Tasmanian Times


Jessica inspires record bid

Having a flick through the Guiness Book of Records the other day I realised that there are so many different records out there and began thinking about which one I would like to attempt.

Having been inspired by Jessica Watson’s quest to become the youngest ever to achieve a solo unassisted global circumnavigation, I have decided to put together a plan of my own.

Being 34, I am definitely out of the running to beat her record as the youngest sailor, but it occurred to me that my 6 month old son Tom, is well within a chance.

I consider myself rather handy in the back shed and have drawn up plans to fit out a yacht capable of safely sailing around the world with Tom on board.

The main safety / living compartment of the “Vicarious” will hold a harness in which my naked boy will be suspended. This compartment will be kept at a optimum temperature and humidity for the Tom’s maximum comfort and the harness will be mounted on a self righting frame which will ensure that even if the yacht is knocked down in force 10 storms, my little boy will remain in an upright position.

At periodic intervals food and water will be dispensed, for which I will teach him to suck on the feeding tube when an alarm sounds. Very Pavlov’s dog approach, but he is already in training to associate the sound with meal times and it appears to be working well.

Once every 3 days a warm water shower will bathe his body and a warm air fan will dry him off.

The whole yacht will be provisioned with enough stores to last the non stop journey and we will be able to monitor Tom through a satellite internet camera link up.

As well as providing him with reassuring visual and aural comfort from his parents, will be able to stream the video live on his own website.

We have started to wean him off our company to get him used to being away form us for extended periods of time by leaving him locked in the car with a CD recording of us talking playing through the audio system.

The yacht’s navigation will be taken care by a GPS plotter, backed up with a another GPS unit for safety. These will be interfaced with automated controls linked to all the necessary parts like rudder, sails, engine, etc and a central computer system will make the necessary adjustments to keep the yacht on its course. A radar and sonar system will also be incorporated so that any potential collisions can be avoided. I considered fitting a satellite manual remote control override system, which would enable me to take the reins if needed, but when I realised this would compromise the “unassisted” aspect of the journey, I decided against it as it would make him ineligible to take the record.

All things going well, Tom will set sail at the ripe age of 9 months and upon his return, will be crowned the world’s youngest ever human to have achieved a solo unassisted global circumnavigation!

“I can just imagine the two of us sitting together when Tom’s old enough to drink, sharing a couple of beers in the backyard and Tom looking at me, saying “Thanks Dad, I’m so proud of you for letting me have this amazing opportunity in life.

“You’re the best.”

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. chris kaszubski

    February 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Dear G. Burrow,
    I am neither sad or old and believe you me, I have had plenty of wild and woolly adventures in my short life on this amazing lump of rock. This particular piece was not written to have a go at another young Jesse going solo around the world. This was more a go at our unexplainable and unhealthy fascination with wanting everything to be bigger better faster stronger. And if we can’t do that then we’ll do the same thing, but be the youngest/oldest to do it. Honestly, plenty of people have sailed around the world, and even solo. You want to impress me, then do something that hasn’t been done before at all, or raise a family with 5 kids on a single pension.
    There many more meaningful things to do in life than live it through your kids or worse still, through someone unrelated. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you put yourself out on a limb for anything? Or took the unsafe option to try and better yourself? Had a hair raising experience that left you shaking like a leaf on a tree? When did you last actually live life? If you can’t remember then I suggest you start some serious soul searching and living your life.
    Love, Chris

  2. G Burrow

    January 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Chris, I can’t work out if you have a hang up over your own missed opportunities of adventure or you are just a sad old man. If you followed this girls blog you would realise that she is one courageous and inspiring young woman. Many kids may be happy to sit in front of the playstation whilst others will follow their dream. Jessica has already achieved a remarkable achievement having sailed from Sydney around Cape Horn against a tide of negative people. Go Jess.

  3. sam

    January 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Great laugh Chris. Love the irony. When will the world’s media stop promoting this weird record. As you so funnily demonstrate, where does it end? Each record attempter will be a few months younger than the previous.

    Unfortunately the best outcome for Jessica Watson’s attempt would be unmitigated disaster and dare I say it, her loss at sea. At least she will be old enough to have taken some responsibility for her decision to attempt this record. Of course her parents will be much more culpable. The benefit is that the media will then turn from glamorising this folly to attacking those who were so foolish to think it was sane behaviour.

    Once again, thanks for the witty post.

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