Solo Sailing Update: Jessica Crosses The Equator, Others Gear Up To Go!

JW1 Blog
It’s been a few weeks since I posted an update on the progress of Jessica Watson, the 16-year old Australian girl who is well along her way on her attempt to sail solo around the world and, and in the process, become the youngest person to achieve that goal.

Back on November 19th, Jess crossed the equator into the Northern Hemisphere, marking a milestone on her journey. She only stayed north for a few days though, rounding Kiribati Island, and covering roughly 200 nautical miles, before she turned her boat, the Ella’s Pink Lady, back south as she now sails for Cape Horn, and one of the most challenging and unpredictable segments of any circumnavigation attempt. Those perilous seas are still weeks off however, and for now, the journey has once again been mostly uneventful, with calm seas and low winds, although her update today seems to indicate that the winds have returned, and she’s making good head way once again.

Life at sea has definitely fallen into a routine, and Jessica noted in a recent blog post that she hasn’t been bothering to cook full meals as much as she did at the beginning of the voyage, preferring instead to eat an easy to prepare meal instead or just snacking on crackers. She has even found some time to do a little school work while out on the ocean, although from the sounds of things, it didn’t hold her attention for long.

From the sounds of things, Jessica isn’t the only teenager who will be out on the water on a solo, circumnav attempt soon. ExWeb is reporting that Abby Sunderland has completed the shake down cruise of her ship, the WIld Eyes, with her brother and father along for the ride. The boat is now in Fort Pierce Florida, where it will undergo a bit of preparation for her journey. Brother Zac will no doubt have plenty of advice for his kid sister, having completed the trip himself last summer.

Meanwhile, 17-year old American Ryan Langley is also preparing to set out soon as well. His website doesn’t indicate exactly when he’ll go, but simply says “Fall 2009”, and seeing as there are only three weeks left in the fall, you’d have to think his departure is imminent.

Kraig Becker

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