Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some bad news, but we’re floating in Sydney with a rig!

Where do I start? What a lot has happened in the last few days! We’re down in Sydney now with Pink Lady sitting proudly in the water ready for the show . . . mostly. But I better start from the beginning. It’s a long story.

The last few days in the shed were both exhausting and pretty exciting. We may as well have been living out at the shed, basically arriving with the sun and leaving long after it had set. A particularly unforgettable moment was finally starting the engine. It was Friday afternoon with only hours before the truck arrived to take the boat away. So, when the Yanmar fired up first go a cheer went up around the shed.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, the crane and the truck arrived and carefully settled Pink Lady on to the truck for the trip down to Sydney. What a sight she made heading off down the highway, and what a strange feeling - relief and . . . Well I’m not sure how to describe it. Not that we exactly had time to sit down and think about it! After cleaning the shed and running around for the last odds and ends, it was time to scrub off the last remains of resin and paint for the ‘Bon Voyage’ dinner.

What a night it was! Recognizing everyone in all those fancy outfits made for a challenge. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen everyone without a layer of paint, resin and dust. Bill Woods set the scene. Then, between courses, Don McIntyre, James Castrission and Jesse Martin gave us all wonderful insights to adventure. I think everyone agreed that we could have listened to them for quite a lot longer! Announcing my boat's name and auctioning the memorabilia was exciting, and the night passed quickly in a daze of pictures and handshakes.

Thankfully, on Sunday morning we were able to sleep in before setting off to follow the truck down to Sydney. All went well until Monday morning when we arrived to find that the truck hadn’t made it without a bit of drama. The targa frame that we’d poured time and effort into had been damaged badly by a low cable, and on further examination was basically declared a write off. Seeing the targa in such a sorry state was hard for us all, but it was particularly hard for Phil who’d put most of the hard work in. It’s a bit of a setback, but on the upside it was a relief that the hull and mounting points weren’t damaged.

Luckily, Monday improved when Pink Lady was launched smoothly at Sydney City Marina. The Yanmar engine fired up smoothly again, and David Lambourne arrived to put the mast in. Now she is looking like a proper boat! There is still plenty to do, but having a rig is pretty cool.

After a few hours sleep at 11:30pm, it was time to motor across the harbor to join the stream of boats entering the show. And no, we weren’t up that late just to enjoy the city lights. We were up late because to enter the basin where the show is held the city monorail had to be dismantled, at night. The new tiller, prop and more powerful engine gave me something to think about while manoeuvring into our berth, but all went smoothly, and finally being on the water at the helm was pretty exciting.

Make sure you come along to the Sydney International Boat Show to say hi. I’m really looking forward to the show, and the atmosphere down on the water is already so exciting! You’ll be able to catch me in the Better Boating Lounge at 2pm every day.

See you there!



Anonymous said...

Looking forward to pictures of Pink Lady in the water. How excited you must be.

Best of everything,
Bend, OR USA

Anonymous said...

dear Jessica, i would love to share your enthusiasm for the new outfit of ´Pink Lady´, but i´m to far away to come around. Where can i find a picture of your pride.
yours, Marcus from Germany

Al P said...

Well Jessica you are making great progress and I too am waiting for the "photo op."

Keep it up we are all in here for the long haul!

Al P

Jessica Watson said...

I know everyone is excited to see Pink Lady. Pictures will be up soon!

Sven on Senta II said...

Thanks for the note about the pictures, looking forward to them ... I think :-)

Mike seems to be well on his way to set the record for you to break, and then some.

Do you have an updates departure date ?


David Mac said...

Your chosen name "Pink Lady" reminded me of "Bow Tie Lady" a cole 43 currently being sailed solo around the world in stages by a lovely Sydney yachtie, Peter Barker. If you ever get a moment to read it, he has a great Blog documenting every step of the way( "Bow Tie Lady" under a different name, sailed by a famous australian adventurer Tony Mowbray has the record for the fastest solo nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation by an Australian (160 days) so I think your chosen name makes a beautiful link in with other great Aussie sailors, and another great "Lady" whose Spirit will be out there with you I am sure.

Anonymous said...

Looking good! I love the name. Pink Lady would be recognisable from anywhere. Pity you will not be visiting the Mediterranean.I am so excited for you. Good luck

Anonymous said...

send some photos in the water

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica,
the boat looks great! The color wonderful and you will speed along, skimming over the waves safely to return home!
The only thing that mars this picture of the pink adventure spirit, are the advertisements stuck on the side!
Of course, I realize, these are the people who sponsor you, but nevertheless..........
or are the signs stick on and then later removed????
Enjoy all of it! Trudy