20 December 2010

Laura Dekker - Back on dry land

Laura Dekker is back on dry land and is pictured here (AP Photo/Judy Fitzpatrick) walking toward the immigration office upon her arrival at St Maarten in the Caribbean on Sunday 19th December 2010.

Laura and Guppy left the Cape Verde Islands off the northwest coast of Africa on the 2nd of December and took 3 weeks to sail 2,200 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to effectively complete the longest leg of their voyage around the world.

While she is aiming to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world in the long term, Laura is happy to learn that she is the youngest ever to have done the Atlantic crossing solo and unassisted.

Congratulations Laura and Guppy on a fantastic effort and all the best for a most enjoyable stay in the Caribean.

10 November 2010

Laura Dekker - Hurricane Season 2010

This track map (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) shows the hurricane activity in the North Atlantic so far this year.

The hurricane season officially started on 1st June and should end on 30th November but evidently there's nothing normal about the weather anymore.

Laura and "Guppy" plan to up-anchor from the Canary Islands tomorrow and head south towards the Cape Verde Islands, off the north-west coast of Africa and estimate the journey to take about a week. Presumably they will stay there until the end of the hurricane season at the end of this month before making their way across the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean.

06 November 2010

Perth WA - Spring 2010

A view of the city's skyline from King's Park.

A roadside display of everlastings at King's Park.

Eternal flame for silent contemplation.

22 August 2010

Laura Dekker - And so it begins for Laura & "Guppy".

Laura Dekker was said to be in good spirits on Saturday 21st August 2010 as she said goodbye to her father and friends to begin her solo world voyage on her 11.5 metre boat, "Guppy".

Laura’s original plan was to depart from Portimao in Portugal but she ended up leaving from Gibraltar because Portugal does not issue permits for sailing vessels to people under 18. This regulation does not apply on British territory.

Laura and “Guppy” are now en route to the Canary Islands, the first of several planned stops, where they will wait out the hurricane season. Then they plan to head through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean and on to Australia, the southern tip of India and through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean.

Bon Voyage Laura & “Guppy”. May you have the time of your life.

06 August 2010

Laura Dekker

Laura Dekker bids farewell to her home port, Den Osse in the Netherlands to begin her two year odyssey.

A 14 year old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker set sail last Wednesday, 4th August 2010 on the first leg of a two-year odyssey in a bid to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe.

Laura's father, Dick Dekker is accompanying her on this first leg to Portugal to test "Guppy" and make any final adjustments to her equipment. From there Laura goes solo, first from Lisbon to the Portuguese island of Madeira. Her second stop will bring her to the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco where she will wait out the hurricane season.

At age 13 Laura felt she was ready to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail around the world but was blocked from doing so when a Dutch court ruled she was too young and put her under the charge of child-care protection services. Laura put the year-long delay to good use and learned how to manage her sleep during such a voyage. She also made a safety plan as well as a sail plan and got more sailing experience.

Last week a Dutch court in Middelburg ruled that Laura no longer needed to be under supervision as she had made all the necessary improvements to her plan, including getting a bigger boat to put in more equipment. "Guppy" is a 38ft Jeanneau Ginfizz ketch with a 12.5ft beam and a 6ft draft.

Laura's sail plan shows that she will be stopping regularly and will sometimes meet up with other sailors following the same route. During her more extended passages, Laura will have radio contact with other ships at least twice a day.

Bon Voyage Laura and Guppy!

24 July 2010

Today Australia, tomorrow the world...

At approximately 1100hrs on Thursday 18th March 2010,
courageous quadriplegic yachtsman Jamie Dunross set sail from Rockingham WA onboard his S&S-34
Spirit of Rockingham
on a quest to circumnavigate Australia solo and unassisted.

Four months and one week later, at approximately 1400hrs on Sunday 25th July 2010 (tomorrow), Jamie is expected to arrive at the Val Street Jetty in Rockingham where he will successfully complete his circumnavigation.

Jamie and Spirit stopped at a few designated ports along the way but on their final leg managed to
sail non-stop from Darwin to Rockingham covering a distance of over 1900 nautical miles to break Jamie's own previous record of the longest distance sailed solo by a person with quadriplegia.

Welcome home and Congratulations Jamie and Spirit on a job well done and an excellent achievement. You are truly inspirational. I wish you all the very best for whatever endeavour you undertake in the future.

22 July 2010

Believe it...or not!

A breaching whale mangles the "Intrepid"...

No one was hurt...

The whale left behind bits of skin and blubber...

But was apparently none the worse for wear...

The destructive whale swims off into the sunset.

This incident happened off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa
on Sunday 18th July 2010.

18 June 2010

True Spirit

I'm so pleased they decided to change the design on the front cover of Jessica's book.

Left: The original design as it was posted on her website on 25th April 2010.

Right: As posted on her website today, 18th June 2010.

Jessica will be touring Australia in August 2010.

Visit http://jessicawatson.com.au/the-latest-news and stay tuned on the latest news for details about her upcoming appearances as well as information about how to purchase a copy of her book.

You can also pre-order the book from Booktopia

I can't wait to read it!

12 June 2010

Sydney Harbour

I took this shot seconds before the bridge lights turned off at 0100hrs...

...Sunrise 5 hours later.

25 May 2010

Jessica's homecoming

Kookaburra sitting on our cabin verandah...merry, merry king of the bush is he...

A handsome pair of Rainbow Lorikeets taking their turn on our verandah.

Sound...Camera...Action! The interview by the Daily Telegraph with Collette and yours truly.

Thanks to Captain Chris of the Polaris of Belmont, Collette's banner was hoisted to it's pride of place up the inner forestay.

I was tickled pink to see the crew (L-R) Meredith, Janell and Jacqui wearing "samurai" originals.

The famous Man 'O Wars Steps.

The pink carpet with Polaris of Belmont at the end in the background.

A great job on the flag by Jacqui (right) with Janell on the left.

The Jessaholic VIP's gathered in their designated area, perfectly situated in front of the big screen.

(L-R) Meredith, Janell, Faye, Collette, Peter, Ailsa, Jacqui and Max.

I just loved the colour of these "Ladies in Pink"

A beautiful end to a beutiful day.

A fantasmagorical effort by Collette for our "Jessaparty" the next day.

The lovely Ella's Pink Lady sitting peacefully dockside in the harbour in front of the NSW National Maritime Museum.

I must admit, seeing her sitting there all by herself was quite an emotional experience.

21 May 2010

VIDEO: Jessica's fans

VIDEO: Jessica's fans

This interview was conducted by The Daily Telegraph on the Man 'O Wars Steps at the Sydney Opera House on Friday 14th May 2010, the day before Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady arrived home.

08 May 2010

New EPL T-Shirts

I found this hot pink t-shirt in a bargain bin in a men's shop, as you do. Not that there's anything wrong with it, only that it's not a colour most men would buy, I suppose.

It would make for a nice contrast, I thought.

This one is exactly the same as the one I gave to Jessica's mum Julie when I met her here in perth recently.

Sadly, there are still an incredible number of people choosing to keep their heads buried in the sand about Jessica's achievements but as far as I'm concerned Jessica, at the age of 16, spent the best part of the last 7 months at sea sailing solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady set sail from Sydney Harbour on 18th October 2009 and crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere, passed all lines of longitude and rounded 4 southern capes namely Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Tasmania's South East Cape before ending their circumnavigation at the same port where they started, 3 days shy of Jessica's 17th birthday.

Jessica successfully achieved what she set out to do in fulfilling her ambition and ultimately realising her childhood dream! There is nothing any naysayer can say or do to diminish such an incredible accomplishment nor dampen her pride and sense of achievement.

04 May 2010

South East Cape - Tasmania, Australia

Yesterday 3rd May 2010 Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady courageously notched yet another significant milestone in their epic voyage of adventure around the world and rounded the South Eastern Cape of Tasmania.

After Ella's Pink Lady had been knocked down twice in the past fortnight and had previously been stalled encumbered by a drogue in storms and monster waves, she has since excelled in her flight of freedom sailing with her intrepid Captain down around the bottom of Tasmania.

(Photo courtesy of Herald Sun)

The most challenging and difficult part of their entire voyage is now in their wake as Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady look forward to their final stretch up the south east coast of Australia and into Sydney Harbour.

As Jessica reflects on the struggles of the past couple of weeks, she reveals feelings of enormous pride and an incredible sense of achievement at what she had recently accomplished. After first hearing of a bad forecast, then waiting in nervous anticipation for it happen, then dealing with it as it comes, Jessica said she got a big kick out of getting through the thick of it all.

Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady are expected to complete their solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation on Sunday 16th May 2010, two days shy of Jessica's 17th birthday.

25 April 2010

My t-shirt design

Here's one I prepared much earlier. :-))

This is the original t-shirt I designed way back when I started my Voyage Art blog and it's still the one I like the most.

This is the design I put on the t-shirt that I gave to Julie when I met her in Perth recently.

The thought did cross my mind to ask her to put it on for the photo of us together but thought I'd be pushing it.

24 April 2010

Indiana Teahouse

Perth bloggers L-R
Tony (Different Drum)
Sam (samurai)
Jo (Jo from Perth) with
her husband Paul.

Starboard tack

Port tack

In celebration of Jessica's and Ella's Pink Lady's re-entry into Australian waters on 11th April 2010, I organised a dinner for Jessica's loyal fans living in Perth. We had dinner at the Indiana Teahouse Restaurant at Cottesloe Beach on Saturday 17th April.

At first I must admit that I was a little disappointed that not many Perth bloggers attended the dinner but on hindsight, the four of us who were there had such a fantastic night that I don't think would have been as intimate had there been more of a crowd. We all got along so well, it was almost as though we were long lost friends, thoroughly enjoying each others company as we all had one thing in common. We talked endlessly about Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady, without whom we would not have been inspired to share the friendships that we'd made through the whole blogging experience.

It is without doubt that Jessica Watson has indeed captured the hearts and the imagination of so many around the world by allowing us the opportunity to follow her epic voyage of adventure through her blog. Little did she know in the beginning that she would end up with thousands of followers around the world, most of whom have become addicted to her blog, some even confessing to being "Jessaholics", including yours truly.