While we all sit around complaining about the weather, some determined teenagers are getting on with life.
Here are a few. As soon as I can find more, I’ll post them.
Meet Jessica Watson – get your tickets here
Solo sailor, 16, crashes first day out
By PAUL HARRIS, SMH
JESSICA WATSON: A crash on her first day out of port was not an auspicious start for the youngster’s plan to sail solo around the world.
Australian schoolgirl skipper Jessica Watson, 16, has crashed her yacht on the first leg of her solo around-the-world voyage.
Watson’s sloop, Ella’s Pink Lady, hit a merchant ship near Stradbroke Island about 2.30am, less than 24 hours after leaving the Sunshine Coast for Sydney.
The Buderim schoolgirl contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which was monitoring her journey, and was told to turn her motor on and head back to Southport on the Gold Coast.
The teenager was not injured in the collision, but her yacht’s mast and bow were substantially damaged.
I’ve Crossed the Finish Line, Whoopee!!! – 28 08 09
After a night of no sleep and lots of dodging of fishing boats, I found myself closing in on the Lizard for about half-nine. HMS MERSEY did me the very great honour of escorting me to the finish line. Is was also chuffed to bits to see a Royal Navy chopper from Culdrose had also been sent out to join me and they collected some great footage and photographs. I also heard the banter on board the chopper – and it was quite something too! A number of ribs sent out by the main TV networks came and joined in the fun.
So as I closed on the finishing line and sailed just offshore of the Lizard, staying clear of all the rocks and as I crossed it HMS MERSY blew all her horns. I lit two flares, as what’s become tradition these days with single-handed sailors. The Media boats immediately converged for interviews and photos and I certainly had quite a smile on my face that’s for sure!
more videos here
more videos here
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Real Solo Sailing
This weekend I got the chance to do some proper solo sailing, without cameras and microphones!
I set off on Saturday afternoon into 25-30 knots of wind and a nice wet chop. Apparently Mum wasn’t too impressed when a big set of breaking waves rolled across the river entrance just after me, but Pink Lady and I were doing just fine. Pulling the sails up and settling onto a reach out to sea was all straight forward.
I’m really happy with how confident and easy everything feels. I have to admit, after everything was in order, it was a pretty special feeling sitting in the cockpit watching the boat sail along with the sun setting, land sinking off the horizon, and me working my way through a punnet of strawberries.
Saturday night was good fun too. Surfing along at up to 8 knots, blasting a mix of music that Emily, my sister, put together for me! And I wasn’t about to get bored with plenty of fishing boats and shipping to keep an eye out for.
The Other Side of the World
Not that there hasn’t been enough to keep me busy right here at home, but over the last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about Mike Perham who crossed his finish line in the UK yesterday to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. There isn’t much I can say, but congratulations! and how excited for you, Mike!
In my books, Mike’s achievement is totally amazing. His trip wasn’t all exactly smooth sailing, and handling his yacht Totallymoney.com, an open 50, isn’t something I can imagine. I’ll stick with my little S&S 34, even if we cant quite match that kind of speed!
Ever since getting the chance to meet Mike when he made a brief stop in Australia I’ve been grateful to have had the chance to talk to him about all the different aspects of sailing around the world. To hear about his experiences and swap notes has been really cool.
How much influence do these yachties have on these teenagers?
Dame Ellen MacArthur