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.


  1. 02-25-10 @18:30
    Hi Jonathan,
    Nice pics, I don't know to much about the newer bigger planes except they just keep getting bigger. Two stats I pulled from Wikipedia.
    The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout.

    The Airbus-A380 provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations.

    Where does it all end.


  2. Hi Jessaholics,
    That's a great photo. The times are a changing.
    I can never fathom how many people come and go at an airport.
    It's all go go go from dawn till dusk and then some.
    Jessica would find it a bit hard to spot them when they fly at the altitude of Everest. There's more room the further you go up, lol.

    PS. my word verification is tryOpec. The oil companies are indeed the winners, lol.
    Hoo Roo.

  3. Jonathon,
    Thanks for welcoming all of us. I remember that you started the blog for those planning on making it to Sydney for the big day. Since I won’t be able to make it to Sydney, by participating on your blog I’m like the relative who said that he wouldn’t be able to make it to dinner but shows up anyway just as everyone sits down to eat. :-)) Very interesting picture. My brother will really enjoy it. He worked for many years writing software for real-time flight simulation for Boeing and later in developing avionics at Honewell. Thanks again for your hospitality on your blog, Jonathon.

    Warm wishes to everyone.


  4. To :Sally in Melbourne by the sad and lonely Bay......Sally, I hope you stop by and read this.

    We want to take the "sad and lonely" out of the equation so if you see this, please contact either Tony Love or myself via email. If you navigate into our respective blog home pages, both of us have email links there. We look forward to hearing from you.


  5. Hi Mark,

    You are very welcome. As I said, these are interesting times and we are witnessing and are part of an event that will go down in history books in the decades to come.

    While I do fly smaller aircraft, I have an avid interest in aviation in general especially how technology plays an ever increasing role in designing and buidling new aeroplanes. Imagine a 300+ ton heavier than air vehicle getting off the ground, remaining in the air for what seems like perpetuity and then landing by itself, completely hands off until a full stop ! This autoland technology has been in existence for the last 20-25 years ! I'm sure at some stage your brother would have had involvement with this area of the autopilot system during his time at Honeywell.

    Best wishes to your brother and you.


  6. Hi Magpie,

    Your observations brought to mind my previous life working for global companies. If I had to pick a hair from my head each time I was at an airport departing or arriving, I would have been bald ages ago. I have no regrets leaving that life ( a conscious decision I made 4 years ago ) and settling back here in Melbourne and not being on the clock. My health has improved dramatically and I enjoy life these days.

    Have a great weekend.


  7. Hi there It's Sally here...and I'm by the OK Bay, (^.^)

    I have been keeping up to date with the "Days in the Lives" of you all and Jesse of course.I am touched by the efforts and friendship towards me....thank you all so much for caring. Bengt even had a very admirable go at a yacht and since he was able to achieve that maybe he should have a go .As for me I think drawing or ASCII (American Standard Code For Information Interchange) is way too hard in this format .I'll leave to Samurai to keep you all entertained as she so succesfully does.
    Life goes on and Jesse's getting closer by the day but still some challenges I'm sure.
    I have just finished reading LIONHEART by Jesse Martin to get some perspective on what Jesse W may be feeling and what she can expect on her arrival....JM makes some very interesting comments about his emotions and commitments to Sponsors which formed a large part of the program of events on his arrival day. But of course family came first with his dad even going out to the heads to see him in.Mum waited on the dock at Sandringham and it was a scene of high emotion for all. I find it hard to even contemplate what it would feel like to be close to so many people after going solo for so long.Let alone the still earth under your feet \(e_e)/...WOOOOW..................
    My heart goes out to Mike_trrac also as I know he put in a huge effort with his stats on the location map..I guess we are all vulnerable to modern technological innovations in our own special ways.
    Still I remain amazed at the electronic communications that have been possible for the Solo sailors and know that we have been part of an incredible journey.I wish them all Safe passage across the seas.
    Just for u Jonahan...a parting pic......
    Thank you all..Sally in Melbourne by the Bay

  8. Thank you Sally,

    Very nice and thoughtful. I went out to the airfield today and as I drove down, the morning was shaping up to be very good for flying so I jumped in, cranked the engine and took off. As I climbed out into the circuit, I saw this very low cloud starting to come out of the south west. Long story short, all I could manage was 2 circuits and the front just whacked us in a matter of 10 minutes and the wind picked up to about 21 knots and during my second approach, I got knocked around quite a bit - thats Melbourne for you !

    You may know that we are having the Vics get together in Port Melbourne on 6 March (lunch). We have talked about it on this blog and have an open invitation to all Vics (and for that matter anyone in the general area on the 6th), yourself included. We would love to have you there. Please let us know if you can make it.


  9. Sally,

    Know that your contributions to Jessica’s blog have been thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by so many. You will be missed, although I know your thoughts will still be with Jess. Thanks for all of your creative posts.


  10. 02-27-10 @ 14:44
    Hi Sally,
    Glad to see you're still here, and I can hear the smile in your words. You've always brought a lot of laughter and enjoyment to myself and many others with your posts. Maybe there is a different way you can approach this problem,...Yes,???


  11. Hi Sally,

    I would also like to let you know how much I enjoyed your computer art. It always made me smile and gave the blog that added interest and fun. It was always very obvious how much you admired Jesse and what she is achieving every day and it is also very obvious that you still do.

    I also feel for Mike_trrac he put in a lot of work and presenting his work to Jesse completed would have been something special.

    Thanks Johnathan for your blogsite, I was really amazed by the difference between the 747 and the Airbus A380 and I'm about to go to Google for some more information and what you said about Jesse is just so spot on, beautifully written.

    Cheers everyone,
    Bluefin Annie, Buderim, Queensland.

  12. Hi all,

    Yes I agree, Sally your art is one of the things I miss the most. Really loved searching for your post and having a chuckle at what you may have come up with. Never mind, I'm sure Jesse got to see them at some point.

    Mike-trrac, appreciate what you put in also with stat stuff.

    Still upset we can't fly down for the lunch, that is one of my favourite things to do. Nice food, good conversation and of course a bottle of wine or two. What else do we need really??

    Anyway, have a great week everyone and SaltyDog enjoy your time with your brother, I'm sure it will be great.

    Thanks Jonathan for your pics, and best wishes everyone,

    The McGraths, Nowra NSW

  13. Hello folks,

    Just popping in to touch base. I've returned from the country and am "on call" to go back any moment. Catching up on things at home meanwhile. So sad to see a good person slowly dying like this. It's cruel.

    I agree with what others have posted, I also think something's now quite different with Jessica's blog. It's not just the physical change, rightly or wrongly, there seems to be a change in the "mood' of it ????? JMHO.

    Would love to be able to join you all for the lunch, I'm sure it'll be a most pleasant and enjoyable meet & greet. ENJOY! :)

    Until next time ...........
    Cheers ......
    Soldier's Mum in SA.

  14. 03-03-10 @ 00:37
    Hi Soldiers Mum,
    Good to hear from you again, can't praise you enough for what you are doing, I'm proud to know a person such as yourself.
    Jessica's still doing great, but as you say 'the mood' seems to have gone out of the site. A little difficult to read, and no emphasis can be used in paragraphs. But at least it's almost over as Jessica will be home soon. Kudo's to you and God Bless You.


  15. Hi All,

    This week has been quite tough with my warehouse move. Lots of physical work and so far I am not too worse for the wear except feeling tired at the end of the day.

    Just thought I would sign on to say that I am looking forward to the Vics lunch on Saturday.


  16. Hello Jonathan,
    Moving premises is such a hassle at the best of times but hopefully it will be well worth the effort for you. Take care and mind your back. I hope you and everyone going to the Vics lunch have a great time. Have one for me, ok? :-))

    Hello Soldiers Mum,
    Nice to have you back. I hope you're holding up well. It is very sad and so very cruel, I know. I hope you stay strong and take good care of yourself so you can continue to take care of those around you and find peace. XX

    Kind regards to everyone...Sam

  17. Soldier's Mum,

    Welcome home. I understand how difficult it is for you. As I've told you before, you are an angel.

    Glad to hear from all of you. It sounds like you're all doing well. I hope that it doesn't take too long to get totally settled into you new warehouse, Jonathon. I've always preferred helping someone else move than moving myself. It can definitely be a big job.

    Take care everyone....

  18. Hello everyone,
    As young Jessica gets closer and closer to Oz I just can't believe what she's doing. I sit comfortably at my computer with the beautiful rainbow lorikeets out the back and contemplate Jessica surfing along with her albatrosses and dolphins.

    Soldiers Mum in SA and Mark - thinking of you and thank you for sharing with us the difficulties you currently face. I hope the support you receive from fellow bloggers can help a little. We can only write down a few words of support but I certainly think of you after walking away from the computer - as I also think of young Jessica. Isn't it amazing. A young girl of 16 years of age wandering around the world in a pink boat has brought us together and enabled us to think of you as you deal with your own challenges.

    I'm looking forward to meeting the other Vics at the lunch.


  19. To the Nurses in our group (Soldiers Mum and Sam),

    It cannot be said enough that you are very special people and what you do - dedicating your lives to caring for others, selflessly, requires the kind of mental and spiritual strength that is part of Jessica's genetic makeup. In a lot of cases, the work you do comes at an emotional and personal cost but it is important to know that what you do makes a difference to so many who are sick and ailing and in the bigger picture is an inspiration to all of us.

    May you continue to shine bright !


  20. Hi everybody,

    Thank you, Ailsa. I do appreciate it very much. And I agree 100% with Jonathan regarding the service of our nurses, Soldiers Mum and Sam. They are real life heroes in my eyes.

    When I first heard about Jessica’s plans to sail around the world, of course I was impressed by her extensive sailing experience and knowledge. But it was her tremendous positive outlook that set her apart from others. I’ve always had the belief that attitudes are very contagious, whether it be good or bad attitudes. I prefer spending time around people with positive attitudes and that’s something that all of you have in common. Ailsa, yes it has meant a lot to me to hear words of support from all of you. I’ve watched my brother’s health decline for so long that many times I have thought that he has finally hit the bottom, but he somehow hangs on. I treat every visit with him like it might be my last and make the most of it. But who knows, I might be visiting him this time a year from now. I leave in a few hours to fly to Arizona to visit him and his wonderful wife. I’ll be home on Wednesday but I’m sure I’ll find time to check up on Jessica while I’m there. I really have enjoyed getting to know all of you. Thank you for the good vibes.

    Keep sending your support to Jess and take care everyone.


  21. Dear Jonathon and Mark,

    I'm humbled and grateful for your kind words, thank you both.

    But really ... it's us nurses [ both current and retired] who are truly blessed.

    It is a privilige and honour to be able to serve our fellow humans in the hope of making some small difference during a time in their lives which leaves them vulnerable and dependent on others with the skills and knowledge to help.

    I'll be forever grateful for the opportunities afforded me in my career. The people I nursed, my colleagues, the families of the patients, the experiences, the growth both personally and professionally ... all of it a gift.

    We couldn't, and cannot, save everyone. But we sure as hell fought right alongside our patients and never once capitualted easily to surrender, no matter how seemingly insignificant the illness, injury, incapacity.

    We just hoped and tried to help contribute to a positive outcome.

    And trust me ... thought I wont speak for Sam! :) ... this old [now retired nurse] didn't then, and doesn't now, wear a halo! ;) LOL

    Mind you, I've worked with plenty of Sangropers in my day, and .... well let's just say, what happens in the ward, stays in the ward! lol

    Cheers from Soldier's Mum :)

  22. Dear Jonathan, Mark and Soldiers Mum.

    Warm greeting to you, I hope you're all well, as I am.

    I must say, I am truly humbled by your comments and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    It's very important to me that I do my work well and sadly, in this hectic world we live in where we're too often taken fore granted and not often enough appreciated, it means so much to hear or read affirmations such as what you've written here. It's very kind of you to say so. Thankyou very much.

    I believe very strongly in karma and try to accumulate as many "points" as I can in case I should ever be at the receiving end of such expert and professional care. I love the concept of paying it foward as opposed to payback, if you know what I mean.

    Take care and my kindest regards to everyone.


    Haha! My verification word is "forepet" :-))

  23. Ok now Jessica is looking for book titles, I reckon we should go for the jugular also, lol.

    These are mine:
    (It's weird that I can't seem to get these titles published on her site)
    ♦How to stuff up a blog in 1 go.
    ♦100 ways to remove blood stains from carpet.
    ♦Alone and un-assisted...Yeah, right!
    ♦The quest for a record that's not.