OMG! The lengths you have to go to get a book deal these days!!!
But seriously, folks, Jessica Watson, the darling of the primary school set, Australia’s youngest heroine, is now set to be Australia’s best selling author!
Jessica Watson left Sydney Harbour on her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world on 18 October 2009 and arrived home triumphant seven months later. True Spirit is her own account of that incredible voyage.
Jessica Watson: “When I was young I was pretty much afraid of everything…
“I’m not sure when that changed, but Mum tells a story about a day at a family gathering when I was playing with my cousins and my elder sister. They were all holding hands and jumping into a swimming pool, and Mum was watching me closely because I was afraid of water and couldn’t swim. I was five years old.
“I obviously got sick of only watching the game, because as everyone lined up to hold hands for another leap I joined in. Mum says she kept waiting for me to let go but I didn’t. I jumped with everyone else, shrieking and giggling until we hit the water. I sank to the bottom and my uncle rushed to pull me out.
“I wish I could say when it was that I went from being that quiet little girl, tagging along behind the others, to the girl who set off to sail around the world believing completely that with enough dedication she could achieve anything she set her mind to. Somewhere along the way I learnt that if you truly want to live life you have to get involved, pursue your passions and dream big.
“I don’t know when that was and I don’t remember jumping into the pool that day, it is just a story my mum tells. But somewhere between that moment and sailing out of Sydney Harbour on Ella’s Pink Lady, I came to understand what Helen Keller said far better than I can – ‘Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing’.”
These are Jessica’s words, taken from True Spirit.
In it she details the extensive preparation she and her team made for the big voyage, her journey and the battles she fought along the way – against sleep deprivation, gale-force winds, mountainous seas and the solitude most of us can only imagine. When she sailed back into Sydney Harbour on 15 May 2010, after 210 days at sea, she was cheered in by a huge crowd that included Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
To many, Jessica was our newest hero. She disagreed, saying she wasn’t a hero, “just an ordinary girl who had a dream and worked hard at it and proved that anything is possible”. This is her story…
Want to inspire someone you love to achieve great things?
Give them True Spirit!
P.S. I have to admit that I was one of the nervous Nelly’s who wondered at her parent’s letting her go, but now that she’s home safely I really want to read how she managed to do it! What a brave young girl!
Some facts from the book:
• Jessica sailed more than 24,000 nautical miles in seven months
• Her favourite meal on the journey was steak & kidney pie heated in the onboard pressure cooker
• She suffered six knockdowns (when the mast goes underwater) during her journey, including four in one particularly bad storm off the Falkland Islands during 70-knot winds and 10m waves
• Jessica took with her 32 tins of spam, 150l of milk, 64 tins of potatoes and 160 popper drinks
CLICK HERE for more details.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.