Towards the end, the 200 metre bow exclusion zone, and 100 metres to the sides and stern seemed to go haywire, with boats coming uncomfortably close to Ella’s Pink Lady, in my opinion, but fortunately nothing happened. Perhaps the water police just couldn’t control it. After making their way to the stage, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave a speech, in which he mentioned his contact with Jessica during her voyage, particularly on Australia Day, and what message she had for Australians. Then NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (related to Thomas through her husband) also gave a speech, and both, I might say, were quite dignified and in keeping with the elation of this special occasion. Finally Jess was given time to have her say, and she respectfully disagreed with the Prime Minister that she was a “new Australian hero”, by saying:
“I’m an ordinary girl with an ordinary dream,” she said.
“You just have to have a dream believe in it and work hard.
“Anything really is possible.”
This is very characteristic of Jessica Watson, as anyone who has followed her blog will realise. Pomp and ceremony seem to be the last thing on this amazing young lady’s mind. As one media person mentioned, you could hardly tell the difference in her attitude, whether she was battling 12 metre waves and knockdowns, or sailing smoothly, because it was always so temperate and positive. She took the good and bad in the same breath.
Maybe Jessica doesn’t, and maybe never will see herself as a “hero”, or extraordinary, but in the eyes of people like me, she will always be a special and extraordinary human being, even a “hero”, and in my opinion a real positive example for generations of young Australians to follow.