Solo Sailing Update: Jessica is Home!

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As expected, Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbor on Saturday to the cheers of thousands of fellow Australians, while hundreds of thousands more watched on lived television. For the 16-year old, who turns 17 tomorrow, it was the culmination of seven months on the high seas that saw her become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, non-stop, and without support.

In her home country, Jessica has become an instant celebrity, and she is expected to parlay her adventure into a lucrative career as a spokesperson, author, and motivational speaker. But at the moment, Jess seems mostly just happy to be home, and back on solid ground once again, where she’s been catching up with friends and family, eating the foods that she missed, and sleeping in a comfortable bed. I’m sure it is going to take a few days for everything to settle down some, and probably longer before the realization of everything that she has accomplished sets in.

Meanwhile, Abby Sunderland is preparing to get back under way from South Africa, where she’s been in dock for a couple of weeks undergoing repairs. Most of those repairs are no complete, and she is planning on doing a few shakedown cruises to work out the kinks in her new autopilot system. Once properly calibrated, she’ll look towards getting underway once again as well. She took the opportunity on her blog to wish Jessica well and congratulate her on completing the voyage, and while she admits she’s a bit envious, Abby was also very gracious in her note to her Australian counterpart.

Kraig Becker