Spirits were high this week at St Andrew’s Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast when sailor and author Jessica Watson stopped by to share her experiences on both sea and land with secondary students.
The solo sailor, 2011 Young Australian of the Year and children’s/young adults author visited St Andrew’s to present an author talk, organised by the College and Annie’s Books Peregian.
The 24-year-old, who at 16 became the youngest person to navigate solo non-stop around the world, told students becoming an author wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“On the voyage itself, reading and writing helped me get out of the lonely little world that the boat could sometimes feel like, but when it comes to writing a novel, it is much harder than it seems,” she said.
Jessica Watson likened part of the experience to her crash with a bulk carrier shortly before setting off on her 210-day journey in 2010.
“At one point I relived that moment, but was able to move on from that and learn from experience, just like I did after the crash.
“It was very much about proving to the world I could do it; if you’ve got a dream, find a way and figure out how to achieve it!”
Year 12 student Lachlan Gaul said like most, he was looking forward to not only hearing firsthand what her prolific voyage was like, but also about her journey becoming a writer.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to have someone so legendary here today,” he said.
“I’d like to be an author one day so I was curious to hear about the influences behind her writing so far.”
Principal Reverend Chris Ivey said it was a privilege to have welcomed Jess Watson to the College.
“To have accomplished so much at such an early age is extremely inspiring to students and staff alike,” Reverend Ivey said.
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