Jesse Martin

Quick Facts

  • Name: Jesse Martin
  • Born: October, 1981, Munich, Germany
  • Youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo.
  • Ambassador to youth outreach programs including Reach Youth and Young Endeavour program
  • Ambassador to youth outreach programs including Reach Youth and Young Endeavour program Quote: I look at the trip as made up of a heap of little things. If you look at it in the entirety, it's big. But day-to-day life's just made up of little things too.


In December 1998 seventeen year old schoolboy Jesse Martin sailed out of Sandringham Yacht Club, Port Phillip Bay, embarking on a 328 day journey which would make him the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Jesse’s thirty four foot sailboat, Lionheart, was his home for almost a year as he circumnavigated the globe, non-stop, solo and unassisted.

During Jesse amazing voyage on Lionheart he and his sailboat survived force 10 gales, a collision with a whale, and a near collision with a tanker in the middle of the night. Jesse’s journal entries on his trip show that he found things even in the worst situations which kept his spirits up; dolphins accompanied him through a difficult patch while sailing through the Doldrums and he noted in his journal that the stormy skies highlighted the beauty of a rainbow. Jesse’s courage and his sense of purpose helped him succeed in making his dream of sailing alone around the world into a reality.

In March 2002 Jesse set sail on another adventure, this time with his brother, Beau, and three other young crew members on a 54 foot timber ketch, Kijana. Jesse planned to sail the world for three years with his friends but the trip was abandoned after ten months because of tensions that arose with the crew and, finally, the Kijana running aground on a reef.

Jesse has turned both of these experiences into opportunities for thinking about his purpose in life and he has written two books which detail his experiences and his thoughts, they are: Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit and Kijana: The Real Story.

Jesse's story and his active involvement in youth outreach programs have helped inspire many young people to follow their own dreams. He acknowledges that his journey around the world is an apt metaphor for his approach to life, which is to achieve the greater goal by achieving smaller objectives, and by focusing on the things that one can change and control.



  • Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit, published by Allen and Unwin
  • Kijana: The Real Story, published by Allen and Unwin

Video Links

  • Lionheart: The Jesse Martin Story, a documentary of Jesse Martin's round the world voyage