Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wind, Waves, Action and Drama!

My quite sunny conditions ended with a bit of a bang, Ella's Pink Lady and I have been having a very interesting time out here. The wind had been expected to rise to a near gale, but none of the computers or forecasts picked that it would reach the 65knots that I recorded, before losing the wind instruments in a knockdown!

That much wind means some very big and nasty waves. To give you an idea of the conditions, they were similar to and possibly worse than those of the terrible 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race. We experienced a total of 4 knockdowns, the second was the most severe with the mast being pushed 180 degrees in to the water. Actually pushed isn't the right word, it would be more accurate to say that Ella's Pink Lady was picked up, thrown down a wave, then forced under a mountain of breaking water and violently turned upside down.

With everything battened down and conditions far too dangerous to be on deck, there wasn't anything I could do but belt myself in and hold on. Under just the tiny storm jib, the big electric autopilot did an amazing job of holding us on course downwind, possibly or possibly not helped by my yells of encouragement! It was only the big rogue waves that hit at us at an angle (side on) that proved dangerous and caused the knockdowns.

The solid frame of the targa (the frame that supports the solar panels) is bent out of shape and warped (see pic below), which provides a pretty good idea of the force of the waves. Solid inch thick stainless steel tube doesn't exactly just bend in the breeze, so I think you could say that Ella's Pink Lady has proven herself to be a very tough little boat!

With my whole body clenched up holding on, various objects flying around the cabin and Ella's Pink Lady complaining loudly under the strain, it was impossible to know what damage there was on deck. It was a little hard at times to maintain my positive and rational thoughts policy, but overall I think I can say that the skipper held up us well as Ella's Pink Lady. It was certainly one of those times when you start questioning exactly why you're doing this, but at no point could I not answer my own question with a long list of reasons why the tough times like that aren't totally worth it!

So in the middle of all the drama, back at home Mum received just about the worst phone call possible from the Australian Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), telling her that one of my EPIRBs (emergency signaling devices) had been activated. One of the knockdowns had caused the automatic EPIRB mounted under the dodger to turn on without me knowing. Luckily I called in only a few minutes later before anyone could really start to panic. I was pretty annoyed at the stupid thing for going off and giving everyone such a scare!

We didn't come though completely un-scathed though, as there's plenty of minor damage, but luckily nothing bad enough to stop us. Actually I think it's a huge credit to our rigger David Lambourne, that the that mast is still standing and appears in perfect working condition. So other than the wonky looking targa, the starboard solar panel is all bent up and the windvane is now sitting on a bit of an angle, but amazingly and very luckily, it still works fine (go Parker!). There are also a few tears in the mainsail and one of the stanchions is bent in.

Down below, the cabin was a totally disaster zone, everything is wet or damp. The dunny (toilet) which fell apart, was in pieces spread from one end of the boat to the other, along with other equipment. The meth stove wont light, but will hopefully fire up when it dries out a little more.

After clearing up the worst of it and despite finally managing some good sleep, I still feel like a giant marshmallow. Physically, my arms and legs are all heavy and pathetic and of course I have a lovely collection of bruises! Mentally, I feel like I've aged a good 10 years, but I'm back to normal now and in good spirits as we approach the half way mark.

When the wind had finally calmed down, I was treated to a pretty incredible sunset and as I was clearing things up on deck, a couple of dolphins stopped by just as if they were checking that we were all OK.

I owe a huge thanks to Bruce, who was completely perfect, saying just the right things on the phone every time I called in and also to Bob who stayed up through the night to keep me updated on when the wind could be expected to ease.

I could go on forever, but better finish up as this has turned into a total novel and there's plenty still to do!

Pic: The bent tubing on the targa frame from a rogue wave!


1 – 200 of 883   Newer›   Newest»
Mike D said...

Holy Crap Jess!

Glad you came through OK! Holy Crap!!! So glad your OK!

Mike D

Landlocked in Philadelphia, Pa, USA

Uncle Hectic said...

Holy Cow! Four knockdowns, that's insane. I'm so happy you made it through relatively unscathed. I bet that was pretty darn scary, you are one tough cookie!

Pug said...


You are one brave lady. Well done and hang in there. You'll have some stories to compare now with Jessie Martin.


Adrian said...

You're one tough young lady, Jessica. My six daughters have a new role model.

maxine maroochydore said...

OMG, you poor thing hope you are OK you are even more AMAZING every day, you are so brave, but we know you can do it, specially after that, Thinking of you all the time, cannot get enough of your news, God speed Jess, Maxine and Colin Maroochydore

DocPelletier said...

Actually, "holy crap" was what I was going to say also...Tough little boat...and even tougher girl. Been knocked down only once, myself...and not turtled as you were...Hope you get a chance to sleep and settle the adrenaline a little. And I hope the worst is behind you.
Take care,

Unknown said...

In the words of Mike and the prophet, Holy Crap, Jess! Dunnyless though you be!

Now the fine sailor you are will pick herself up, repair the dunny, and carry on.

What a star!

Ian from Brisbane

RG said...

Its beyond words what you're doing out there.
You're a true inspiration! Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Ton of guts;couldn't imagine the experience

Sunshine Coast

Anonymous said...

OMG Jess!

WOW! So glad your ok!

She sure has the muscle (EPL) and so do you little darlin!

Go you legend!!!


Ps. A big well done to all your shore crew!!!

Anonymous said...

Go Jess!!! - An amazing awesome journey. Keep safe.
Perth Western Australia

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap is right!!! Well done and let's hope that is the end of that weather!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jessica - well done. I can't imagine how scary this must have been.

Pipefish said...

Jesse, I cannot imagine how terrifying your ordeal must have been. It must have felt your whole world was coming in on you! I'm glad you and your ship came through relatively safe and thank god for your land support team. Please tend to yourself and make yourself ready to continue safely. All our thoughts here are with you, and Ella's Pink Lady, you both are tough as nails!
Pipefish, California Usa

anth said...

Hi Jesse heard the news reports first thing this morning on triple J radio. Amazing storm, the waves must have had a hell of a punch.


Anonymous said...

Ton of guts;couldn't imagine the experience

Keep up your spirit

Sunshine Coast

Toni McLean said...

Wow, wow, wow...... How terrifying. And I'm sitting on dry, stable land!

I've never been through anything quite like that! I guess you now know that you and EPL can survive just about anything. A little cosmetic surgery and you will both be good as new. How you kept your cool is unimaginable! The piccies of the ocean were truly scary. That was one mean sea.

And what a scare for your parents with the EPIRB! I've been greatful on your behalf that you had opted for a truly seaworthy vessel rather than just a fast one! Those S & Ss just keep coming through! It's incredible that the rigging is completely intact, too. The angels are definitely on your side. As we know, there are yachts that wouldn't have survived those conditions.

I hope you don't get too demoralised having to do all the cleaning up on your own. There's so little room to do it in, compared with cleaning up a mess in a house. You can hardly put things out in the yard to dry!!!!! Your back yard is a little damp.

EPL's skipper is a truly remarkable person. Will I ever get bored with saying that? I don't think so.

Thank you so so much for taking the time in the middle of all of that to update your extended family, who must be just about driving you nuts by now!

I hope your bruises get better soon. I suspect the 10 years older you feel is as much due to new found maturity emerging under such arduous conditions. I hope your sewing skills are better than mine with that main. And I very much hope you don't have to go through that again in your voyage.

Big, big hugs

Collette Cole, Australia said...

OMG Jesse...we all knew the storm would catch you...was worried sick last night....

You are ever so remarkable, particularly for updating us so quickly and allaying our fears.

Grant said...

Hi Jess,
Wow the Atlantic can serve it up as well! Hang in there, we're all with you. I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank all those wonderful people who responded to the two songs I posted on you tube...inspired by you and you're incredible efforts. I feel another song coming on!!!!

Go Jess

Toni McLean said...

Forgot to add, thanks to the shore crew for taking care of our Jesse and hanging in there with her! And Jesse's mum - a cup of tea and a Bex and a good lie down and you'll be just fine! :-)


Anonymous said...

oh my god, oh my god, oh my god .. sounds like as a helluva pounding, and 8 hours of it! underwater, upside down .. i bet you're bruised! been crying tears of relief, thank god you're ok Jesse!!

caz x

SmellyCat said...

Am so proud that you and your beautiful(and tough) boat came through.
You have to know that if you can do that, you can do anything, right?

Now there is a story you can tell your kids!

You have come through your first big storm with flying colours....way to go , Jesse!!!!

Ottawa, Canada

Anonymous said...

wow ur tough as!!

Hope things calm down for u on the rest of the trip/
look forward to seeing u back on aussie shores safe and sound

take care and God bless

PolarisLux said...

We are so happy to hear you well.
Nothing can stop your journey.
Go girl!
You are brave and strong.

Anonymous said...

God Bless, Jessica.. You really experienced what NO sailors like to experience..Reading your update reminded me so much of what previous circumnavigators wrote about similar experiences with rogue wave systems..
J.W Wray (South Sea Vagabonds) aboard his cutter NGATAKI experienced similar encounters with Mother Nature.
Indeed a well fitted boat with redundant equipment will help you tremendously..
Your support crew did a hell of a job as well.
Share some more about your actions to resolve the damages..
God's Speed

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess,

It's brilliant to know that you have come through this experience and that you and your boat are fine.

You are doing an AWESOME job, and I trust that you will continue this journey and be kept safe throughout....especially in the challenging times with the weather and with the challenges that ones faces while doing this alone. Cheers. Catherine

JJ said...

Hey Jesse,

So very pleased to hear you and EPL are safe and sound and that you are able to continue without having to call into a Port for repairs.

Words can't express my admiration for you to have the skill, composure, guts and mentality to get through that and still remain so positive.

Rest up


Anonymous said...

Hello Jessica, This is the first time I have visited your blog. What a truly amazing girl you are. So pleased you rounded the cape and then to have that storm. Well done. Not a sailer myself but I am very proud of you and wish you well and a save trip back home. From a grandmother.

Cheryl in San Diego said...

Oh my Jessica,
I just cannot imagine the mental and physical beating that you took during that storm. Much worse than I ever imagined. I was thinking knockdown, ok mast touching the water than EPL quickly righting but to be upside down and almost doing a 360 is quit something else. I had to read your blog three times to work through my emotions yet you literally went through it. Wow, I mean really WOW.

Most of us would be calling for a 'pick up' and heading home..not you! Gosh you continue to have my deepest respect and admiration.
Thank God you are OK. Please again give EPL a nice pat on the stern and a big kiss. Thank you shore are the greatest.

God Bless you Jessica.


PS Mom and Dad....well done, well done indeed!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are ok.
Your poor parents... what they must have been going through for those long few minutes before you called them. I must admit I was crying when I read your post.
I and I'm sure all of your followers are extremely pleased that you are now in calmer waters. Lets pray that you don't get those weather conditions for the rest of your trip!!!

Thinking of you

Anonymous said...

Along with hondreds (thousands?) of others I have been checking your site every half hour to hear of your condition since the first news comments about the knockdowns and storm were posted. Tough little Lady (I mean you, and the boat too!). Thanks for your reassurances and your thorough update. I had no right to be worried about you, but like many I was anyway. We'll all feel better if you keep the sails out of the water for the remainder of the voyage! God speed & Fair Winds, Larry

Bebie - Caloundra said...

What an amazing experience you've had Jesse. My heart lept and then seemed to stop as I was reading your blog.

I'm trying hard to picture what you've been through. As stillness and quiet fills my soul after reading your words, tears brim at the edge not wanting to spill but I can't tell whether they're because of what you've been through, or relief. I think, a little of both.

Thank you Lord, for answered prayers.

Thank you, again Jesse, for taking us on this incredible journey.

Thank you Julie and Roger for such a courageous daughter.

Thank you Team for all the preparation of Ella's Pink Lady.

Thank you Andrew for what you do so that you can share things with us.

Hugs all 'round.

Lin said...

Way to go Jess, have been following your adventures since before you left our fair shores and totally admire your guts and determination. Sure you have a great support crew on shore (not to mention the worlkd wide family of bloggers)but you are the one out there in the middle of the big blue sea experiencing all it has to offer, the good and the bad.. May the rest of your journey be as amazing as the first 100 days or so..

Anonymous said...

Well you past one hell of a test. Lets hope it is the last. You can be very proud of yourself. I cant even imagine what it must have been like. bruce NZ

buddymarie said...

hi Jess, pleased you came through this obstacle. you scared the pants off us after reading your comments. ellas pink lady, must certainly be one tough little boat, a credit to her builders & your skills.

Buddy & Marie. riverina.

Anonymous said...

Holy smoke Jesse,
Main thing is that the Skipper is OK after that ordeal. Four knockdowns is four too many! Hope you can get the stove working, and anything else, you, with your skills, can improvise. What an experience for both EPL and yourself. No doubt your friends, the dolphins are keeping an eye on you.
I can only wish that you do not have to go through another lot like that.
As always, keep smiling, keep buckled up and smooth sailing for a long time. Best wishes..

Sarah Cooper (Sydney Aus) said...

Hey Jess

So glad your ok! You rock girl!

I hope everything gets working ok for you- especially the stove and dunny!

I hope it's fine weather from here on out for you!

Rob Williams said...

It must be reassuring Jesse ,to know that the boat can take a pounding like that and still be seaworthy.Furthermore it proves to you that you can handle the situation both physically and emotionally.Sad about the dunny, but if it is not fixable, there is always the old bucket and chuck it technique.(over the leeward side of course!) Bye for now,Rob Wiliams and family ,Tasmania.

Anonymous said...


Hopefully you have seen the worse for this circumnavigation. Thank God you and EPL are only bent and bruised, but not broken. I'm sure you're much stronger because of that little adventure, if that's possible. Here's hoping for calm seas and sunny skies ahead.

I would love to be in Sydney to watch you come home, but sadly I don't think that's going to be possible. All of us will be there in spirit though.

Jim T

PamG said...

You're amazing, really! I know you can't "get off at the next bus stop", but your attitude seems to have pulled you thru this tough one. Congrats! And how absolutely amazing that you can sit down and write such a long report for us to read.
Wow, the others have said it all.
Hang in there, you're going great guns!!
Pam, Matamata, NZ

Mick said...

Oh Miss Watson.."Taurean Superstar" once again when the going gets tough the tough(Watson and El) get going..You and her are a magic team. Am so pleased that you both are still in one piece and able to power on.Good on you both and please take good care of yourselves even if you are licking a few wounds.

Roger (FL, USA) said...

Did I read that correctly? Was the boat inverted? Like completely capsized?

If so then ...
1) you've got an amazing boat
2) you've got an amazing pit crew
3) and you've got an amazing captain

Be safe, sail fast.

Over and out

Anonymous said...

Amazing Jess that you're still so positive and determined! No one would blame you if you said "that's it, get me outta here!" But not our Jess!!

Well done for all you've achieved so far!


I'm full of admiration for you!


Anonymous said...

What a person you are. 4 knockdowns in a 34 foot sailboat and surviving with your head screwed on straight is a miracle. You are one tough kid and I am very happy for you.

I have been watching from the start and plan to keep my eye on you until the finish.

The best you young lady.

Bruce said...

So relieved to hear you are OK Jesse
Four knockdowns must have left you a little nervous but nrom the tone of your blog you seem to have come through even more positive and even stronger.

Go Girl


Anonymous said...

Hello Jessica,

My goodness what a storm that must have been; we are so happy that you are okay and that the storm is long gone. So what about the toilet; can you kinda fix it ?
You are one brave person and we are so happy that the good Lord was helping ALL along on that incredible ride. Please take care of yourself.

Mary & Roy Lewis
Virginia (USA)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jessica
A sigh of relief,
Take it easy now.
Say thanks to the dolphins,
They won't let you down.
Bless u
Luv u
Richard (QLD)

wazza said...

good sailing Jess .a knockdown is scary but 4 seems more like a training drill .as you are well past s,america you are on the way home to sunny qld so keep going
warwick runaway bay

Warren Rice said...


Armidale, NSW

Sparkie said...

'good golly miss molly', by the time I had finished reading your account of the storm I was shedding tears of relief! Somehow I knew you were coping with something life threatening,it was just a feeling. You are so brave, Jessica, and you did everything right to bring you all through the worst so far, being prepared certainly paid off. Congrats to all you team too! Keep on keeping on Jessica......

Unknown said...

Jess, you are incredible. I'm a pilot and we avoid those sorts of storms like the plague! You must start to feel very small when you're out there alone in it.

You're a champion, girl. With an experience like that behind you, nobody can ever say what you're achieving here is easy.

With enormous respect,
Luke from Sydney

Anonymous said...

Reading the accounts of that nasty storm, scared the begebbers out of me.

Man 0 man ..what a ride, huh? There's got to be a song in there somewhere. (Grant?)

Thanks be to a mighty God you endured. Hopefully that was the most trying part of the voyage, and you will sail home on calm waters.

Fight the good fight, brave sailor.

Kamots said...

If we are to believe that life is not about the breaths we take, but about the moments that take our breath away, then now you truly have lived.

Anonymous said...

Your are one tough sailor. Careful preparation certainly pays off when mother nature throws a big punch. Glad to hear you and your boat came through in good shape. Keep sending the details of your trip. Your blogs are great reading.

Chagrin Falls, OH

tanya said...

Hey Jess,

In the words of Mike D ...
Holy Crap!

That sounded like an amazing storm and i dare say, a tad frightening?

But, you and EPL made it through
which is a testament to yourself, EPL and all of your support crew.

At least you have a plausible excuse for your cabin being untidy!

Tare care, keep safe and fingers crossed that you can get everything working again.


Anonymous said...

After I posted a comment saying how brave and amazing you are, I thought that if you DID feel like stopping the voyage after something like that storm, or for whatever reason, then please please don't make a decision based on what other people are expecting of you.

Always keep your own mental and physical safety as the top priority! Don't feel that you would be letting people down! Sure we all are excited to be following your adventures, but I hope that doesn't make you feel under pressure.

After all, your well being is the absolute most important thing.


jimmay said...

Sure looked like you had a tough go young lady. Looks like you passed a very difficult test with an A+ for you and the pink lady. Glad to see the dolphins are keeping an ey on you! Keep safe.


East Providence Rhode Island USA

Anonymous said...

Poor poor poor dunny :-{
A terrible terrible loss indeed.

Peter said...

hi jessica, I think you are a very courageous and fantastic person for doing this, Im glad you weathered the storm and im with you until you come back to AUS! good luck

Kathy Haynie said...

Keeping you in our prayers here in Portland, Oregon.

Unknown said...

Hello Jessica:

One tough boat and an even tougher
Captain. I think you have met all of the requirements of Captain and I think a promotion is now in order.

I will now refer to you as Commodore Watson. Has a nice ring to it if I do say so.

Stay safe and we are all pulling for you.

Bob and Family from Denver CO USA

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess, What a voyage. Have been watching your sail since the beginning. My Friend Lorrie from AUS clued me in. Keep up the good work. You handled that storm like a trooper. J

Frsd said...

Glad both you & Ella are well, although a bit battered & bruised having come through all those knock downs, also well done Parker. keep your determination up Jess and we will give you the biggest welcome the Sunshine Coast has ever seen, Frank & Diana, Caloundra.

SASPeter said...

Jessica, thank you for your detailed posting on what you've just been through. You must have a lot on your mind and we appreciate the time you took to update us. There are a lot of us out here worrying about you and are so relieved that you've come through OK and that the boat has suffered only minor damage. I'm thankful to everyone that helped you prepare the boat to make it so robust.

(from Sydney but living in Washington DC)

Anonymous said...

So glad that this first major test is behind you. Really proud of your spirit. We are all with you and your tough little boat. Go Aussie!

Kylee, Townsville, QLD.

Anonymous said...

Thank God that you came through ok.
When word came of the forecasted winds down there, we were fearful for you. You can be right proud of yourself for pulling through this and with such a positive attitude.
Let's hope and pray that you have experienced the worst and that the rest of the voyage will be smoother.
Since we can't do it, give yourself a hug and a pat on the back. You deserve it!

Stay safe, get rest and God Bless you.

Dave in Minnesota

Andrea, Melbourne said...

Wow Jesse, that was an incredible read ... not what I was expecting on this sunny Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. I guess it had to happen some time and thank goodness you've come out the other side okay. I really hope that's the worst you'll ever get ... if it were me I would have been wearing my brown wet weather gear a long time ago!

Looking forward to the next update ... take care.


Sally said...


Anything I say right now seems so totally inadequate!

Holy Cow and Holy Crap - thanks for the words Mike D & Uncle Hectic - what a day you have had madam! You have certainly been kept busy and have been tested beyond comprehension.

A big cheer for tough little Ella's Pink Lady and her skipper! You have worked as a team and come through an absolute shocker! Tough cookies - both of you!

Thanks so much for the detailed explanation of all that has happened. I am impressed that you could string your words together in such an eloquent and succinct manner after such an experience! The one you describe as an 'interesting' time! Hmmmmm...Four knockdowns an interesting time. I think my description would be a little more 'colourful'!!

I admire your strength of character.

What a bummer about the EPIRB going off, I would imagine that for those few moments your parents would have felt ill at the thought of what that phone call meant. A phone call that they definitely DO NOT want to receive. I am glad that you spoke to them shortly afterwards to alleviate any fears. Although they must have been so worried about you during this storm. Well done to Bruce and Bob and Parker and all involved with helping our girls get through this! You all did a great job.

Hope you get things dried out and your Loo is working again soon!! Good grief not the Loo Jess - you can do without the heater, but not the Loo!!

Look after your bruises Jess and will you need to do some sewing to repair the sails?

We had a bad storm in Sydney and we lost power in Lugarno for a few hours. Their were trees down and peoples roofs were banging and flapping about. It was really noisy as the wind whipped through the trees and the rain pelted down after a 41c day - but this pales into insignificance compared to what you have just gone through.

Go Girl!

Stay safe Jess and I hope the weather improves to allow you time to gather stock and get yourself sorted out.

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.' Mahatma Gandhi

'You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face' Eleanor Roosevelt

'Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death!' Earl Wilson

Sally In Sydney

Words Have Wings said...

Hang in there Jessica. You're the very definition of courageous. Sending you an imaginary hot chocolate.

Unknown said...

Wow! That is breathtaking but I guess not entirely unexpected, weather and sea being pretty fickle. My imagination is trying to fill in the blanks as to just what it was like being upside down under tonnes of water. What an experience!!

So excellent that you can keep going after all that.

Anonymous said...

Girl, you are going to give me a heart attack!!

Anonymous said...

WOW....two great ladies still afloat after a wicked storm!! We're reeling from reading about the rogue waves you've been through. Well done, and way to go Jess & EPL.

Thank goodness for satellite phones and reassuring voices on shore to talk to when things were pretty rough.

Clear skies,

Brian & Phill
(aka kiwi_canuck)
Vancouver, Canada

Nick said...

Amazing. You've been through what few have and made it through to the other side in good spirits. I'm in awe.

EPSILON said...

Wind instruments - who needs them!

Tough little boat! and Skipper!

Sail safe,

SV Epsilon

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to see where the wet-seat is, go to Jessica's video link and on page 2 there is a video of her giving a tour of the boat and she points out the wet seat

Unknown said...

Well done Jess, that was hard work and exciting, I know. It is great to see that you're preparing for the next one, just in case.

You are doing all the right things to make the best of everything (to my mind), helped a lot by your home crew.

Keep it going! This Watson tribe from the ACT is thinking of you, all the way!

Unknown said...

Honestly Jessica I am amazed by what you are doing. I am a 23 yr old Australian who left to live in Canada about a year makes me so proud to see people as young as you doing such amazing things. Australia has so much to offer and people like you, doing the types of things you are doing just show the world what we are really made of.

I remember seeing articles about you on the news before you left, i thought you were insane. You've exceed my expectations, and i'm right there behind you now!

Keep it up!!!!

Mark Anthony of Dallas said...

Wow, Jesse, you are one cool customer! Ballsy! I bet in the middle of the worst of it upside down, you were thinking "I sure could go for Chinese food right now *yawn*" :) I'm glad you are ok and so is Ellie plus the crew.. Enjoy the sunshine!

Tim09 said...

Hey Jess,
Thanks for updating us even tho you have tons of other stuff you could be doing. Don't no what would of happened if your comms got knocked out. I think your blogger community may have suffered withdrawl symptoms, me included. So thanks for letting us know that you EPL and the "scallywags" are doing fine.
To the shore crew thanks for looking after Jess during the storm, i am sure that your voices would of been a comfort to her while the storm raged outside. She sounds so positive it is just amazing how she can keep so calm. But thats what makes her the special young woman that she is.
Jess stay safe and hooked on
Tim and Rosie

Marc D. (Florida) said...

I was so excited to see the pictures of the rising seas before the storm, then I strolled down to see (0) comments. I hurried to post a comment before checking your website for the latest update. O.M.G. you sailed through the perfect storm in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, & lived to tell about it!. (The legend of Jessica Watson keeps on getting better).That episode says a whole lot about your Superior sailing skills, Top-Notch Professional team behind you, & of course your lovely S&S 34. I don't even know you, & I'm so proud of you, & your team.


I'm so glad you are alright. You and The Pink Lady toughed it out and survived it. Your land crew deserves credit for their support. How worried your folks must have been. Let's hope the worst is behind you. Hang in there.

Mike_trrac said...

Hi Jess

What an experience!! You have faced the worst that nature could throw at you and passed with flying colours. You are an absolute legend and braver than anybody I've ever heard of.

Keep up the good work Jess and we will all pray for fair winds and clear skies from now on.

Love and respect,
Mike (Sydney)

Mark Anthony of Dallas said...

For those who might be wondering.. 65 knots is about 75 miles an hour or 120 km per hour.. whew!

shane d said...

Hang in there Jess. I have never met a teenager with such a positive outlook as you.

Catherine said...

Hell... and you survived!! Good on you Jesse. You're one tough girl!

davidorlovich said...

Hi Jess. First time I've written here, but been following every day. Wow that's amazing mate–what a crazy experience. I'm fully of admiration, and you're pretty inspiring person for what you're doing, and we're privileged to have you writing this account whenever you can. So, thanks, and the very best of luck from Dunedin, NZ.

Ron Munro of 5108 said...

I don't know about Mum and Dad and the support team home but heck I sure would love give you a hug right now. While serving in the RAAF i experienced a helicopter that had engine failour at about 150 feet and also was in a C-130 that had a spot of bother one night between Port Augusta and Mildura and had to make an emergency landing at the later. But you my girl I bow to you in total admiration and awe at you and your courage. One day I want to shake you hand and realy give you that hug. Being the father of three wonderful daughters I know to a certain point what's it like to let a child of mine go out into the world and do their thing. Your parents have all my due credit to them in having that greater courage to be totally behind you in your adventure around the world. What more can I say but thanks for the ride with you and thanks for your time in reading all our paragraphs of support and courage to you - taking your time away from the dreaded house boat work that I am sure needs doing. Love from us land lubbers!!

Dwight in North Carolina said...

Captain Watson,
You have my utmost admiration and respect. To actually have your boat picked up and thrown down a wave and then turned upside down... with you inside it.... Wow is all I can say. Hope you can repair all the damage properly; stove, sails, dunny, Parker if necessary, etc. God bless you and keep you safe.

jan said...

oh my god, i cant believe you came through ok, well done jesse,how scary was that!!!!! cheers from canterbury nz

Emma said...

Ooh! Must have been such a scare. But really, so glad you pulled through!! I really admire your determination even with all the drama that's happened! Hang on, god speed and good luck for what's ahead. Hopefully you've left the worst behind!


Anonymous said...

You are a remarkable young lady, they make em tough in Aussie!!! Good for you for getting through this tough time so well and Ella's Pink Lady, what can we say, what an amazing little boat!!!! If you hadn't had such a storm en route, you may have got to the other end and felt you missed out on can hold your head high and be mighty proud of yourself!!! Well done Jessica!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well Done Jessica and your support team.
You are a very brave strong woman to take on the challenge and I believe you will prove all the people knocking your project wrong.

Anonymous said...

OMG Jesse, i cant imagine what you went through and again I was teary reading your adventure through that massive storm and four roll overs. you are such a brave young women (i know i said that on my last comment) but you are. well done honey on keeping it all together. mum of three gold coast

Sue (this n that) said...

What a scary time you've been through.
Can't imagine the sheer terror of those rogue waves and seeing the mast being pushed 180 degrees in to the water.
....won't go on - others are more eloquent, but just want to say that you're one gutsy woman Jesse!

Jo said...

Wow Jesse Wow!! Sorry but I can't think of much more at the minute!! I'm so glad you came through that ordeal relatively unscathed. Hopefully that is the worst of it for the entire trip and you will have smooth sailing from now on. I'm sure it was a very scary thing to go through and I am so very pleased it's over now. I hope you are able to fix all that needs fixing and the meth stove co-operates once it is completely dry. Happy days Jesse. Take care 'til next time.

Scott said...

EPL may well be a tough little boat, but you've certainly proven yourself to be a tough young woman. I can't even imagine what it must have been like stuck below waiting for the wind to subside. Amazing! Keep going!

Scott, Denver, Colorado, USA

Kev said...

Great sailing!
What a skipper you are Jesse! .. and what a story you related!
I/we all hope and trust you, and your support team, are now through the worst of it and get your gear back in order again, and that your bruises repair quickly.
Best wishes, Kev, Sydney, Oz.

Unknown said...

YIKES!! Life can be like that storm... we just gotta strap ourselves in and hold on tight like you did!!

Anonymous said...

Respect, Your an inspirational little Aussie adventurer, your blogs are beautiful to read, I have no doubt you've got what this takes. I love your attitude, Jess. Be strong stay positive and you'll be eating salad, sleeping on your bed, hugging your family and lazing in the bath in no time; not to mention that you will be the darling hero of soo many Australians from all walks of life; who recognize your brilliant example of bravery an selfbelief as the lesson that it is to everyone; that to chase your dreams is the only way to realise them. Once again; RESPECT. Josh, Hobart.

Tracie Lynne Hall said...

Well, I guess I unclenched my eyes and relaxed those fervent prayers to soon. Silly me for hoping those kind of shenanigans were concentrated at the Cape and you'd escaped them...still, good thing you were past it before this storm so that you at least were not slammed in to any icebergs.
I'm so glad you all built such a sturdy little pink boat!
I'll just bet you DO ache from head to toe---not just from being banged about by the contents of the cabin, but from all that adrenaline. Way back, when I was in my early 20's I was treading water while carrying on a conversation with a friend, when we suddenly noticed how FAR away the shoreline looked. Thinking it'd be cute to show my (shorter) friend that it wasn't too deep, I attempted to touch bottom by going under a bit and holding my index finger up so my friend could see when I'd touched, but I couldn't touch---we started to swim toward shore but then my friend stopped, deciding to save her energy to call for help instead. When we met at work the next day we had both brought the article from the previous day's news that reported rip tides in Newport Beach, where we'd been. But the point I'm trying to get to is that after we'd been rescued (by a 12 year old on a raft!) the second I stepped onto dry sand, that wave of adrenaline hit and gave me the most severe lower back ache I'd ever had, before or since..and that was a relatively short lived and mild experience...I can not IMAGINE your experience (and you'll forgive me if I don't want to try)!
And I suppose you've heard, you have a fellow teen sailor out there with you now...another brave young soul I have to worry about now! My husband and I drove the hour or so trek to Marina Del Rey to see Abby Sunderland off, but alas we were too late---she'd already left. Her 17 year old brother circumnavigated the globe last year as you probably know, but not unassisted and not non-stop. Abby, however, does plan to do the unassisted, non-stop thing. You probably have the details so I won't bore you with them...but her website, if you don't, is
I suppose this means she is competing with you, but knowing you as I feel I do, I don't see you feeling threatened so much as pleased that someone else shares your dream, and is also pursuing it.
Take care of yourself sweet girl.

Andrew P said...

So glad you survived that. What a solid little boat!
Hope you get to rest some time soon and get the rest of the minor damage sorted.


Anonymous said...

I'm - like all the others - glad that you got through that storm!

I just wrote a short article in the German Wikipedia about you:
So you already earned your place in an encyclopedia next to Einstein and Darwin ;-)

Hope you have a more relaxing time during the next days.

Greetings from Germany!

Awanderingblonde said...

Well done my girl, well done! I had a feeling that this sort of a blow was in the making after your oh so mellow rounding of Cape Horn, and I was right. You and EPL have proven yourselves to be women well worth your salt!

Carry On!

Unknown said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!
For some one so young, and to handle a “wild” situations like the storm you have just encountered, is just inspiring.
Go Jesse.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jessie. Four knock downs and still trucking. You have proven you can take the worst the ocean has to throw at you and you know your boat is strong and confident. Sail on. Sail to history we are all proud of you.
The Harmon Family.
Portland Oregon.

lswinter said...


You've proved you're a real sailor, as if we needed any proof with the fine performance you've been giving us.

I was telling you about my years in the US Navy submarine service. After the nuke boat, GW Carver, built at Newport News Ship Building and Dry-dock Co. in Hampton, VA, we, the crew :-) took it down to the Caribbean for the shake-down cruise. While near St. Croix, we encountered a hurricane.

Now with a submarine, the thing to do is get it out into deep water and submerge to avoid the power of the storm. (Sounds like Ella's Pink Lady was trying to do that, ha, ha) So we set our depth at 450 feet. What happened next is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced at sea.

In a 9,000 ton boat, there's a good bit of inertia. That is, it does not move easily with wave action. BUT as that hurricane passed over our position, the boat began to act more like it was a cork. We could not walk without holding tightly onto hand rails and even then we were thrown to the deck at times.

That experience taught me that the sea deserves a great deal of respect. One can't take lightly time spent out on the open water. Reading your log (blog) entry shows, it's important to have dependable equipment and good team mates (your team is on the radio.)

We feel like God has answered our prayers for you in that you've come through this amazing experience and are ready to take on the next challenge. Good for you!

God be with you,

Leon & Sally

Waxhaw, North Carolina, USA

Adam Reeve said...

Yikes! That's truly frightening!!!! WOW! You'll be sure glad that's over Jess!!!! You have had really good weather and really bad weather on your trip. Lets hope it'll all be plain sailing to home now. You're on the home run (well almost!) So go girl! You're a wee champ!!!!

You are a precious girl Jesse and you family don't want to lose you, so do take extra care. Think of the hugs they want to give you when you sail so proudly into Sydney...


Anonymous said...

You're one gutsy girl Jess.

Anonymous said...

For the hundredth time, WOW Jessica. You have a way of making a situation that would literally drive most people out of their minds, seem like just another tough day at the office. My admiration for you is greater with every new report.
Enjoy the calm weather you are apparently approaching. Get some rest and try to catch a fish. You deserve a fresh fish dinner. Continued safe sailing.
Arnie in Canada

Anonymous said...

AHOY, Capt. Jesse

Been checking all day hoping to hear from you. It's hard to believe you had enough energy left to write of your harrowing experience. You are truly an amazing person. Hope that there wasn't to much damage done that may hinder your quest. But I suppose the mess in the cabin is probably your most woorisome problem. Glad you got that storm out of your system.

You start the downhill ride soon and we all hope the weather gods smile upon you the rest of the way.


Bruce Watt said...

The amin thing is Jess is that you survived and most of all learnt from this terrible experience. You have gained more strength, wisdom and confidence as you handle these challenges. I felt for you, be stronger still Jess and sail on.

Ps- Hope the support team can advise on the dunny hey, now therein is a problem. But the deck damage can hopefully be quickly assessed, to ensure it all works and continues to work.

Bruce Watt
Rosebud (Vic)
Aussie Land.

LizzieBee said...

Glad you've come through it all OK Jess!! Hope you can fix everything that needs fixing, and that the targa still does it's job. You and EPL are together both one tough cookie!
(Kyneton, VIC)

John Pender said...

Wow, that's one strong little boat! But she's lucky; she's got one strong captain. Glad to hear everything's okay!

fnqgirl said...

Hey Jess. What can I say but OH MY GOD!!! I am just so glad both you and EPL have pulled through. Cheers to the ground crew too, I'm sure no one got any sleep last night.

Alessandro Machi said...

You always manage to add in a bit of irony into the situation. The dolphins, I bet they loved the storm didn't they? It probably feels like a surfer riding a wave to them.

Eddie Offermann said...

Holy Moly!

That's just insane! So glad you weathered it safely. Even the "before" pictures were pretty foreboding. It's at those times that you have to be thankful for your preparation and, as you said, just buckle in and hang on tight. Amazing!

Mary, Maine, USA said...

Jess, I am quadruple gobsmacked, a zillion fahderwahd, and STILL speechless. Your description has to be the BEST, most cogent and visually clear write-up of a post-storm report from a sailor EVER WRITTEN (especially right after the fact).

Thank God you are who you are, an individual with such a gift of presence and perseverence that you survived Pink Lady's ride through Mother Ocean's most severe ranges.

I wish you and your shore team oceans of congratulations for keeping a solid collective head and mastering what was dealt you and Pink Lady.

I BET you're bruised and battered! Did you bring some Arnica cream or the equivalent to help resolve the bruising?

I will read this blog post of yours over and over and continue to shake my head. I don't know how you do it, "it" being everything you do!!!
You're truly a natural and probably the best sailor the modern world has known in a long time.

I send you all my best and my deep faith that you'll continue to sail well, matching each dolphin visit with the same wonder with which they greet you.

In awe of you and sending you a world of love, Jess.

Group hug!!!!

Mary, Maine, USA

Anonymous said...

Now I know for sure why We didnt buy that boat and sail around the globe. Jessica Jessica Jessica, That news scared the C out of me and Patty !!.
Thank God you and Pink are ok , I remember watching that movie Perfect Storm , That scared me , "How must you have felt" A Thousand Blessings and may God keep you safe "He will Jess" Hang on to that . Lots love from Terry and Patricia Melb

Anonymous said...

My heart was in my throat when I read your account. Congratulations on getting through such an incredible ordeal. There is nothing so awesome - or uncontrollable - as the power of nature.
I hope you and Ella Pink Lady recover quickly from your bruises. You need some time to sit back and enjoy a few hot choccies!
Happy and safe travels.
Best wishes,
Audrey, Seoul

Dukehaus said...

Whoa now, Atlantic ocean...give these girls a rest! We've just been holding on waiting for the next bit of news and are sooo glad to hear from you! THANKS to your MOST AWESOME shore team for keeping us in the loop, and for all they are doing for you! Honestly Jesse, you and EPL are a perfect match! She takes care of you and you take care of her.
God (and the dolphins) take care of all of us. The candle is lit and the prayers are out there....please continue to be safe. Congratulations and welcome to your 1/2 way home mark!
You continue to inspire us,
Sail on safely,
Love from Wyoming, USA
Kim and Bill

riveter said...

HOLY LORD TUNDRA JESUS ME DUCK! So now your 26, love to hear you go on forever, fantastic coles description by the way.... .......however, we will await the novel!

In the meantime, get some rest as the Atlantic has a mind of her man or woman can predict her with accuracy!

infiniteblue said...

A short storm is a good soon as it's over, Jesse.
Press on watch at a time.

You go girl

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica,

It's times like this when the Dream becomes a bit of a nightmare, but you have come through it like a veteran. So pleased you and EPL have sustained nothing more than some bruising and minor damage.

The fact that you managed to stay on course during the storm (rather than heaving to) indicates a great synergy between yourself and EPL and must have given you great confidence in your fine yacht (despite the 4 knockdowns).

Hopefully the rest of the voyage will be free of such extreme conditions, but if you do happen to find yourself in a similar situation, your recent experience will stand you in good stead!

Keep up the great work and stay safe!

Kindest Regards, Martin, Canning Vale, West Aust

Susan said...

Jess, your writing gets unbelievably better with every blog! I doubt any novelist could match you for your descriptions of this real life drama as it unfolds! Your tales, not sparing details of the thrills and spills, the good the bad and the ugly of life aboard EPL, does however, at times like this, raise my blood pressure to critical levels! I am just glad I am not your mother, I'd be in a straight jacket by now!! That is one hell of a stretch and grow you did courtesey of a few hours of catastrophic bedlam out there in the Atlantic. You personify all that Dr Susan Jeffers wrote in her book "Feel the Fear and do it Anyway!" It is so true that every fear we face and push through is one less in life we have to contend with. What an exemplary role model you are to not only the young today but we old fogey's who are in a race against the clock to overcome our fears,(petty, by comparison!) and realize some of our own hopes and dreams. I think we can all applaud your coming of age Jess, 5 years ahead of schedule! EPL is surely proving to rise to every challenge and will be proud to show off her battle scars upon your celebratory arrival back in Sydney. I somehow think EPL will find herself a national treasure like someone else we know...the youngest ever!!
Know we love you and continue to hold you prayerfully in our hearts.
Fair winds and happy safe sailing.

Susan in Melbourne

Anonymous said...

Wow Jess, you really are experiencing life as an adventurer. How terrifying for you and your support crew, but what guts! Girl you can do anything!! Thanks for sharing it all! You're an inspiration.

With you all the way.
Janet, Sunshine Coast,Qld.

Sara said...

Wow!!! That is unbelievably scary. Breathe, girl. Breathe. So glad you're okay. Your poor mom!

Sara in Colorado, USA

Bruce de Mich said...

You and Ella's Pink Lady are absolute wonders, as are your folks, if they are breathing again, and your wonderful shore team. You can't beat this stuff!!

With great confidence in you and your ship!

Bruce de Mich

Brian T Brisbane said...

Thanks for the pics & the blog Jesse, what a terrifying experience for anyone to endure .. but you just seem to continually take what is thrown at you 'in your stride' !! You are amazing. Hope you can get the stove dried out & the dunny back together :-) ..So glad you are safe !!

Fran said...

Wow, sounds so terrifying! It's more amazing to me that you are still going and that's what makes you so special.
Go Jessica! after that you can do anything

Clint Jeffrey - VK3CSJ said...

OMG...and OMG again!

I can't believe it, 180 degrees down that puts you, like..."Upside Down"!...oh Jess I can understand you thinking "why are you doing this"...I'm a little stuck for words...I often thought the same thing when I was at the 30K point in running a Marathon...but I still went on and finished!

It looks like your VHF Antenna is damaged or is it just on an angle due to the bent Targa Frame, and is your Solar Panel cracked in anyway?...because if your Cell is damaged then you've lost part of your Charging capabilities, but the thing is that you are okay EPL is still flying her colours...thank heavens....

And when your EPIRB went off...boy oh boy...I can understand the urgency in letting folks know that you were okay...sort of okay I should say!

How did you know your EPRIB went off anyway? they emit an audible tone or was it the phone call from mum wanting to find out what was going on while you were hanging upside down, now there's an strapped in your wet set hanging on for life and the Phone Rings!..."Jess..."mum"..."Jesse"..Mum...are you okay we've just received a message from the RCC..and...Mum I'm gonna have to get back to you I'm pretty busy at moment the Dunny's just gone flying past and I'm kind of hanging upside down!...but I am need to panic!"

Sorry again that's my imagination working over time again and I guess my subconscious trying to deal with the moment....I am sooo worried for you Jesse, you have still so far to go that there is every possibility of you going through this again...but I hope not...

And ah, I you better get the dunny fixed...

Well after reading your latest blog you'll be coming home with some Battle Scares that's for sure!...a comment I made in your previous blog.

As someone in the previous blog had said..."are you sure or not a 30 year old in a 16 year old body"...this just contests to your maturity and being prepared and being a competent Sailor you say that you feel like you've aged 10 years...I wonder if you'll ever take on another circumnavigation of the World again much later in life??

I hope, I sooo hope that nothing ever happens to your mast, Mr Lambourne, thankyou for your foresight...

And to Bruce and Bob....I'd hate to imagine what Rogar and Julie must be feeling including Jesse's Brother and Sisters not to forget Andrew and Grand Parents, the Team...we are so behind you guys...

Did you catch the moment on Video???...I know that would've been the last thing on your mind, but knowing me when it comes to documenting stuff getting a 180 degree roll on film would be riveting stuff...

Anyway...bottom line is you are safe...Ell's Pink Lady is basically okay....whew!

That's my Novel for the day...

Keep Strong Jesse...keep strong...this is the mental toughing stage of your run.

Clint - Melbourne

Flash said...

Hi Jessica!

Thank god you and your vessel have come through without major damage! It was so thrilling to see your announcement of the storm coming in....and no further news for awhile.

Must have been horrible for Mum and Dad to receive this EPIRB message! Courageous family, all of you!

I am overwhelmed of your coolness factor! After such a dramatic, "on-the-edge"-incident you have the nerves to write a report and to send photos!

I really hope you're fine and mentally untouched after this heavy punch of the ocean. Surely you and all of aus didn't expect there would nothing happen like this in 8 months.

But now you're "knockdown-proven" and EPL is, too! The challenge goes on until finishing successfully in the end. I mean, it's too late now for turning back, isn't it?!

Keep your optimistic state of mind, take care and God bless!

Viel Gl├╝ck,

Stefan aus Deutschland

Unknown said...

Great to get your updates Jess - Well done!
Had the feeling that Ella's Pink Lady was very well built and soundly modified for the likes of that big storm you've just pushed through
While it must have been pretty hairy, its also been a great test.. and we cant be great without tests now, can we?!
And it must be awesome to be able to relax a little, safe in the knowledge that Ella's PL will take pretty well whatever you can throw at her!
Also great to see that you retain your spirit for the fight.. And somehow still really seem to have your head together?!
Im sure you really are surprising a lot of people and shattering a fair few stereotypes! (including one or two of ours if Im honest!)
I have the feeling that despite your recent trials, you sail under a lucky star girl.. and under the watchful eye of your dolphin friends!
I don't think that those dolphins that have been watching & guiding you have even left your side have they?
We hope that the albatrosses return to see you off as your east turns north again.. Im sure they will
Good luck with the repairs and for the run into the Atlantic proper
Bruce & Luce - Brisbane

bobcat68 said...

Hi Jesse,

Wonderful girl!!! Wonderful vessel!!!
I hope the smaller crew came though it okay. That was an amazing event and I am just lost for words. Let's hope there will not be too much more of that.

You continue to amaze us.

There's a seven letter word in English of which the first two letters are masculine, the first three letters are feminine, the first four letters are masculine and the whole word is feminine and very much applies to you.

Happy Australia Day for tomorrow.

Bob 25 minutes due west of Noosa.

janel said...

Oh my gosh, if you only knew how fast my heart was beating reading your entry. I cannot imagine how you must have felt during the worst of it..and I cannot imagine how Mum must have felt when she got that phone call. Praises that you are fine! You are an amazing young lady with the best head on her shoulders and the finest support crew ever....May the next few days be dry, sunny and even a bit boring.
Great job!

Mike said...

Jess, our family reads your blog almost daily. You and your family are in our prayers.

Stay safe and keep up the great work!

Mike K - Portland, Oregon

Anonymous said...

Speechless!! Sweaty palms!!
panicky! dry mouth! pounding heart!

--and thats simply from reading your account of the storm! I was going to ask you to turn around and just come on back home immediately; this very instant!!! but heck! you are past the point of no return aren't you?

--- so just get on home now you hear? - just keep on going East until you take that left turn up the coast to Sydney, and take all of us fans with you on the roller coaster ride.

I guess I will just have to be brave and continue to watch you from between the fingers of my hands!! Knowing you ( It feels as though we have been friends for years ) you would never, ever consider quitting, and I also have a sneaky suspicion that you are thoroughly enjoying yourself, you little trooper!

I am reminded of the scene in Forrest Gump when the ship Jenny is being pounded by the storm. I can imagine you up the mast shaking your fist at the sea and challenging it to do its worst!
But just promise me, no mast climbing PLEASE until the sea is perfectly flat and calm! Alright?

Jessica, I rejoice in your safe emergence from the 'teeth' of the storm and I thank and praise Our Heavenly Father who is always with you, and His angels who watch over you. I also thank all those faithful people who are praying for you and keeping watch for you on your epic voyage.

Godbless you now and always Jess, my personal heroine. XXOO
71 year old Granny

RebelCowboy said...

Good to see you an your boat are in better shape than your solar cell. I would also chalk that up as a good test of your EPIRB. It works an knows "This end up!" That gives it one up on the US mail.

Marlon N Weldon
Confederate Money Farm

Rangersteve said...

You really earned your salt on that one Jess. Congratulations.

Richard in Maryland said...

Thanks for giving a quick update. A 180 is almost the same as a rollover in my book. I guess you had the main furled, so the mast was subjected to dragging it through the water as well.
It sounds like you might have experienced what Moitessier said knocked him down in the Pacific, in his book "A Sea Vagabond's World" on page 133. As the low goes by, it sets up waves that run at right angles to the prevailing waves. At night you wouldn't have seen them coming. Thank God you didn't lose you mast, or sustain any damage to the deckhouse, ports, or rudder!
Have you thought about whether another storm tactic would have worked better is this instance, or that the perpendicular wave train would have caused the same knockdown with a drogue, or hove to ? That this happened at night is really intense!
You are made of very tough stuff indeed! I am very relieved that you are uninjured, what with all the pieces of your "Super Dunny" flying about. I wonder what you mean when you said you feel like a giant marshmellow. I guess it means that you must feel physically spent after the ordeal.

A big, big, well done to you, your parents, your team, and all the volunteers that worked so hard to build "Pink Lady". Now you know why your Dad wanted to make PL a battleship!

Best wishes Always, Special One!
Richard Weills

el grande said...

Amazing story

Amazing boat

Amazing crew at home

Amazing to receive an update so quickly

Amazing rigging

Amazing sailor

Amazing Jessica!

Kerri said...

OK, we read this off my cell phone driving home on a dark rainy night, and all I can say is that it sent shivers down the spine. You, my girl, are one amazing sailor. It is amazing that you can be so positive in your blogging after what must have been a hellish 8 hours. YOU ARE SO COOL! Way to go and way to be tough!!!! And yes, kudos to the support crew, Ellas Pink Lady sounds as if she performed amazingly well and was very, very well prepared ----- what a pair you are. All I can say is 'BIG BIG HUG' you amazing sailor. And hugs to mum and dad too, and the ground crew ---- that must have been a tough one to go through. Great team! Cheering you on, wishes for calmer seas and sleep for you.

Happy sailing from California!
Go Jesse, go Jesse, goooo!!!


Anonymous said...

It's emerging from extremes that will prove your worth. You don't expect, and won't always get an easy time - and ain't that just the fun of it. You're gonna come back a grown woman not only ready but already with some enviable history of taking on the world. I hope you can find other tasks to fill the void.

Fix those things as best you can, and heck who would have thought about the dunny falling apart. You're going to have built up some credible DIY skills by the time you get home.

You're going so well Jesse, let's see if all of us in blogland can pack an extra thick aura of protection around you.


Anonymous said...

Good on you for keeping your head in such difficult conditions, you must be pinching yourself that it all happened. Can't wait to see you coming into Sydney, I have promised my 3 girls we are going to see you come in!!

Anonymous said...

Jess -

I checked in first thing this morning to see how you weathered the storm. My 4 yr old daughter Alaina looked at the pre-storm pics with me. In her words "I hope she's being careful! Did she hold on tight enough?" So I told her that the dolphins were there to greet you after the storm. She just smiled and said that she thought the dolphins would follow you all the way home.
My heart is with you as if you were my daughter. Be careful out there girl - although there's not a doubt in my mind that we'll be watching you sail into Sydney in a bit.
Lots of prayers, best wishes and kisses from little kids - - we're with you all the way!
Maryanne (and Jay, Alaina and Tom) in Atlanta GA

Anonymous said...

You have a very seaworthy vessel there. A full keel is the only way to go. We respect your courage and seamanship. Good luck and smooth sailing. Is your mast stepped on a top cabin mount or stepped below on the keel beam? Austin.

Christine said...

Well done Jess, our prayers are with you, we are so relieved you came through as well as you did. As well as everyone being proud of you, you must be so proud of yourself. Can't imagine how your parents felt when that call came in, keep up that wonderful positive attitude, you are one amazing young lady. Christine - Tura Beach NSW

Anonymous said...

Jess... how did the crew pull up?
glad to hear the dolphins are still (again) by your side,even more glad to hear you are ok, mate.


julian said...

Hang On There! You Are a Tough Girl! Enjoy Every Second of Your Trip. I am glad to hear you know we all are sailing with you and as a reminder you are never alone you saw that couple of dolphins checking on you! Repeat every day "Where Am I? = HERE! and What Time is It? = NOW!!"

Unknown said...


ToSeeTheSea said...

Well done Jessica

Hope that's the worst of it for you this trip.

If the weather was a little more predictable you may have had time to set up the Jordon series drouge. There has never been a knock down reported by a yacht towing a Jordon series drouge. If it were out you may have been a little more lucky or at worst had claim to another first. Good to hear Bob was up all night doing his best for you.
Keep the drouge handy incase of another 50 plus gale

julian said...

Hang On There! You Are a Tough Girl! Enjoy Every Second of Your Trip. I am glad to hear you know we all are sailing with you and as a reminder you are never alone you saw that couple of dolphins checking on you! Repeat every day "Where Am I? = HERE! and What Time is It? = NOW!!"

Organisedvicar said...

Oh Jesse, so glad you and EPL came through that relatively unscathed. No wonder you are a bit wobbly and such a shame there is now raw evidence of the mighty power of angry oceans unleashed on EPL. Must have been a wild ride from that picture. I can certainly imagine your questioning in the middle of it all. We were all breathing a sigh of relief when you rounded the horn without experiencing something like this. Just goes to show you can't let your guard down ever! Well done Jesse - we know only too well what happened to many yachts in that tragic Sydney - Hobart a few years ago so you must be pretty pleased to have come through so well.

Blessings to you and those beautiful friends (dolphins) accompanying you on the way.

Jo-Anne, Geelong, Aus.

Jim from Perth said...

Hi Jess,

Just what one can say??? YOU ARE SIMPLY AMAZING!!!,thanks for an extensive report on the storm you and EPL rallied through, you made it through in with flying colours, or should I say sailing colours,That storm is nothing compared to the storm that is knocking the wind out of the sails of those who said you're too young and inexperienced to sail around the world. You really showed them Jessica!!!!! I bet chick with an attitude, ted and co. must have had the heebeejeebees riding out the storm, hope they are all okay,If you can handle a storm like that one, which you have done,then there's nothing going to stop you sailing victoriously into Sydney Harbour,hey I hope you get the deck and cabin, including the dunny fixed all cleaned up and repair what minor damage you can, and a big milestone coming up next Tuesday 25th January 100 days at sea.

Sail on sailor girl.

Western Australia

sgkuhner said...

Jessica, I know exactly what you went through. In 1974 my wife and I were caught in an early hurricane of 85 kts of wind midway on our trip from St Thomas to New York. We too fell off a wave and were both sitting on the overhead before our 30 foot Seawind Ketch righted again. When she righted I went on deck and got her to drag warps while my wife bailed with a bucket. During the knockdown the main hatch cover had blown off and the water that came below reached the level of the bunks. While my wife was bailing and I was throwing out the warps and cleaning the deck, we did not have time to worry. We just did what we had to. And, just like you, the next day the wind moderated to 10 - 15 kts. The next fall, we got back on the boat and sailed back to the Caribbean. You are some impressive lady Jessica. After all, we were in our early 30s not 16 years old.

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes after watching you out there.. You are certainly a brave, unique and courageous person.. I'm praying for your safe arrival in the land down under.. Much love.. Josh R. Nevada city ,California

DeeJ said...

For us non sailors???

How on earth when EPL is completely swamped by waves & unside down does she right herself?? So glad you are safe & still sailing

Deejarm @ Cecil Plains Qld.

Unknown said...


nutralady2001 said...

OMG Jesse! Didn't expect to hear from you so soon, thanks sooo much for checking in. Can't even begin to imagine what it was like. You sound very upbeat think I'd be a gibbering mess. Bet your guardian angels are sitting on the "yardarms" drying out their wings (am aware that EPL probably doesn't have yardarms LOL) xx ps my verification word is "comight" in "MIGHTy" Jesse xx

Attitude said...

Glad to hear that you are OK Jess

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill.
When funds are low and the debts are high.
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not QUIT.

Anonymous said...

A sail around the world would not be complete without a good storm!! I'm sure if you had made it back to Sydney without a good storm, you would have been a little disappointed.

That said, fingers crossed that you have now ticked the "storm" box and sailing from here on in is a little less scary!!

Keep going Jess, your doing a fantastic job!

Bluefin said...

Hello Jesse,

Ditto Mike D!
Jesse you are incredibly brave and three cheers for Parker. Wow! Can't wait for your documentary, you are doing one right?
Lots of news items here about your night both on TV and in the newspapers. I can only repeat what everyone else has said "you are one tough cookie!" Courageous and brave and so are your parents!

I hope you can rest up and do your repairs.

Bluefin Annie, Buderim, Queensland.

gsimmons said...

Hi Jessica
You certainly have taken one hell of a beating Jesse, this storm was far worse than I or most people have gone through. 180 degrees that's nuts. You have got the mental strength of anyone on this planet.
I looked on passage weather, they did not show a storm that strong, you always got to expect the unexpected. But going by most weather guides, you need to be more north, around 35-40 degrees, to be above of most of these storm fronts?
Have you got a spare mainsail or is the damage only light. Would you be able to change the main if it needed replacing?
With the wind instructment damaged, do you have a backup or a spare. I know lots of questions, but you answer them when time permitts, we are all a little worried about you Jesse.
That sat-phone must be a life saver, to be able to call home and tell them your are a little knocked around, but ok. That EPIRB must have been water activated type, that would have given your shore team a big scare.
So Jesse take your time, clean up EPL, do some repairs and get the hell out of that Atlantic Ocean.
So keep having fun if you can and keep SAFE.
Cheers George Simmons
Lots of love
Exmouth WA Australia

Unknown said...

Hi Jessica,

Some say that the 'adventure begins' when the 'unexpected happens.' You and EPL put on a
stellar performance!

Katie said...

As Australia Day nears, you remind us of everything it means to be Australian. Your spirit of adventure, courage and positivity is the very core of what it is to be an Aussie. EPL may be Pink but you're obviously both driven by Green and Gold. Go Jess!

Prof. Grant Horner said...

OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's kinda terrifying! I have been scared out of my mind in just 40kts in my 28 footer.

You are TOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!

please be safe...

Lea.. Far North NZ said...

You little bewdy.....Nothings gonna stop you now.
You and EPL are old hands and can weather anything...

Thanks for sharing your amazing experience.

Phone Garry 727 415 2303 said...

Congrats Jessica, I've been following since before your start.
Total tenacity, you're a credit to all those brave beings out there.
I know what it's like to share with a person of your elk. My wife took off to Haiti on the first possible flight, kindly sponsored by John Travalta.
She's still there saving lives.
Your a gem.
(An arm chair sailor from Queensland and Florida USA.

Anonymous said...

Zow...if the other bloggers are not getting it as the details come in, Jessica is one seriously lucky girl. Lucky at the very best not to have broken and arm or leg in the process. Clearly, even if EPL bounced right back up, there are no doctors nearby to help her out and send her on her way.

Jessica's rigger deserves a nomination to sainthood!

Talk about some tongue in cheek in a blog entry. When sailors read "knockdown", one run of film clips runs through our minds. When we read the equivalent that actually EPL turned turtle, that's a whole 'nother thing.

I think I've figured out that her "wet seat" must literally be a seat to strap herself into so as not to be thrown around the cabin.

That she still has her rig nothing short of amazing.

You are blessed, Jessica. May you stay so till you arrive home.

Steve in California

Larry said...

Hi Jesse, I'm glad that you didn't write more than you did because my heart had stopped while I was reading your account and if you had written much more I probably would have passed out from lack of oxygen to the brain!!! I understand that Abby has started her quest. I've seen pictures of the both of you and in your pictures I see that BRING IT ON!!!! look in your eyes and Mother Nature is bring it and you and the Pink Lady are taking it all in stride. I've said in my comments that you are going to be one mentally tough young lady when you sail into Sydney harbor and I think after this latest storm you are starting to feel the truth in that prediction. No amount of accolades that we send your way can compare to the pride that you feel in your heart for what you have been through and how you have handled yourself. I had said I hope the rest of your trip be like a walk in the park but obviously it wasn't and probably won't come close to that idyllic scenario. Three importtant things are still in place (1) You are OK (most important) (2) Ella Pink Lady is still sea worthy and (3) The Quest goes on. You feel like you have aged 10 years and your supporters feel like they have aged 20. We elderly hope we can last long enough to see you through to Sydney. We are hoping that someone will come up to us and say 'Did you hear that Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbor today and we won't reply Oh yeah and who is she?!!! LOL Well that's enough bilge water for now Jesse. Sail safe and keep the Dream alive!!! Your truly thankful that your alright friend Larry (

mat h said...

shit, youre a legend!! You come across so composed and unphased... i guess being out in the middle of the ocean and only half way through your journey you dont have much of a choice... but to put yourself there and to handle those types of situation requires a level of bravery and insight that few people have... Congratulations for chasing down your dream and good luck with the rest of it.

Tony L said...

Hi Jessica

I’ve just read your “Wind, Waves, Action and Drama” report. It is, I think, the best report you have written since you began writing in May 2008. I say that because in it you have conveyed in wonderfully descriptive terms what living through the storm and the knockdowns that resulted from it was like for you. You have given us a picture that enables us to imagine and see within our own minds what happened around you at the time of the knockdowns, what damage you and Ella’s Pink Lady sustained in the storm, your appreciation of ‘a pretty incredible sunset’ and a - probably unexpected - visit from a couple of your guardian dolphins as you went about the task of clearing up, and finally your thoughtfulness in thanking your mentor, Bruce, and your meteorologist Bob for there respective roles in advising you. In all, a wonderful report about an event which you will never forget, and which we too – your blog family – will never forget.

Some other things I like about your report.

It is not stretching it to refer to the 1998 Sydney – Hobart Race. I have a read Rob Mundle’s book “Fatal Storm” about that race and can recommend it to other readers interested in the fury of a violent storm at sea. It has some marvelous aerial photos of yachts surrounded by enormous breaking waves sailing, as Jessica describes, with pocket-handkerchief-sized storm jibs, and laying over perilously near knockdown. You may be able to obtain a copy of this book through an internet book seller.

I love your description of hanging on and yelling encouragement at your electric autopilot. I hope your battery power is now restored and that the damaged starboard solar panel is still operational or at least can be made operational. Your electric autopilot must presumably require a massive power input working in those conditions. I’ve been on a boat in far easier conditions when the autopilot simpley gave up due to inadequate battery power. It hten had to be hand steered.

I also like your self-assessment approach and the fact that you confirmed a positive reaction to the whole scenario. That does not surprise me, your positive approach is one of your characteristics that we all like and have come to expect from you.

Well, I hope feeling like a giant marshmallow doesn’t last too long and I wish you success repairing all the bits that you can fix. Straighten Parker - in the kindest way possible - and continue to trust in him.

Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

jo said...

Well about time you copped some real weather, you must be relieved, I can't imagine how you would have felt if you returned with weather no worse than most coastal sailors experience(highly unlikely but was starting to look that way!).Brilliant effort Jessica, You are one loony 16 year old, Australia and the world love what you're doing. Jo S.V Sea Quest-Mcintyre IOOD50 Newcastle.

Anonymous said...

This is such an amazing story - to be (metaphorically) climbing your everest at such a young age is astounding, and truly history-making. And when you finish, and the confetti has settled, we can only imagine what heroic adventures you'll set your sights on! To have the drive and passion and direction to set out to do what you're doing, well, it really is inspirational.

All the very best of luck in reaching your goal (not that you need it!).


P.S. Is it possible to take some pix of the dolphins?

Anonymous said...

All my admiration goes to you Jess, at your age you have displayed so much courage we could all take a leaf out of your book. Please take care as I know you will, Vicki your little guardian angel from Caloundra.

Anonymous said...

...So glad that you're okay! Hang in there! :-)

castro valley, ca, usa

Anonymous said...

Jess, EPL and Shore Team,

incredible effort on all fronts!!! I cant wait to see video from the trip, it sounds as challenging and awesome as any endurance feat as anyone could imagine....

Go for it and keep on sailing true..

Prayers go with you all.


Rio The Homework Dog said...

I read the entry you wrote, then I read it again... and again... and again. I was still taking in the information about the knockdowns.

This just goes to show how mentally prepared you are. You experienced a huge storm, surveyed the damage and responded in your positive way.

"Voice" is a difficult skill to capture in writing. However, your positive voice comes through loud and clear. You have captured the hearts of so many. That number is going to contiue to grow as we all share your story with others.
(I shared you story with 5 complete strangers and one person I knew today.)

Your shore team is wonderful! I know you appreciate them helping you through this storm. I appreciate them being there for you!

Stay safe and rest up!
Best wishes
Room 401 - Minnesota

Maxx3 said...


I am so grateful to you for sharing your adventure with us in the way you do. I hope you understand that you are inspiring thousands of people around the world.

Take care, stay focused and stay safe.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are safe Jessica!! I would literally need a new set of pants after that. I would have thought that the Pacific would give you more trouble but I guess I have read that rogue waves happen in the Atlantic ocean. Stay safe! And we will still pray for you and your beautiful boat!! Darla J. (D.J.)Iowa, U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

You are magnificent! And strikingly impressive! And exceptionally fine! You deserve every one of those superlatives.

Somewhere on YouTube is a video showing a small sailboat about the size of EPL in violent seas enduring a 90 degree+ knockdown. Very scary! And you had FOUR, including a 180!

Mere words do not do justice to the excellent quality of your seamanship and your preparation for events such this storm.

Good luck w/ the clean up and repairs.
Todd @ BCL

PS Is that 'tacoed' solar panel still functional? If so, what a testimony to its durability. Likewise 'Parker.' Also, your dad's design overkill for the dodger appears to have been a sound engineering decision. Good on ya, Roger! And once again an S&S 34 has demonstrated the greatness of its design.
RE. equipment failures, i.e., the cabin heater and the dunny: a tactful silence in the blog is good policy, but folks are probably wondering about them. I am.

Unknown said...

Oh no Jess! If the storm aged you "a good 10 years", you won't become the youngest to sail around the world!! :) Ha!

You are an inspiration. Stay strong! We are all really proud of you.

Washington DC

Anonymous said...

I was reading your griping storm tail and a metal bowl fell from the bench in my kitchen into the sink and I left my chair vertically in fright.
Well done you brave, brave girl.

From Far North Qld.

Unknown said...

Holey Moley.........reading your post gave me goosebumps and it's over 30 degrees outside in Hervey Bay.
What a terrifying experience for you!
I would have needed to have been strapped onto the dunny for sure because I'd be needing it with the boat rolling up, down, under and over and being hurled around like a cork on the ocean.

But to read your post shows what a strong person you are. You have dusted yourself off and are ready to face your next challenge.
You are amazing Jess!

Yes, your mum definitely would need a good strong cuppa tea, a Bex and a good lie down.

Actually I think I do just after reading about that experience.

We are all breathing a collective sigh of relief after hearing from you again.
Yayyyy, you go girl!!!

Lily, Hervey Bay, Queensland.

Daphne Thompson said...

Wow! Wow! and Wow Jess!
My feelings are stronger than words can tell as I read your blog and the comments of so many others who are mentally on this journey with you. TOTAL ADMIRATION for you both. TOTAL AMAZEMENT at your ability to come through what may, and continuing to find the reason why it is so worthwhile.
Behind you all the way. There are now 9 Wonders of the World!


Helga said...

Hi Jessica,

I have been following you since you started, but have never made any comments. I can't let this one go by. Boy I am SO GLAD that you are OK! I so admire you for what are you doing. Keep it up and you will be home before you know it!

Lindy-Lou said...

Hiya Skipper,

Congratulations to you and the Pink Lady on toughing out the storm and the pounding you both copped so successfully.

Remember Skip... 'that a bad day sailing is still better than a good day at the office...'

Well done to the shore crew too - how are your finger nails guys?

Take care and stay safe.

Darwin S.C.

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes you are a smoking young is because you are young that you can withstand such a trauma...I would of had a heart attack and I am sure your Mum agrees on that one! You are safe and learned a few things along the way...what a trooper you are..please be safe.
Hugs, Jersey Shore Mom

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - you are one brave girl!
...and you lost the dunny?!?!
Hope you don't see weather and waves like that again.

Unknown said...

Wow!!! You know that saying "better you than me" - sure applies here, no way would I like to have gone through that! Just amazing to read your account, and read it again and again to have a sense of what it was like. Incredible boat that EPL, and one very gutsy young lady.
You wanted adventure and you're getting it in bucketloads - and so are we! Stay safe, hope you can take it a bit easy for a while.
Neil (Casino)

The Leask Family said...

Hi Jesse

What an amazing experience. All your training and preparation by the support crew have certainly paid off. We all feared that a super storm would catch you at some point but you and Ella have kicked butt!

Almost half way!! Congratulations!

The Leasks, Forbes NSW

Laura said...

Hi Jesse,

Very, very scary story to read, but am relieved you came out unscathed....sort of, but for some bruises. I've endured "near" knockdowns when sailing in high winds and strong seas, but not like you described. Ella's Pink Lady has amazing resiliency, doesn't she? Your spirit and courage are breathtaking.

What your "novel" tells all of us is that despite rounding Cape Horn, you still have tough challenges for the remainder of your journey, and yes, we all salute you and your skillful shore.

By the way, several of my posts did not make it to your blog (?).


Newport Beach, CA USA

Kortney said...

Wow! I would be so scared out of my mind! You are one brave girl!! We're glad you're okay and looking forward to seeing you safely in Sydney again. :)

Safe sailing!!
-Kortney from Sydney

Anonymous said...

Here I am, a 61 year old man in total of awe of you, so brave, calm and in control. You are a hero in my eyes and my family.
Checking your blog at least a couple of times a day.

Tony L said...

To Jessica’s Shore Team
May I pass on my thanks and appreciation for keeping us in the loop with your timely updates before and after the storm and for the posting of Jessica’s storm photos.

To Julie and Roger
I cannot imagine what the phone call reporting the activation of Jessica’s EPIRB must have been like. How fortunate Jessica realized so quickly and was able to get through to you. The one positive thing about this is that it does illustrate the value of having an automatically activated EPIRB on a boat, and the action taken by the Rescue Centre should give some measure of confidence to those who sail in hazardous circumstances. Your daughter, in part due to your interest, obviously has an extremely well-fitted out boat. I think at one stage she said you were expecting her to sail a tank! The meticulous preparation has been justified and you can be extremely proud of her achievement and courage to sail on confidently and positively.

Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

Robyn from Bris said...

This Australian Day Long Weekend, you are showing the world your true aussie grit and determination!
You are amazing, and we are soo proud of you. We are with you in spirit all the way!
Big Hug to Australia's favourite daughter!

Charles Dodgson said...

so does a 180 degree knockdown mean you are literally capsized? This is something I do not really understand about sailing boats. I assume the weight of the keel means that Pink Ella will always automatically right herself under these circumstances.

Old Iron said...

Atlantic Ocean
"Wind, Waves, Action and Drama!"

Glad to hear your OK.

What are the right words??!?!!

Again, Glad your OK!!

Sorry to hear of all the damage to Ella's Pink Lady.

Sorry about your collection of bruises!

Hope you can still get a good meal.

Thanks to your team back home.

Thank for the Blog and Photo.

Stay Safe!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, that last post of mine was before I heard the extent of the storm. I wasn't breathing the whole time I was reading this post.

Is it possible to be any more impressed with you? It would be near to impossible.

I love the way to expressed the events. So many talents.

You were victorious over what will likely be the pinnacle event of the journey. Here's hoping that the rest of the adventure is one of exploration and wonder without the adrenalin. Let's leave the rush to the chocolate shall we?

Take care and enjoy,
L.G., Seattle, USA

Ailsa said...

Hi Jesse,
Your 'interesting time' as you put it! Wow ... your description of the second knowdown ... It's certainly all happening out there. You say a tough boat .. I say a tough boat and tough sailor. Well done. And well done to Bruce and Bob who helped you also.
Yes, I'm sure the dolphins were passing to check if you're OK.

Take care and stay safe.
from Melbourne

Anonymous said...

Amazing Boat!
Brilliant Captain!
Excellent Blog with a big following here.

Tamatave, Madagascar

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 883   Newer› Newest»