by Jane Pares
On December 30th 2008, 15 year old Jessica Watson departed Brisbane Australia as skipper of the 34’ Sweden sloop Magic Roundabout, bound for Whangarei, New Zealand. This trip is part of Jessica’s preparation for her solo around the world attempt that she will undertake later this year.
Jessica Watson - young skipper
This 1,300 nautical mile passage is Jessica’s first trip as skipper on an ocean voyage although she has crewed on several other passages.
When Jessica achieves her goal she will not only be the youngest woman to sail around the world unassisted but also the youngest person to do so.
On board Magic Roundabout for insurance purposes are Jim Hawke and Erica Coulston, who have been relegated to very passive roles, so that Jessica can test herself as a single handed skipper.
OceansWatch (http://www.oceanswatch.org) member Alice Sowerby owns Magic Roundabout. She has donated the long-term use of the boat to OceansWatch so that they can undertake their marine conservation and humanitarian aid projects in the Pacific.
In 2008 Magic Roundabout ran successful campaigns in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Jessica is a keen supporter of OceansWatch and first sailed on Magic Roundabout on her maiden trip to Vanuatu in May 2008.
Jessica’s progress can be followed on her blog at http://www.youngestround.blogspot.com/
She is due in to Whangarei, New Zealand on 12th January.