Saturday, May 15, 2010

That'll be a tick Jess

By the time you read this, all being well, Jessica Watson will be standing on land, albeit probably in a wonky manner, after completing a solo round the world sailing trip.

I recall when Sir Francis Chichester, an older and very experienced salt, sailed solo around the world to huge acclaim.

For the cynics among you, yes, Jessica had a lot of modern and high tech equipment, things Sir Francis would not even have dreamed about. She had regular contact with many people including her family. Advice on tap, you might say. She will go on to make heaps of money with television and magazine deals, and of course product endorsement. She will always be remembered for her feat and must now deal with fame.

But what you can't forget is that she is a sixteen year old kid who sailed around the world on her own. Well done Jessica.


  1. I think this was a remarkable feat. I hope the stupid bickering over a world record doesn't spoil her homecoming. I imagine she has quite an adjustment ahead to the 'peopled' world on dry land.

  2. Yes, an outstanding achievement and she was impressively articulate on her return. She has a big future.

  3. Anonymous6:08 pm

    No, she didn't do it by herself - she had an enormous team backing her up, and was driven by her "mentor" to even attempt the trip. Get real people - would YOU encourage your 16yo to do it? - at that age, most of them cannot even manage their own socks!

    And I wonder about the ethics and morality of people who would encourage this sort of lunacy. And how many of us fall for all this, view it as.....what?...

    Yes, she did it - she trained for it - she got it. And apart from running into the tanker on her first time out - silly girl, had forgotten to rig the automatic alarm that would wake her up when a Big Ship comes near.....(let that one by)....sincerely hope she gets adequately rewarded for the effort SHE put in.

    I note, too, that the World Authority on Certifying Silly Records in Sea Things (or whatever its called - cant remember) has decided to drop the category from its books - too many teenagers trying to do it, dangerous and foolhardy.

    Now, how many people have I pissed off?


  4. Indeed KN. No physical contact with another human for seven months and then thrown into the thick of it with a constant barrage of people. I think she will be ok. She is a pretty smart chick.

    Victor, I don't expect you joined the welcoming throng, but did you have your binoculars out?

    Anon, yes yes and yes. But it still remains that she was alone sailing around the world for seven months at the age of sixteen.

  5. Anonymous7:17 pm

    I agree with Michael on this one. If she "didn't do it for the record" and of course media fame, then why not wait until she had finished school and turned 18 then sail solo around the world?

    Further, it is hardly solo. If anything broke on the boat she would take a photo of it and send it to her dad who would then advise her on how to fix it. If she was a true solo around the world sailor she shouldn't be relying on her father or experienced sailors to advise her on her course and how to fix things that break on her boat.

    However, you do have to give her credit for being by herself for such a lengthy period and I think that at times it would be incredibly scary. So in that regard I think she is pretty brave but in all others she makes me sick.

  6. Sorry Michael, I missed your name at the end.

    Anon, time felt right I suppose. I very much dislike the commercialism of it too. Note, her advisors were smart enough to give free access upon her landing. She certainly never hid her sponsors or that she had a lot of support, so essentially, I agree with you. She was alone for a long time and did some pretty hard yards in big seas.

  7. Anonymous10:59 pm

    Good points Andrew and Anonymous - she had the guts to do it, it wouldn't have been easy, but some people are going to make a lot of money by betting on a 16yo girl. And thats the contradiction - I cant criticize whats she has done, but the blatant , commercial way it was done rankles....sigh....


    PS - Joshua Slocum did it first, in "Spray" 18?? - he wrote a book about it, a good read I recall as a kid. Including how to deal with cannibal attacks in the South Seas...

  8. The book does sound interesting Michael. I don't recall him at all.

  9. I'm happy for her. Regardless of the level of support she had and her reasons for doing it, she's achieved something remarkable. There's a lot to be said for dreaming big.

  10. A remarkable teenager for sure. Talk about mental fortitude.