‘You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just got to have a dream and work hard.’
In 2010 at just 16 years of age, Australian girl Jessica Watson, sailed solo around the world.
And it all began with a story.
For five years Jessica and her family had lived on a cabin cruiser and one of Jessica’s favourite bedtime stories was Lionheart, the story of Jesse Marin who, at 18 years of age, became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. That book was the beginning of a big idea in little Jessica’s imagination.
Jessica decided that she too would sail solo around the world. While her family had always sailed, now Jessica began to plan and work for the biggest sail ever. Jessica trained and studied, she learnt about off-shore safety, diesel engine maintenance, yacht master theory and she crewed on boat after boat, gaining experience, wisdom and confidence.
Four years later, she brought it all together as she sailed out of Sydney Harbour, following her dream with courage and determination.
201 days later she sailed back into Sydney having covered over 23,000 nautical miles in 2010 days, faced waves of over 15 metres, 80 knot winds, exhaustion and isolation.
In 2011 she was named Young Australian of the Year and in 2012 received an Order of Australia Medal for services to sailing and being a role model for the youth of Australia.
‘I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream.’
In 2010 she shared her story in her own book, True Spirit, inspiring, just as she was inspired, young people everywhere.
Words and stories can be the beginning of dreams and wonderful realities!
Watch Jessica tell her story