Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thankyou to the Watson family

Have just returned to the hotel after spending an unbelievable day at the Opera House watching the arrival of Jessica Watson. We feel very honoured to have been included in the VIP section along with family and friends for her arrival, putting us right in the thick of things. It was great to finally meet Jessica and her family, albeit briefly. I was blown away by her confidence and maturity and how articulate she was in front of such a crowd. I get off the boat after two weeks completely rattled and incoherent, she gets off after seven months and presents as potential Prime Minister material! I haven't seen such a great role model for other young people since I don't know when. I was struck by how down to earth, friendly, and unpretentious her whole family are and can see how Jessica has turned out the way she has. After seeing how she conducted herself today, I hope that some of the "knockers" that have been out there will now understand that she is quite an exceptional young woman who was very focused and extremely well prepared for the challenge that she set herself.

So what have I been up to in the past week? After the last blog we had to get out of Sydney for a while, due to budgetary constraints and Jo doing her head in trying to drive here. Before leaving, we were entertained for lunch by Sue Crafer - a top international sailor as well as a sailing physio, and the best in the world at what she does. Thankyou to Sue and her husband Noddy, as well as Dr. Steve Wilson, one of the Paralympic classifiers, for a great afternoon down on middle harbour in an absolutely beautiful spot at Noddy's wooden boatshed over the water.

We spent much of the past week exploring up in northern NSW - what a top spot! It is such a different landscape from WA. It was excellent to catch up with my Uncle Reg and Susie, and a big thankyou for having us stay there. We returned to Sydney Friday morning in order for me to do my bit for the "Jessica Juggernaut". I was requested by Channel 10 to take them out on the harbour on Spirit to do a dress rehearsal for them so they could get some practise getting on and off the boat and get all the timing and technical details well prepared for. And no, I did not have to go so far as to paint the boat pink and wear a blonde wig! It was a great day, I had Jesse Martin and the English teenage solo sailor Mike on the boat with me which made for some great conversation. And I got to tie up at the Opera House, right where Jessica pulled up today. Great experience, will never forget it.

Am planning to leave Sydney tomorrow, or if final preparations take a bit longer then it will be early Monday morning. Also just want to mention one of my American "bloggers", Janell from Oklahoma, who is visiting Sydney and took the time to come and find Spirit, leaving a lovely note for me that is greatly appreciated. Janell if you are reading this, I'll be down at the boat tomorrow morning at the CYC, leaving about 11AM.


  1. Go Jamie Go! Happy sailing on this next leg Jamie. Enjoy it out there. And don't forget to take enough chocolate... Sarah Outen

  2. Jamie,
    You are up there with the greatest as well, you are a beautiful person and truly amazing. How excieting it must have been for you Jo and Bella yesterday to able to welcome Jessica home. Take care with your next bit of solo 1, Pete and I will be tracking you closely. Having a coffee with Sonia later today and will take some photos from our time with you in Sydney.
    Lots a love Cathie

  3. Glad to hear you've had some acknowledgement & inclusion in the "Jessica Juggernaut", as you call it (LOL). But sorry to hear you're leaving so soon. Look forward to further blogs on your way up the coast - keep us posted & take care!

  4. Hi Jamie
    been following your blog and your tracker. Heartiest of congratulations for making it so far. I was amazed at you getting down to Albany but to have come so far and fast and tackled the breakages and weather to arrive at Sydney is a huge accomplishment.Hope you enjoy your journey around the warmer end of Australia and may the weather stay mild and the wind be favourable for the rest of the trip.
    Watching the weather and wishing you all the best and as John Sanders once said to me in answer to handling the really rough stuff. Remember to reduce sail early and board up well and try and get some kip. Hope you've scanned for any future potential sharp stuff down below, stay safe and above all good luck,j

  5. Great that you were able to give Jessica support.Watched the TV coverage over here in the west.Once again I wish you fair winds and plain sailing as you continue your own inspirational journey. All the best.
    Russell H.

  6. G'day Jamie

    For the time you have been in Sydney, and having the privelage of meeting you, you've inspired me even further to never give up on the the course we have charted.

    The day I spent with you on Spirit of Rockingham doing the "Jessica Juggernaut" thing will stay in my memory forever. It was one of those defining days. My only regret is that I forgot to take some footage and photo's with you talking to Jesse Martin and Mike Perham while we travelled down Sydney Harbour to the Opera House on a gorgeous Sydney autoumn day. Nevertheless Jamie, we have the stuff that I took while we were moored up at the Man 'War Steps.

    As you have already commented on your own behalf, Saturday at the Opera House was one of the best days I have spent. To be able to meet up with you afterwards and get some more film and photo's of you with Jessica's boat in the background will allow us both to lock in forever what an inspiring a day it was.

    I will get all of this to Jo, and with David's help, will get this up on your blog and website so everyone who follows you on your awe inspiring journey will be able to view it.

    On Sunday, after you had gone out of sight, I headed home. I was just blown away by the three days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the time I had spent in your company. All afternoon I pictured you, where you were, what were you experiencing, what were you thinking?

    Last night I drank a toast to you, and in my mind gave thanks and appreciation for the advice, guidance and wisdom of your thoughts and contribution to my own project, and the integral part you will play in it from now on.

    Safe sailing Jamie and I will very much look forward to the next time we speak.

    One thing I can promise you Jamie, you won't be slipping into Airlie Beach un-noticed, nor when you head off for Darwin. That's a promise!!

    With very best regards - Kevin

  7. Hi Jamie,
    Well we have you from WA about to go off to do a remarkable thing and a Queensland girl who has just completed one.
    I have a hard enough time sailing as sailor without a wheelchair etc and you doing it as an able-bodied sailor withone is really amazing.
    I met Janell, she is lovely as is Samurai and the rest of the Jessaholics :)
    She has come such a long way and her lovely grandaughter was there as well.
    Jessica does come from a remarkable family and yes, they are very down to earth.
    Saturday was amazing.
    I will be following your progress .
    I wish you the best broadreaches and sunshine to light your way.

  8. Hi Jamie
    This is Susie writing to you from Tugun on the Gold Coast. I am extremely proud of you since I have only known you less than a week! I am totally amazed at you achievements so far. I know in my heart that you can do the round the world. Forget about the freezing cold it is just a state of mind! You will get through it. Sorry Rosemary! Love Susie xxx

  9. hi Jamie again,
    I forgot to mention that I have 2 people who want to help you along with a "GET ON BOARD CREW MEMBERSHIP".
    But I don't see how to do this on the site.
    Is there a form to fillout etc?
    So that makes three of us :)
    I will approach other people to see if they can be roped in to help you do a very remarkable said that is difficult for other sailors that don't have your challenges.
    I must have bought over $1000 worth of supporters clothing to help Jessica 's trip in the last year, so I hopefully should get at least that for you :)
    cheers and safe sailing.