Mum reveals Oz solo sailor's dyslexia hell

Written by: Super Admin
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Brisbane, Jan.31 (ANI): The mother of teen sailor Jessica Watson has revealed for the first time the private pain that is driving her daughter's dream of going around the globe.

The 16-year-old was a preschooler when she was diagnosed with severe dyslexia - the lone child in the class unable to count to 10 or recite the alphabet. But after enduring the stigma of illiteracy, Jessica's fate changed at age 11 when mum Julie read her Lionheart, the story of Jesse Martin's solo world voyage.

"What people don't realise is that I was reading to her because she couldn't read," Mrs Watson told The Sunday Mail.

I was helping her access a world she couldn't reach. When she heard Jesse Martin's story and realized how human he was, Jessica went very quiet, you could see the cogs turning.

"She realized he was an ordinary person with vulnerabilities and humanness. And that's why he wrote the book: so people realized you don't have to be superhuman to go around the world."

Today, the Sunshine Coast teen is almost halfway across the South Atlantic Ocean and on track to achieve her dream of becoming the youngest person to sail solo around the world, non-stop and unassisted.

Last week she completed repairs on her 10m yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, after earlier facing frightening 10m waves and buffeting 70-knot winds.

Today Jessica is expected to face winds of up to 30 knots, according to marine weather tracker Roger Badham, but nothing dramatic. (ANI)

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