Friday, June 19, 2009

Brief account of a busy week

One day seems to roll into the next in a blur, life seems to revolve around a dusty shed, overflowing email account and constant phone calls but even when things are looking really tough, I’m still thinking wow, this is really happening, slowly but surley were getting there!
I think I’ve become perpetually attached to a phone, grown a sort of electrical ear with an annoying habit of ringing and waking me with an alarm every day before the sun.

So along with making all that dust and noise this week’s refit team; Richard, Pat, Suzanne, Francois, Neil, Dad and Bruce continued making progress in all directions. Equipment and materials are slowly dribbling in from all around Australia, coordinating it all has become a full time job! It’s often hard to imagine so much equipment fitting onto such a small boat, a lot like a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces , a very complex puzzle!

Wednesday was an exception to the shed, lists and phone calls rule, as part of a marine paramedic course, I learnt everything from looking after every kind of injury to dealing with hyperthermia, CPR, administrating pain killers etc. I have to admit CPR is a bit useless for a solo sailor! and after some very messy attempts at stitching a chicken, I’ve decided that needle work isn’t for me. Practicing giving injections to a orange was also help full but the most important thing I learnt was that as a solo sailor I just cant afford to get myself hurt, there’s nothing heroic about rushing into something and giving myself an injury.

Something I’ve been getting a lot of questions about lately is my physical strength and whether I’ll be able to handle particularly down in the southern ocean. Strength would certainly be an issue on a bigger boat which is why I’ll be sailing an S&S 34. At just over 10m in length the S&S 34 is a yacht known of its ease of handling. Modifications such as splitting the headsail area into two small sails, running lines back to the cockpit and installing plenty of nice big winches will all make life easier for me. When most people think ‘Sailor’ the first thing that comes to mind would have to be big burly guy, in reality some of sailings greatest achievers don’t fit the big burly guy description. I’ll also continue working on building up upper body strength over the next mouths as well as generally keeping myself in good shape.

The following link is to the really great article from last weekend’s Courier Mail, well worth a look!



Cameron B said...

Hey Jessica,

So overall you enjoyed the medical, i agree...the stitching would be a bit gorey, then again its needed to be learnt.

The hobey 16 is coming along slowly, i have 'hired' a goor friend to assist with the work needed, it won't be too long now. Fortunatly.

Hope the work to come is easier,
Best wishes.

Cameron B

Albert said...

The Neil Petersen clip on YouTube shows that he went through a storm 2 days before arriving at Cape Horn where the weather was fine and the sea fairly calm, it seemed a spiritual experience for him and that Everest milestone represented the culmination of years of planning and work, I could see the excitement and relief in his face. They say that more people have been into space than sailed around the Cape alone and that statistic will probably stand forever. Mike isn’t sailing around the Cape, I truly respect his achievements, however in years to come people will ask “Mike who?” I can understand why you must conquer the Cape, if I was doing your journey, I would be leaving these shores with an empty feeling, a feeling that I was achieving nothing if I didn’t sail around Cape Horn, the pinnacle of solo sailing.
It’s good to hear that the boat is more manageable than I thought and does not require a “Terminator” to sail it. I learned from Mike’s blog yesterday that dehydration is also a problem and you must drink regularly like a marathon runner, his video makes it look so easy. I believe Jesse had to stitch himself on his journey, so the practice wasn’t wasted.

Albert said...

I am starting to get caught up in the excitement of this challenge. Do you realise that when you approach the Cape, the eyes of the world will be on you and when you pass, millions of Australians and others will be overjoyed, for us it will be like a Cathy Freeman Olympic moment, as it was with her all the hard work delivers the result.

Dominic said...

Hi Jessica, I live on the Sunshine Coast too! My Mum has just read the article about you in the Weekend Australian magazine. She thinks you are amazing and we will follow your blog.

Good luck!

SK8TER BOI said...

Hi Jessica, two items I highly recommend you include in your first aid kit ... Vitamin C tablets and a box of Immodium tablets. Both are priceless when you need them, especially when you're alone at sea.

Kutter said...

Dear Jessica,

I am an 18 year old kid who lives in Yellville, Arkansas which is a small town of just under 2000 people in the United States. I found out about you only today and have been reading about you intently, and with great interest. Although I have not met you I would like to and I wish you good luck.

I think that this is not at all reckless as you seem to have every thing under control and either have or are taking the proper steps.

Again I wish you luck and my best however,I read that you're taking a laptop with you on your journey. You may not want to but if you truly get bored at any time ,and if you can, email me at

Wishing you the best from the U.S.

Kutter Lee McNeil

Myriam said...

Hi Jessica, I wish you all the luck in the world and really admire your determination. I will follow you through your blog and site and will pass on your achievements to my sailing friends.
Take care.
Myriam from the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean.

Anonymous said...

Jessica, are you brave enough... to call it quits if you have to? It would be the hardest thing in the world but could you? I knew of another Jessica, a 7 year old girl trying to be the youngest person to fly accross the USA in a plane. They were taking off in an airport in Wyoming in a storm. Jessica might not have been at the controls because the rules allowed another to land and take off. They didn't make it. My point is they were blinded by the goal. You are talented, prepared and have a great support system. No doubt you can do it. But if the unexpected thing should arise, use your intelligence to make the decision, not your emotion. You will be in my thoughts until you complete your journey, good luck!