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The Rock-itt : February 2010
The Youngest Person to Attempt to Circumnavigate the World Solo & Unassisted 14January 2010 Welcome back readers to our serialized report as we track courageous round the world 16 year old Aussie sailor, Jessica Watson. As I start this report Jess has been at sea a total of 88 days and covered approximately 9,800 nautical miles. She has just rounded the notorious Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America. This part of the journey is a real milestone for Jessica as "The Horn", as it is most commonly called, is one of the most hazardous parts of the world for sailors and over the centuries many a vessel has gone to the bottom trying to round it. But thanks to some great sailing skills and prayers from people all over the globe, Jessica has rounded it unscathed. I expect that Jessica gave a sigh of relief at knowing that the dreaded Horn is finally behind her and that it is one worry that she can cross off her list. But although The Horn is out of the way there is still plenty to worry about, especially with the treacherous Indian Ocean still to cross. Here Jess may encounter some really enormous waves, strong currents and ferocious winds. At this point in time Jess is ahead of schedule and the Ella's Pink Lady is performing marvellously, handling all of the conditions which she has so far encountered. However, Jessica is still a long way from home and the realisation of her goal. Sunday 31 January With Jess safely around Cape Horn she has now moved into the Atlantic Ocean where she has already had to battle some fierce weather. Gale force winds reaching 65 knots hit the "Pink Lady", actually rolling her onto her side with the top of the mast hitting the water, which is a very scary situation. The Pink Lady was knocked down four times in all, damaging the wind reading equipment and tearing the sails with some structural damage to the Targa frame. Jess has said in her Blog that the weather conditions could be likened to the ill-feted 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race where six sailors lost their lives. This is how Jess described the second knock down.... "We experienced four knock downs the second being the most severe with the mast being pushed 180 degrees into the water. Actually pushed isn't the right word. It would be more accurate to say that Ella's Pink Lady was picked up and thrown down a wave, then forced under a mountain of breaking water and violently turned upside down." Can you imagine our little heroine in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean battling monstrous rogue waves and gale force winds, her boat being virtually tipped upside down four times? What a courageous young Aussie and what a tough little "Pink Lady". Because of the knock downs one of "Pink Lady's" emergency signalling devices had been accidently