18 April 2010
Jessica Watson - 6 Months at Sea
Jessica expressed her sorrow upon hearing that one of her favourite bands, Powderfinger decided to break up. Their song, which is aptly named "Sailing the Wildest Stretch" may well have been inspired by Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady as they head across the wild expanse of the Great Australian Bight.
Today, 18th April 2010 marks another milestone for Jessica as she completes 6 months at sea sailing solo, non-stop and unassisted since departing Sydney on 18th October 2009.
Jessica and Ella's Pink Lady have recently weathered some very unfavourable conditions upon entering the Great Australian Bight, including lightning storms, strong headwinds, rain, fog, erratic shifts in wind direction and strong gusts. At one point extreme wind gusts caused Ella's Pink Lady to lay right over on her side pinning her down.
Consequently the boat's angle in that lay-over resulted in seawater gushing in through the sink drain and flooding the galley before washing down into the bilges, at which point EPL's bilge pump made quick work of getting it out again.
However, that was not as much the source of Jessica's annoyance as the mainsail tearing badly in two places. Needless to say, as soon as the weather abated, Jessica went straight to work on sewing it up and reported later that she was satisfied it would all hold together.
Jessica made the most of the more favourable weather conditions and got stuck into some serious housekeeping and maintenance. She's sorted out her galley and shifted things around Ella's Pink Lady in an effort to distribute her weight more evenly to keep her well trimmed and sailing nicely.
She also changed the headsail over to the spare and is currently enjoying sailing a steady 6 knots heading in an ESE'rly direction with the "Code 0" sail up, as in the picture above.