Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Short History of Jessaholic Gatherings in Victoria!

 Not only has young Jessica Watson allowed her supporters to 'live her dream' alongside her, she has also unwittingly spun a golden web of friendship as a result of her solo circumnavigation. Our global group of Jessaholics continues to grow and consolidate as we share in the delight of meeting like-minded people.
Each of our gatherings has been given the 'thumbs up' by Jesse and her manager Andrew Fraser.

L-R: Tony, Ailsa, Pete, Collette, Jonathan

Our first Jessaholic luncheon was held on 6th March 2010 at The Waterfront Restaurant, Port Melbourne. This was the first time any of us had met, primarily to discuss arrangements for our trip to Sydney for Jessica's homecoming. We all enjoyed a wonderful day with a perfect venue, fabulous menu and great conversation. Just as the above photo was taken, the wildest storm in years was festering right behind us, and would soon leave greater Melbourne flooded, tattered and torn!

L-R: Chris, Bruce Watt, Sally, Ailsa, Faye, Tony, Max, Collette, Pete, Clint
Our second Luncheon (above) was held at the same venue on 17th April with added numbers of dedicated (and familiar) supporters of Jessica. It was such a delight to meet our new friends, and it's safe to say that lifelong friendships were made on that day.

A special treat for us all was afforded by Tony in allowing us all to have a sneak peek of his fantastic model of EPL. We were also graced with a visit from Jessica's 'scallywag' crew!

Several of us were fortunate to travel to Sydney in May to experience the euphoria of Jessica's homecoming, as well as getting to know one-another, including Janell who came all the way from Oklahoma, USA with her granddaughter, Meredith. Jacquie and Jim McGrath of Nowra sailed with us on Syney Harbour as well. It was at the Opera House that Tony presented his model of EPL to Jessica on national television only moments after she had set foot on land after 7 months alone at sea.

Jesse's first few steps ashore, helped by Dad (Roger) and brother Tom.
A third gathering of Victorian Jessaholics took place overlooking the bay at Kirk's Restaurant, Mornington on 27th August. Sadly I missed this one, but it was another terrific day with lots of good food, company and conversation.

L-R: Chris, Tony, Clint, Jonathan, Faye, Max, Sally, Ailsa.

It was during this luncheon that a plan was hatched for the next (4th) Geelong!
(Incidently, Jesse Martin bought his S&S 34 'Lionheart', in Geelong).

On the 27th November, eleven of us lunched at Fishermen's Pier, on the waterfront in Geelong. We were absolutely thrilled to have a couple of 'newies' amongst us...Annie (Bluefin) and her hubby Greg who travelled all the way from Queensland, plus Brian who flew over from Tasmania especially for the day.

Despite incessant rain, we enjoyed a magnificent weekend, beginning with a good old pub meal on Friday evening, the Saturday Luncheon, and six of us taking a drive along the world-renowned Great Ocean Road on Sunday. Apart from the many laughs amidst spectacular scenery, we stumbled across a colony of koalas in their natural habital which was fantastic to see. We said farewell over a BBQ dinner while toasting every Jessaholic we could think of with wine Janell had bought in Sydney.

The highlight (to say the least) of our Lunch was viewing a specially taped video message from Jessica, wishing us all the best and thanking us for our support. This magnificent treat was arranged by secret agent Maxwell, who plotted and schemed to make this a surprise which will remain unsurpassed for who knows how long!

Just as exciting was 'skyping' with our American friends Bill (Georgia Guy), Janell (Oklahoma) and Mark (Saltydog, Seattle). THEN....we all got to skype with our own Soldiersmum! It was awesome and huge thanks go to Max for arranging so much to make the day so spectacularly special for us all.

L-R Greg, Annie, Clint, Brian, Jonathan, Chris, Max, Faye, Sally, Pete, Collette

The incredible video message to us from Jessica

Jesse's favourite...choc cupcakes..these have EPL on a swirling blue ocean!

Annie and Greg on the Great Ocean Road overlooking the wild Bass Strait

A bizarre piece of architecture takes advantage of the ocean view

Many overseas visitors to the GOR forget to keep left!

A mummy koala takes Junior for a ride!

Toasting all Jessaholics with wine gifted by Janell during Jessica's Homecoming in Sydney

Jessica Watson's Homecoming, Sydney 15/05/10

In anticipation of the successful completion of Jessica Watson's epic solo non-stop round-the-world voyage, several 'Jessaholics' converged on Sydney to share in the celebrations and welcome the intrepid 16 year old home.

We came from all corners of Australia, and were delighted to welcome Janell from Oklahoma, USA and her granddaughter Meredith in joining us. Unexpectedly, our group attracted quite a bit of attention from newspapers and television media and several of us did numerous interviews.

In a gesture of appreciation of our support of Jesse, her management provided us with sole access to dock at the Man O War steps, plus VIP passes to the official Welcome Home event.

We sailed on Sydney Harbour to the Opera House on board 'Polaris od Belmont', owned and skippered by Chris Dawe. The vessel has completed 19 Sydney to Hobart races.

Jessica's homecoming was logistically a huge event, with tens of thousands of people gathered to congratulate her on her monumental achievement. It was televised live on 'big' screen throughout  the superb venue.

After taking in all the emotion of this magnificent day, we Jessaholics enjoyed a fun 'Jessaparty'...most of us stayed in Sydney for several days getting to know each other in celebration of  Jessica's achievement.

All aboard! Polaris of Belmont

The banner, so kindly made and donated by Artelina, Brisbane 

An iconic Manly Ferry

The Sydney Opera House in it's glory

Approaching the Man o War steps

The media wanted to know who all the 'pink people' were!

Some of the gang!

This pic gives some perspective on just how many people came out to see Jesse sail home


Tony has earned this special moment...presenting his 'baby EPL' to Jesse

Breathtakingly superb model

The Family Watson being razzed by our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd

Time for a relaxing afterparty!

In keeping with Jesse's favourite, chokkie cupcakes with teeny EPLs on top

The caravan park has so much Aussie Meredith feeds a kookaburra on our verandah.

Janell feeding the cheeky possom some Lane Cove pizza!

Meredith was fascinated by our Rainbow Lorrikeets

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hugs with Jessica 5/8/10

Jesse was like the 'girl next door'...welcoming, unpretentious, and generous with her time. I was really flattered when she acknowledged our group and is very familiar with our names and pictures from the Photo Gallery.
Jesse's book signing evening, where she told me she remains really grateful for all our support and well-wishes before, during and after her epic solo voyage.
Jessica and I in Melbourne

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jessica Watson : Meet n Greet, Melbourne 27/5/10

                    Tony, with Clint filming in background                          Sally by the Bay in background                         Faye and Max looking chuffed!!                        The signing of  The Galleries!!                  Andrew Frazer, right
       MWAH!! for Max!!

Today the whirlwind Jessica Watson Roadshow arrived in Melbourne, after originating in Brisbane yesterday.

A team of our loyal and dedicated Jessaholics arrived early in order to gain a good 'pozzie', which was rewarded with front row views, and personal acknowledgements by Jesse herself.

Our team also enjoyed a chat, autographs, handshakes....and for the VERY FORTUNATE......HUGS!!!

Added to this excitement was the arrival of Jesse Martin, who joined in the chit-chat and was happy to be photographed with our pals.

      Former Jungle boy-cum solo sailor, Jesse Martin
Jesse Martin with our Ailsa
Along with many fellow Jessaholics, I'm secretly green with envy because I elected to stay at work...ssshhhh!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


To all those checking out my Blog....I have set this up for the sole purpose of facillitating my posts on another site until such time I can find another way around it. I have no intention of making any future posts here. I do not seek to attract any 'followers', nor do I want any. Thanks for your interest though.