It is Nicolle here (not Mark - using his login again......lol...!!!!!)
Well as a young female on a boat who enjoys doing passages and who just successfully crossed the Singapore
Straits yesterday I have something to say about this 16 year old girl.
How could she have crossed an area as busy and complicated as the Singapore
We were both on deck
, with binoculars and checking the navigation
all the time from about 9am until 6pm yesterday, no time for a nap or time to relax even with the two of us, who are experienced (having been through Panama
and the busy shipping/fishing areas of the Great Barrier Reef
If she couldn't even sail at sea safely for less than 24 hours she would have been in grave danger
(but also putting others lives at risk) in most of the places Mark & I have cruised around the world.
I am 26 and I have done some long and challanging passages, passages that I am greatful to have had Mark with me. Going solo would be very hard work, something I would not do unless I really had to.
As cruisier, speaking to people we meet around the world, 99% of the accidents (especially involving ships) we hear about are solo sailors. So a girl who is still not legally old enough to buy alcohol in Australia
or drive a car as a fullly licenced driver is trying to do solo passages???????
I had a look at her website and from looking at her blog and photos etc I thought, she looks like a lovely young girl who is brave and will do well in life........but she still comes across as a little girl, a young, in-experienced girl.....a girl who should be having fun with friends, listening to the latest pop song, and talking about trendy things like clothes, boys and the latest hollywood hottie.......not trying to 'shatter' another world record
Her boat is called the Ella Pink Lady...??????? which she thinks is "Very cool and totally cute".??????????
That sounds like a young girl speaking to me, not a mature, experienced young women who can handle everything the ocean and the weather
will throw at her. She could have been killed or killed someone. It is not just fun and games as we know.......
Now if she came to you and said "Hi I am 16 and have sailed dinghies etc since I was 8, now I am going on a 34 foot boat from Brisbane
in 10 days would you like to come with me?" Most people would be a tad bit worried, I know I would.
Mark and I did Sydney
earlier this year, and it was some of our more difficult passages with lots of squalls, strong winds, rough seas etc. Now, she was trying to go South, against the wind? There is also lots of navigation
to consider when going along the Queensland and NSW coast, it is not easy.....
I think she should be proud of at least trying to have a goal and setting out and trying to do it, but I think she is just a sweet 16 year old wasn't quiet ready yet. Australia
is difficult cruising, not easy or straight forward like the Caribbean
for example. So it was a big challenge she set herself.
I feel sorry for her, it must have been very scary to hit the ship, and it must have been terrible for the captain of the ship too. I guess a mistake was made and it is a real shame, because it didn't need to happen. If both parties were alert and been careful, then this should not have had to happen.
I think solo sailors are very brave people, but it is not safe, they can't be awake and on watch the whole time...........I think you need at least 2 people on a passage
to cover watches all the time.
I didn't like the mention of Joshua Slocum on the website either, I adore him and just love him. We have a copy of his book and we read it all the time. Now he was not a 16 year old, he was an experienced sea captain, a mature man with life experience and a family
........he is my hero (well besides Mark........ he is my modern day sailing
hero), he was brave but also sensible.
I think Jessica's situation is the sailing worlds version of a Brittney Spears, all the media attention and been so young, it is a a bad combination..........and those photos of her posing..........do not look like a mature young sailing girl to me........what kind of image and publicity was she trying to create?????
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Smiles & hugs,