Thursday, May 20, 2010

Forging New Friendships - Thanks to "One Tough Cookie"

Hello All,

I must apologise for disappearing off the radar for a while - running a business essentially means the buck stops with me (hear that Kev?!) and amongst other reasons, it was just too difficult to get away.

The moment that touched me the most was when Jess stepped on to land for the first time in 8 months and wept in the embrace of her family. I think it reminds us all of how important the people near and dear to us are and how we should treasure them.

Anyway, I have read each and every email and blog entry with avid interest and it is truly amazing how much goodwill and positive energy there is amongst all of you who travelled to Sydney and all of us who could not.

Janell, I am really happy that you made it to Sydney and that you had a good time with everyone there.

Hi Collette, you were a stunner in that interview - took it in your stride and looked like you had been doing TV interviews all your life ! Same for Janell and Sam.

I will be more than happy to continue this blog as a meeting place for all of you who wish to continue to share thoughts and experiences and enjoy each others company. Who knows, maybe someday, we could write a book based on this blog !

Have a great weekend everyone.



  1. Hi Jonathan
    Good to hear from you again.My husband also runs his own business...actually it's in airport weather monitoring systems...and he has been managing it since 1975 .So I fully understand your workload when you work for yourself.I will be at the welcome to Melbourne for Jesse on 27th and I'm excited to be seeing her in person.
    Hoping to see some familiar faces at this event also.
    Sally by the Bay

  2. Jonathan,

    No need to appologize. I know what being self-employed is like. You've been a great host and it's nice to hear that you'll continue your blog. I think that there will be plenty more "Jessica Adventures" to follow. And it's just nice to continue the friendships that have formed. I agree that all of the Jessaholics that got some airtime were fantastic. Janell and Meredith, Collette, Sam, Ailsa, Faye, Tony (who am I forgetting, I did see all of you.) I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you via blogs and email.

    Take care,

  3. Hi everyone,

    I was just thinking about Jessica telling the story about when she was younger and would offer to take a mooring line from boats coming into a marina, and they didn’t have enough confidence in her to hand a line to her. Well, regardless of who her crew is for the trip to Mooloolaba on EPL, she will be THE CAPTAIN. Anyone on board with her will certainly have nothing but confidence in her and total respect for her seamanship. Even if she never says so, I’m sure that she enjoys that feeling of being so well respected, in contrast to how she felt as a younger girl at the marina. And it’s a respect that has been very well earned. Good Onya, Jess.


  4. Onya skipper!
    I'll swoop in accordingly and keep it honest.
    ☺☺☺ Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  5. Hi Jonathan
    Welcome back to us. Thank you so much for continuing your Jessaholics blog site. Your site has been just fantastic over the past few months that we have joined it, as you said, so much positive energy, support, laughs, and a real meeting place for us all to share our views and comments. So pleased that all our overseas friends have joined and contributed so much to this site. It is so funny how interesting words have developed in recent times, words like : Jessaholics, Lane Covians, Polarisites, Photo Gallerians, fantazmagorrigle, and of course Toodle Pip. All these have added so much to the fun of meeting all you people.

    Cheers to all and Toodle Pip

    Faye and Max

  6. Hello All,
    What a fantastic homecoming! I think everyone is a little hung over.I know I am.
    Now that Jesse is back on land, and wants to get her license, the next step is "What Car?"
    I have found it!

    Pink Lady


    PS Actually, she will probably want something more contemporary. A pink Ferrari?

  7. Richard,

    Good find but the cost of converting it to right hand drive would be expensive.

    You know, they drive on the wrong side of the road down there.

    Georgia Guy

  8. Hi All,

    I just went into Jess' website and took a look at the plaque. I am so itching to get it given that it is a limited edition. While the value of this plaque will appreciate, what is more important to me is that it is a constant reminder of this great experience and the wonderful people (you !) we have all connected with.

    On the other hand, look at what has already been made by our intrepid group : The McGraths flag, Faye and Max's poster, Tony's EPL, Sam's Voyage Art, Sally's amazing ASCII art..........

    I'll sleep over it and make a decision tomorrow. The only thing that deters me is the cost. If I decide to buy it, I would like to make another frame with handwritten quotes from all of you. To me the ultimate value are the friendships made. It is also a nice "excuse" for the Vics to get together and celebrate once more.

    Good luck everyone and have a wonderful weekend.


  9. Hi Jess-Pals,

    Tons of thanks from me as well Jonathan for continuing your site and regularly releasing the moderated comments. It's such fun checking in with who's who and what's happening.

    Welcome home everyone, (except Faye and Max who have 'nothing to do' heheheheh...NOT!

    Magpie...fancy you making a swooping landing for a flying visit to Lane Cove...I was sure I saw you in the old gum tree trying to pinch the Lorrikeet's bread and honey!! Was that you makiing all that racket chasing the possoms overnight??

    Thanks everyone for publishing all your links, it is a smorgasboard from which I sample delights each day. There are so many, I won't be hungry for some time I would imagine!!

    Clint, please tick my name for one of your DVDs, sounds great. We girls missed you in Lane Come, we were so looking forward to heaping cheek on you!! ......and by that I DON'T mean the anatomical cheek either.

    Wow, Jonathan your idea for Jesse's plaque is lovely, and your comments on the friendships we have made is true, and much appreciated.

    Time for chores so....

    Collette xx


    I hope you're all well, as I am. Happy to be home and back in my own bed again but at the same time.....well, Bill (GeorgieGuy) was absolutely spot on with his balloon analogy to describe how I'm feeling. I'm sure I'm not the lone ranger there!

    I would like to say a million thanks to everyone of you for each and every piece of information you shared throughout this entire unforgettable event. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have been in Sydney "live" would have missed out on all of this if it weren't for you guys...Richard, Bill, Mark, Clint to name but a few.

    Jonathan, THANKYOU for this blog! Think of the alternative and you'll appreciate how much we appreciate you.

    I'm about to go "offline" for the whole weekend to install and setup my new computer so I thought I'd quickly say g'day here and wish everyone well. I have posted a video link on my "samurai" blog and a couple of new pics on "Voyage Art" so far. I will sort through all the photos of Sydney in my new computer and post some on my blog once I'm up and running again.

    I would also like to say a million thanks for all the lovely comments I receive on "Voyage Art" as well as "samurai" as I appreciate each and every single one so much more than you will ever know. You know who you all are as I acknowledge you with heartfelt gratitude.

    Ok, here I go...offline...wish me luck...catch you on the flipside. :-))

    Cheers! and Toodle-pip.....Sami XXX

  11. Soldier's Mum says ...

    Hello everyone, it's lovely as always to read your posts.
    And may I please also add my gratitude and thanks to Jonathan for his blog and welcoming us to post here.

    It's been such a joy following Jessica and joining in with you all via the blogs and emails. I appreciate the supportive emails and friendship offered, my sincerest thanks.

    It's hard to believe a week has passed since Jessica arrived home, and what a homecoming it was! The TV coverage was really very good, if we couldn't be there in person, then it was the next best thing. I've enjoyed reading articles on the net and in the paper since her arrival home. The world really is her oyster now! :)

    Good to know the travellers all arrived home safe and sound. Just Faye and Max to announce their safe arrival home now.

    Wishing everyone a healthy and happy week ahead!

    Cheers ........ Soldier's Mum :)

  12. Hello everyone
    Well we arrived home safely this afternoon, but our feet have hardly touched the ground yet. And what a wonderful time we had in Sydney, we thought it was going to be great, but it was just fantazma.....(forgotten how to spell it !!) Thank you so much to the Lane Coveians for making our holiday so special, and one that we will remember for ever. Special thanks to Janell an Meredith for coming all the way from the USA for Jessica's home coming, and were rewarded by meeting the girl herself. Thanks to everyone who have made Jonathans blog so great to visit.

    Cheers for now
    Faye and Max.

  13. Hello Jonathan. Hello all. Nice to see us back in "blog form". Jonathan, I think your idea for the plaque is lovely. I wish I could afford one, but it's too pricey for me.

  14. Hi All,
    Well, back home from Sydney. What a superb reception for Jessica after such an amazing journey.

    Sally, many thanks for my trophy you pasted on the previous blog - my trophy for being 'first on Jonathans'. I didn't see it until I returned from Sydney. Love it.

    So, Magpie, you made a visit to Lane Cove - just after I had left. Sorry I missed you. Faye and Max would have been over the moon that your popped in.

    What a busy time for Jessica now. I hope she enjoys her receptions in the different states.


  15. Hi to all Jessaholics,

    Jessica’s homecoming turned to be a wonderful occasion, thanks to the careful planning of Andrew, 5 Oceans Media and the Channel One HD Network. Those of us who were privileged to have some role in the occasion will probably remember the day as a fitting climax to the months of following Jessica’s progress around the world battling all the challenging and often life-threatening conditions the sea and wind could throw at her. She won all those battles and succeeded. In my estimation she is now the youngest person to have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world and deserves our complete and utmost admiration. She proved she could achieve what she set out to do and in the process became a role-model of positive thinking for all ages, not just for those of her own age-group.

    It is now time to move on – in many cases back to a life before Jessica – but hopefully taking some inspiration from her success. In my own case I will have to play “catch-up” with some projects that have been placed “on hold” during the past six months.

    I would like to express my thanks to Jonathan for his initiative in setting up this blog site as a means of providing a meeting place for those of us who had an interest in going to Sydney for Jessica’s arrival home. Jonathan also provided pink sailing hats for the Jessaholics who went to Sydney for Jessica’s arrival.

    Thanks are also due to Sam for her initiative in contacting Andrew of 5 Oceans Media and creating a link that made a number of things that happened on the day of Jessica’s arrival possible. Without the contact she established we would have probably found a spot on South Head or amongst the very large crowd on the Opera House steps to be part of the occasion and relied on viewing television coverage at a later date to see what actually happened. Sam provided screen print designs from her Voyageart for a number of T shirts worn at Jessica’s homecoming and arranged for a copy of her Voyageart to be passed on to Jessica as a birthday present by 5 Oceans media.

    Collette jumped at the opportunity to have a flag made stating “‘Polaris of Belmont’ welcomes Jessica Watson”. It was superbly made by a Queensland manufacturer who knew of Jessica’s achievement. They added an image of Jessica which gave it a unique and personal touch. Collette also took the lead in arranging the accommodation and a marvelous lunch for some of those who stayed in the cabins at the Lane Cove Tourist Park.

    The ‘McGraths’, Jacquie and Jim, made a banner providing the names of a number of Jessaholic Bloggers which cleverly used a variation of the Elle Bache Logo as part of its make-up. It was left with 5 Oceans Media to be passed on to Jessica.

    Ailsa purchased a number of pink T-shirts to be worn by those who sailed on ‘Polaris of Belmont’ from Middle Harbour to the Man O’ War steps at the Opera House prior to Jessica’s arrival.

    The ‘Faye and Max’ combination provided a framed gallery of photos of 26 Jessaholics as a birthday present to Jessica and used their four-wheel drive as a ferry for those who traveled from Lane Cove to Middle Harbour.

    All of the above helped make the occasion a memorable one and deserve thanks for their participation.

    I wish all Jessaholics a safe landing as they come back to earth and move on to their ‘new’ lives without Jessica.

    Tony L

  16. Hi Jessaholics
    Tony has left one small detail out of his comprehensive report on our trip to Sydney, and that is the absolutely sensation model of Ella's Pink Lady, accurate to the finest detail, that he made and presented to Jessica on her walk up the Pink Carpet. This event went live on National Television, and was a complete surprise for Jessica. Many hours of work went into this model and it was a credit to Tony's skills as a craftsman that it turned out so well. We are sure that Jessica will treasure this gift for the rest of her life.

    Cheers from Faye and Max.

  17. Tony, I was so happy for you that you had the opportunity to present your model Jessica. BRAVO! It was so much fun for all of us following the events via the internet to see all of you on the videos. To say that I was proud to refer to all of you as "friends" would be an understatement. With Jonathan, Sam, Collette, Richard and anyone else that I've temporarily forgotten providing their blogs as well as the emails that are flowing, it looks like the communication pipeline will continue between all of us.

    Take care everyone.

  18. Hi Tony, it's lovely to hear from you.

    Your post was thoughtful and beautifully written, which had the effect of tugging at these ol' heartstrings.

    I feel you have been way too humble Tony..........If it were not for you, it is likely that none of us would have been sailing on the Harbour on 15/5/10. It is because of your efforts and generosity that we were able to exprience that spectacular day on the water aboard 'Polaris of Belmont" as part of welcoming Jessica back to port.

    For that alone, I cannot thank you enough.

    In saying this, copious thanks must also be extended to Chris Dawe, owner and skipper of 'Polaris'. To welcome all we 'strangers' (in every sense of the word) on board and accommodate every wish and whim..he made our day one to remember fondly for years to come.

    Thanks, thanks and more....

    Collette and Pete.

  19. Tony, I too, was very proud to see you present that model to Jessica. That must have been quite a moment for you.
    Be well good folks,

  20. Hi Jessaholics,
    Great to read that everyone made it back to their abodes safely.
    I can only add further congratulations to all and sundry and that everyone should give themselves a nice pat on the back.

    I think it's hilarious that Jess will be escorted, up the coast on EPL, by Mike "Buy my book please" Perham.
    I wonder if she's got a pink spinnaker now?
    ☺☺☺ Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  21. Welcome Home Jessaholics and WOW how well the whole team did in representing the followers on the Jessica Blog site.

    I had the pleasure of catching up at the Melbourne event today and view amazing photos of Jesse's home coming (taken by Peter and Max). Fantastic effort everyone in making the welcome so memorable for all.

    YES MAX..."I should have been there!"LOL(~.~ )but the next best thing was the chance to meet Jesse today and have her sign the Jessaholics poster.I will have this as a lovely reminder of so many months enjoyably spent dreaming about and sharing in the journey.

    I even made a small appearance in the Age thanks to being short and pushed to the front by a very tall gentleman (Max) It was lovely to see Jesse looking so well and handling the attention with grace and charm.She gave of herself with a happy smile and nothing seemed to bother her at all.
    It was so much fun to meet up again with Ailsa,Faye,Max,Clint,Peter and Tony....but guess whose charms won them a hug and a kiss....You'll just have to wait for the photo....
    Cheers all and can't wait for the book launch.
    Sally by the Bay

  22. @ Tony ....

    Thank you for your post and may I again convey my congratulations on an excellent job you did with the making of "Baby" EPL. Just Beautiful!

    I'm so glad you were able to present it to Jessica yourself, it's as it should be and am so happy for you.

    @ everyone ... G'day! :)
    Hope you're all well and life is being kind.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Cheers from ... Soldier's Mum :)

  23. Hi Molly,
    Lovely to see your sweet smile again ....we missed you ..Wasn't it great you were able to see some of the coverage of Jessica's arrival home!
    Grant keeps his songs coming and even has a new one on UTube about the Queensland gathering last Wednesday....WOW he,s fast.
    It's so great that people are inspired by Jessica to be creative !
    Cheers for now.
    Sally by the bay

  24. Hi all, how is everyone? Yes it really was a lovely weekend at Lane Cove. We certainly had a ball and as Tony has mentioned, it definately was a fitting climax to long months following her. I still miss Jess's daily blogs and love to hear anything about her but understand she has media commitments now.

    Collette, thankyou so much for the beautiful luncheon you put on. Fantastic!! Also the flags you organised for Polaris of Belmont and the company of your wonderful partner Peter.

    Sam, thankyou so much for the T shirt logo's and worn with much pride on the day for sure. Your voyage art is simply fantastic too.

    Tony, thankyou for putting all your time and effort into recreating "EPL" for Jesse, she loves it I know.

    Faye & Max, thankyou so much for our lovely gallery photos. It has pride of place in our home now.

    Janell & Meredith, thankyou for coming all the way and sharing Jesse's homecoming. Such beautiful souls you both are.

    Ailsa, thankyou for sharing the weekend and your company. Enjoy your new home too.

    Last but not least, Jonathan we thankyou for the hats which we love and also for putting this site together which I enjoy so much.

    Cheers everyone,

    Jacquie & Jim McGrath

  25. Happy hellos to everyone!!

    Every day I 'click' on this Jessaholics site in eager anticipation of finding a note from visitors, and I'm always delighted when someone has left their 'calling card'. It gives off a warm and fuzzy sense of familiarity.

    I'm so glad we still have this cherished medium to keep in touch, as I feel a little disjointed now that Jesse's blog has all but closed shop.

    I suppose this is the true meaning of the 'holic' in Jesseholic. For me it has become a tangible reality!! Luckily, they say the first step to recovery is to acknowledge one has a problem, so I must be on the right track.

    Distractions and diversions are also beneficial in behaviour modification, and sometimes therapy is required. I'm happy to admit that in my case, it helped......
    today I undertook the most vigourous housework session one has ever embarked upon!!

    Everything from the loungeroom to the laundry (and everything in-between) got washed, whacked, thrashed, whipped, dunked, slapped, swept or chucked out !!! Man, it felt good!!

    It worked miracles, and I feel I'm now ready to reclaim my title of wife and mother.

    Following Jessica's progress culminated in 12 months of in interest, emotion, excitement, laughter, extreme highs (passing Capes etc), and dreaded fear when threatening weather patterns loomed.

    It's really great to get back to my old self, but I'm so much richer from the Jesse experience.....the people I have met (yes, that's you) hold a very special place in my heart, and I cannot express my happiness in being able to call you all my friends.

    I'm always tickled pink hearing from you.


  26. Soldier's Mum says ......

    Greetings everyone I wonder if you're experiencing the same emptiness I am. I mean, I do have a life, a very rich life, but dear oh dear ... I'm really missing the voyage and all that it represented. The wondering,- mind you, some of the wondering we could have done without! lol - the anticipation of where Jesse was and what she was up to, the fun with the blogs, reading others stories, opinions, thoughts and ideas, etc etc. Yep, I must confess, I miss that.

    However, isn't it just wonderful that Jessica succeeded and arrived home safe and sound?! How terrific that she's enjoyed the much deserved homecoming and accolades. That she's now on her way home to Queensland to another warm welcome by those in her home state.

    And for us here, we wait in anticipation of her visit and to hopefully be able to meet her and personally congratulate her. Something joyful to look forward to! :)

    If I may, via the generosity of Jonathan's blog, I'd like to publicly express my thanks to all the Jessaholics who have been so welcoming and supportive and inclusive of me in this journey we've all been on together, [still are!]. My situation is somewhat awkward to put it politely, and therefore it is not as easy for me to be free to have the same freedom of expression as many others in society. Because of this, I am placed in a positon not of my own doing and have to exercise caution and discretion, in particular, publicly.

    The freedoms enjoyed by all who are blessed to live in this magnificent country, come at the sacrifice and high price others pay.

    Freedom is not free ... trust me!

    Sometimes that price dictates living a life which unless you are living it, others cannot fully understand nor truly appreciate.

    So in closing, I want to thank all those who have accepted and understood despite my not being able to actually reveal or fully explain, your welcome and inclusion of me has helped make an otherwise difficult situation more tolerable. It has afforded me the chance to participate and enjoy and reach out to new friend's, yet maintain the anonymity - [publicly]- which is vital in the situation I find myself.

    As we go about our daily lives, may I ask that you pause a moment and think of the freedoms we enjoy and hold a thought for those who ensure that freedom.

    In this I also refer to those in the civilian services which play a huge role in protecting and securing our nation. For without those vital services, our military forces would have an even more challenging job to do.

    Bless you all and may you continue to enjoy a long,healthy and happy life.

    Warm regards ........ Soldier's Mum