‘True Spirit’ is an Australian biopic based on Jessica Watson, who became the youngest person to sail around the world in 2010. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Jessica Watson and her family had always lived close to the coast practically lived in the ocean. Jessica sailed for the first time when she turned twelve and became obsessed.
For four years, she learnt everything about sailing and the ocean. She even worked part-time and saved up to complete her dream; to sail around the world.
In September 2009, Jessica is undertaking a trial run before she embarks on the journey. But it doesn’t go smoothly as a cargo ship wrecks her boat’s mast.
She contacts her coach, Ben Bryant, who tells her family. Jessica’s father, Roger, is extremely worried about her daughter. Jessica is close to her sister, Emily.
After the failed trial run, journalists flock to her family and are waiting for her to fail, but she is unwavering in her desire to take on this journey.
The media is also hard on Ben, who lost one of his crew members during The Millennium Cup. There are doubts about whether he can lead her.
Nonetheless, Ben manages to get some assistance in fixing Jessica’s boat and she’s now ready to circumnavigate the globe in ‘Pink Lady’, her yacht.
In a flashback, Ben inspires Jessica to undertake the solo sailing journey. Back in the present, Jessica has been making a video diary of her voyage.
She explains the route as well: Leave from Sydney, go northeast up past the equator, then back down to round Cape Horn at the tip of Chile, then go across the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and then over the Indian Ocean to Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and down to South East Cape in Tasmania and finish back in Sydney.
After Jessica crosses the equator, she holds a short ceremony to celebrate her worthiness. But the joy is short-lived as a storm approaches.
Ben advises that she weather it. And despite Roger’s concerns, she decides to go through with it. Although she gets knocked out in the storm, she safely makes it to the other side.
Throughout the journey, Jessica is in constant contact with her family. She even spends Christmas with them and makes sure to catch up on every life detail.
Jessica’s next arduous task is sailing through the winds and currents of Cape Horn but she completes this phase without any difficulty.
However, the yacht is unable to progress further due to a lack of winds. This carries on for days and she starts breaking down. She confesses to her mother that she feels alone.
She calms her down with a song and eventually, the yacht catches wind and Jessica’s journey resumes.
True Spirit ending explained in detail:
What happens during the Pacific Ocean stretch?
Jessica gets a call from Emily, who has enrolled at Sydney University. She is about to tell her about a boy she met, but Jessica’s tone suddenly changes to one of concern.
She spots multiple storms approaching her. Ben, who had a falling out with Jessica, returns to her house after noticing the storms. He and her family advise her to reach the nearby port and abandon the journey.
The media also reports this development. All of Jessica’s followers around the world are concerned about her well-being.
Does Jessica navigate the storms?
Emily suggests Jessica look at the video messages recorded by her followers. She realises that her story is serving as an inspiration to countless people across the world.
Jessica figures out a way to get past the storms; by moving with them instead of trying to weather them. Her family thinks it’s extremely risky, but Roger says he’ll support whatever she decides.
The world waits with bated breath as Jessica attempts to endure the storm. She starts throwing up and a giant wave even submerges the yacht.
Her family assumes the worst when she does not pick up their calls. However, the yacht manages to return to the surface. Jessica contacts her family to tell them she’s safe.
Does Jessica complete the journey around the globe?
Jessica’s family tells the media that she has made it past the storm as the reporters and followers around the world rejoice.
Jessica returns to Sydney after 210 days in the sea and is welcomed by a huge crowd along with numerous boats. She is considered a hero by many for being the youngest to complete this journey, at 16 years of age.
In her speech, she says that she does not consider herself a hero. She wants her achievement to inspire ordinary people to achieve extraordinary milestones.
The film ends with footage of the real Jessica Watson right from her video diary to the day she reached the Sydney coast.