I did not follow the news of Jessica Watson, the 16 years old sailor who is currently on a solo sail around the globe, very closely. Couriermail has this news report by Amanda Lulham today:
A ROGUE wave has knocked Jessica Watson's 34-footer over on its side for the sixth time as she nears the finish line of her round-the-world solo voyage.
The young Sunshine Coast sailor has repeatedly said the home stretch of her odyssey could prove the most treacherous. She is on high alert for the next 48 hours after she sailed into the first of three predicted storms yesterday.
Nine-metre waves are the biggest Watson has encountered. They are also as big as some of the waves encountered by sailors during the deadly 1998 Sydney to Hobart where a Bass Strait "bomb" in the form of a deep depression exploded and savaged the fleet, claiming the lives of six men.
An exhausted Watson managed to get word off her yacht yesterday to confirm both she and Ella's Pink Lady have survived the knockdown without major injury or damage.
She also reported the 35-knot winds she'd encountering had abated, as she continued towards Tasmania.
Jessica remains on course to achieve her dream of becoming the youngest person to sail round the world before her 17th birthday in late May.
"It's not going to be the easy sailing that I asked for," she wrote on her internet blog site last week.
It is estimated she has about 1500 nautical miles to sail to finish her solo trip.
I remember reading the news of her planning voyage and many warned her of the possible encountering with freaque waves. Obviously she's having her share more than anyone expected. Six probable freaque wave encounters already. According to dailytelegraph the first four encounters "came in quick succession in the Atlantic Ocean in late January, not long after she rounded Cape Horn." Now another on her home stretch. God speed, Jessica!