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


  1. Collette,
    Where's all the typo's????
    This is a wonderful compilation.

    Great photos and comments.
    Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  2. Hi Collette
    Wonderful blog and great pics.

  3. Hi Collette,

    Great report and photos, sounds like a good time was had by all and I can vouch for that!

    I will remember you and Pete's and Faye and Max's hospitality for a loooooong time.