OPPORTUNITY AWAITS: Grafton navy cadet Nick Aspinall will embark on the adventure of a lifetime this week as he boards the Young Endeavour.
OPPORTUNITY AWAITS: Grafton navy cadet Nick Aspinall will embark on the adventure of a lifetime this week as he boards the Young Endeavour. Clair Morton

Bon voyage: navy cadet to embark on once in a lifetime sail

GRAFTON navy cadet Nick Aspinall is really hoping he doesn't get seasick, but he's about to find out if he does.

On Friday the Year 11 CVAS student leaves for a once-in-a-lifetime sailing journey on the STS Young Endeavour.

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The 11-day voyage from Newcastle to Brisbane will see him bunk in with 24 other young people from across Australia, and learn not only how to sail the ship, but how to work together as a team.

It is something the 16-year-old has wanted to do for a few years, and after applying twice he got the call to say he was in. Then came the task of raising nearly $2000 for the trip, achieved with the help of the Grafton RSL sub-branch, who donated $500.

"I'm nervous because I don't know any one else there but it's exciting," he said.

"I'm hoping to get out of it new experiences, and I can bring those leadership skills I learn back so I can teach them to other people in cadets and at school."

"We learn to sail the ship... and how to navigate in open water too."

All skills that may come in handy if he follows through with his chosen career as a clearance diver or marine technician in the Navy.

With four years as a local cadet under his belt already, Nick plans to start the application process to guarantee his place in the defence forces as soon as he can.

Mum Nicole Shipman said she was very proud of her son, and thankful to the Grafton RSL sub-branch for helping out.

"I'm very proud of him and I think he deserves it," she said.

"He's wanted to do this for so long and I said to him don't give up. If it's meant to be it's meant to be."



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