After a few false starts, 16-year old Jessica Watson has finally begun her attempt at a solo circumnavigation of the globe by sail boat, setting out from Sydney, Australia on Sunday. If all goes as planned, the trip will take ten months to complete, and she’ll become the youngest person to make that journey, besting Zac Sunderland and Mike Perham, two young men who completed the same trip this past summer at the age of 17.
Jessica set sail in her 33 foot yacht, the Ella’s Pink Lady, and began heading northeast, towards New Zealand. She’ll pass by Fiji and Samoa, while heading out into the Pacific, where she’ll eventually turn south, to round Cape Horn. From there, it is on to the Falkland Islands, and the Cape of Good Hope, at the southern end of Africa, crossing the Southern Atlantic in the process. Finally, she’ll turn for home, crossing the Southern Ocean in the process. You can read more details of her route on her website.
The Aussie girl has also started posting to her blog already, and two days out she is reporting good winds, hitting 13 knots, and fine weather. Jessica reports that she is settling into a routine sleeping on deck for brief periods while she doges shipping traffic, which she’ll leave behind soon enough.
Good luck and Godspeed Jessica!
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