May 16th, 2010


Jessica Watson made it

I gotta admit that I only got on the Jessica Watson bandwagon yesterday. Before then I was both skeptical she could make it round the world by herself and bored by the concept. I saw some of her phone homes along the way and was mostly annoyed that she hadn't brushed her hair.

But then they were saying that she might not be given the record for youngest to sail around the world. And then that kinda started to annoy me - cause she was the youngest to do it, she did sail all the way around the world. The first reason I heard was because she didn't sail far enough north over the equator and then I heard it was because they weren't giving the title for "youngest" anymore to prevent younger and younger kids from doing it.

And you know, call me a cynic, but you don't really ever see them quibbling over such semantics when boys succeed with such feats - take for example the two young men that hopped on board her vessel and steered her home in the Sydney Harbour so she could take in the view. The world and record title officiators more than happily gave them both their records.

But you know what? Screw that because despite how uninterested I was in her whole 210 day journey, watching her sail into the harbour, with so many boats there to welcome her and escort her in, made my heart soar. Here was a capable, independent young woman who had just completed an enormous achievement, for anyone. She had sailed 210 days in raging seas and storms to traverse the globe by herself. She had met all the challenges in her way as they came, fixing the vessel as needed, and making decisions about change of route according to weather. And then she sailed home. And I had a tear in my eye, I admit.

Here she is in the Pink Lady:

And they gave her a pink carpet welcome - how awesomely cool is that!!!!!!

And I love that she did it in a pink boat - pink the colour everyone loves to scorn for being too girly, too fluffy, too ... pink! Here she says pink is awesome! Pink is powerful! Pink can do or be anything it damn well likes!!!

Hooray for Jessica Watson who proved all her critics, including me, wrong!

And damn well give her her record you petty, quibbling bunch of old farts!

And for a bit of commentary to conclude this piece ... they say Gen Y are media savvy, growing up in a world so technologically advanced where everyone wants to know what's in it for me? Check out the sponsorships on the side of her boat. They say this will make her a millionaire before the year is out. Why not, I say, take a personal cut in the money people me around you, and on you.