Monday, January 25, 2010

Australian of the Year?? What about Australian of the decade, or even the century !

G'Day to All My Fellow Jess-a-holics,

I couldn't be feeling any prouder of our intrepid, courageous and incredible Jessica Watson. I have this great sense that we are living history.

Jess has not only caught our imagination but has entered our lives in an incredibly profound way. She is the girl next door, an everyday Australian with extraordinary capabilities who not just thought and dreamt about doing something, she is actually doing it.

At age 52, I am a strong believer in the fact that life's too short and from a personal point of view, I have embarked on a few much delayed things that I have always wanted to do. But it pales in comparison to what this young lady is accomplishing.

I thought I would start a new string in tribute to Jess' accomplishments to date and I would like all of you to join me in paying tribute to Jess in your own personal and special way.

Bruce (Watt), Thank you for watching over Jess the way that you are. I am glad Andrew has responded well and deleted the negative responses.

As to some progress with the Sydney trip, I have a T Shirt supplier already engaged and will receive a quote in a few days. By all estimates, each T will cost no more than $10 each after printing on the designs and names/tags. You can imagine the retail margins on similar quality T shirts that sell for upto $50 and sometimes even go into the 3 figures if it is branded !

I understand some of the challenges we may face getting on a boat to greet her at the heads but lets continue to keep that idea alive and look at various ways to approach the issues.

I am travelling overseas from this Thursday until 4 Feb. Not that that will prevent me from checking in here and on Jess' blog every day ! I'll find a a way !



  1. Hi Carole,

    Welcome aboard ! I have just seen your email and was about to respond when I saw your post.

    Thanks for the suggestions and comments.

    Would it be possible for you to have a quick look at Sydney accommodation in May and let us have your thoughts in terms of options? Whenever we travel as a family, we much prefer to rent units as opposed to hotels. That way, there is more space and it also falls cheaper, so, yes, I believe units are an option.


  2. Hi Jonathan and fellow Jess-a-holics

    Jonathan, I have no idea what you mean by your statement that you “understand some of the challenges we may face getting on a boat to greet her at the heads but lets continue to keep that idea alive and look at various ways to approach the issues”.

    “Polaris of Belmont” – a long-time Sydney-Hobart competitor designed by Alan Payne, who also designed Australia’s Americas Cup contender Gretel, will be available and will have room for about 10 persons in addition to the owner and myself. It is moored in Middle Harbour not far from the Spit Bridge and Andrew Short Marine, from which Jessica departed on 18 October, and to which it is very likely she will return.

    So far the following people have expressed their interest to me in going out to meet Jessica on board “Polaris”, either via this blog or via email to me via :
    Jacquie McGrath (The McGraths), Sam (Samurai), Ailsa (Ailsa), and Carole (Mackay Qld).

    That totals six so far, although I don’t know whether I should be counting one or two McGraths in the list.

    When it gets closer to the time of her arrival we can plan how, where and the time to meet etc., and I will be prepared to co-ordinate the arrangements for this boat group.

    We will go round in circles and get nowhere if we don’t make plans now. I would suggest that those who consider themselves not up to meeting her on the water make plans to meet as an ‘organised’ group on land, and that probably means someone should co-ordinate the planning for such a group.

    The concept of the two groups meeting for dinner seems to be considered a good idea so thought needs to be given to what might be possible.

    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  3. Hi Tony

    I am interested in this boat hire to meet Jess, please keep me posted.

    Bruce Watt
    Rosebud (Vic)

  4. Tony,

    Have a look at Bruce Watts entry dated 23Jan10 10:56pm under my previous post.

    The comment I made about challenges and keeping the idea alive is in direct response to Bruce's entry.

    Hope this clarifies.


  5. Bruce,

    I've added your name to the list. It is not a "boat hire". It is a private arrangement with the owner. I bought the boat he owned before he purchased "Polaris". Being a private arrangement will enable a much more flexible planning of what happens on the day compared with the time constraints etc. that any arrangement with a commercial operator would inevitably impose. I would expect that we would invite Chris, the owner, to join with us in any get together after Jessica's homecoming and I would also expect that those on board contribute something towards the cost of fuel to run the boat. Welcome aboard.
    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  6. 01-26-10 @ 01:17
    Hi Everyone,
    This is great. I'm hoping to make it to Sydney when Jessica returns, but I still have a lot of planning to do. Would like to meet all of you people that I've been writing to for so long.
    So far the flight that I was looking at (Quantas) would take me to Canada and then non-stop to Sydney. Like I said, there's more planning to do on this.
    I just hope I can work something out.

    Michael from Kingwood, WV

  7. Hi Michael it is wonderful to see the support Jessica from people like yourself. I have read many of your postings and all a great and am sure much appreciated by Jessica and her team. I hope we can all catch up with you in Sydney. Now ahh hemm how do we say this; the word Qantas is an acronym (Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services) therefore their is no "u" in the name. Thus if you get your mind around that we will then all make you an honorary Australian :).Meanwhile thanks again for your inspirational support.

    Bruce Watt
    Rosebud (Vic)

  8. Hey Tony
    Your the nautical expert among us, I am not thus I have a query which I am sure you can answer. The team Abby boat has just passed San Diego on its 4th Day. In comparing Abby's boat to that EPL under Captain Jess, I note the Australian built team Abby boat has an engine albeit a small one. Jesse's EPL is a pure wind driven boat, thus in determing who may or may not hold the record of being the youngest is it fair to compare a wind driven boat with one that has engine. How will the judging panel assess this.? I concede that our beloved Jesse will be the first to hold the record providing she safely reaches Sydney, but Abby is 3 months younger and may surpass Jess. But are we comparing apples with apples and who can forget the appalling tactics employed by the NYYC when we won the America's cup in 1983.

    Bruce Watt
    Rosebud (Vic)

  9. Hi Bruce,

    Ella's Pink Lady does have an engine. It is not illustrated on the line drawing of EPL under the heading "The Yacht, the route and the rules" on Jessica's web-site but it is located in the cabin immediately behind the mast where it's weight has least affect on the fore-and-aft balance of the boat. and it is very securely mounted in place so it doesn't cause chaos in the cabin in a knock-down situation.

    The main purpose of having an engine is to enable the boat to be easily docked. Jessica left the dock in Sydney using the engine and drove down Middle Harbour before hoisting both sails. She would then have tured the engine off before sailing across the line and out through the Heads.

    Under normal circumstances she would then sail without using the engine except to charge the batteries in the unlikely situation that that would be necessary, or in an emergency situation to get away from a ship heading towards her in a no-wind situation. Again unlikely. The rules expect her to sail using wind-power.

    The engine in Abby's boat is an 18hp Yanmar which is really only good for docking.

    Abby's boat is longer, 40ft compared with EPL at 34ft and is a much more recent design by Jutson, who I think works in Sydney. Being longer it should be faster and it as designed as a racing boat for around the world racing in 2002.

    Interestingly Abby's boat can carry water ballast and I think her keel may be lighter. This may result in the boat being less stable than EPL in gusting wind conditions and chaotic waves. Another more today design feature is that the mast on Abby;s boat is a carbon fibre mast whereas EPL has an alloy mast. Carbon is fine until loads on it cause it to bend too much, and then it tends to shatter.

    Overall the S&S 34 (EPL) has the runs on the board as a proven yacht design for what Jessica is doing, and has been the choice of a number of round the world sailors in the past, including Jon Sanders and Jesse Martin.

    I hope that is helpful and of interest.

    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  10. Count me in for the boat as well if possible please and a t-shirt. I'm saying this is faith LOl I have approximately 4 months to get the $$ together.

    Michael you're thinking of coming out? Awesome! for some reason I always think of you as an Aussie LOL.

  11. Ps sorry should have added don't mind shared accomodation to keep costs down.

  12. Hi Tony
    thank you for your comprehensive detail, and yes I did not notice the engine in the boat drawing of EPL. Ok so Team Abby does not seem to have any great advantage. What about equipment, radar, and this device which immediately rights the boat if it over turns. Also seems to me that Abby may not have the mental fortitude, determination, and experience of Jess.



  13. Hi Michael,

    You and I can talk about how best to route your travel into Sydney. The Canada route is too long and you will find yourself travelling for far too many hours than is necessary. There are pretty good fares out of Los Angeles on Qantas, United, V Australia and Air New Zealand. I'll do some research on your behalf and send you some info. All you would have to do find a flight into LAX.


  14. Hi Michael,

    I just realised you are in WV. BTW, my sister lives in Virginia near a little town called Leesburg (I think General Robert E. Lee was born there or died there).

    Anyway, the best way for you to get to LAX from your area is to look at flights out of Dulles or Baltimore or even National (in DC).


  15. Hi Jonathan and everyone, I hope you're all well, as I am... Can't wait to get to Sydney!!!

    Jonathan, I was just reading your previous post about EPL's engine and was quite surprised to find out that her engine is located midships having met a lot of S&S34's in my travels, all with under cockpit engines with access through the removeable companionway steps. The under cockpit positioning allows for more flexibility and storage area in the saloon. Back in 1968 when engines weighed in excess of 200kgs it made sense to mount them midships for better weight distribution but with modern engines now weighing less than 100kgs, engine placement is not so critical. Due to the hull shape of the S&S34, the under cockpit engine is almost the same height above the keel as a midships engine, and about the same distance from the centre of gravity and centre of buoyancy.
    I have searched all through Jess' website for EPL's specs but, apart from the boat and rules page, I've not found any other, more detailed information, have you? Could you please point me in the right direction?

    Dear Tony L...thanks for confirming my place on Polaris of Belmont. I feel so privileged and very excited. I will be more than happy to contribute to all the costs, fuel or otherwise.

    Have a great day everyone, take care and bye for now.

    Kind regards...samurai (Sam)

  16. Hi Sam,

    I based my suggestion that the engine was placed amidships on a 1959 Sparkman & Stephens construction and arrangement plan which I extracted from somewhere on Internet.

    I've now had another look at some photos of EPL in an article for Tradeaboat written by Don McIntyre. These photos show you (Sam) are more correct, although the engine (a 30hp Yanmar) appears to be located within the cabin under what looks like a large fibreglass companionway step unit.

    On the Adams 36 I used to own the engine was a Volvo Sail-drive unit placed completely under the cockpit, which made access to it extremely difficult but at the same time made it easy to install or remove.

    A photo of EPL out of the water on a travelator shows the propellor close to the rudder skeg and no propellor shaft, so EPL must have a sail-drive unit.

    The article about EPL is well worth reading. It gives a detailed account of how "Shanty" built in 1984 was extensively refitted to become "Ella's Pink Lady" as we now know her. It indicates almost emphatically the Jessica called the shots and that "if it was not exactly what Jessica wanted, it had to go!"

    Don also stated that Jessica quite literally "pulled together some of the best names in the business to supply equipment, talent and expertise for a very important refit".

    This article can be found at

    It gives much valuable insight into the way EPL was prepared for Jessica's voyage. No stone was left unturned.

    I'm glad you brought this up Sam. I jumped to a conclusion based on a plan drawing without looking carefully at the photographic evidence. Made me do more research.

    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  17. Tony Thats a terrific article particularly the photos wich show Jess their right from the start.You could almost say that she grew up with her EPL.

  18. Hi everyone, it seems I've just had another oops! moment and this time it was at Jonathan's expense. Sorry about that Jonathan, I meant to direct my input on EPL's engine at Tony, not you. Thanks Tony, that article on the tradeaboat site was very interesting and Bruce is right in saying Jessica and EPL grew up together, :-))

    While I'm here I'd like to acknowledge Soldier's Mum in SA and say thankyou so much for you kind words and support of my Voyage Art in Jessica's honour.

    Hezakiah299...Cool Cat!

    Cheers & Beers!...Sam

  19. 01-27-10 @ 22:.18
    Hi Jonathon/Sam,
    First off, I really appreciate your help in this matter.
    I am presently in the process of procuring a passport.
    I can drive to Pittsburgh, that’s closer, and catch a flight out of there to LAX.
    Naturally, I’m in favor of going out on a boat, so what would those fees amount to and how do we handle that?
    I am sure that timing is of great importance.
    What is the weather like at that time of the year?
    I like the sound of the ‘Polaris of Belmont’ it seems to have enough room to move around a little bit for the taking of pictures.

    Bruce Watt:
    I’m Old school, there is no Q without a U. but this is an acronym so……. lol… Thanks for the correction. Yeah, it was bit of a twist but I got around it, no problem. lol…..
    Michael from Kingwood, WV

  20. To All Jessaholics

    The list for “Polaris of Belmont” (in order of notification) now includes the following 11 people:
    Chris Dawe (Owner)
    Tony Love Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)
    Jacquie McGrath The McGraths
    Sam Mauri Samurai
    Ailsa Pinkney Ailsa
    Carole Carole (Mackay, Qld)
    Bruce Watt Bruce (Rosebud VIC)
    Jonathan Castelino Jonathan@ Tooradin
    Meleese Nutralady 2001
    Colette Cole Collette
    Michael Hezakiah299

    I’m not sure whether it is one or two McGraths – please advise.

    Chris, the owner, has advised me that if the number of people interested in going out exceeds what Polaris can safely hold (12), then he would be prepared to have a chat with one of his crew members who also has a boat to ascertain whether he would be prepared to take it out.

    Michael, in answer to your question about fees for going out on the boat, this is a private arrangement. Polaris is not a commercial vessel. So we should all put in to cover fuel costs, but between us that will not be much each – it won’t break the bank – and we will sort that out on the day.

    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  21. Hi Tony, Hi Everyone, I hope you're all well.
    It's so exciting to see that list with my name on it. It re-inforces in my mind that this is really happening. Roll on May...I can't wait. Thankyou Tony and THANKYOU Chris Dawe for your kind and very generous offer. It will be an honour to be one of your trusty crew members on the day.
    Kind regards to all...Sam

  22. Hello Everyone,

    I'm in transit in Singapore and have a couple of hours before I board a flight to meet my (truly) better half who is on a consultancy contract in Dubai. Here's a bit of trivia - the tallest building in the world (just shy of 3000 ft) is in Dubai and I'm going up to the top ! I'll take pictures and post them later.

    Anyway, Tony, many thanks for making possibly the most important part of our trip to Sydney look so easy to arrange. I am sure if we did not have your contact, it would have been a challenge to get the boat going. As it stands, I think by virtue of getting the boat, we will have (almost) ringside seats, in a manner of speaking. Thanks again.

    I think we should start looking at a dinner / after party venue which I am more than happy to research and provide options for. I'll start doing this as soon as I return.


  23. Hi Tony, I'm gobsmacked.., almost teary..THANKYOU from the bottom of my 'pink' heart.

    Also Sam, Jonathan, The McGraths, Michael, Nutrilady, Bruce, Carole, Ailsa et al, I'm humbled to be part of 'the family'.

    As Sam said, this is so exciting !! Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou...because I am going to be in the company of all of you whom I hold high esteem via your gorgeous, sensitive blogs to our dear Jessica.

    This is a dream for me which I didn't even know was a dream....but now it is reality.

    On the serious side of orgaanising this massive event, please (anybody) suggest ANYTHING which you believe I may be able to be of assistance.

    I am a clear, swift lateral thinker.

    Fondest regards to my 'new' family,

    ..pls email with any queries, info EMAIL ADDRESS ON MY BLOGGER PROFILE.

  24. Hi all .... great to see things taking shape for the gathering to welcome Jesse home. I'd love to be able to join you, but alas! With daughter's wedding to pay for later in the year, our finances are directed there for the most part. Although we are going to Sydney next week, to attend the military tattoo. Dear son's christmas gift to Mum and Dad! :)

    I'm genuinely happy for you all about the planned gathering and the boat etc. It'll be a once in a lifetime event and simply wonderful!

    Cheers ........ Soldier's Mum in S.A.

  25. So Michael, you’re going to make it to Sydney. Fairdinkum, I’m gobsmacked. (I’m trying to learn to speak a little Ozzie, Sam.) That really is great. I wish more than anything that I could catch the same flight out of LAX and travel with you, Michael. Unfortunately, I have two trips in the next few months that I’m already committed to. One is to see my oldest brother in Arizona. He has some serious health issues, and this might be the last time that I’ll get to see him, so there’s no way I can reschedule that trip. I would so much like to meet all of the Jessaholics. It’s been more of pleasure than I could ever say to tag along on Jessica’s trip with all of you. If it is at all possible, it would mean a lot to me if I could be included on the McGrath’s flag. Jacquie, I would be more than glad to send a contribution to help with the cost of the flag. I haven’t totally ruled out the possibility of making it Sydney, but right now my chances aren’t looking too good. Keeping my fingers crossed, though.

    (my parents didn’t really name me SaltyDog)

  26. Hi everyone.
    I’m sure that most of you who will be traveling to Sydney for the first time have been doing your research for accommodations, etc. There are lots of great web sites. This one was pretty good. Nice map showing the location of accommodations in the CBD and lots of other good tourist info.


  27. Hello All,
    I am Richard in Maryland and I am a Jesseholic. However, I don't intend to quit my addiction anytime soon. Even after she enters the heads, it would be interesting to see what happens as her life unfolds.

    Great to see people making plans to greet Jesse. I have friends in Fleet 10 that just came back from two weeks in Sydney. They loved it, and said that even in that amount of time they couldn't see everything. They said from leaving Washington DC to Sydney took a 24 hour period . 14hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney.

    If there are some more obscure links that true Jesseholics might have missed, I am posting them at

    I am also following the cruiser forum.
    The more I find out about this incredible young woman and her family, the more I am impressed. I don't normally follow anybody, or post on any blog. This if different.

    Go Jesse
    Richard W

  28. 01-28-10 @ 12:45
    Hi Jonathon,
    Thanks for the update and for getting me included, I really appreciate that.
    Glad to see that you’ll be going to Dubai and going up the tallest building in the world, that’s fantastic. I’ve read some articles about this building and it’s truly a ‘wonder’. Good luck to you and enjoy.
    I feel honored to be with such a group of Jessaholics that are so dedicated to Jessica. Thank you again.
    As Collette said, if there’s any way I may be of assistance on this venture, please let me know. Although I’m on the outside of the loop (geographically) I’d be more than glad to assist.

    Cheers to all,

  29. 01-28-10 @ 15:55
    Hi Jonathon,
    I guess I must be pretty excited, I got you and Tony mixed up and sent the message for him to you, at least the first part. I am glad for your trip.
    I have to slow down and read the posts before I continue to ask questions. But thank you both for the help.
    Sorry about the mix-up.


  30. For Michael,

    In answer to your question about the weather in Sydney in May, the average temperature range is stated as 11° - 19°Celsius (52° - 66° in Fahrenheit). May is late Autumn for us. Out on the water it will be cooler than on land, especially if it is windy, so I would suggest you bring some warm clothing.

    Amongst places you might consider visiting while in Syney I would recommend the Darling Harbour Australian National Maritime Museum, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Aquarium, and the AMP Tower Centrepoint - all located with easy access by the Sydney Monorail. Other things you can do is go to Manly on a Sydney Ferry, walk around the Opera House, go to Tooronga Zoo, walk to the top of Sydney harbour Bridge (you need to be fit for this, it costs about $200 and takes about 3½ hours for the full guided tour).

    I expect to stay four or five nights in Sydney and will probably do some of these things, and it may be possible for a group of us to arrange to do some of these things together.

    Other Jessaholics may like to add to this.

    Tony L (Mt Martha VIC)

  31. Good idea Tony, maybe a stroll through the Rocks area, where the markets maybe operating. I have been reading Abby's blog, also but noticed some distasteful comments like "that Australian girl" and we are "getting more hits than you" and "are you carrying a gun". After the first rush of blood passed I decided not to get involved.The facts are that Jess has her own devoted and quite loyal bunch of followers including us on Johnathon's site here. Now can we pass the hat around and buy something to present to our Jess. I don't have one drop of artistic blood in me so have no idea what the memento should be. But we do have some creative people among us like Samurai who I am sure can come up with some good ideas. Jess is an Aussie so it has to be something with an Australian flavour, but at the same time reflects our wonderful overseas visitors who may also welcome her home. Now I realise it may not be possible to present the gift to Jess personally but I am sure through the Andrew Fraser from Jesse's support team we can get it to her. So what do you all think, am I going to far.?

    Johnathon have you considered approaching Andrew to get this site linked on Jesse's blog. He has now opened the door with the latest posting under News.

    Bruce Watt
    Rosebud (Vic)

  32. Bruce,
    I wish they would do a better job of moderating on Abbys blog. A few weeks ago someone posted a comment quoting a circumnavigator that took a dig at JW and the idea that she had a manager. I had to set the record straight, and it raised my blood pressure.

    What I have enjoyed all along on Jesse's blog is the degree of warmth, positive energy, and humor that is displayed by the blog community, and the excellent work by Andrew. For me is has been a very positive experience to find out that there are still really nice people in the world.

    Richard Weills

  33. Thank you Richard and yes we are all nice people on this site; please join us.I agree the Abby site is not well moderated. I see that Grant (Seattle) did reply but I wont respond. It just gripes me when Jess is refereed to as "that Australian Girl". She has more than proved herself and deserves the respect of being called by her proper name. As I do when I refer to Abby Sunderland rather than that "American Girl". But I will refrain from further defencive postings as a "them and us" syndrome does not help either of these courageous girls.

    Thanks again Richard for your kind comments.

    Bruce Watt
    Rosebud (Vic)

  34. Hello everybody, I hope you're all well.

    Firstly, I like the idea that there is a possibility some of us may be able to get together and do some sight seeing while in Sydney. I for one have not been there before apart from one time when I flew there from Perth and made a b-line to the CYC to board a yacht for delivery back to Fremantle.

    I have three weeks holidays in May anyway and was planning on doing at least the Harbour Bridge climb so thanks Tony for the info on costs and duration of that one.

    As for accommodation, I personally fancy staying somewhere like a spa retreat type place so I can relax and rejuvinate my weary limbs :-(( after working hard for the past 12 months at the hospital. I've been saving up for this and I'd really love to be able to treat myself to some propper R&R. Can anyone recommend a Spa Resort, if there are any in the CBD or nearby, that would be perfect.

    I also love the idea of all of us having dinner together. That would be so cool.

    Tony, I like your idea about a gift to present to Jessica and I have my thinking cap on so will let you know. Your own idea sounds pretty good to me (wink, wink) :-))

    Have a great day everyone and bye for now...Sam

  35. 01-29-10 @01:08
    Hi Richard, Bruce and Sam,
    To begin with the phrase "that Australian Girl" started out innocently enough. The posters on Abby's blog complained about Jessica's name being mentioned to much, so one individual replaced her name with that phrase, trying to keep peace. Then apparently other posters picked up on this and started using it. And then it more or less became official, I don't condone this, and I am also annoyed. From reading a number of the posts I see that we are dealing with a different type of person here. There is a lot of harshness amongst the posters, and (not making excuses for them) this is their nature. When I first started with Jessica's blog I didn't understand, nor like, the 'tongue in cheek' humor. Sam, very delicately, straightened me out with that over a remark that was made about Jessica's hair. I thought it was a little rough, but "When in Rome........" Now I can see that some of the remarks being made, amongst themselves, are rougher than ones made at/about Jessica. It's a bit of a haughty class, which I don't care for. I don't want to elaborate on this to much in this post, remember I am an American, but I will not put up with people knocking Jessica, regardless of what country there from. I'm starting to get wound up here so I'm going to stop. Sorry about that. I will add that whoever is monitoring that blog is not doing as good a job as Andrew did.

    I will hold comment on any sightseeing until after I arrive. I plan to get there a few days before Jessica arrives so I can rest and recuperate from the flight. Ha, ha, ha. Maybe I'll need a spa also.
    I would like to discuss this with you when we meet in Sydney, remember, I'm on your side.

    Cheers to all,

  36. A warm hello to everyone...

    I'm finding it much more of a challenge to read all Jesse's blogs now that I have returned to work following my Chrismas/New Year leave. For 4 weeks I was able to check the site at any given time of the day or night, and afford the time to think through my response.

    Nevertheless, a lovely encouraging blog from Jesse last night, I'm thrilled she continues to be throughly content with her 'lot', and that she is so on top of the vital tasks and repairs. I'm certain she is a prodigy !

    I have explained to my boss that I need time off in May !! problem, even though it won't be long after the Easter break.....YAY. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful employer.

    To Soldier's Mum, being present at the Military Tattoo will be spectacular...I visited Edinburgh Castle in '09 and the scaffolding was being erected to provide seating for The Royal Tattoo. Such an awesome sense of history there. You must be very proud of your son.

    Michael from WV!! Wow, I can' wait to meet you (as well as everyone else of course).But somehow I have formed my own impression of you in my mind's eye based upon your writing and the warmth and wisdom it emanates.

    Sam, thankyou for your help, and yes I shall begin my hunt for pink 'elegant sufficiency'.

    I am easygoing as far as accommodation goes, but will only be in Sydney for a couple of days. I adore the idea of dinner together ashore, as well as some form of unique memento for Jesse. We will have to brainstorm that one.

    Tony, can I perhaps be of assistance with catering on board? I'm thinking along the lines of cold platters..cheeses, meats, antipasto and fruit etc.

    My kind regards to those I haven't mentioned, but must choof off to a class now.

    Stay well,

  37. Hello everyone,
    I continue to be amazed at young Jesse. Her description of going through the storm .. the 4 knockdowns ... her wonderful attitude and spirit.

    Tony, many thanks for all the information about sailing and the yacht. I was also thrilled to see me name on the 'Polaris of Belmont' list - thank you so much for that. I am certainly looking forward to the Sydney visit and the other activities being discussed.

    Jonathan, enjoy your visit to Dubais and I look forward to seeing the photos. My goodness, what a contrast - you in a modern city created in a desert and Jesse in a yacht on the ocean!

    I look forward to meeting you all.

    Cheers for now.