BUDERIM teen sailor Jessica Watson admitted to facing tough conditions “with strong headwinds, messy seas, lots of lightning and a few high drama moments” over her past few days at sea.
Jess, 16, is on the final leg of her around the world sailing journey, with the goal of becoming the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe.
Yesterday in her blog Jess said there had been a lot of lightning hanging around, which was “much too close for comfort”.
“This time there wasn't any wind and rain with it, which in one way made it even worse, because I could see how close the lightning was flashing into the water around us,” Jess said.
“One lightning cell after another rolled past, keeping my nerves on edge and stopping me getting any real sleep as I worried over it. Some of the flashes were so bright I felt like putting my sunnies on.”
To relax, Jess dug out a novel and listened to gentle music.
After the lighting storm the wind picked up to 50 knots pinning Jess’s yacht Ella's Pink Lady on its side.
“While I was having some serious fun reefing in the cockpit, down below, water was flooding in up through the sink because of the crazy angle we were on,” Jess said.
“Normally I shut the sink seacock when the weather’s a bit bouncy.
“But having thought that things were quieting down, I'd only just opened it again.
“The water flooded right through the galley then into the bilges. But Ella’s Pink Lady's pumps soon had it out again.
“I'm not particularly thrilled about my soggy mess of a galley.”
Most annoying, however, was Jess’s discovery of two tears in her mainsail, which she will repair when conditions clear.
“Everyone's telling me not to let my guard down being so close to home,” Jess said.
“But believe me, with this weather keeping me on my toes, there's no way I'm relaxing in the slightest.
“I was beginning to think that I'd seen a fair range of different weather but this lightning has been something new.”
Jess is expected to sail into Sydney Harbour early May.
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