Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Furious 50s

I have just left the roaring 40s and entered the furious 50s! Of course, I have about 7 knots tops right now but I am sailing along at about 6kts. Not all that furious... but I've still got a ways to go so I wont start getting impatient about all this calm weather yet. Its a bit uncomfortable out here at the moment. I'm going pretty slow and we have 15ft swells right on the beam, rolling around like this makes every thing hard to do.

On a happier note, the sun came out for the first time in about a week! I like rain and weather like that, but being from California, I need a break from it every now and then! It got cloudy again in the afternoon, but it was nice to see even if it was only for a few hours.

I saw a ship last night!! Well, I didn't actually see it. Just on my AIS as it was a hundred miles away - a little far to see. But it's the first ship or boat of any kind to show up on any of my equipment in about a month. It may have been just a ship and pretty far away, but its nice to know that I'm not the only one out here!!

There is another solo circumnavigator out here, about 1,200 miles from me, Alessandro Di Benedetto. I heard about him through the comments on my blog, and since then have been in contact through email. Its neat to think that someone else is out there doing the same thing as you, and so close! He's trying to break the record for the smallest boat to sail around the world. I don't know too many of the details, I just know its a 20ft boat, and that is really small!

I should get some wind tomorrow with the next front that passes through. Frequent fronts on the horizon for the next while.



  1. As far as that other solo circumnavigator do u think that boat is too small? that he may run into some problems? too bad he's so far from ya... might be neat to be able to talk to someone and see how they're doing.... Sounds like u are definitely in your groove....

  2. Good Morning Abby,
    You mentioned others out there like yourself, have you had any contact with Jessica Watson from "Down Under"? I understand she is a couple of months older than you, and left on her trip several months before you. Hope all is well with you. Like many others, I'm asking God to keep watch on you. Norm :-)

  3. It must be like having next door neighbours to have a ship so close by you. Alessandro's boat it tiny! I hope his dream comes true too.
    Sunshine and daffodils are entering the scene here in the English Lakes.
    Keep clipped on at all costs. Fair winds are wished for the rest of your journey.
    God bless you.
    Jeanie In The Lakes

  4. This is really amazing. I just stumbled across your blog and I am so glad I did. Good Luck!

  5. I think you are quite daring and brave. And I like how you are pursuing your dream. =)

  6. Good day Skipper, as usual thanks for another entry. Glad to hear you are enjoying all those waves, this starting to make me sea sick just reading your blogs. Keep it up, sail safe and dry.
    Wish you fair winds and following seas.

    Old salty USN(Ret)

  7. Hi Abby,

    Am away from home and just found a moment to catch up on your last few blogs. Sounds like you had some excitement in the wee morning hours....things that "go bump in the night" can be quite surprising! Please do continue to take good care of yourself and WE. You're a team on a mission and I am confident with your skillful sailing you will accomplish it!

    Stay alert, sail smart, sail safe!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  8. Abby,

    F.Y.I- Alessandro Di Benedetto's current position is 2010/03/21 21:00:00 lat. 41° 35' 56"S long. 120° 38' 56"W. He is behind you heading to Cape Horn. His website is http://www.alessandrodibenedetto.net/.

    Best Wishes,


    P.S. GO ABBY GO!!!

  9. Abby,

    Its been awhile since i've wished you well here. But as you know there is not a day when we don't think of you.

    The things that you are facing, as well as the adventures you experience and the lessons you will learn are all a part of the big picture. They will prepare you for all the wonderful things to come in your life. Stay stong, centered, and determined.

    As you have heard before, we believe in you. Great boat, brave girl, beautiful heart. You will succeed.

    We dedicate some great Bossa Nova to you and Wild Eyes. And always the beautiful spirit of Brasil.

    We are always with you.


  10. Dear Abby,

    Not having any experience in the field, I'm about to start Bernard Moitessier's 'The Long Way Round' about his solo circumnavigating; I came across your blog this morning entirely coincidentally. I will send joyous quotes regarding his strange maritime becoming in due course.

    In the meantime I wish you godspeed! We think of you.

    Journey well,


  11. Abby, getting crouded out there! We hope you have good seas through the Drake Passage. Good luck!

    Don and Doris, Landlocked Adventurers in Livonia, Michigan, USA

  12. Hi Babsy,
    good to hear that your equipment detected another life form out there!
    Keep up them dodgers,
    Jony the Pony

  13. Are you following Jessica Watsons solo to be youngest which if you suceed then she would only hold the title for a short while. Good Luck. I live in Seattle but came from Marina Del Rey 18 years ago.


  14. 20ft, that is small! Keep on towards the cape!

  15. Good Morning Captain,

    A little "California dreaming" going on Abby?...I can imagine the sun was very welcomed yesterday. I hope the "rolling around" settles out for you.
    Thanks for the reminder about 39 year old Alessandro's adventure. His 20 foot boat "Findomestic Banca" looks very compact...too claustrophobic for me. I read in his blog that he had a capsize on Jan. 26/10 3 months after his departure. Like you he is now counting down the miles to the cape. I also sent him an email (look in the "contact" section of his website).
    Good luck in the furious 50s brave Abby. Later,
    john, Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

  16. Hi Abby, I used to sail a 22 foot sailboat that handled well but you couldn’t pack much into it. Your navigation station would fill the whole thing. I would not want to see 20 foot swells in a 20 foot boat, no thank you. Right now I know of 4 solo circumnavigators, You (my favorite), Jessica Watson (youngest for a few months until Abby arrives), Alessandro (smallest boat) and Dilip Donde (First Indian,). There could be others but I only know of these.
    Well Abby 6 more degrees south and then a port tack then sail around the world and your done. You be careful. TonyF - Sailing the safe waters of the Chesapeake bay.

  17. Hey Roski...happy to help! I'm impressed you kept up.

    @Anonymous March 22 @ 9:42 - It's the "weather gauge" you want...staying upwind gives you to option to engage, or sail away. Down to leeward you are a sitting duck...or is that canard?

    Go Abby...

    Steve in California

  18. I've finally had an hour to catch up with your posts Captain & am pleased you are doing well. Our sailing season has started in Virginia and your trip, bravery & that of Jessica's is often discussed. I was not aware of the Di Benedetto's project in a 20 footer ..but look forward to checking out the web site posted earlier. Keep on keeping on Abby. Wising you fair winds & following seas always.

  19. It is not sunny for me today, but at least it is not raining. The weather is very important to the way we feel. Only few lucky people are not affected by it. I miss the sunshine in winter and my way of managing is by getting some work in travel industry!

  20. 03-23-10 @ 13:07
    Hi Abby,
    If I’m not mistaken when you entered the roaring 40s things were pretty dull for you, and then you had the St. Paddy’s Day Gale…yes??? So be patient and you shall have your ‘fun’…lol…
    Just be extra cautious when you’re trying to work topside and she’s just rolling around. I imagine there’s no sure footing under those conditions.
    Yeah, California girls love their sunny time, and it shows, but I’m glad you got some sun even if it was only for a short period of time. It can be invigorating to feel the warmth of the sun and to even see more clearly, away from the haze and mist.
    Well Abby, keep up the good work and make sure everything is battened down and ready for the worst, always prepared, that’s you!!!!
    Take good care of yourself and the crew.
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  21. I'm so glad you are blogging about your trip! I love reading your posts!

  22. Hi Captain Abby, It's getting crowded
    out there. First a ship and now a
    solo sailer.Glad you had a taste of
    the sun. There will be more of it
    after you round the cape and head
    up towards the Cape of Good Hope.
    Obviously,there's a lot of sailing
    to do before you get that California
    like weather.
    Be Safe! Stay Happy! Blast Some Tunes!

  23. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Furious 50s and closer to Cape Horn and as cool as a ever! :-)

    Alessandro Di Benedetto as quite a track record.

    Stay warm & dry, Take care, Be safe.

    @Steve in California:

    Lost me there. Are you referring to the Common Loon, the Loonie or...? :-)

  24. Abby,

    There's also Jessica Watson, 16, a month or so away from Sydney who will be the youngest circumnavigator but will only hold that record for 5 months or so when you will take it, your being 5 months younger than her. Are you in touch with her?

    Good Luck

  25. Enjoy this calm and sunny moment... Tether or lock everything... Don't forget your homework! (joking).
    The twenty coming days might be agitated, but we know you are ready.
    Take care and keep vigilant, Miss Abby! Fair Furious Sailing!

  26. Thanks Abby.
    Smooth sailing.
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  27. Bud and Charla WinnettMarch 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Hi Abby... Glad you got a break and had some sun. I am with you on that score, since we are former Californians. Can put up with the storms as long as we get a bit of sun once in awhile.
    Soon to around the Horn and then heading toward Australia. What an adventure. What a girl!!!
    Luv Ya God Bless you are watch over you.
    Blue Skies & Friendly Winds
    Bud & Charla Winnett

  28. There are more and more similarities between you and Jessica showing up. She also got contact with another solo circumnavigator before Cape Horn, Dilip Donde. The difference his boat is faster than Jessica’s, almost like yours, so he overtook her (and then stopped for repair). Alessandro’s is slower so you will never be close.

    Further solo circumnavigators are:
    *Bernt Lüchtenborg from Germany(http://www.sail2horizons.com
    in German only) going two laps around the world, now starting the second, at Canary Islands. Had various troubles, like abandon the boat and manage to get and fix it.
    *Jeanne Socrates from UK (http://www.svnereida.com/), female, now in the Indian Ocean, had a long unplanned repair stop in Cape Town.
    *Minoru Saito from Japan (http://saito8.blogspot.com), in Chile for repair since October.

    Plus the mentioned:
    *Dilip Donde from India (http://sagarparikrama.blogspot.com) planned stop in Cape Town, doing well, soon home. Several planned stops where repair was needed.
    *Alessandro Di Benedetto from Italy (http://www.alessandrodibenedetto.net/) nonstop in a small boat. Doing OK.
    Plus the two greatest, most successful:
    *Jessica Watson from Australia, non-stop, no big problem, repairing various stuff herself. Arriving early May, big media attention.
    *Abby Sunderland from USA, equally great, non-stop, no problems, going to do fine.

    Abby, take care, check everything, do the dishes.

    Ben Larsson, Sweden

  29. Hi,
    I ran across your story somewhere (MSN?) and find it fascinating. I check your progress periodically. You are very brave. Hang in there and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. I pray for your safety.

  30. Hey Abby-
    Just like when Zac was udnerway, I start my day by checking your blog. WOW! Allesandro is in a tiny boat!! Fair Winds, Abby.
    Kodiak mike

  31. @ 45 N 73 W aka MTL - I would have thought that living just down the road from Mont-Royal you'd catch the French for duck...I was goofing off the idea (from the Anonymous poster who started the idea) that if "Boney's" ships were to leeward they'd be sitting ducks.

    Ah, Loonie's and Twonie's ....reminds me of pleasant summer days on the other side of your great country...Vancouver. Gotta get back there soon.

    Steve in California

  32. Hi Abby, I've been fallowing progress since i heard about you in late january,its awsome to see you goin after your dream, and it has encouraged me to not give on dreams n goals. by the way have you heard about jessica watson, who is also on a quest to sail around the world as the youngest person she's from austraila, and she left in mid october n she's over 18,000 notical miles now n in the indian ocean. well i'll b praying for your safe journey God bless you abby, best steve http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/

  33. Keep it up Abby. Glad to hear you are making way!


  34. Hello Abby

    Thanks for the Furious 50’s update. My prayers and best wishes go out to Alessandro di Benedetto . It’s good to have company. Soooo many circumnavigators !

    I heard that there is now a 9 year old boy from Mohave CA who is circumnavigating the globe solo. He just left Pt Barrow Alaska in an open 14 foot Polynesian outrigger with one sail, no motor and no provisions.

    I understand that he is directly related to Joshua Slocum. He intends to live off the sea, wind and clouds. He genetically knows celestial navigation and the ways of the sea. Five New York doctors have certified him as a sailing child prodigy – a regular Mozart of the sea. Oh yes he does have an ornate paddle for the roaring 40’s, furious 50’s and screeching 60’’s.

    Just think of all the records he will set without any sponsors or internet. But he does have a publisher waiting for him to finish trip and the 4th grade so they can publish his adventures entitled “Solo Loco” .

    Abby - My prayers and my guardian angel are at your helm !

    <* ((((((>< Mariner Walt – Marina del Rey, CA

  35. Congrats on your progress so far...hope the swells die down a bit to give you a break.

    I do have a question for you...What would do if you ever encountered whales intentionally bumping your boat?


  36. Bom dia Abby!
    All the details you're sharing gives us a strong but limited vision of what you're going through... I'm a fan of yours, you're really brave!
    God bless you.
    Kisses from Lisbon, Portugal

  37. Hi Abby,

    You know I was just looking closer at your ages, you and Jessica Watson. According to my calculations when she arrives in Sydney about a month from now she will be very close to 16 years and 11 months old, and when you arrive back in Cabo about 5 months from now you will also be very close to 16 years and 11 months old. Are my calculations correct that this is turning into a very, very close race for the record youngest age circumnavigator?

    Good Luck

  38. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    What's cooking? :-)

    Take care, Be safe

    @ Steve in California: I like my canard 'à l'orange' or 'Pekin style', or the magrets in blueberry flavored sauce. Ever tried? Also the foie sauté à la poêle avec des truffes?! Does cost a Loonie and a lot more than a few Twonies though! :-)

  39. Prayers of protection are said, candles are lit and we want you to enjoy your trip. What a grand experience.

    "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!"

    Please add your blog to BlogCatalog.com

  40. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherMarch 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Sounds like you're rolling along! Take care out there... Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

  41. Hi Abby,

    Nice to read your updates and to hear that you are in a good mood. To see the sun is a joy for all of us. I think you have been very lucky with the weather so far. I will go on a fortnights holiday tomorrow, and I will try to find a net café, so I can continue to read your news. Maybe you have rounded The Horn when I'm back.
    Keep on sailing safe with your good mood.
    Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

  42. Hi Abby it must be fun having your own boat and living your dream, yet I bet it gets scary out there sometimes. Well at least your latest event would've have scared the hell out of me. Yet praise the Lord He has kept you safe and I pray He will continue to do so. By the way I think your parents are cool and I have no doubt that they are lonely without you. So may you keep smile on your face and the wind behind you. All the best, Tony

  43. Glad to hear you're alright!

    Keep up the good work.


  44. Hi Abby

    I’m enjoying your adventure vicariously through your blog – and I thank you for that. I especially enjoy the pictures you post. If you pass close enough to the Cape to see it, and it’s worth it, try to take and post some pictures.

    Many thanks,

    Thousand Oaks

  45. Hi Abby--wishing you well here from Philadelphia PA! I'm a freshman in college and love reading your blogs (especially when I am procrastinating to write a paper ;)) I'm so glad that I heard about your journey a while ago and am able to read what you encounter on a day-to-day basis. Keep in mind that God is really taking care of you and is with you (and Wild Eyes!)throughout your whole journey!!


  46. Hi Abby. Thank you for your post. It is comforting to receive news from you. It seems there is nowhere a person can go anymore where there isn't someone else; not like when the earlier explorers set sail through Drake's Passage. When I think about how big the ocean is, 100 miles is almost arms length. From what I read there is also a lot of traffic through Drake's Passage - it seems a lot going north/south, too. I think it would be grand if every ship in Drake's Passage had your coordinates (so they can stay out of your way) and if they would then come up (within safe distance) and ride parallel with you until you make it through. It would be cool to hear the people shouting "Go, Abby!" and horns blowing... For me, this would "help me feel more comfortable" just knowing you had supporters near you and I just think it would be cool for you and everyone who can be there to come close enough to celebrate with you as you finish this milestone, which is coming so soon. 15 foot waves sound high enough for passing the day :) Here's a friendly hug and a parting wish for today, that you stay LINKED and ALERT and RESTED and whatever else you need... How's Doggie and Pelican? I will look forward to your next post, hopefully, no later than tomorrow. ;-)

  47. @ Mariner Walt- "Solo Loco"..GREAT title!

    The Kiwi's have him beat though: Check the bottom of this page -


    @ MTL - naw, duck is too greasy for me, liver is definitely out of the question; maybe the steak.... but with blueberries?, like sweet?

    Think I'd rather have the Loonie.

    Steve in California

  48. Hi Abby, well after all is said and done your boat is 40' and the guy behind you is in a 20' and you thought your world is small, could you do the same thing on a boat one half the size of yours. Stay safe and always stay connected to that safety line. 38º44"N/122º67"W

  49. @Lynn

    Please read my prior blog - about the 9 year old boy in a 14 foot outrigger!! LOL

    <* ((((((>< Mariner Walt – Marina del Rey, CA

  50. Regarding young circumnavigations, Laura Dekker, who hopes to be the youngest solo circumnavigator, maybe could be the youngest non-solo circumnavigator. She was born during a stop on her parent's circumnavigation, and then she was onboard for the rest of the journey. Maybe she wasn't onboard the entire circumnavigation, but close to.

  51. @ Steve from California

    LOL - that was really funny - two 18 month old Kiwi's in a dinghy. Our next circumnavigators !!

    Thanks Steve

    <* ((((((>< Mariner Walt – Marina del Rey, CA

  52. Hi Abby this is tom from indianapolis, indiana....i have been following you from the start of your voyage and im so amazed at how calm you seem to stay....was wondering though on your references on your map if you can use things easy to see like equator or other things besides tiny islands so i can keep up with your progress more easily...was going good from equator then you use different reference points and i get confused....

  53. Abby.. you've got another solo circumnavigator out there right now in your age group. Sure you've heard of Jessica, but here's her offshore blog link:

    sorry bout being anonymous, couldn't figure out the profile selection thing.. Peter from Santa Cruz

  54. Good Evening Abby,

    @Mariner Walt....your comment about the 9 year old boy had me rolling on the floor...thanks

    Have a good night Abby and Team,
    john, Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

  55. Ron Spears n SC. AKA SeaWolfnscMarch 23, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    ABBY, There is also another person out there sailing around the world along with you.
    Her name is Jessica Watson, From Australia, Currently she is about halfway across the Indian ocean heading east back towards home. If I remember correctly she a couple months older then you and will hold the record as youngest solo around the world until you break it when you finish your trip. I have been following both of your blogs everyday. I wish you best girl.
    Stay Safe, Stay on course and we will be praying for you.

  56. Hi Abby,
    You are getting so close to the Cape,you will be passing it before you know it.Be safe little lady.Don't forget we luv you.Pete,from the OC

  57. Gidday Abbey
    Hoping you get more wind soon. Is that other sailor in front or behind you maybe you will pass him by
    Ive got to go away for a few days next week so I hope I dont miss your trip around Cape Horn
    Safe Sailing

  58. I believe all us dedicated Followers are circumnavigators too with your help. We lack a few obvious items such as a boat and maybe what once was referred to as adequate "Moxie"... but I suspect there are many of us right now nearer than that 100 mile AIS contact ...and all pulling very hard for you and Wild Eyes...so sail on and smart now. Team Abby will likely tell you what Moxie is ...but believe me you are loaded with it! Bigtime.

  59. Hey Abby great to hear you are well and safe....keep going we pray your entire journey remains a safe and memorable one!!

  60. Hi again inspiring Abby!
    Just wondering if you got any plans for your future? After comleating this task of sailing solo around the globe, I wounder, is it possible for you to lead a normal A4-life afterwards? Will you continue travelling, finding new tasks to overcome, or will you be able to settle down you think? I know you are young and lots can happen, and you surtenly got a bright head on your sholders, but I also know that when you've first challenged yourself it's hard to change your ways, and there really is nothing like a real challange is there? Sorry for all these questions, just very curious I'm afraid. Wishing you the very best! :o)
    Anita (Norway)

  61. It's easy for me to say "your not alone out there" from the chair here in our office. But we are all behind you and hope to give you a big blow soon to fill your sails. What a beautiful sunrise. Thanks for the pic's!!!!

  62. I just wanted to say how very much I respect and admire what you are doing. As someone who spent some time on the ocean and did an Atlantic crossing with 3 others on board, I cannot imagine the adventure, the solitude, and maybe even fear you must be experiencing. You are brave and your parents must be extremely proud of you.
    I will continue to hold you in my prayers as I follow your journey.
    May God be with you. Be safe and enjoy your trip of a lifetime.

  63. Hi Abby - I check your blog and location daily. And pray for you nightly - that God will keep you safe and out of harm's way. Please stay tethered at all times when you're up top - anything can happen.

    Soon I hope you'll be through the worst (of one of them) parts of your trip and can relax a while.

    I can find nothing to validate a 9 year old is sailing alone with no provisions or motor from Pt. Barrow Alaska. But if so - God help him also and all the other present mariners.

    Please take care and be safe.

    Anne - Thousand Oaks, CA