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Jessica Watson reaches 2,000-mile mark of solo global sailing voyage

November 5, 2009 |  9:42 am

Jessica Watson leaving Sydney Harbor aboard Ella's Pink Lady on Oct. 18. She's trying to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world nonstop and unassisted. Australian teen sailor Jessica Watson, 19 days into her planned voyage around the world, has reached the 2,000-mile mark as she sails to the north toward the equator.

She's currently passing the Tonga islands, heading toward American Samoa. After a brief sail north of the equator -- which she'll reach in about two weeks -- she'll pilot her 34-foot boat due south and then east toward South America and the treacherous Cape Horn, which she must negotiate before entering the Atlantic. Her eight-month journey will span 23,000 miles.

But that's getting ahead of the situation. Watson, 16, is enjoying remarkably smooth sailing and is ahead of her planned schedule of logging 100 miles a day.

Her only complaint is all the salt getting into her cabin. She wrote on her blog: "Every time I come in from being on deck, I seem to bring a lot of water with me. Also, despite all the effort we put into tracking them down before leaving, a few small leaks have made themselves known.... So I've been playing around with a tube of sealer and (fingers crossed), looks like I might have put a stop to some of them!"

Jessica celebrated reaching the 2,000-mile mark by baking chocolate cupcakes. 

-- Pete Thomas

Photo:  Jessica Watson leaving Sydney Harbor aboard Ella's Pink Lady on Oct. 18. She's trying to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world nonstop and unassisted. Credit: Brendon Thorne / Getty Images
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