Friday, May 14, 2010

I've Been Reading Her Journey

Jessica Watson will walk down a pink carpet in Sydney today after completing her round the world voyage.

WITH tears in their eyes, Jessica Watson’s parents could not contain their pride as they hovered in a helicopter just 10 to 15 metres above the solo sailor off Sydney.

Today, for the first time in almost seven months, Roger and Julie Watson will be able to hug their 16-year-old as she steps onto a jetty outside the Sydney Opera House before making her way down a 100 metre long pink carpet to share the stage with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

After 200-plus days at sea, Jessica is expected to have great difficulty walking and will take some time to reclaim her ‘land legs’.

On hand will not only be Jessica’s parents but also siblings Emily, Tom and Hannah, along with Jessica’s best friend Pamela.

Jessica is expected to finish her 38,000 kilometre (23,000 nautical mile) journey about 11.30am at Sydney Heads before arriving at the Opera House to meet her family at the Man O War Jetty about 12.30pm in front of a national television audience.

Her final hours at sea will be far from an easy ride home with the weather bureau predicting winds of up to 45 knots and waves of up to seven metres offshore.

Adventurer Dick Smith told the Daily last night that Jessica’s boat looked ‘tiny’ as she battled 40 knot winds and five metre seas.

“It was quite frightening,” he said of the conditions. “It looked as she was a tiny little boat in a giant ocean.”

Jessica’s mother, who sent a special mention of thanks for the Coast and Daily’s support of Jessica, described her sheer joy at seeing her girl up so close.

“They had a few tears in their eyes,” Dick Smith revealed of the emotion as Jessica spoke with her parents on radio.

“I can see you,” the Watsons said as they spotted their girl.

“Isn’t she the most beautiful girl you could see,” Mr Watson said as he looked down on his daughter waving in the rain.

“In these days of celebrity worship ... it’s so refreshing to see a role model who’s famous for all the right reasons,” Mr Slipper wrote in his nomination.

“Jessica hasn’t achieved glory using her looks or shock tactics – she’s in the spotlight for her genuine talent, courage and enormous sense of adventure.”

Dick Smith couldn’t agree more.

“I don’t think she has any idea of the welcome home she is going to get but she deserves every bit of it.”

In her blog, Jessica, who can't wait to get her driver's license when she returns to the Coast, described her countdown to finishing.

“I’ve spent the day on deck watching us surf along with a grin from one seriously cold ear to the other numb one.”

“Have I mentioned how excited I am?

“It’s like the day before Christmas except I don’t ever remember getting this excited about Christmas.” More Article here

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