Recap of Jessica's Voyage

      Just days away from her 17th birthday, Jessica Watson is about to arrive at Sydney Harbor, where tens of thousands are expected to welcome her.
    Prepare for the celebration by catching up on her non-stop, seven-month, round-the-globe journey. Here’s a recap via her blog entries.
 
October 18 Departure. Jessica is heading north to the equator in order to fulfill one of the requirements, offsetting some of the advantage she gains by departing from the southern hemisphere, which has a lot less land.
 
October 26 When it got light this morning I did my usual check around Ella's Pink Lady to find a whole lot of little squid lying on the deck where they'd clearly got stuck after jumping on board during the night.
 
November 18 The Equator. Mostly I celebrated crossing the line with a lot of slightly melted chocolate!
 
November 22 I'm more than a little pleased and very relieved to report that I finally got a fish!
 
December 17 Yesterday was a nice calm day so I decided it was time to have a go at climbing the mast. Down came the mainsail, on went the main electric auto pilot, on went my dorky helmet and up I went. Ella's Pink Lady hasn't got the tallest mast and there wasn't much of a sea, but I certainly felt every little roll up there! 
 
December 5 The trade winds. What the books don't say is how lovely the sunshine is, how nice it is to have a steady breeze and how amazingly blue the water looks speckled with whitecaps.
 
December 25 Both the air and sea temperatures have dropped a few more degrees and this morning we pretty much sailed right over Point Nemo, which is known for being the point of ocean furthest from any land. You really could say that I'll be spending Christmas in the middle of nowhere! 
 
December 28 When I venture up on deck these days, I feel a bit like a clumsy elephant with all the gear that I have to wear. First there's all the thermals and various different layers, then boots and wet-weather gear, hat, life jacket and what feels like half the hardware stashed in the pockets of my overalls. I'm always carrying my knife, PLB (personal EPIRB), shifter and more often than not a selection of various other tools.
 
December 30 I've been catching up on a bit of sleep. I've certainly had an interesting few days.The wind started picking up pretty much right after I'd sent Tuesday's blog and topped at 44 knots mid-morning yesterday. Which makes for my first Southern Ocean gale.
 
Jan 13 Jessica rounds Cape Horn.
 
Jan 15 Seeing land after so long was incredible After running on not much more than adrenalin for a good 4 days, I've only had one thing on my mind - sleep! 
 
January 20 What I miss. Family and friends … walking…being able to stretch my legs on the beach ... fresh food, a crunchy salad, any type of fruit, even vegetables… a good cup of coffee… chocolate that hasn't been melted and re-set… a long hot bath… and someone else taking a turn at washing the dishes for a change!
 
January 23 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! 
 
February 22 On sailing around the world: It wasn't so much the action and adrenaline parts that appealed to me, but thinking about all the details and finding ways to minimize the risks… I hate that so many dreams never actually become anything more than that, a dream…I hope that by achieving my own dream, I'm showing people that it is possible to reach their own goals, whatever they might be and however big or small.
 
Feb 23 Jessica rounds Cape Agulhas (south of the Cape of Good Hope).
 
March 2 …the last few days have just flown by all of a sudden without my noticing. Time seems to be passing very strangely at the moment, flying by in great chunks at a time. But then occasionally dragging by minute by minute. But fast or slow, I'm still enjoying every minute of it all. 
 
March 24 Getting soaking wet at 2 o'clock in the morning isn't exactly all that out of the ordinary, but this time with the southerly wind, the waves and icy rain were particularly cold and un-welcome.  
 
April 15 One lightning cell after another rolled past, keeping my nerves on edge and stopping me getting any real sleep as I worried over it. Some of the flashes were so bright I felt like putting my sunnys on! Then, as I started to think things were improving the wind suddenly started gusting like crazy, laying Ella's Pink Lady right over on her side and pinning her there. While I was having some serious fun (note sarcasm!) reefing in the cockpit (double clipped on of course!), down below, water was flooding in up through the sink because of the crazy angle we were on.
 
April 24 These swells were 10 metre liquid mountains, rolling past with tumbling white tops. Ella's Pink Lady was handling it all beautifully though and when we were knocked down just after it got light this morning… Seriously whatever happed to gently shaking someone awake and handing them a cup of coffee?
 
May 3 I never expected rounding Tasmania to be much of a big deal, but all of last week's struggles made finally getting around the cape 10 times sweeter. (Insiders tip, jumping up and down in a 5 metre swell isn't a  good idea. ouch!)
 
May 10 If there's one thing I've learnt out here, it's that there's nothing that can't be fixed with enough perseverance, even if it means pulling some other part of the boat apart to do it!...Yesterday was Mother’s Day…What Mum did letting me go and helping me get to the start line while still looking after everyone else is in my eyes much harder than anything I've faced out here.

May 13 I'm going to miss the kick I get from overcoming challenges by myself, flying along in the dark. A new sunset every night and the time I always take to watch it. I'm going to miss watching the waves and sea. I know it's ?been nearly 7 months and I'm still not bored by it. The tumbling white tops when it's windy and the glassy reflections when it's not. I'm going to miss seeing Albatross circle around Ella's Pink Lady and beanie days for when finding a hair brush is just too much trouble!