Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jessica on the Home Stretch (These Interesting Times)

Hello Jessaholics,

I'm thrilled to bits to see Jess powering on into the home stretch ! I know all of you share this excitement and anticipation to see her edging ever closer home. This is a very special young lady who has been consummately professional, demonstrated incredible mental fortitude and yet in many ways is your everyday teenager who likes teenage "stuff" but what really grabs me is her simplicity and humility. I reckon, thats what sets her apart.

The one common thing that comes out of all our comments is how strongly we feel for and support Jessica. In doing so, we have formed a very interesting and colourful community. To this end, once again, anyone is welcome to comment on this blog. It was originally set up as a common area of communication for a group of people that are traveling to Sydney to welcome Jess home but it appears that it is attracting a wider audience.

I wish all of you near and far good luck and happiness.


PS I have attached a picture I took at Melbourne Airport recently. On the left is a Boeing 747 Jumbo and on the right is the new Airbus A380 Super Jumbo. Compare the wingspans, the engines and everything else. Its amazing how large the A380 is compared to what was originally the largest airliner in the world for decades. I thought I would slip that in as a bit of trivia that I hope you enjoy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

EPL WIP (Work In Progress) Part II

Hi Everyone,

Tony has been kind enough to share another picture, this time showing the now completed interior with cushions on the bunk bed and Jessica's pink and white "coconut ice" box over the methylated spirits container (for the stove).

So far, Colette has confirmed 6 March for the dinner. If any of you do have a problem with this date, I am sure we can work around it.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jessica's EPL Immortalised !

Hello All,

I am very excited to share this picture with all of you. Tony passed it along and with his permission, I am posting it.

This picture shows you how far Tony has progressed with the EPL model. Notice how detailed it is. Tony has even made a tiny stove replica and he has said that although the cabin will be enclosed in the finished product, he will still complete the inside down to the last detail.

I can tell you that this model will be absolutely top class. It will be all the more meaningful given that Tony has built it from scratch (not a kit from a model store).

Re the Vics dinner, lets firm up a date. May I suggest the 6th of March. If everyone is agreeable, we can decide on a venue.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jessica's Drive Through Car Wash - Entry Price? Two Bluefins !

Hello Everyone,

I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica's blog today and had a chuckle at her car wash analogy.

I'm guessing that prevailing winds are slowing her down somewhat and at a leisurely 3 kt ground speed, she travels 30-40 kts less than her average 112 kts per day. Additionally, she's a bit off track, so really, its still hard to get a decent ETA.

I was flying over Westernport Bay this morning and was fascinated with the mirror calm water. You could actually see a very clear and detailed reflection of the sky (or in this case, clouds). I know Jess experienced something similar near the Equator. Of course, this area is protected by that large chunk of rock called French Island ! French Island is actually quite pretty and if you ever want to have some alone time, thats where you go. The resident population is said to be less than 100 people.

I'm looking forward to the Vics get together.

Cheers (and beers)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's No Stopping the Jess-a-holics (and some more Dubai Pics) !

Hello All,

I arrived late last night from Dubai and its great to be home to the Land of the Blue Skies and Puffy White Clouds !

I got stuck into work today and had no time at all until I got home to find that things have changed on Jess' site. After looking at all the comms from Andrew, I believe that the "blackout" is only technical and that it will be fixed by tomorrow our time (or today if some of us read this the next day) and that all will be well.

Its incredible how close all of us are to this wonderful young lady and like most worrying parents, aunties and uncles, a day of no communication gets our heart rates up and our worry hats on.

So to get us into a more relaxed frame of mind (vertigo sufferers excluded !), please indulge me while I post a few more pictures of Dubai, this time taken from the "Burj Khalifa", the worlds tallest building. We were only 2/3 up at about 600m (~2000ft) at the observation deck.

Some of us have been communicating with each other as well as writing on this blog and its good to know that there are bonds of friendship crystalising and if not anything else, we certainly are enjoying each others company.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Jessica Officially Homeward Bound (....and Some Images of New and Old Dubai)

Hello Everyone,

I can't believe how quickly Jess has reached midway up the Atlantic, or is it just the days passing by quickly? It just occurred to me that at the very start of Jessica's adventure, I knew next to nothing about sailing, although I was always fascinated by it. Talk about flying and you can't stop me ! After meeting some of you experts, I now have a rudimentary understanding of what its all about.

It is such a pleasure to see how well organised we are and how nicely the trip is taking shape.

By the looks of it, Jessica will be back in Sydney early to mid May so nailing down accommodation and flight bookings looks like being a moving target until possibly March. Any thoughts on how best to get an ETA window?


PS : Here are some images of new and old Dubai. The picture showing the Burj Khalifa, the worlds tallest building is against other buildings about a mile in front of the BK. These buildings are about the height of the Rialto or Eureka Tower in Melbourne so that gives you some perspective. The BK is about 2,800 ft tall ! The other pics are taken in a historic section of Dubai showing the original desert architecture.