Sunshine Coast sailor Jessica Watson celebrated being back in Australian waters with some squid - and Vegemite of course.
Sunshine Coast sailor Jessica Watson celebrated being back in Australian waters with some squid - and Vegemite of course.

Jessica Watson chats with siblings

SUNSHINE Coast teenager Jessica Watson is sailing towards Tasmania after passing Cape Leeuwin and being 'reunited' on the air with her parents and sibings.

A statement on her website said light winds and a big swell slowed Jessica’s progress and delayed her passing of the Cape.

"Jessica was yesterday treated to a visit from some guests who dropped by. Her Mum, Dad, brother Tom and sister Hannah flew overhead to give her a wave from a small plane.

"Jessica said it was a magic moment.

“With the sun peaking out through the clouds and Ella's Pink Lady surfing along in a big sea and lots of silly chatter over the VHF, it was a really, really special moment,'' said Jessica.

“The plane couldn't come in very close at all this time, which was a pity, because I'd made a special effort with my hair, painted my toe nails pink and shaved my legs especially.

"Strangely it felt a lot like a normal family get together which gives you an idea of what's become normal for me.”

On Saturday, an excited Jessica wrote on her blog about being in Australian waters.

"Today started with a lovely sunrise as Ella's Pink Lady sailed over the green line on the chart and into Australian waters,'' Jessica, 16, wrote on her blog yesterday.

"Hot chocolate in hand (yes I managed to repair the kettle!), a light sprinkling of rain and with an albatross circling above, it was one of those really special moments.

"But we've still got a long way to go and over the next week we will pass under the Great Australian Bight and head south to Tasmania.

"It's very likely that I'll pass back over the green line out of Australian waters again. It's weird being so close, but still having so many miles to cover.

"I think a lot of people are wondering why I'm going south of Tasmania, rather than taking a short cut through the Bass Strait.

"The reasoning behind this is that Bass Strait is full of shipping and islands which would mean a few days with very little or no sleep for me.

"Plus Bob's long range weather forecast also predicts light head winds (also known as very painful sailing) if we tack that route, instead of heading south around the bottom of Tasmania. So I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and put up with a slight drop in temperature again, before heading north for the last time.

Jessica admits she's not been totally alone.

"I found a few squid on the deck again this morning. Another one jumped on board just I was thinking about lunch, so I got brave and decided to have a go at eating it.

"I opened a can of prawns (they could hardly pass as prawns, tiny little things!), sliced up the squid, all half a mouth full of it and made a sort of variation to garlic prawns. Then I finished up with Vegemite on crackers to celebrate being back in Australian waters!

Jessica also noted fellow Sunshine Coast sailor Bruce (Arms) and Big Wave Rider had struck light winds out in the Tasman "which is  pretty frustrating for Bruce, but I'm secretly thrilled not to be the slow one for once!''

"There's another exciting milestone coming up very soon too as we'll be passing under Cape Leeuwin at some stage (this morning).''

Jessica's mum and dad, Julie and Roger Watson, were flown over the West Australian coast to watch the 10m yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, cutting its way through the Indian Ocean.

"Welcome to Australia," her ecstatic mum said via satellite phone. "It's pretty cool to be home," the Sunshine Coast 16-year-old replied, Perth's Sunday Times reported.

Jessica is expected to make it back to Sydney in early May – in plenty of time for her 17th birthday on May 18.

Related: Jessica and Bruce Arms share kindred spirit



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