Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flying-Fish, Rubbish, No Wind then Lots of Wind

We've had both very little wind and plenty of wind in the last few days. All made much more pleasant because of the tropical feeling temperatures. I actually found a few little flying fish (which are mostly only found in warmer waters) on deck and got wet inspecting it. But I don't squeal half as loud these days when an unexpected wave gives me a drenching!

Along with the flying fish I've been seeing quite a bit of plastic and rubbish floating past recently, it looks so out of place and ugly drifting by on the swell. So I've resolved to put a lot more effort into refusing plastic bags and using less plastic when I get home.

Yesterday and again last night, the wind was up to 35 knots which kept Ella's Pink Lady moving nicely, reefed down and flying along. Sunday started out being extremely frustrating when the wind dropped right out to nothing. It wasn't so much the fact that we were making no progress that had me on edge, but the horrible rolling motion. With a big 4m swell leftover from the latest weather system and no wind to
hold the sails steady, the rolling was extremely un-pleasant and really had me in a bad mood till the sky cleared and the sun came out. That one little thing made all the difference!

I spent the rest of the day having a great time in the sunshine going through my extensive stash of Ella Bache products, giving myself a total pampering and ensuring that my skin got its share of attention too!

By the time the wind started coming in again I was feeling better than I had in a long time, definitely ready to take on the rest of the world!

Another ship passed last night and as I often do, I gave them a call on the VHF radio and to check that they were aware of our position. Despite the fact that I'd rather have been asleep, the ship's watch-keeper sounded really friendly, it was good to chat to him till the conversation came to a bit of a dead-end, when I explained what exactly I was doing out here. I get that reaction quite a bit, apparently it must just be a little too much for them to take in or something?

But to be fair to them, I suppose it's a bit out of the norm to come across at little pink yacht in the middle of nowhere disappearing in and out of the swell on a dark windy night. And well, I suppose it would be quite un-expected to be casually told by a girly sounding voice that her next port of call is Sydney!

So time for a long awaited update on this fishing stuff. No good news I'm afraid. I've been putting the line out every now and then but after a bird went for the lure and got himself tangled in the line a few weeks back I've been a bit timid about it all since. The bird got himself free but I felt so bad, that I spent the rest of the afternoon feeding the other birds chocolate biscuits (I'm pretty into my chocolate biscuits so I think that gives you a pretty good idea of how bad I felt!). Seeing as I've only got so many chocolate 'bickys' onboard, you could say I've been a bit scare-easy about putting the line out recently. But we've still got plenty of miles to go, so I'm
sure I'll get my confidence back sometime soon.

That's it for me today, the wind has dropped off to 15 knots, so it's time to go pull anther reef out of the mainsail to keep us moving.



samurai said...

Hey there Jess, I hope you're well.
It's sad to hear about all the bits of plastic and rubbish floating past EPL. Sadder still that I can say it doesn't surprise me. Good on you for your strong statement of resolve. I hope it serves well in drawing more attention to our problem and instilling awareness in everyone.

Most of our waste today is comprised of plastic. Made from petroleum, plastic is a material that our planet cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except for a small amount that has been incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals.

In the ocean, plastic waste accumulates in swirling seas of debris. Plastic to sea life ratios now stand at 6:1. Birds and mammals are dying of starvation and dehydration with bellies full of plastics. Fish are ingesting toxins at such a rate that soon they will no longer be safe to eat.

What can we do about it? First, we need to understand and comprehend the size of the problem. Then together we need to find the solutions. Every little bit helps and it has to start with each and every one of us making a conscious effort to simply think before we throw.

I hope you continue to make good progress. Take good care of yourself, stay focused, safe and most importantly, ENJOY!
Bye for now...Aunty Sam XX :-))

HAWKEYE said...


Hi Jesse - it's a relief to be back on line. Not being able to keep in touch on a daily basis reduces my worry beads to nervous breakdown conditions. But here we are again darl and all is well or are they??

Your emotions appear to have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride recently. Particularly after the most recent blow and the 4 metre swell that made me sea sick just reading of your plight.

As I said in a recent blog 'you are important to yourself'; out there 'you' are your most important ally; and in that regard dousing 'yourself' in Ella Bache products is a step in the right direction.

You have to learn to relax darl and use some of your free time on just doing that. Do you have a set of relaxation exercises? And if so, are you using them? Speak to your support group about it. If I was in a position to help you I could but I am able to send tapes to your support team and they could downland them for you. Perhaps you can follow it up if you think it would be of benefit. I certainly do.

It is important you take stock of things at this point and be happy with how far you have come; and I might add against the odds with many obstacles to overcome not least the doomsayers. You are a beautiful girl, a resourceful girl but you are human. You must also be realistic and be patient. Each small step Jesse is in fact a GIANT LEAP when you are working in the type of environment you face of a day. Don't worry how far CoGH is at this stage think how far you have come since Cape Horn and how marvelously you have managed the process -looking back at what you have achieved bears testimony to how quickly you are ticking off the miles day by day. Look back to measure your achievement look forward to plan the next SMALL STEP and the same the next day and in the psychology of it all you are continually making progress and adding to your existing achievement.

There will be plenty of time for fishing and remember on occasions birds are unfortunately trapped by their own game - it's not your fault these things happen darl. Your intentions are homourable.

Jesse is it a good idea to be having conversations with passing boats?? Particularly, letting those you are speaking to know that you are alone. I can understand confirming that they are aware of your position but conversing beyond that to strangers in the night worries me and as a result my Jess-Stress meter is in turmoil. Be very careful darl if anything happened to you I don't know what I would do.

In the meantime precious one you keep the mind in the moment, think safety first, follow up the relaxation suggestion and don't be hard on yourself. Get those products out more often. Incidentally, your latest photo is stunning - so take care precious Jesse, keep the chin up, love ya and god bless.


PHD said...

Hey Jess.
Flying fish are cool but rubbish? It's a shame that there is polution even that far out at see. It just goes to show that every little bit hurts.
I see a lot of stores here in the US that are selling reusable cloth shopping bags. That seems to be a good way to go. Even better than the paper ones.
Keep up the good work.

Mel M of USA said...

"...the conversation came to a bit of a dead-end, when I explained what exactly I was doing out here."

"...it's a bit out of the norm to come across at little pink yacht in the middle of nowhere..."


Anonymous said...

Rubbish in the middle of ocean! Captain Jessica, You're talking rubbish?

Here is also another Captain, who "talk trash":

Captain Charles Moore on the seas of plastic (video length: 7 min 20sec)

From here we can found other article about Captain Moore and those Garbage Patches:

Plastic ocean: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Well (as we all just read from above link and presumably also from other Commentator's comments), there are singularly remarkable garbage areas in the North and South Pacific, in the North and South Atlantic and in the Indian Ocean. Each of these areas gyre (or "vortex") has its own version of the Garbage Patch, as plastic gathers in the currents. Together, these areas cover 40 percent of the sea. And, as Captain Moore says: 'That corresponds to a quarter of the Earth's surface, so 25 percent of our planet is a toilet that never flushes.'

Jessica, it seems as if you found The South Atlantic's Dunny. Outstanding observation and excellent conclusion "using less plastic"! I think You'll never forget and ever stop cast up how "out of place and ugly" things did you see there!

Right, a few days ago there were flying dunny in the EPL, and now EPL was flying in the dunny... I'm speechless!

Anyway, I wish You - from Our God, and bottom of my heart - undramatic, quietly and peacefully sail to home, whether it be in any Port of The Universe.
Jack from North
Ps. Obviously you guys noticed that my natural language isn't english. Hopefully you still understand what did i try to say.

Ab Peterson said...

Way to go, Jessica! My wife and I follow you every day and celebrate your achievements, large and small. We're in the States, but have friends and family in Australia and New Zealand who hang on your every blog, so keep it up! We're all very proud of you.
God bless and keep you safe,
David and Barbara Crossman

ben said...

Hey Jesse,

I hope you are experiencing idyllic conditions as it's been a few days since you posted this one.
Ha ha!..watch-keepers reaction. What a classic! Love to have been a fly on the wall.
Gee, we have a lot to answer for re our pollution of this planet. I support 'greenies' in all they are trying to do.
You are doing so well out there and closing quickly on Good Hope.
I thought Dilip might meet you around about there, but not so sure now.
Keep flying along skipper j and stay safe out there.

Ben (Qld)

Jony the Pony said...

Hi Jess,
glad your blog is sort of working again!
Keep up them dodgers,
Jony the Pony

Trudy said...

Hello Jessica,
oh wow, the blog site is up again, what a relief, I have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms!

Hope that you and Ella are flying along unhindered!

Fanastic, that you turn the negative (rubbish in the sea) to a positive decision, that you will be mindful to be gentler with the earth.

Hope that rolling motion is over.

Pampering is good, especially when you're outside on deck!

I can imagine, if these people on the other ship have not heard about you, they would be flabberghasted to encounter Captain Jessica on her pink yacht!

That poor bird, that was caught would put me off fishing for a very long time!

Sail on Captain Jessica, you must be getting close to CoGH.

Keep well and safe,

Trudy, Austria/Australia

The McGraths said...


Surely the conversation with the other ship didn't mean that he was shocked by a "female" sailing alone at sea. The guy has to get with the times don't ya think.
Having said that, it's funny to think you used to squeal at the flying fish. Somethings will never change. Too funny!!


The McGraths, Nowra NSW

Collette Cole, Australia said...

Hey sweetheart, great to hear form you.

I recall Kay Cottee writing of her experience with flying fish...it seems hilarious to me, and Samurai has captured the thought idyllically in the latest of her pieces of Voyage Art.

Some years ago I worked in Far North Qld, and leisure time was spent at the seaside (crocs or no crocs)! To my horror, the amount of rubbish washed ashore was only a teensy indication of what was evidently 'out there'. Much of it was the plain old plastic shopping 'singlet' bag. Then there were the nets....with hooks. And thongs and bottles and rope and even automotive oil containers!

I think we have all seen at least one video of wildlife eating, choking ad dying from this disgusting human minefield borne of laziness.

So Jesse, GOOD ON YOU for becoming a role model in yet another arena. ie: if you do, I'm gonna do too!

Sweetheart, back yo your epic voyage, you appear to be in complete control of you environment, and better still, I was rapt to see you are experimenting with your sumptious Ella Bache products..mainly because once in a while we girls need to do girly stuff.

What would we do without you gorgeous?

Cheerio for now..eat WELL please!

Anonymous said...

Save Our Seas Ocean Racing is also a solo campaign but sailing around Australia in April. I am out to raise awareness of the damage plastic bags are doing to our environment. We aim to at least have the Austraian government look at banning non biodegradable bags like the South Australian government has.

Easy solution but a massive problem. visit www.sosoceanracing.com for more details on our campaign.

Hope to see you at the finish Jess.

Ian Thomson

Anonymous said...

Hi there Jess, I had to laugh at your conversation with the ship's watch master.

Imagine him, the big man in charge of this huge ship, feeling all important and responsible 3000 miles from anywhere, when this young teenage girl's voice pipes up on his VHF radio. "What the %^$# ??"

Friendly chat, she sounds chatty but very young. "So what boat are you on?" She says "S&S 34".

"34 metres? Thats not big out here!"

"34 FEET"

"Wow, how many of you?"

"Just me"

"Holy *$%#@^ ! So where did you take off from?


"Holy &%$#%....and where are you headed?"


No wonder the conversation sort of dries up, his jaw has dropped too much to talk!

Molly said...

What a smile it is, visualizing you feeding your bird friends chocolate biscuits.
I'm sure the sea birds you have encountered have never run across such a kind-hearted soul.
The other smile is your pampering session.
Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
God bless our Jess,

Maryland USA

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,

Rubbish on the surface of the ocean. That is just rubbish ;)

Thank you for drawing attention to the subject.

Are you planning to turn your blog into a book when you go back home? You could donate a percentage of the sale to preserving marine life. Good idea right?

Eva from Denmark

Kissyfrott said...

WOW the comments are open again and back to receive our lousy words...
THANK YOU to the shore team for having finally solved that HUGE technical issue. I felt like lost in the bottom of a dark hole; and your posts, Captain Jesse, your pics and your video were like oxygen and water, necessary to survive.

The fact you met some plastic and rubbish, where you are, is appalling. Your testimony has much more weight, for me, than all the reports read in papers or seen on TV, that can always be exaggerated, if not simply forged. I understand your new resolution, and I shall follow your example right away. A lot more effort has to be done.

I appreciate much your kindness toward that poor bird and your generosity with your chocolate biscuits. Don't spoil the birds too much, or they could decide to sleep in your cabin to try the other treasures you are hiding in your galley!

And I enjoy you can have great time in the sun. You deserved a compensation for the foggy days, didn't you? How's your skin after soon 4 months? Probably salty, I guess.

About your chat with the other ship, maybe the guy thought you were pulling his leg? He just didn't believe you could be 16 and on a solo non stop cicumnavigation?

Your pink flags on the map keep on the right track. We are so much thinking of you, that it is impossible some of our breathes don't reach your sails!
Fair winds and marvelous weather for you, Captain Jesse... Go East, sweetest Lady, go!

Beverly, Tasmania said...

Hi Jessica (Beverly here in Tassie). I'm sooooo glad you (we) are up and running again, somewhat, for how long, but right now in the moment, here we are. I was having some serious withdrawal symptoms. I mean, serious!

Hmm, like you, I don't think I would be too keen on fishing again after I saw a bird caught up. Nope, nope, and nope!

I totally, totally agree with HAWKEYE. Doesn't sound too good to let these ships, full of men who have been at sea for a long, long time possibly, know that you are a solo sailor in a tiny boat. Again I say nope, nope, and nope. Hon, there are just way too many sickos in this world and we definitely want you to be SAFE! If you have to say anything about it, maybe just say it's your watch and then they will think there are "other" people on the boat. Of course, GOD is with you but He expects you to be wise also.

Garbage!!! Makes me embarrassed to be human sometimes when I hear of stuff like that. I need to take up on your resolve, no more plastic bags for me. I reckon it just takes one, then one more, then one more and we could make a big difference.

Well Jessica, it is 3:12am Sat morning here in Tassie and I guess I should go to sleep, I was just sooo happy to see your blogs up and running I had to stay awake and read, read, read, & read some more. But now my eyes are saying, sleep, sleep!

Remember God is right there beside you and His Legions of Angels are surrounding you and EPL guiding you safely and surely to the Cape of GOOD HOPE! {{{HUGS}}} Beverly & Andrew Penney, Tasmania


Randy said...

Hey Jess!

I hope you "fly" again!

Live your dream!
This time, will never return again!

Randy / Hamburg, Germany

Lee said...

G'day Jessica!

I was reminded of a special time in my life when reading your bird tale. Back in the mid-Eighties I managed the resort on Hinchinbrook Island. There was one particular booby (bird) that liked to hang around the jetty. A few of my staff fished at the end of the jetty during their breaks, and that damn booby was intent on nabbing the bait or lures. Many times it succeeded in doing so, managing to get entangled! He never learned! (I say "he" because we all know a lady bird wouldn't act in such manner)! ;)

Another time when fishing up past Indian Head on Fraser Island, I was walking back up the beach pulling in a fish I'd caught because my reel had jammed and I had to do it that way to get the fish on shore. With my back to the ocean, my friends started yelling out loudly. I turned to see my fish being carried off by a bird and that was the last I saw of my catch...and of the bird!

Kris D said...

I wouldn't feel too sorry for those birds. We had a large gull take a chicken off of our grill while at the Jersey shore. Don't think I'dve gotten too upset if he got his tail feathers a bit singed! Those birds get themselves into their own messes looking for easy meals!
Cast away!

Clint Jeffrey - VK3CSJ said...

Hey there Jess...
Just working me way down through the blogs since the comments section has been re-activated....

Sad to hear about the rubbish factor, well its to be expected as the Sea has been used for a long time now as a dumping ground of Human Activities...some stuff sinks to the bottom and pollutes deep oceans currents and some stuff floats and causes other issues....we can only hope human kind gets there act together...

I wonder what Jessica Watson in "bad mood" would be like??...as a sweet natured, humbled, mature and smart lovable kinda girl you are...Jessica Watson in a bad mood could be interesting to see....hmmmm...ummm...yes well what's next to mention.....oh yes!, good to see the Sun came out to sooth your fevered brow, whew!……I think I just missed that punch in the arm…;)

It is funny to hear of the reaction you got after talking to the watch keeper, I wonder what that was about?, you’d think that everybody at sea was of the same mind same kinship with this universal understanding that being at Sea whether it be on a 34 foot S&S or a million ton container ship that everybody would be on the same page when it comes to being at Sea….anyway, maybe you’re right Jess, it must be to much for them to handle?…

Now at the time of writing this post we know about you having been visited by a heap of Dolphins coxing you to come out and play with’em…I just reckon they got wind of you feeding the Birds your all chocolate biscuits after your little guilt trip and where badgering you for some food….hehe

As I write the radio is playing “On the Wings of an Eagle” by local musician Russel Morris, anybody that’s seen the movie “The Dish” would know it….I’m just imagining you are the Eagle free and soaring over the waves on the wind beneath your wings….oh well….better sign off…

Boy!…or should I say, Girl!…its been only a few days not being able to post a simple Hi to you but here I am catching up I guess…like I said about 100 posts ago, you’re such a fun girl to write too!”….it’s gonna be sad the day you come home, I’m all for you doing another lap…;))

Cya for now….and I hope that rolling action ceases to be, can’t have you in a bad mood!!

Clint - Melbourne Townships