Sunday, 16 May 2010

Solo voyage round the world

After seven months and 23,000 nautical miles in her boat Ella's Pink Lady, Jessica Watson,16, has become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. While there is a dispute over whether or not she has sailed quite far enough to enter the record books, this is still a formidable achievement. Watson has hit back at her critics but whatever happens she's set to become a celebrity with a planned whirlwind "Meet Jessica" tour and soon to be published book.

This may seem a world away from Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single-handedly around the world (1895-1898), but he also used the media by financing the three year voyage by a lecture tour en route.

No mention of Slocum is complete though without including the following stories. Firstly, the line that he sailed with only a compass, sextant and an old tin alarm clock which had lost its minute hand but which kept the hours after 'I boiled her.' Plus, the tale of how he once sprinkled carpet tacks on his ship's deck to deter barefoot pirates in Tierra del Fuego who boarded his boat as he slept.

On completing the Boston to Sydney section, the Guardian published the following on November 11 1896:

More detail followed on December 8 1896:

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