Friday, December 18, 2009

Progress, Progress, Progress

Up early and home past dark. That's how its been for a while. The media is starting to pick up on my story and I've been doing quite a few interviews recently. We've been going non-stop since the boat got here and I just realized today that Christmas is only a week away! The main thing that I'm looking forward to about Christmas is that soon after I'll be leaving on my sea trial! Its all so exciting!
I actually started to pack this morning... I'm the sort of person to throw some cloths in a back pack the night before leaving for anywhere. This time I decided I should take a little more time and care in packing my cloths for this trip.

Boat work this week:
Delamination of hull repaired
Engine overhauled and new alternators by C & C Marine
Radar arch being built
New bilge pump and alarm system installed
Mast pulled, boom reinforced, new hardware being installed
New non-skid on decks and painted
Bottom prepped for painting tomorrow
Inspected keel bolts
Redesigned charging systems for boat
All new wiring run for 2 wind generators and 2 independant solar panel systems by Mike Smith
All electronics being tested by Maritime Communications
Water maker being installed
Winches serviced by rigger Mary Ellen Rose
Menus finalized and food ordered

Wild Eyes really is under there somewhere! The guys there are all working so hard. Thanks to them she's all ready for bottom paint tomorrow!

It's a bit of a mess at the moment but the decks are all nice and new looking. The second coat of paint was finished today and having new nonskid on there is great! It had worn down so bad before that we all had to be extra careful on deck. You can also see the new solar panels up on the dome, though they're all covered in dust and its not the best shot of them.

My first time up the mast!! My new favorite place on Wild Eyes =)


  1. Hi Abby,
    gosh, I really am scared for you, as I was when our Jessica Watson was preparing to head off on her journey, but, as I know nothing about sailing, I can only assume that you know as much as someone who's been sailing solo for many years, not quite sure how that can be possible, but I can't imagine your parents allowing you to do this if you didn't. I hope you are a lot stronger & wiser than I was when I was 16 & thought I could take on the world! It's only now, years later that I realise just how much I actually didn't know!
    Looking forward to following you around the world, hearing of your adventures along the way & most importantly, your safe arrival home.
    Kathy, Australia XXXXX

  2. All this sounds great. You are right, Abby, take your time and double check everything, on the boat, in your bags! No way coming back two or three times because you forgot your keys, your iPod or your sunglasses! ;-)
    Waiting is usually unpleasant, but it is not so hard when everybody's very busy.
    Good works'ending, and keep us informed about your sea trial. ;-)

  3. 12-19-09 @10:50
    Hi Abby,
    Up early and home past dark doesn't leave much time for Abby. From the looks of that work list there isn't much spare time at the boatyard either. But I know, it has to be done. Just don't knock yourself out. It's good that you have a dedicated crew to help you, looks like they're all busy, and you're playing in the crows nest. LOL........
    Yeah, this time when you pack, you'll be packing for six to nine months with all kinds of different seasonal gear, and you don't want to forget any of that.
    Keep up the good work and good luck to you on all the packing.
    The pictures were great, the evidence of a successful week.

    Good luck to you Abby, and may God bless and guide you.
    Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

  4. 'Wild Eyes' is blushing with all this TLC and make up she is receiving, when she hits the water again for the sea trials you will have a new yacht under your command with so much get up and go, you will probably have to throw out the sea anchor to keep her under control.
    This all is sounding very professional in your preparation, just don't forget to pack the tooth brush, you never know who may drop in for dinner,:-):-).
    Will talk later.
    Hervey Bay.Queensland. AU.

  5. Abby great photos and excellent update! While they are working can't you get them to install a mini refrigerator in your galley so your chocolate supply want melt in the sweltering hot climates you sail through on your way around the world ? Seriously you guys really get things acomplished in record time ! Looking forward to following your progress with all the wonderfull blogers and fans ! Best wishes for reaching your goal in the days and monthes ahead ! Cheers !

  6. Hi Abby,

    "Wild Eyes" is looking great and your preparations seem to be going well.

    All the best Abby. My prayers will be with you every step of the way on your voyage.

    Best regards and I wish you and all your family a very happy Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year. Jan (Auckland, New Zealand)

  7. Great post Abby. I love the pictures and I can feel your joy up there on the mast.
    Have a special Christmas.
    Kathy Bend, OR

  8. Progress, Progress, Progress

    Thanks for the Great Photos
    I am glad that the media is starting to pick up for you.

    Thanks for the up dates and thanks to your sponsors.

  9. Abby,
    As a parent of 3 great kids, I could not be more proud of you. I am not a sailor but am a believer in "doing hard things".
    May God protect you and bring you home safely from your sail. I will be following you and keeping you in my prayers regularly.

  10. Abby, im a big fan; but(!), you have violated the most important rule of sailing!There is a picture of you barefoot at the helm! Especially while single handing; never, never, go barefoot on a sailboat - A mashed big toe could lead to disaster - also carry a surgical stapler and know how to use it, i.e. suture yourself. I am speaking from experience - Bon Voyage Oh yea dont forget your "jack line" ever. Again, a single handler speaking from experience!

  11. 12-20-09 @16:19
    Hi Abby,
    Just wanted to let you know that a fellow sailor, Laura Dekker is missing. She apparently left home Friday 12/18 and hasn't been seen since. The police do not suspect foul play. She removed some money from her account, but "Guppy" is still in her slip at the marina. I hope she'll come to her senses and not do anything foolish. A little prayer would help.
    This link is secure.
    Hope things are going well for you.
    Good luck to you Abby, and may God bless and guide you.
    Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

  12. Hi Abby,

    Yeah, I'm reading your blogs and following your progress, just as I did with Zac! Things are heating up now, huh? Plus, it sounds like there will be a new baby Sunderland when you get back from your adventure!

    I'm also following Jessica Watson. My husband told me this morning that one of my teenage girl sailors was missing. I felt my face go white! I don't know how your parents do this! But all is good. Jessica is fine and the young girl missing was the Dutch girl Laura Dekker, who it appears ran away from home for what ever reason. The courts have blocked her sailing adventure, because she was only thirteen. I'm sure you have heard about her too.

    Well, Merry Christmas to you and all of your family! Good luck with the refitting and facelift of 'Wild Eyes.' Can't wait to see her when she is ready!

    Becky in Colorado

  13. 12-21-09 @ 01:29
    Hi Abby,
    Just got a post on Jessica's blog:

    mike said...
    Laura Dekker is fine folks - she has been found and is back with her Dad I believe. More news can be found from Google.
    Rock on Jesse! Enjoy those 40's.
    Mike (from Canberra)

    I know that I was relieved to see that. She turned up in the Caribbean.
    Hope things are going well for you.
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

  14. Abby & Marianne on CNN Website:

  15. Hi Abby, just read some of the comments on your blog. Don't be (and I know you won't be) disuaded by opinions of thoses who have never taken on the kind of risks and challenges of long distance sailing. After 35 years of experience (mostly on the Great Lakes) and at age 63 we sold our home, cars, and most of our furniture to embark on an open ended live aboard adventure. Our friends thought we were crazy but now admire what we were able to do. To make a long story very short after 1 yr and 4 mos. (approx 4,000 miles) and going thru the outer bands of 4 hurricanes we decided that we had had enough fun. Every day will present new challenges and a sense of accomplishment. Good luck and fair winds.


  16. hi, i read a article abt u and decied 2 put a post. well the article was "criticle" abt u & ur parents, u being 16 and etc. Well i hope u will b able to go ur journey sucessfully. Personally i don't think there will b any difference whether ur 16 or 16+2 since u seem 2 know what u r doing.
    I didn't hav the courage or ability to what ur doin even now(i'm 24).
    So GD Luck.
    Aka from sri lanka(if ur wandering where the what the hell sri lanka is, it's a country in saouth asia).

    So i sincerely wish u will b able to go ur way without any harm. Just b extra carefull.
    Gd luck.

  17. 12-23-19 @09:05
    Hi Abby,
    Just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I know you're very busy and I hope everything is going well for you. Take care and be safe.
    Always thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

  18. Hello Abby,

    Just wanted to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Things seem to be progressing along nicely with the boat. I anticipate that your Christmas wish of adventure (and more sponsors) will come true this year! I hope you get to sea trials before long. Keep at it, and stay up (cheerful)!

    Best wishes,

    Mike D
    Landlocked in Philadelphia, Pa, USA

  19. Abby -- Best wishes to you & your crew on all the hard work... Thinking of you & your family, and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! And congrats to Lawrence & Marianne execting baby #8! Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher