7 Feb 2018

Jessica Watson: sailing into the story books

From Nine To Noon, 10:07 am on 7 February 2018

Jessica Watson came to world attention in 2010 for her single mindedness, bravery and huge skill navigating the world's oceans, on her own for 210 days, when she was only 16.

Eight years on and Watson's achievements keep rolling in among them a debut novel, Indigo Blue, about a schoolgirl who loves boats and sailing.

Aimed at pre-teens, it's written with an unashamed ulterior motive in mind.

As the then youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world, Watson wants more young girls to get out on the water.

Jessica Watson in Sydney, 2009.

Jessica Watson in Sydney, 2009. Photo: AFP / FILE

In 2011 Watson was named Young Australian of the Year, the following year she got an Order of Australia Medal for services to sailing and for being a role model to youth.

Watson has been keeping herself busy as a youth representative for the United Nations World Food Programme, completing an MBA and she is a partner in marine start-up Deckee, which gives the low down on top anchorage sites.

Watson told Kathryn Ryan that she needed to find further reserves of determination to embark on her writing career as she has dyslexia.

She says Indigo Blue is an adventure, fantasy story about sailing and making new friends with some mysterious local history.

“It's a modern fairy tale, but certainly not the type of fairy tale where the heroine sits around waiting to be rescued!”

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