Jessica Watson: The first leg complete

A while ago I posted on Dutch teen Laura Dekker who had wanted to sail solo around the world at the tender age of 13. In her case a Dutch judge stepped in (you can read the post here Judge torpedoes teen dreams) and made her a ward of the state in order to prevent her making the voyage. 16 year old Australian Jessica Watson however has been at sea since October 18th and has recently crossed the Equator near Kiritimati Island.

Sailing into history or infamy?

I’ve always been fascinated by the experiences of those who sail the globe on their own. Joshua Slocum’s classic tale Sailing alone around the World, was one of my favourite books when I was Jessica’s age. And it is the question of her age, and perhaps her gender, that continually lurks behind media coverage of her voyage. Before she set sail the word “controversial” was continually used to describe her parents decision to let her leave, particularly after Jessica collided with a freighter on the first night of her shake down voyage to test her boat and systems.

Currently the press coverage is somewhat muted but I suspect that is because the greatest tests to Jessica and her boat lie ahead as she turns her bows back southward towards the huge seas and unpredictable winds of Cape Horn. This media fence sitting is becoming as fascinating to me as the voyage itself. It has already been decided, it seems, that her voyage can end in only either triumph, and book deals and endorsements, or tragedy, and the public stoning of her parents.

That narrative has yet to be written but Jessica’s blog which she updates from onboard has become required reading for me and thousands of others (it is currently Australia’s most followed blog).

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7 Responses

  1. Jessica Watson!
    Pacific, Australia, Sydney, Aborigines, 75.000 Years old Culture
    and Christianity, only 2.000 Years! Jessica, do you like Aborigi
    nes people, and did You think sometime about so very old Cul
    tur, more as 75.000 old. Are You Christian or Atheist!

    Australia is Aboriginescountry, not christian, do not forget. This
    is very important, You have now to much time, Leptop, and You
    can learn in Internet to much about Aborigines and Englands
    Genocid in Australia! 75.000 Aborigines against 2.000 criminal
    christian Story, Christmas criminal Story! Atheist 100%

  2. I believ, Pacific Ocean is relay beautiful,
    because is a very big, the biggest! What You doing all day on
    Your Yaht. You have Leptop, and Contact with all World! Paci
    fic Ocean, and You can learn realy about australian Aborigi
    nes, and englands Genocid in Australia!

    Aborigines Cultur is a oldest on the World! The Bible is old
    only 2.000 Years, not more! Christmas to 75.000 Years old
    Aborigines Cultur! I musy smile about “Christmas” realy!

    Atheist 100%

  3. Go Jessica, Go!

  4. […] Jessica Watson’s attempt to become the youngest solo round the world sailor. (The original, Jessica Watson: The First Leg Complete can be read […]

  5. We are all rooting for you here in Notre Dame Bay NL.
    We are also very proud of you and your Parents.
    We wish you well, fair winds & smooth seas.W ill continue to follow your amazing progress.

    Peter

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