Samu, Monkey Mia's latest addition was born on 12 Dec '09 & is pictured here with mum Puk.

24 March 2010

Jessica Watson - Amsterdam and St Paul Islands

The weather stayed windy and squally with the sea building up to 5 meters as Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady approached Amsterdam Island so they ended up passing well clear to the north during the night of 23rd March 2010.

Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady have now been at sea for 158 days and have put almost 18,000nm in their wake since heading off from Sydney 5 months and 6 days ago. They are now over halfway across the Indian Ocean and one can almost sense real excitement building among all on-board and around the world as Ella's Pink Lady makes good progress towards Australia.

For the moment however, as much as Jessica was hoping to sail within sight of the islands of Amsterdam and St Paul, ultimately the weather dictated their impending course of events which saw her and Ella's Pink Lady focusing instead on the priority of dealing with increasing winds, icy rain and a building sea.

Jessica also reported that at one point the wind unexpectedly changed direction which caused Ella's Pink Lady to heal right over and head in the wrong direction which, after a quick gybe over, was back under control again. Personally, I prefer to fantasise that Ella's Pink Lady had sighted land at that point and healing over as she did was her attempt at a "Land Ho!" call to her captain.

Of course, whenever a boat heals over suddenly the way Ella's Pink Lady did, it can almost always be expected that something down below would fly across the cabin or be tossed around inside a locker somewhere....or at the very least, cause a hand-held vacuum packer to turn itself on! Whatever, it's sure to always cause momentary panic while searching for the culprit all the while imagining, as Jessica stated "all sorts of critical damage".

Such is a life afloat in a little pink boat across the vastness of the Indian Ocean... :-))

19 March 2010

Jessica Watson - Queen Mary 2

Yesterday, 18th March 2010 marked Jessica's 5th month at sea since departing Sydney on 18th October 2009. While getting very close to being halfway over the Indian Ocean, Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady have just crossed the 17,250nm mark of their voyage.

To help celebrate her 5 month milestone, Jessica enjoyed a brief conversation via satellite phone with the Master of the Queen Mary 2, Captain Nick Bates. Whilst en-route to Mauritius, having left the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia a few days ago, the passengers and crew of the QM-2, most of whom are Australians, passed on their message of support to Jessica.

Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady are currently experiencing an uncomfortable 4-metre "leftover" swell after a gale that passed through yesterday with 40knot winds. Conditions have improved today however, but they are still rolling along on a 4-metre swell.

According to the EPL Team's current estimates, Jessica is hoping to pass under Cape Leeuwin in about three weeks time. From Cape Leeuwin they are expecting that Jessica would take a further month to reach Sydney.

Team EPL further stated that unfortunately for all the West Australian supporters hoping to catch a glimpse of Jessica as she passes under Cape Leewuin, she is expected to be sailing a long distance south of the Coast, making any visual contact impossible.

I'm sure many Western Australians will have a light on for you Jessica and will be there with you in spirit as you pass under our great state.

I'll leave a Tilley lamp burning for you on the shore at Cape Leeuwin.

10 March 2010

Jessica Watson - Broken Head and the Book Title

While Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady are presently enjoying perfect conditions outside, sadly the state of affairs down below are less than perfect as Jessica continues her efforts to resolve the on-going saga of her broken head (toilet/dunny).

Jessica reported yesterday that. "The dunny (toilet/head) is giving me a bit of grief. Despite spending yesterday afternoon pulling off and replacing various pipes, it's still refusing to work, which really has me stumped as it's not exactly the most complicated or high-tech piece of equipment. Definitely not the most glamorous or pleasant job, but I can only keep trying!"

Meanwhile, the search for an appropriate book title has begun and Jessica has graciously requested suggestions from her extensive fan base of world-wide bloggers for "a title that really fits and we all like". Needless to say, her blogsite is well on it's way to a record breaking number of comments once again as ideas are pouring in thick and fast from very enthusiastic and loyal fans everywhere.

Addit: Last count as of 11th March - 1070 comments! That's 12 comments more than when Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady rounded Cape Horn and a total of 1058 congratulatory comments came pouring in from all corners of the globe.

My personal preferences are:

  • Bring on the Empty Ocean (as in David Niven's auto-biography,
    "Bring on the Empty Horses")
  • Sail of the Century
Today marks Jessica's and Ella's Pink Lady's 144th day at sea as they cross the 16,500nm mark of their circumnavigation.

Congratulations everyone on a job well done!

07 March 2010

Jessica Watson - Homesick & Landsick

Jessica reported in her latest blog that she was feeling homesick and landsick, so I was inspired to create this picture in an effort to capture this moment in her voyage. While feeling homesick is perfectly normal, she has every reason to feel landsick for her homeland, Australia - A Sunburnt County.

As Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady progress across the Indian Ocean, they have been experiencing remarkable variables in weather conditions. They're now making good headway in a more easterly direction after previously having to alter course to head a little further north in order to avoid some low pressure cells to the south.

After reaching uncomfortably in a pretty big sea over the past 24-36hours, conditions have now abated and they are making slow but steady progress and enjoying the calm, sunny weather while catching up on the housekeeping and maintenance chores that are every sailors "routine" activities of daily living.

Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady are flying along east now and have just passed their 16,000nm mark. Exactly one week ago on the 28th February, they passed the 15,ooonm mark which means they covered 1,000nm in 7 days, averaging 142nm (+/-) per day. That is truly remarkable!

Congratulations!!! Sail on home Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady