May 16

Heard yesterday on the radio as Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbour:

“I’m sure Jessica’s knockers have been put right in their place.”

Good to know.

The first circumnavigation of the globe is usually credited to Ferdinand Magellan, although he was killed in the Philippines midway through the journey. His expedition, led by Juan Sebastián Elcano, went on to complete the round-the-world voyage, arriving in Spain in 1522. The first Englishman to achieve this feat was another name you might’ve learned in primary school: Francis Drake. He did it in 1580.

The first solo sailor to make it round the world was the Canadian Joshua Slocum, who completed his voyage in 1898. Slocum’s method of navigation was “dead reckoning”, which involves estimating your current position based on your previous position and taking into account a guesstimate of your speed, direction and elapsed time. (It’s believed that certain animals, including ants and rats, use a version of dead reckoning to return safely to their home after a foraging expedition.)

“Around the world” in yo-yo terms means to fling the yo-yo outwards and then, with the yo-yo at full extension, to have it spinning in a wide circle to the side of your body. Don’t do this in front of a mirror or large glass window.

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