OUT AT SEA: Jacinta Olsen during her Young Endeavour adventure.
OUT AT SEA: Jacinta Olsen during her Young Endeavour adventure. Jacinta Olsen

Country girl at home on the water

KILKIVAN is not commonly known for its large ships sailing into town, but that hasn't stopped ocean enthusiast Jacinta Olsen from pursuing her goals.

The 16-year-old joined 20 other keen voyagers for 11 days at sea aboard the STS Young Endeavour.

Jacinta loved every minute of her travels but she admits, it took a little bit of encouraging initially.

"I had not idea what I was in for, my mum had been suggesting I apply for years,” Jacinta said.

Leaving from Mackay Harbour and sailing around the Great Barrier Reef and Great Keppel Island, the Young Endeavour Voyages are open to young Australians aged 16 to 23.

Jacinta has returned to Kilkivan with a new lease on life.

ON A HIGH: KIlkivan teen Jacinta Olsen and the Young Endeavour crew arrive in Mackay Harbour .
ON A HIGH: KIlkivan teen Jacinta Olsen and the Young Endeavour crew arrive in Mackay Harbour . Jacinta Owens

"I've only been back a week and I really feel like it has turned my life around. I learnt that I am so much more capable than I thought I could be,” Jacinta said.

Most of the young crew had little to no sailing experience but Jacinta took to it immediately.

"I was concerned I might get sea sick because lots of the others did, but I was fine,” Jacinta said.

A large teenage crew on a small, cramped boat could be a recipe for disaster, but Jacinta had a ball and everyone got along swimmingly.

"There were six of us sleeping in this tiny little room on beds smaller than a single, but we were all too exhausted to care,” she said.

Being one of the youngest on the ship, Jacinta is looking forward to future journeys at sea and she encourages other teenagers from country areas to apply.

"I will definitely be applying again, they try to accommodate the country kids because we don't live as close to the water,” Jacinta said.