GALLERY: Boys on a passage to adulthood 

When 20 Edmund Rice College students skipped school for a few days to head out on the water, it was all totally above board.

Members of the school’s Student Representative Council (SRC) on Thursday stepped ashore at Belmore Basin after two nights manning the schooner South Passage.

Dozens of parents lined the jetty to welcome the boys back after sailing from Sydney Harbour, with more than a few of the novice sailors looking pleased to be on dry land after some strong winds along the way.

‘‘I’ve never done anything like this before, and it was fantastic,’’ said year 10 student Justin Biceski.

Students were divided into rotating watches responsible for everything from steering the ship to setting the sails. Geoff Volk, an industrial arts teacher who accompanied the students, said the aim of the trip was to encourage networking and problem-solving skills in 

the school’s leadership group.

‘‘It’s a real opportunity for the leaders to bond, to develop their teamwork skills,’’ Mr Volk said.

It is the second year Edmund Rice students have used South Passage as a team-building exercise, after a successful trial run last year.

Justin said the exercise was worthwhile, and he hoped it would continue into the future.

‘‘I think the trip has taught the boys initiative, and will help them in the SRC next year,’’ 

he said.

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