adventure and the skills that I was taught."

This afternoon, 24 youths from all around Australia, including Airlie local Ellen Johnson, departed Abell Point Marina on board the STS Young Endeavour for it's 11-13 day voyage to Cairns.

Sub Lt Lang said the youths would love the experience and should savour every moment.

"Live the moment," he said.

"You will always remember your time when you're serving on the Young Endeavour."

For more information about NTS Whitsunday Navy Cadets visit http://www.tswhitsunday.com/ and for more on the Young Endeavour visit www.youngendeavour.gov.au.


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