Friday, January 15, 2010

Departure News

Hello All,
Abby is out for the night testing sytems on Wild Eyes but we wanted to update everyone as to potential departure dates. It appears that the autopilots are working fine, the charging systems checked out and the dodger was installed today. She is ready to leave Monday but the forecast is for several cold fronts to blow in from the south (which would be directly on the nose). The high winds and building seas would make it pointless to head out and bash for 4-5 days though we are on the lookout for any change to today's forecast and if a window appears - we will let you know!
Thank you for all of your comments and emails. Abby is pretty busy these days but hopes to get back to you more once underway.
Team Abby


  1. Thanks for the update Team Abby. Good to know the plan is moving forward toward a departure date. It's true that bashing to weather is no fun BUT, hey, 4 days of that would truly be a shake down and she might be no further away than off San Quentin in Baja.

    There's a sailing school up here in the SF Bay area that offers classes in heavy weather sailing. You sign up for the course and then wait. When the weather turns to sh&*, you get a call to show up at the dock, get out the gate and learn to handle a boat in the real stuff.

    My best wishes (as always)...if you're ready, then go get 'um!

    (Grant - Care for a little behind the blog chat?)

    Steve in California

  2. Things must be getting exciting.

    The weather delay will provide more time for checking out systems.

    Might also be a good time for Abby to singlehand for a day or two in rough conditions and practice reefing and other heavy-weather procedures so if alterations are needed they can be taken care of before heading south.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  3. all the best for a great trip Abby.


  4. You go when you're good and ready Abby. Be safe!

  5. So close Abby. Bashing into a head wind is not much good for anyone, nor for the boat, so very wise to wait a bit. It would be awful for things to go wrong at the start, just for the want of a little more patience. Here's hoping for a useful change in the weather forecast.

    Best wishes

  6. Hello Team Abby!
    Thank you for the update...
    All good news on the technical side, and I am particularly happy for the dodger.
    Well, the nosely winds are unwelcome, for sure. Abby is right to wait for a window, or a few days if necessary, there is no use spending energy and losing time to progress like an asthmatic snail.
    I am sure that Abby (and everyone in her family) knows that the Short Sunderland was an amazing "Flying Boat" during WWII. But that looks like a good sign, doesn't it?

  7. Good luck Abby! As you probably know Jesse has round the Horn and her parents were able to do a flyover and wave and talk to her on the radio. 2 very brave young women x

  8. Thanks for the update. It will allow her additional time to prepare. Good luck


  9. Hi Abby, Thank you for the update, and to hear you and 'Wild Eye's' are ready, hang in there the weather will come your way.
    Keep Smiling.
    Hervey Bay. Queensland. Australia.




  11. Thanks for the update
    Look forward to more news
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  12. Great news that everything works fine. I totally understand, that it does not make sense to start into the coming weather. Except that this might be an opportunity to test Wild Eyes in a storm close to home. But if you feel that such a test is not needed, Abby should enjoy the last days before the departure into the Oceans of the World cozy with her family and friends.

    All the best,

  13. THX for the update. So many months of planning and preparing, checking and re-checking have already gone into getting to this point that I'm sure all of you are quite eager for Abby to get underway. It will be an exciting day when she pulls out!!! BUT, I know all of you, as well as all of us who follow her blog want absolutely everything, including the weather, to be in her favor as she leaves.

    Thanks to all of you for providing and preparing all that Abby will need on her amazing adventure. Each of you is to be commended for your involvement and careful attention to details!

    I pray Abby will have a safe and successful voyage!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  14. Abby,

    Thank you, team Abby, for keeping us up to date. Glad to hear the bugs are getting worked out. You’re totally right, per the NOAA marine forecasts, the conditions sound dicey at best for the first part of next week. No sense in Abby beginning the trip by getting beat up in tough conditions in her first week. We’ll all be hoping for the weather to moderate soon for a nice send-off.

    For Hezakiah299: You are a gentleman, Michael. It‘s good that these young adventurers get the respect that they deserve. Keep up the good vibrations.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  15. Hey - great to hear all systems are go. And good call on not setting off into 4 or 5 days of unpleasantness BUT the bad weather is just the window you need for some serious system testing before heading off. Go out and give the boat a good is far better insurance against early failure than you could get any other way.

  16. Good Luck,,,Be safe, it is not a race,,anyone,no matter what age,that achieves a dream is a winner and at a tender (Teenage)so much more,in this current climate,to be able to get a young person away from electronic devices,get outside,enjoy life is any parents wish,,To have a child that steps further outside ,,embrace the challenge that life puts foward,,do it and succeed,,,,WOW!!!

  17. Woohoo!
    I'll be watching(and praying)
    Straight wakes,
    Mike S.

  18. 01-16-10 @ 08:36
    Thanks for the up-date, I hope everything will be in sailing condition for her now. I'm sure she's pretty busy, and under a lot of stress, but sailing day is coming. I just hope the weather breaks for her.
    Good luck to her and lets pray for a clear Monday.
    Michael(75)from Kingwood, WV

  19. Abby,
    I wish you all the best with this endeavor, stay calm and respect the Sea.Then the Sea will become your best friend...
    God Bless.

  20. Joni, Vero Beach, FlJanuary 16, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    For Hezakiah299
    These are the round-the-worlder's I'm following:
    Jessica Watson -
    Dilip Donde (in the Faulklands for repairs)
    Minoru Saito (In Punta Arenas, Chile for repairs)
    Abby North Only on Twitter - I don't have it - but The Georgia Straight says: "Abby North, West Van's very own sailing sensation has had a small mishap with her 22.9 meter trimaran and repairs may take several weeks."
    Abby Sunderland (Plans departure next week?)
    Laura Dekker (Approved to leave but has conditions to be met)
    Jeanne Socrates (in Cape Town, South Africa for repairs?)
    Ryan Langley (May have sponsor problems?)
    Joni, Vero Beach, Fl

  21. @RichieParis-----enjoyed researching Short Sunderland---thanks
    Your excitement level must be getting way up there. Waiting for the right weather is probably difficult. Patience is a virtue as they say. Looking forward to your departure and your updated blogs. You young brave women truly amaze me.

  22. @Steve in Califonia: Definitely up for a chat. Give me a shout at

    @All the Blog Readers: Our little world is likely to get a whole lot bigger the day after Abby takes off. As someone noted yesteday, Jessica Watson's Blog Comments shot past 1,000 on the day she rounded the Horn, and eve before then grew to 300 to 500 a day.

    NOTE: It took me a while to notice this on Jessica's blog, but they can't even fit all the comments into one thread. You have to click on the arrow at the bottom to go from one block of 200 comments to the next block of 200 comments.

    Jessica has captured the imagination of the world, as I'm sure Abby will when her voyage begins.

    It's wonderful to see that many people commenting on her voyage -- and those who sign names and locations show that her admirers are from all over the world.

    The downside is that (at least for me) there simply isn't the time to read through 500 comments a day.

    The day Abby sets sail I'll post (and I'm sure that RichieParis and Hezakiah and SaltyDog and other folks here who also follow Jessica will likely post) a message on Jessica's site saying that Abby has departed, and provide the URL to this site.

    Although I'll miss the enjoyable community we've had in the pre-departure days, I'm eager to see Abby's site get flooded with new followers, and I hope a whole bunch of them take the dive into commenting and letting Abby know how many are following her trip and cheering her on.

    Meanwhile I feel that this band of early followers managed to give Abby some tremendous going away gifts, and three big ones come to mind:

    1) Huge encouragement, including the nontechnical folks who simply said: "You go, girl!" as there is plenty of gift in cheering one on at the beginning of a solo journey around the world.

    2) Technical & Safety advice, of which there was a huge amount from a great number of people, and I'd think that at least some of this registered with the team in the form of adding items to the pre-departure list.

    3) A Dodger to protect Abby from the elements. Although there was never any indication from Abby or her team that the incessant calls for a dodger from this community had anything to do with it . . . I feel that in the absence of our push, Abby would have gone offshore without one. ;-)

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  23. Kath, Qld, AustraliaJanuary 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Hi Abby,
    Sounds like the perfect 'training' weather!
    Sure you've handled that weather before, but I'm guessing it's a great oportunity to test the boat before you set sail.
    Good luck brave girl.
    To Grant, another great post :).

  24. Kath, Qld, AustraliaJanuary 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    ...............oh, btw, to Grant, another great post! (tried to edit that into my last post but the message just posted 'itself') ???.

  25. Hi Abby, What does the dodger look like? do you have any photos?

    @Grant you have given a good affirmation of the events leading up to today of Abby's preparation, I as you believe the shore team have been following the input by the followers and although not acknowledging, I am sure they would have discussed many of the entries with Abby,(good or bad). this in its self must have given the whole team satisfaction knowing this type of support is already in place before Abby's departure.
    Brian Riley
    Hervey Bay. Queensland. Australia.

  26. Abby,

    Wouldn't a 4-day bash this close to home be the perfect Hudson expedition ? If something was wrong you'd be able to turn around and get it fixed and start over with the record still within reach.

    Good speed to you !


  27. Hi Abby,

    Just checking in to see what was going on, we understand about the weather pattern & eagerly await your start.

    Alos learning lots from fellow bloggers.

    All the best,

    The McGraths, Nowra NSW Australia

  28. Abby will never capture the public imagination like Jessica Watson. Watson has that certain "something", leadership skills, and personality. She just has a certain "star presence". My prediction is that Jessica will success, and Abby too, but people will remember Jessica because she's "rememberable"...just have a look at her website persona. TOTALLY different from Abby.

    Not bad, just the way it is.

  29. Fascinating - the first 30 comments all came out together and so no one was responding to anyone else's comments in there. How many times was the message 'use this window of heavy weather for a serious sea trial'. Of course all this is difficult in the last minute scrambles to get the boat ready, but it really could be the opportunity that makes the difference between continuing or not when the heavy weather hits

  30. Abby,

    I have to tell you that it was an absolute pleasure meeting you and your father today. What an inspiration you are to my 16 year old daughter. She's so happy to have had her picture taken with you.

    After following yours and Zac's blogs since the beginning, it was very surreal to finally see both boats at MDR.

    I stongly suggest anybody within driving distance do the same, it made for an amazing day.

    Good luck and best wishes to you and your amazing family.

    Camarillo, CA

  31. 01-17-10 @ 03:04
    Hi Abby,
    I think that's a very sensible thing that you're doing, let the weather come to you, you have time. Kudo's to your support team as they have done a remarkable job for you. And we can't forget you, you have been very busy learning, watching and working when and where applicable. You know what you have done,(I can't picture your Dad letting you stand by just looking pretty) LOL...., so don't let any of the naysayer’s (since there is a lady present) get under your skin, just ignore them. Yes??? Yes!!!
    I'm proud to know you, and I intend to follow you and see you home safely.

    For Joni, Vero Beach,Fla.
    Thanks for the feed back, I had some of them but not all, some, I hadn't even heard of, Thank you.
    For RichieParis,Jan and jwb777 Weather conditions very important. Yes!!!
    For SaltyDog You betcha, to many doubters.
    For Grant very good post, I enjoyed that.
    For Brian I'm sure they discussed all constructive comments, what they used is another story. (pick o' the litter)LOL....

    Abby, get plenty of rest and pick a good day.
    Take care and be safe.
    Good luck to you Abby, and may God bless and guide you.
    Michael(75)from Kingwood, WV

  32. Abby,, May be a little one sided,,been that your lovely yacht was designed and built in the land down under,,it is and has already been around the world ,,very capable of all (There is no such thing) of all conditions,,it will serve you very well,,when you depart,,,GO ,GO,GO,But see
    you safe home

  33. Abby,

    Wishing you good sailing and preparations this week.

    During this intermission for your reading pleasure.

    Here is a great link about 24yo Lia Ditton's Atlantic crossing. Women sailors rock!

  34. My son and I would like to be at the Marina when you depart on your epic journey. We do appreciate your updates on your departure. We would hate to miss you leaving.

  35. @anonymous-------"star presence" comparison of the two young sailors. Having never met either one and being just a blog follower, I think their personalities both show a long list of excellent traits. (And they are both good looking) One difference I see is even though ~Wild Eyes~ is a beautiful boat, Jessica's ~Ella's Pink Lady~ being bright pink shouts "girl sailor" and that has caught the public's attention.

  36. Bob,

    I should have added that my impression of Abby and Jessica was merely based on their web presences --Jessica simply comes across as the more accomplished sailor, adventurer. She seems guileless, girlish --but also incredibly determined and skilled.

    Of course, these journeys are very personal journeys of individuals, and that's how and why they're most important (to the respective sailors). But there is also, of course, a public side to the journeys, that of the record attempts. And, linked to that public side of the journeys, is(like it or not) the personas of the sailors. Jessica has "caught" many peoples' attention --probably easier since she's from Australia where sailing is much, much bigger than in the US. But, to my eyes at least, it also has to do with her spirit, at least how she comes across in her blog entries and videos she's posted. I just mention this as my impression.

    If Abby succeeds in her endeavor and becomes the youngest to comlete a nonstop solo unassisted circumnavigation, I wonder how this will translate into success for her on the public stage as a record-setter, as compared to Jessica, who seems much more a public persona, a public figure in the sailing world.

    Just a few random observations...not to detract from Abby's campaign at all. The girl has huge huge guts and determination, more than almost anybody, quite frankly.

    Basically, it's just that some athletes have "star appeal" while others, as talented and skilled athletically, don't have it. I wonder if Abby will be able to capture the public's imagination as Jessica Watson has, at a very grassroots level.

    Separately, I suspect that Watson's "success" has to do with appearing as a major underdog --she collided with a ship immediately after departing last fall, and was immediatley denounced as a failure --but then set off again much to everyone's shock, and has, of course, since rounded Cape Horn. In short, Jessica has a "story", which has given her voyage real flavor.

    In the end, let's wish both Abby and Jessica success and safety, since at the end of the day these are intensely personal journeys, and each of these two people is accountable only to herself in the end. That's the real and true value of these voyages --intense self-discovery and growth (on a monster scale that extremely few people ever get a chance to experience in their lives).

  37. This may be a stupid question, but do you have enough stove fuel? I'm seeing 25 gallons of tankage and stoves typically using a gallon or so a day, so that's 25 days of heat.

  38. Thank you Team Abby for the update.

    Well Abby, I like the idea of a water-tight cabin and other compartments; somehow it makes me feel a little better knowing this (me not being a sailor). I think you're incredibly brave going out there into - not exactly the unknown - but certainly a challenging place and your departure date is coming quickly. Quiet excitement building all round.
    Sunshine Coast, Qld. Aus.

  39. Everyone, please reflect on this for a moment, (the opinion of legendary solo circumnavigator W. Chiles from the other day, his journal at entry "Evanstson: degrees of solitude, January 14 2010"

    "This morning I read in the Sydney Morning Herald of the girl who is attempting to be the youngest to sail solo around the world. She has just passed Cape Horn.

    "The article quoted her manager. Manager? After all these years, I find out that you need a manager to sail alone around the world.

    "I wonder if the girl with a manager would have sailed if no one else ever knew?"

    Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that solo sailing has been sullied by crass commercialism and publicity. That the only truly authentic solo sailors are those who complete their task and then speak publicly about it; or, better, those who never speak publicly about it, content in having simply completed the journey they set out to complete.

    Marcus Booth

  40. @anonymous-------You make some good points and I agree with you on Jesse's collision with the cargo ship and the resulting debate on whether she was capable of the voyage made her well known in Australia. I doubt Abby wishes the same for herself as she would lose her time slot on the record attempt let alone scratching beautiful ~Wild Eyes~. Laura Dekker is more famous than either of our two young stars making international news for her unannounced flight to Saint Martin. Therefore if and when she departs on her own record attempt, she will already have a world following.

    Which brings up the point of fame or "success on the public stage". In my opinion Jessica comes across more determined to succeed, single focused, and Abby come off a little more like a school girl having the time of her life. But do they equally want fame and recognition? They are different people so of course the answer is "no". Abby only has one video out so far. As she departs there will be others and we will get to know her better.

    Only Abby knows who she is and what she wants.

  41. @Bob from Seattle and Anonymous, about the two sailor girls:
    Maybe it is too early to compare these young ladies, as one is almost half way and the other is still on the starting line?
    I would say that both have certainly sailing skills, or their families woudn't let them go (and now, Jessica has proven them).
    Obviously, the blogging talent of Jessica is a wonder (details told, style, humour). Let Abby show what she can do on the way...
    I am sure both have strong personalities (or they wouldn't be there).
    Jessica has a huge charisma... Abby? We shall see, who knows?
    I don't agree with your suggestion, Bob, about the pink colour shouting "girl" and catching public attention; the boat turned pink very lately, and it was a risky colour, shouting "Barbie doll"; I think the atention would have been the same with a yellow, green or zebra striped boat.
    Well, we should let the sailors sail and watch how they manage their sport challenge and their media challenge. Both are courageous, both are great sailors, both are beautiful girls. The rest is litterature. The oceans, the blogs and the medias will tell us the end of the story.

  42. @Marcus Booth: Webb Chiles is an original. Easy to understand why he would shake his head at the idea of managers, pr firms, and taking off in a boat called "Shoe City" or Ella's whatever the product is.

    Webb Chiles was the first American to circumnavigate via Cape Horn (Joshua Slocum did it via Magellan Strait) and he did this in the 1970s.

    Would advise anyone interested in a passionate telling of a circumnavigation story to go to Webb Chiles' Web site at:

    The first thing you'll see is his personal philosophy statement: "A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."

    Once there, click on "books"

    Then click on STORM_PASSAGE.pdf: Alone Around Cape Horn, Times Books, 1977.

    And then . . . settle back and get ready for a real adventure. The entire book is right there online for you to enjoy. What a crazy, passionate, sailor!

    He refused to have any navigational equipment beyond a sextant and compass. No electrics of any kind. Not even electric running lights or cabin lights. Everything was by kerosene lamps.

    And . . . no engine! This nearly cost him his boat and perhaps his life when the wind died as he was departing an island surrounded by coaral reefs.

    And no lifelines.

    Read as he bails his boat practically nonstop during a cyclone. The adventures just go on and on and on. He's a real poet, and one heck of a sailor.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  43. @Marcus Booth...
    Hey Sir, I understand your reaction! But today, such a journey costs a lot. So anyone wanting to go for it, has to raise funds, to have a yacht, sails and riggs, radio, phones, radars, weather forecasting, food etc etc... either being quite wealthy, or finding sponsors. There comes the need for a manager, especially when you are a teenager.

    Mr Chiles, as legendary as he can be, has to be updated. I suppose that when he used to sail, decades ago, the costs were less, he was no more in his teens, and had some money. This is the Internet century. He is a XXth century man, a great one, but as Slocum or Magellan were. I understand him, but he doesn't seem to understand that the world has changed, and I deeply regret the tone of his declaration. Misunderstanding I hope, but jealousy (towards youth? or because he stopped twice?) I fear, because it wouldn't make that great navigator greater.
    Well, as he is almost 70, he should be allowed some grumpiness.

    I would like to say that these young sailors even deserve more admiration, as they fight to get an approval, fight to find support and sponsors, and throw themselves in a hard and dangerous adventure... in a period of almost all the young people are glued on their computer seats and have a comfortable life.
    It was very probably easier to go sailing in the seventies, aged 30-something. (I am not saying Webb Chiles was not a great navigator!!! Just that he could do it without sponsors).

    I hope I shall not have made too many people angry at me...
    But I don't like unfair statements.
    Miss Watson and Miss Sunderland certainly didn't deserve that.

  44. @Grant... Thank you for explaining!
    It's just not the same category of people.
    I see he was actually an extraordinary guy, then.

  45. Bonjour Abby,

    Waiting for sometime late next week.

    Good sea trials until your departure!

  46. 01-17-10 @ 21:48
    Hi Abby,
    Well, the time is drawing near, I hope you are well rested and everything stowed away securely. As per P/W it looks like a mild week ahead of you(I’m neither a meteorologist nor a navigator, just an observer).
    Any last minute decisions?

    I’m just curious, Jessica is a girl, so what’s more appropriate than pink? Would it have been better for her to come out with a boat painted camouflage? LOL….. I think not.
    According to some professional sailors, blue, green and white are not good colors for the open ocean. Not easily seen.

    Is it my imagination or is there some unnecessary nit-picking going on????
    I’m not a feminist, but (in some cases) I see a lot of macho B/S between the lines.
    Kinda reminds of little kids fighting, the parents come out to settle it and wind up in a fight, and the little kids are on the other side of the yard playing and having a good time. LOL…..
    Yes Richie, you said it all very well, nice post.

    OK Abby, we’re just waiting for you to hit the water.
    God Bless you, take care and be safe.
    Good luck to you Abby, and may God bless and guide you.
    Michael(75)from Kingwood, WV

  47. Dear Abby,
    Sorry for this comment,
    but I am tired of people
    sitting at your dinner table
    (your blog) making sarcastic
    comments behind your back
    as the food (your boat and voyage
    stories) is being served!
    Mike Perham's Dad cut comments
    off when they became a little
    too presumptuous or critical.

  48. @ Marcus Booth:

    Yes it is true, perhaps, that these two young women have shaped their environment differently than Webb Chiles did. That this makes them not "true" solo sailors I unreservedly dispute -different times and different circumstances make for different strategies, certainly.

    What is certainly true of these two young women, one of whom I know personally, is that they are living their lives true to the personal philosophy statement of Webb Chiles:
    "Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway"


  49. Commerical Sailing;
    All early sailing was commercial; "Hobby" and/or "Sport" sailing is a modern thing.

    Commercial Sailing dates back before Christ (BC)

    The "Pilgrims" was part religion and part commercial.

    Jamestown Settlement was all commercial.

    Columbus was 100 percent Commercial Sailing as was Magellan.

    Early Sailing in the Mediterranean was all Commercial.

    Today's Buses, taxis, subways have ads.

    Olympic Sports is made possible with ads.

    the internet is possible with ads; no ads no internet.

    Pro-sport stars will ugly looking sportswear "just for the money."

    The first flight by the Wright brothers was a commercial flight; paid by the US Government.

    the first man walk on the moon was a commercial event.

    There have been individuals before Jessica and Abby,

    I have in the past said thank you to the sponsors of Jessica and Abby.

    Again thanks to Jessica and Abby's Sponsors.

  50. Abby -- Godspeed! May He go before you like your foreguard, and come behind you like your rear guard!

  51. Hi Abby,
    It looks like your departure is going to coincide with the next space shuttle at this rate!
    Oh well, by the looks of things February won't be too bad.
    That boat of yours will certainly make up for any lost time. They go like space shuttles on water so i hope you'll be reaching all the way.

    ♣Grant Fjermedal, Seattle, thanks for your time and effort on this blog. I've learnt heaps.
    I'm glad Abby has the dodger so she can get a good look as she carves up the ocean.
    ☺☺☺ Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  52. Hi Abby!
    Just wanted to let you know that we all prayed for you tonight. We plan to pray for you each week as we keep up with you on your blog. We prayed that you will be able to use these "extra" days to do all you need to do. We pray for patience as you wait for God to show you the perfect time to depart. We love you and we are very excited about your new adventure!
    All of us at Sunday Night Bible Study

  53. Best of luck Abby

    To be honest, your preparation feels all a bit rushed and undercooked just to be the youngest. But I presume you have done all of the appropriate technical courses, ocean training and gym work to keep you as safe and sound as you can be.

    Maybe a conversation with Jesse (not Jessica) may be worthwhile to get a feel for what you are really in for. As we are all aware, non-stop and unassisted is a completely different 'kettle of fish' than going port to port.

    I wish you more than the very best of luck. I really do! But please don't rush your preparations. It's just not worth it.

    Bon voyage!!!!

    Bruce from Brisvegas

    PS. Allways carry a PBL on your person no matter how in the middle of nowhere you think you are! They save lifes!


    I have been following Jessica since the start of her voyage and will continue until she arrives home.

    I am looking forward to following Abby also snd wish her all the best.

    Lynne (Picton, NZ)

  55. Abby's said many times early on well before even finding a boat, that if she could she'd be doing this without anyone knowing. Not interested in publicity, records, or media. However money doesn't grow on trees. If your daddy isn't Lawrence Joseph "Larry" Ellison who can cut a cheque for a brand new custom racer for your daugther's dreams, you got to make some noise. Maybe even paint your boat pink ;-)

  56. Marcus Booth,
    Re: Chiles comment. All circumnavigations are as different as the people doing them. Jessica was going to go, prepared or not. Using her social skills and personality she drew in the people around her ,(including her parents), created a team, and attracted sponsors to accomplish her endeavor. This was a brilliant move allowing her to have topnotch equipment and support. She is very smart. The depth of character she displayed in holding her head high after the "Yang" incident, and going forward under intense criticism is what put me in her corner.
    Chiles comes from another place, that of the social isolate that takes on the world by himself. There are people out there right now circumnavigating that we don't know about. There are also people that have accomplished incredible sailing feats that will remain unknown.
    One method is not superior to the other, but different. It also makes a difference whether one is sailing to obtain a dream, or to achieve fame as the primary objective.

    Richard W

    PS I thought this blog was about Abby!

  57. I hope I misunderstood Marcus Booth's comment January 17, 2010. 2:59PM. My ire isn't raised often and I apologize in advance if I am making a wrong conclusion here. Since I admire the bravery and courage of all those who set out to sail solo around the world I am offended that one would even hint that our current crop of solo sailors are less significant due to today's technology. Mr. Booth states: "Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that solo sailing has been sullied by crass commercialism and publicity. That the only truly authentic solo sailors are those who complete their task and then....[or] never speak....."

    By way of response, I submit to you --in 2010 the only truly authentic solo sailors are those who get out there and get the job done!

    I think there are few people on earth who would take the risks associated with solo, non-stop, un-assisted round-the-world sailing for the show of it or just to make a buck!

    Over 6 billion of us are not able to go solo, or otherwise, on such a trip. Most of us on this planet are not bred to be adventurers but we love supporting others in their efforts. I for one, appreciate every instrument of technology that allows me to vicariously go along, not to mention the tech that provides the most safety available for the actual sailor. ...Sailors, I am with you all the way. And by the way, you are all 'authentic sailors' in my book!

    Go Abby! Go Jessica! Go all the others who are in mid-voyage or are preparing for their journeys!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

    Sorry to have had the need to 'vent'. From now on I shall ONLY be using this venue for the encouragement and support of Abby!

  58. In regards to sponsors, sailing has certainly become more expensive, especially with all of the electronics.

    The name of the boat Mike Perham sailed around the world kind of sums it up: ""

  59. Hi Abby - hope all is going well.

    @posters above talking about Abby North - I think we're all waiting to hear if this is a hoax or not. Can anybody quote the issue, date and page of the Georgia Straight article? I can't find it anywhere in my printed versions, or on their online edition either. As far as I can find out, there is also nobody called "Simon Jennings" working as a reporter on that paper... All very suspicious, along with the name itself, the "Abby" of the "North"... :) Sounds like someone's idea of a spoof to me. No record of an Abby North in sailing results from Vancouver over the last few years either...
    Would love to be proved wrong, of course...

  60. May God Bless you! I followed Zac's trip and look forward to your amazing journey. Leo (Ky.)

  61. To RicheParis (Jan 17-6.17pm)
    Thank you for such a great entry, We agree completely with your comments.

    Cheers from Faye and Max (Mulgrave Vic Aus)

  62. Bob at Seattle said, "Only Abby knows who she is and what she wants".
    Go Abby Go!
    Ron, Ontario, Canada

  63. Hello Abby, Family, Friends and Support Team, nice to “meet” you and the best of luck to you all.
    Firstly we will say that we are Proud Aussies and “Jessaholics”, and have been totally fascinated by following Jesse’s amazing journey and we get a real buzz from her highlights, but that certainly won’t stop us from following Abby’s voyage. What is really disappointing though, is the amount of unkind and completely unnecessary comments posted on Abby’s Blog by people, often anonymously. Now we don’t know Abby, as we didn’t know Jesse before she started, or their sailing ability, mental toughness, preparation etc, but we do accept the decision of their parents and support crew that these girls are ready and capable of such a journey. This is no walk in the park, but a full on, world record breaking event that each girl has committed to undertake. We won’t get into a Jesse V Abby debate, these are two individual and very brave teenagers fulfilling their dream, and there is no need for comparison.
    The world has warmed to Jesse because she has responded so well to her “Adoptive Family”, she writes beautifully and we feel that she is including us all with her blogs. Her description of the rounding of Cape Horn was so emotional that it made us feel like we were there with her. We like to know all the smallest details and enjoy stories like dolphins, albatross, starry skies etc. We know if we don’t have an entry for a few days, then things are tough at the moment, and we will hear about when things settle down. So if Abby shows the same responds, then she will have a great following.
    So let’s all get behind Abby and send her only good vibes !! Good Luck Abby.
    Cheers from Faye and Max (Mulgrave, Vic, Aus)

  64. Bon Voyage from your fans in Coronado, CA. We wish you luck and good sailing and will be following your progress. Glad you waited for this storm to pass. Vince, Coronado, CA

  65. Faye and Max,
    I agree completely!
    You Anonymous people cutting one girl down or the other, talking about your hoax theories, or picking Abby's boat or plans apart, go to some other blog! Let's support our girls not pit them against each other! Please don't come back!
    Faye Darnell - Boston

  66. Here's some positive news from Ryan Langley!
    New Website 01/18/2010
    At long last, we've made a new site, which will be up and running in a few days. A lot is happening, and as promised, the big announcement will be made soon! Check back in really soon.
    Comment at:
    Cynthia Jacobs

  67. Re: Abby North - I too can still find nothing on the Net itself. I called the Racing Editor at Latitude 38 - the sailing rag from the SF Bay area. Its "local" but known world wide and covers a lot of ground; he knew nothing of Abby North. Someone stated that the main'sl had a large "North" on it...I searched North Sails site to see if perhaps they were one of the sponsors ...but found nothing.

    One susequent google search DID return a Twitter page for Abby North but I went no further than that page that asked me to sign up.

    In my day a Twit was not someone you wanted to get too close to.

    Steve in California

  68. It's a good thing Abby delayed her trip. One of the headlines on CNN.Com today is about the major storm bashing California, including the Los Angeles area where rain falling at inches per hour is causing mudslides. Further north, have been reports of gusts up to 85 miles per hour. If the wind remained at that height it would be a hurricane.

    Abby may have the rest of the week to prepare for the voyage, as the prediction is for one storm after another to roll through this week, with some of the strongest winds for LA coming toward the end of the week.

    @Magpie: Thanks for the kind words, and yep, that dodger should be a real plus. You simply couldn't pack enough dry clothes without one.

    About sponsors and such: Many good comments about the expense of such a venture today. It takes sponsors to outfit a boat -- especially if you're still a kid.

    I do encourage folks to read the books Webb Chiles wrote about his solo voyages if they would like a taste of the sea. After circumnavigating in his brand new (but horridly constructed) Ericson, which leaked from the rudder post and keel from day 1 and only got worse, he did a Pacific Ocean crossing in a small open boat. No cabin. And after he was swamped by a rogue wave a few days into his trip, nothing was dry, not even his nautical almanac.

    Something I've said over and again, is that Jessica and Abby are far braver than I am. The ocean can be a scary place -- day or night. It can also be a magnificently beautiful place. I've seen my shadow beneath a full moon while sailing in the Trade Winds en route to Hawaii. And any sailor will tell you that the best part of a storm is being able to talk about it after the fact. Come to think of it, maybe it would be nice to get back out there -- but I just don't see doing it alone. So hats off to those who go out there on their own. May they find whatever it is they seek.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  69. Marcus Booth,
    I was so P.O.ed at the dig on Jesse Watson made by someone who should show some respect to anyone who has sailed around Cape Horn, having sailed around it themself, that I forgot to say how hard Jesse trained for her voyage, and what a great sailor she is. I'm sure Abby comes from a similar place, coming from a special sailing family. As someone said, they haven't been playing with Barbie dolls all these years! Go Jesse! Go Abby!

    Richard W

  70. Abby,--------I want to apologize for my part in the comparison issue. I started out defending you but took it too far. The point I wanted to make is no two people are the same in terms of their desires or goals. It's a personal issue which can't be second guessed.

    For my own chastisement, I'm not going to mention J.W. again on your blog.


  71. 01-19-10 @ 00:41
    Hi Abby,
    Just hoping you get some good weather so you can go sailing. It was such a struggle to get to this point only to be slowed down by the lack of wind. Bummer!!! P/W looks like the weather might be in your favor on Wednesday, Thursday and the rest of the week. Hope you’ll be able to take advantage of it.
    Hang tough young lady, you’ll be out there soon enough.…..Yeah I know, just not soon enough for you. LOL….

    Hope you haven’t worn a path to your boat making last minute checks. If that was me I’d be sleeping on the boat.

    For Faye and Max: Welcome aboard, I saw your posts on Jessica’s blog and enjoyed reading them.
    I have to agree with you when you say we can’t have a Jessica Vs Abby situation, because there are no losers in this game.
    I give both girls a lot of credit for taking on this challenge and always wish them both the best of luck. There both fine role models, and I hope more people inherit some of their fine traits.

    Well Abby, I hope the weather turns in your favor and you can start doing some serious sailing. Yes??? Yes!!!
    God Bless you, take care and be safe.
    Good luck to you Abby, and may God bless and guide you.
    Michael(75)from Kingwood, WV

  72. I am wishing Abby goodluck on her journey and hope that she leaves sooner than later. She is a very brave girl to leave this late but that boat is built for big oceans. Jessica was very lucky to get around the Cape without a big storm. Abby will not be so lucky when she reaches OZ. 30 metre waves can be found in May/June south of OZ so she would want to get a hurry on. Jessica has been in those conditions sailing to NZ and back (With a crew). I hope that Abby has similar experience because she will need it.

    All the best Abby, I will be supporting you.

    Mark - Gold Coast, AUS

  73. Abby,

    A task that is rushed will end up nowhere. The departure time will be up to you. Just lets us know when? so my family can be at MDR to wish you well. We will pray for you that you will be back safely.

  74. Hi Abby,

    Just a quick post to wish you well with your final preparations.

    Looking forward to supporting you throughout your journey.

    Warmest wishes. Jan (Auckland, New Zealand)

  75. Blue water sailors, especially those who set their sights on sailing around the world alone, approach the venture with as diverse a mind set as you can imagine. As one blogger pointed out, many accomplish the feat and only talk about it over beer with their friends, others race in the full light of the media circus.

    The effect of the constant pressure of such an undertaking has produced some very interesting results, usually unexpected...sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic. Many people have heard the name Robin Knox Johnston. His initial claim to fame came holding the record as the first solo non-stop circumnavigation during the first Golden Globe Race from England in 1968.

    Of the ten or so starters, only three contestants remained in the final weeks of the race; Knox Johnston, Bernard Moitessier and Donald Crowhurst. All three sailors responded to the conditions they faced in very different ways. Knox Johnston finished first; he lost his self steering off Australia before rounding Cape Horn.

    Bernard Moitessier, having completed his passage 'round Cape Horn, did not turn north for England and the finish, but decided to continue east and sail to Tahiti instead.

    Meanwhile, by all accounts, Donald Crowhurst had never left the Mid Atlantic on his initial leg south from England but altered his ship's log to make it appear he was completing his voyage and then disappeared, the victim of an apparent suicide in the face of the media light to be shined on his attempts to fake the attempt. His boat was later found, intact, floating off Brazil.

    Point? Sailors go to sea for any number of reasons, some deeply personal, some for the pure adventure, yes and even some for the media glitz. The circumnavigation attempt itself is prone to have an intense effect on the original intention and I think it honest to suggest that not only is Abby the only one who really knows what she is up to, but even she won't really know that until she's deep into her attempt.

    (For the record: My reading of the blog questions regarding "Abby North" and a possible hoax, have nothing to do with Ms Sunderland. It does seem odd that none of the bloggers who posted info on that attempt have not posted a follow up to clarify how we might find more info.)

    Steve in California

  76. Abby,-------You haven't mentioned fishing and I've no idea whether you are a fisherwoman at heart. Now I'm sure not every 16 year old girl relishes the prospect of gutting fish (much easier to pour boiling water into a bag of Thai chicken, right?) but remember, fish oil is the latest health craze and is apparently very good for you. Take two 1000 mg softgels daily myself. Anyway Saltydog or others could advise you better than me but I did find this on the internet this morning and I'll pass it along to you.

    "Now, here's the important part, you need to tie a snubber into the line. A snubber is a rubber piece about 18 inches long. When the fish bites, it will absorb the shock to keep the lure from ripping out of its mouth. Keep the lure in the whitewater part of the wake."

    Good luck and I'll be looking forward to the first fish video.

  77. @Steve in California------------There has been an update about Abby North from Vancouver, B.C. Someone was there visiting, searched the marinas and found her trimaran showing significant damage.

  78. Doesn't look like a great time to be heading south --Latitude 38 sailing magazine yesterday, January 18 ( reported on the extreme weather hitting the California-Mexico coast recently. It quotes an unattributed meteorological report that apparently has been circulating, which reads in part, "Multiple powerful and large storm systems are expected to slam into California from the west and northwest over the coming two weeks, all riding this extremely powerful jet stream directly into the state." High winds, flooding, etc. will likely result.

    I'm sure Abby's team knows about all this! I'm just posting it here for anyone else interested. Apparently, there is an unusual combination of circumstances that is creating this extreme weather, which might extend from Oregon to Mexico over the next two weeks.

  79. @Bob from Seattle and Steve in California: or a trimaran supposed to be hers... but no official confirmation yet from that side either.

  80. good luck from Harrisburg PA

  81. ken in ocean springs,mississippiJanuary 27, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    a journey of a life time at 16 years have a great adventurious spirit, we hope for a safe trip and calm weather for you abby... god speed.......