Challenges & Courage
Prior to Jessica's solo trip, Zac Sunderland from CA, USA set the record as the youngest person to sail solo around the world and completed his 13-month trip on July 16, 2009 at age 17. His record was surpassed 6 weeks later on August 27, 2009 by Mike Perham, of the UK.
You can read Zac's blogging journal of his completed solo sail (his trip started in June 2008-see his archived posts by month, in the right-hand column of his blog page).
It's interesting to read both Jessica and Zac's blogs and compare their similar circumstances and challenges they face(d) on a daily basis.
As a parent I don't think I could watch my child take on such enormous and dangerous challenges alone. It's easier to understand when you read their family's backgrounds. Sailing is an integral part of their daily life and is what drives them. That said, I have amazing children who have faced their own enormous challenges and I am so proud of them. Every person has their own path to walk (or sail) in life. I am always encouraged and inspired by those who fight against all odds to survive and have such enormous courage and will power. I have the will to fight, yet some days feel I fall short of courage (defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty). I trust that God has a guiding hand in Jessica's life today, and each day ahead.