Tag: Sailing

Jessica is Home!

Young Australian, Jessica Watson, is home safe and sound.

(Circumstances required that I had to prepare this Post well ahead of the confirmation that Jessica is back and as it happens, the chances are that when Jessica made it past the Sydney Heads finish line I was onboard a flight from Los Angeles to London.)

05-May-2010

The youngest person to sail around the world solo, non-stop and unassisted, 16 year old Australian Jessica Watson, is expected to complete her historic voyage, arriving back in Sydney to a hero’s welcome on Saturday 15 May.

Jessica left Sydney on 18 October 2009 and has so far overcome every challenge that Mother Nature has thrown at her to achieve her goal.

Jessica needs to cross the finish line at Sydney Heads to officially complete her voyage.  She will then cruise down Sydney Harbour before disembarking at Sydney Opera House.

It is anticipated that Jessica will cross the finish line at approximately 11:30am and arrive at the Sydney Opera House around 12.30pm, the first time she will have set foot on land in almost seven months.

Readers of Learning from Dogs will know that we recognised Jessica’s brave and courageous voyage in a Post published on November 12th, 2009.

Soon memories such as this:

With the drogue trailing behind Ella's Pink Lady shaking off one wave with the next 10m monster coming up behind!

will be a thing of the past!

Our Post of last November is re-published below.

Read the original Post

Single-handed sailing

A personal reflection on this rather strange way of travelling!

The recent Post about young Jessica Watson sailing alone around the world raised a few comments but also reminded me of my own experiences of solo sailing.

Some years ago, having successfully sold my own IT company, I warmed to the idea of being a full-time yachtie! A second-hand Tradewind 33 was discovered on the Island of Corfu.  (Now here’s a surprise!  I was just browsing the web looking for a picture of a Tradewind and came across my old yacht currently up for sale.  Her name is Songbird of Kent! Picture below.)

Songbird of Kent
Tradewind 33 - Songbird of Kent

Anyway, the deal was done and having sold my house in England I flew out to Corfu to collect Songbird of Kent. Inevitably it was a number of months before the boat was ready to head out into the Mediterranean but in early Spring 1988 it was time to explore the long coastlines of Greece and Turkey.

After a fantastic summer cruising from one idyllic anchorage to another mostly with friends or family on board, it was time to find a winter haven.  Many recommended Larnaca Marina in Cyprus.  Thus it was late in the summer of 1988 that I said goodbye to friends and set out on my own to cross from Antalya in Turkey to Cyprus and for Larnaca, on the SE side of the island.

That sea crossing, only a little over 200 nautical miles, was to become a regular solo experience at the start and end of each summer season. Impossible to do in a single day it was always a night at sea and rarely, if things didn’t go well with the weather, a couple of nights. I hated it! Maybe it was the sudden transition from coastal sailing to a deep water crossing, often going from having friends on board to being alone, but whatever it was I never enjoyed my time on my own and knew that long-distance solo sailing was never going to be my scene.

Read more of this Post