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|
|SHE DID IT!!!! ONYA SWEETHEART!|
|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 wildlife..here Meredith feeds a kookaburra on our verandah.|
|Janell feeding the cheeky possom some Lane Cove pizza!|
|Meredith was fascinated by our Rainbow Lorrikeets|