Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy Day and Water

I've just come back into the cabin after pulling the fishing line in for the day. No fish but the lures are covered in huge big teeth marks, so looks like I've been getting some nibbles! Well maybe nibbles isn't the right word? I've decided not to think too hard about exactly what left the great big teeth marks, but I'm sure it wasn't anything nearly as dramatic as my imagination would like me to think.

Looks like it’s going to be another dark night out here and warmer than ever, but I'm a happy girl after a busy and productive day. The sea and wind finally dropped off (and the sun came out!) this morning so I was out of my bunk bright and early ready to launch into a few jobs on
deck that I'd been putting off due to the bouncy conditions. I got through my little list of maintenance and gave Ella's Pink Lady a really good check over for chafe and wear. Then the wind dropped off even more, to the point where we were left to roll a bit un-comfortably, not making any progress. But before it started getting too frustrating, a great big rain cloud came along and gave us a soaking in fresh water. Rain might not sound like something to get too excited about but I was just about in heaven!

Using the mainsail and the little gutters we strategically built into the dodger, I was able to collect enough water to top the water tanks up, fill a few empty containers and give myself a lovely fresh water scrub down. In fact I ended up with more water than I knew what to do with - even after washing all my clothes. So I decided to get right into it and ended up giving every surface in the cabin a wipe down. With the music up and the air temperature down for a while with the rain, I was really enjoying myself and I never thought I hear myself saying that! I've never exactly been one to enjoy cleaning and washing so maybe I am going a little crazy out here after all? It provided me with some great exercise as well.

Anyway this brings us to one of the questions that I still haven't answered for you all – water.

What am I doing for fresh water? Believe it or not along with all the food, Ella's Pink Lady is pretty much carrying all the fresh water I'll need. It might sound a bit hard to believe but I'm only using fresh water for drinking and cooking and there's only one of me. Also, I'm relying on being able to top up the tanks again in squalls a few times before leaving the tropics and heading south. As an emergency backup Pink Lady's also carrying a little hand desalinater, but judging by the amount of water I was so easily able to collect today, I don't think that I'll ever need it.

Another squall came through this evening, dumping a whole lot more rain and keeping my life interesting with a few grumbles of thunder, a pretty strong gust of wind and some random changes of wind direction. Ella's Pink lady took it all in her stride. Compared to some of the more severe tropical squalls I'm sure we'll soon be getting, this little puff will just look a lot like a fluffy white cloud.

There's not a heap of wind at the moment, just a gentle 13knots. But thanks to the quiet conditions this morning the sea has pretty much flatted right out leaving Pink Lady to fly along on a reach, unstopped by any of those wet, bouncy things - waves!

Just glanced at the speedo and we're doing a very healthy 7knots! I wouldn't say no to more of this, but the wind is predicted to drop off again soon, so I expect the next few days will be hard work trying to keep us moving along.

That's me for today. I'm now off to open a tin of mandarin pieces with a double
dose of cream for dessert!



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Worldviewer said...

Sailor Girl,

I have been reading most, if not all, of the comments posted by people following your adventures and I am utterly astounded at the way in which a young adventurer has brought a disparate group of individuals from around the globe together in a spirit of kinship and good vibration!!!

In a time of strain and strife throughout the world, your simple act of charting a solo course has resulted in a journey involving thousands; a journey which appears to be transcending many boundaries, both literal and figurative. There is clearly a spiritual quality borne of the natural universe, inherent in the community which has developed in Ella's wake.

Something very nice is occurring here, brave lady. Thank you for the grace and unpretentious quality with which you are leading 'our' collective journey.

Your parents, friends and family should rightfully be proud of the woman you are becoming.

Peace & happiness in rain & shine.


Megan said...

sounds like an interesting day Jessica!! Enjoy your desser! :)

Love Megan ;)

Unknown said...

Big hello ot you Jess, had to write and say you are such an inspiration. Think of this Jess, you are travelling th world, th planet, the only one we know of with life. And your sailing it. Go Gal! Show us all how it is done. You make a better brave heart than the movie actor. Be safe and alert. Lots of us here thinking of ya in your little pink boat. Johnnybaloo. :O)

leslie said...

to the support team great job mum and dad and guys and girls!! it's great to see the tracking site up and running but how about a similar tracking site to that used for the Vendee Globe race? but it's still interesting to be able to see the areas that Jess is sailing through.
well done everyone.

Will Frye said...

It's amazing how much cleaning can brighten the day up. I'm not particularly a fan of cleaning, but there's been times when it's made my day... or as you said... it could be that we are going a lil' mad.

Congrats so far on your progress, and hope that all is well out on the sea.

A little some something I recommend listening to "Have you ever seen the rain", classic CCR song.

Julian Davis said...

Hi Jessica, good to know that things are going fine at your end .

I love reading your blog. Thanks for the updates. wish you a safe sailing .

Angus. said...

Hi Jesse,
Sounds like your getting along just fine and with all the fresh water you like, at the moment that is. Not too far now and you'll cross the equator. Once I was told that when we crossed the equator you'd feel the bump, I waited on the quarterdeck for an hour or so, never felt a thing. I was pretty young though.
Your doing a great job of writing your blogs, and its nice to know your safe.
hope the weather keeps good for you. Take care.
Fair winds and fair seas.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess....the blogs are great and I find myself looking for one every morning! I think of you as I stretch the legs on the beach. Iwalk from Alex to Cotton Tree so I wont complain about the head wind today as I walk will think of you who cant walk much at all. Keep on keeping on Jess and hope spirits of old seadogs keep you safe.

Laura said...

Hi Jesse,

Glad you got a fresh water rinse! It sounds lovely!! I was wondering do you ever get to take a dip in the ocean when the seas and winds are calm? Also looking forward to your explaining the safety features on your boat.

Laura from Tennessee

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jessica and her support team (mostly the support team, for this comment),

It looks to me like you crossed the International Date Line a few days ago. It dodges between Tonga and Samoa, and you're past there now. The Date Line confuses me, but doesn't it mean you'd have had, for instance, two Saturdays in a row? (Or, more precisely, that when you crossed the line it'd change from Saturday to Friday, and then at midnight change to Saturday again as usual.) I don't notice that reflected on your blog. I'm sure you're using east Australia time for some purposes (you need to know when people are asleep back home so you don't call and wake them up), but you will also need to use local time -- and I'd think that would include what day it is. But maybe not; since you're in no contact with the landlubbers you sail by during the voyage, do you have no need to coordinate your calendar with theirs? Do you plan to keep that one day "in the bank," and not turn back the calendar until you arrive home?

I was fascinated to read about the provisions for fresh water. I had no idea it was possible to carry enough. It's quite ingenious that the yacht is rigged to allow you to replenish your supply from rainfall.

Better luck fishing. If you hook anything bigger than you are, cut the line.

Best wishes,

Michael from Texas, USA

Anonymous said...

Jeff says

Jess, you have a great writing style especially for someone so young, and your blogs are NEVER boring, even though from time to time you almost apologise in case they are. I'm not a sailor, but a great fan of Captain James Cook and other famous navigators, and any sea adventure is just fascinating. Expressions such as 'the sun isn't doing much of that shining business today'(or something like that)in one of your blogs recently)illustrate your sensitivity, humour and capacity with words. All the very best with everything.


Roger and Lou Dwyer said...

Hi Jesse, in this crazy world we live in you are truly an exception and a young lady to be admired, if you turned back home now in our minds you are a record breaker of the highest degree and you should be very proud of yourself, I am 63 years old and in my whole life I dont think I would have taken on a challenge like you have and Jesse I wait each day to read your postings about your trip, to read your happiness ur smiles ur courage and most of all ur confidence and ur knowledge that you have for such a young head, you are the pride of Australia Jesse and I can imagine just how proud your Mum and Dad will of you at this stage, we are proud of you Sweetheart, Love you Jesse, stay safe and happy and more pics please hahahaha, Roger and Lou Dwyer

Caves Beach Andrew said...

Hey Jesse,

I'm doing another comment for this blog as my first one that I did last night (at 12:45am), has not come through for some reason.

Anyway, it's good to continue to hear that you are in good spirits and you are still making good progress. So how far ahead of schedule are you at this stage?

Are you sure you are only 16yo? You are certainly the first 16yo girl who has enjoyed keeping their room clean, in you case, Ella's cabin! I can just see you know, music on and you cleaning to the beat! Did you do a little bit of dancing while cleaning, just to make it a bit more fun?

You seem to have your water levels in control. The way I worked it out was that given you would be using around 5-6 litres of water per day, you wouldn't need much more than about 1,500 litres of water for the whole trip. So how much water is in storage on Ella. You said that you have enough water for the whole voyage already, but even if it was only around 1,000 litres, that's about a tonne of weight, added to the weight of all your food.

I notice that you say that chocolate is one of your favourite foods, the way you are churning through the cream, I am starting to wonder if cream is now your number 1 favourite!

You will have to start a recipe book using all the creations you have used with cream, or integrate some recipes in your book about the adventure, presuming that you will be doing one when all this has been completed.

Anyway, will keep this reasonably short, gotta get back to work after spending the last 6 hours hitting golf balls!

Take care and I look forward to hearing from you again tonight.

Caves Beach, Australia

Valiant said...

There was a young salty from Queensland
Who played both captain and deckhand
She loved the fresh water
Like Pink Lady’s own daughter
But cant even do a real hand stand

Anonymous said...

your amazing jess, absolutely amazing is all i can say. very brave to..pete

Dark said...

HI Jessica

Just catching up with your adventure. Gosh cleaning for the fun of it eh!

Its funny how something can become something you want top do when nobody else pressures you to do it and particulary when you have a need to find something to do.

So remeber those teeth marks if you feel the urge to even put your hand in the water.

Down here in Adelaide we just had our first shark attack of the year and a young guy has serious damage to a lower leg. They are putting the shark patrol into the air a month early so assume sharks are a little more dangerous than usual this year.

On that note Bye for now.



boost said...


Hows Ellas Pink Lady going? I heard u werent catching any fish but u got a couple of HUGE BITES!


anthony said...

Hi Jessica its time for your next yoga lesson The Chair.
This is a series of moments that can be done in a seated position in the cockpit or sitting cross legged on the bunk seeing you dont have a chair
Hold the right knee with your left hand , place your right hand behind you for leverage. take a deep breath and twist looking over your right shoulder as you exhale.Keep your chest lifted and your head turning further on each exhalation for 10 breaths and do the other side.This can also be done laying flat on your back with the knee bent and on the other side, twisting and holding it down with the opposite hand.
Chest and Shoulders
With both hands behind your back fingers interlaced,straighten your arms bring the wrists together and look up inhaling,fold forward on the exhalation squeeze the shoulder blades as you raise your arms overhead. 10 breaths.
This can also be done sitting with legs out straight.
X arms
Sitting up straight give yourself a big hug holding your shouderblades right arm on top,release your hands and hold the right wrist with the left hand. feel the stretch between the shoulders, look up and and down,raise your arms and do the other side. 10 breaths
These can also be done sitting x legged.
Arm over head
Right arm over head reach behind with the left hand and see if you can grab your fingers.
Change arms, 10 breaths each side.
See if you can do these every day on an empty stomach.
Next lesson Legs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess - well done on getting so much done! Sounds like you had a very productive day out there. Must feel good when the boat is in tip top shape (clean, tidy etc).

And about those teeth marks ... sometimes ignorance is bliss! I wouldn't try and find out :)

Stay dry and safe.


Anonymous said...

The joys of a fresh squally rainshower! I'm sure many people in drought-stricken areas of Australia would share your appreciation for the magical drop!

Jill (Newcastle)

mbasscat said...

Hi Jesse,
WOW! That was a nice long blog.
Sometimes the fishing is just bad, just keep trying, and with your determination you will catch fish. For those teeth marks HMMMMM!
Sounds like your doing a awesome job on the maintenace of Ella. Keep it up.
Nothing like the smell of fresh rain, a good wash down for Ella and yourself...HA! HA!
Enjoy yourself to a good dinner and some good music, its got to be just GREAT out there.
Have a great night and a better tomorrow.

Marion from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Unknown said...

Hey Jesse,
I work permanent afternoon shift so it's a real highlight coming home and reading your blog while I have a feed. Even my wifes taking an interest and she hates sailing. Keep the updates and pictures coming. I'm living the adventure of a lifetime through your eyes and photography skills and, gee, are you doing a great job.

Stay safe


Anonymous said...

There you have it...
Rain, that marvellous H2O useful for a lot of things, making our planet blue and the outstanding 3rd Rock from the Sun. That is Fresh Water, of course. But let's stop for a moment and think it over. Isn't this fresh supply against the rules ? Don't you have to carry everything with you ? There have been occasions,when heavy cloud have dumped tiny fish on land. Can't we use the same trick to let it rain mandarins...
followed by a squall of cream...
what do they come up with next ?
I guess in the fashion of Monty Python's Flying Circus it would be "ALBATROSS, COME AND GET YOUR A L B A T R O S S ..."

Anonymous said...

Young women cleaning up...
Strange,although behavioural scientists will probably point this into hormone driven nestmaking... ... ... NAAAAH.

Anonymous said...


Great reading your blog. Just like I'm there. Would you post your latitude and longitude once in a while
Ted in Texas

Anonymous said...

Continued luck on your journey, rain must be a sound like your using it wisely.
You have awesome parents for allowing you to follow your dream.
This is fun reading your blogs to see what each day entails its as tho I'm there with you.
keep up the good work.
This grandma is very proud and it shows if you set your mind to do anything you can.
Happy Sailing my dear.
Just one of the twins in USA

ToSeeTheSea said...

I was wondering about the fresh water. A downpour of rain in the convergence zone is quite a treat and during the day gives warning of squalls. Harder to see at night though without the use of radar.

So you're doing well Jess. Thanks for the effort you put into your blog.

A quote I like from "White Squall", dedicated to the Premier and others like her;

Captain Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon: You know whats out there? Wind and rain, and some damn big waves, reefs and rocks, sandbars, and enough fog and night to hide it all.
Dean Preston: So why the hell do it?
Captain Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon: It builds character Mr.
Preston of which you are in desperately short supply. The kind you only find on mountaintops, and deserts, and battlefields, and
across oceans.

Dave & Chrissy - Mackay said...

Go girl go... Its so good to see you're progressing well on your fantastic and courageous voyage. You must write a book about your adventure, it will be a best seller for sure. I'm sure that our best wishes would be echoed by millions of others.
Dave & Chrissy - Mackay

Gemma Wiseman said...

There is nothing quite so exhilerating as a little happy dance in the rain! But I think you may have been doing that subconsciously as you cleaned!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica....I planned on crossing your path and maybe giving you some of my excess food and provisions but I ran into a storm and suffered damage to my mast and am now in Equador waiting repairs. Sorry.

Unknown said...

well done!!!! many young fisherman hold the upmost respect for the challenge you have undertaken, as you come into tropical waters pelagic fishing will only get better for ya, any way keep tryin and dont forget to rub it in when you do land a bit of tucka...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica Watson

Sounds interesting. I am looking forward to hearing more about your travels. Keep up the great work. Have a safe trip. Get lots more pictures. Hope you enjoy my comment.
From Karla

Christine said...

I was wondering about the water situation. I'm new to your blog and I've loved reading through your adventure thus far. When all the hype hit the US about the 16 year old being "allowed" to sail across the world, I thought - holy crap, stop whining people - just think about how awesome this is! And that's how I found your blog! So good luck, sweetie! You have another fan in the states. =)
Christine, Columbia Maryland, USA

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