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... :-))