True Spirit

True Spirit is another biographical account of sailing, this time from a young person’s perspective…a very young person. It’s the true story of Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old Australian who sailed solo, nonstop, and unassisted around the world. I’m absolutely amazed at what this young lady accomplished through sheer determination and hard work. It’s certainly an inspirational story and really does show how, as she says, an ordinary person can accomplish anything they want to if they work hard and believe in themselves.

Jessica was inspired by other solo sailors and decided that sailing around the world unassisted was a challenge she wanted to take on. She earned the support of family (her Dad took quite some convincing) and friends, then pulled a team together to prepare for the enormous task of sailing non-stop for several months in a wide range of conditions. Her planning and preparation were well-thought and thorough. The maturity of her logical decision-making at such a young age was remarkable.

Another aspect that struck me was her mental fortitude to maintain a positive spirit during some long, tedious days such as when there was no wind, rough seas, or multiple knock-downs. There were definitely some gloomy days but she recognized that it was up to her, and her alone, to change her mood and keep thinking positive. As well, throughout the book she acknowledges her appreciation for her team (providing consultation on weather, electrical, mechanical, public relations, etc) and how much they have done to make her dreams possible.

It’s an easy read, with a well-paced story line and even the blogs don’t get too repetitive, a challenge in itself I’m sure after 210 days at sea. Along with the book, she has numerous videos available on Youtube which also chronicle her extraordinary journey, including an overwhelming welcome home celebration in Sydney.

The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge

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