She was greeted in Sydney by thousands of people, including the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who called her "our newest hero".
Jessica's response to this hero's welcome focused heavily on the concept of dreams:
"I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream ... You don't have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard."
Jessica clearly had no shortage of belief fueling her dream: on top of her own, she also had the belief of her parents (who both gave up their day jobs to help her achieve her dream), as well as the belief of adventurer, Don McIntyre, who provided Jessica with her yacht, "Ella's Pink Lady".
Don McIntyre owns a 600 tonne icebreaker (complete with a helicopter) - so, for him, purchasing a life-size pink sloop for a teenage girl is probably roughly equivalent to an ordinary parent purchasing a Barbie Dream Boat for an ordinary girl. But Jessica Watson would have us believe that she, too, is "an ordinary girl". I beg to differ.
A 1-foot Barbie Dream Boat with plastic accessories?
A 34-foot sloop with state of the art communication and navigation equipment?
(Forgive the image quality. I couldn't make it to Sydney Harbour yesterday to take a non-copyrighted photo, so I had to draw a picture instead. Unfortunately, my illustration makes Ella's Pink Lady look a bit ... ordinary).
I can't help but wonder what the dreams of Jessica's three siblings are? (She has one older sister, and a younger sister and brother). How many dreams can one family possibly accommodate, when just one of those dreams is a full time job for the dreamer's mother and father?
I don't doubt that Jessica worked very hard at realising her dream. But I think Jessica would do well to realise that she's an extraordinarily lucky young woman: lucky to have been born in an affluent country at an affluent time; lucky to have supportive parents; lucky to have the physical and mental ability to do what she dreamed of.
Not everyone is so lucky.
The day before Jessica exhorted everyone to "have a dream" and "believe in it", the body of another young woman - Nona Belomesoff - was found in a creek bed South West of Sydney. Nona was allegedly murdered by a man who knew about her dream, and took advantage of it.
According to the murdered girl's father, Nona "loved animals and saw this [meeting with her alleged murderer] as an opportunity to follow her dream. ... He said he could get her a job ... Nona said if she didn't go she would lose her job and this job was her dream. So she went, and that was the last time we saw her."
Sometimes, hard work and belief simply aren't enough to make a dream come true.