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Jessica Watson: True Spirit

On May 15, 2010, after 210 days at sea and more than 22,000 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her 33-foot boat back to land. She’d done it: she was the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted, and nonstop around the world. Check out our exclusive Q&A with Jessica and find out more about her new book, True Spirit!


Kidzworld Q&A With Jessica Watson

Kidzworld: When and why did you decide you wanted to be the youngest person to sail around the world unassisted?


Jessica: I grew up with a pretty adventurous family, living on a boat and doing a lot of travelling but the thing that first made me think of sailing around the world was Mum reading me Jesse Martins book about his solo around the world voyage when I was 11. That’s what gave me the idea.


Kidzworld: How did you prep for your journey?


Jessica: I spent years gaining the experience I needed, crewing on yachts and hanging around boats. Then my amazing team, family and I spent months working full time to refit Ella’s Pink Lady and get her ready.


Kidzworld: How much food/equipment/supplies do you need to take with you on such a trip? How does it all fit on one boat?!


Jessica: Because the voyage was non-stop and unassisted everything I needed and all the food for the 210 days had to come with me - yes it all fits in Ella’s Pink Lady!


Kidzworld: Did you ever get bored being by yourself all the time?


Jessica: I can’t say that I ever got bored. There was always something to do whether it was sailing the boat, emailing or calling home, reading or keeping up with chores.


Kidzworld: Were you ever afraid or scared?


Jessica: Yes there were definitely the moments out there!


Kidzworld: How were you able to blog from sea?


Jessica: I was really lucky to not only have a satellite phone on board, but also satellite internet which enabled me to send blogs, emails and videos from out at sea.


Kidzworld: What’s the very first thing you did when you got home?


Jessica: It was all a bit of a blur! To start with there was a lot of hugging then that night. After a get together with family and friends my sister ran me a lovely hot bath!


Kidzworld: Is your new book, True Spirit, the true story of your journey?


Jessica: I’m really proud of True Spirit which is all in my words because it tells the whole story. Not just of the time while I was at sea, but also all the preparation beforehand which is such a big part of the story.


Kidzworld: What would you say to other kids who have big dreams they’d like to achieve?


Jessica: Stick at it, show everyone how serious you are about it! You don’t have to be anyone special to achieve something amazing, you’ve just got to work hard for it.


Kidzworld: What’s your next challenge going to be?


Jessica: Writing True Spirit was a challenge in itself and for the next while I’ve plenty to keep me busy with lots of travelling coming up, finishing school and learning to drive. After that I’m going to see where sailing takes me, I’ve got a very long list of challenges and adventures to look forward to.


True Spirit Book Review

True SpiritTrue Spirit

Blog posts, planning and prep details and tons of other “insider” info in Jessica Watson’s new book, True Spirit, you can get a glimpse into what she experienced sailing around the world solo at 16. We loved the book, and found Jessica’s ability and determination to make her dream come true to be really great inspiration!


The book includes a rally helpful glossary of sailing terms (phew, cause we’re not experts!), plus a really interesting and very detailed list of items Jessica took on board for her journey – everything from food to fuel quantities!


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