Saturday, June 12, 2010

Abby Safe on Board Ile de la Reunion

Abby was safely transferred to the French fishing vessel Ile de la Reunion in the early hours of our morning. Fortunately, the weather had calmed down enough that a dinghy was able to be dispatched for Abby to climb into and to bring her close to the 100' steel vessel.

We were able to speak to Abby very briefly once the transfer was complete. She sounded tired but good. She had a good sense of humor but was clearly in the early stages of coming to grips with everything.

We don't have much more info at this time. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Center is working with other ships in the area to determine another transfer to a vessel that will either bring her north of Mauritius to the island of La Reunion or east to Perth, Australia. Either way, it will likely be several weeks before Abby is back home in California.

We would like to give our immeasurable thanks to all of those involved in Abby's successful rescue. Especially to the authorities, both national and international, that have worked together to successfully conduct this rescue. These include MAMSA RCC Australia, Maritime RCC La Reunion, Qantas, WA Police, Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, Defence and the three ships which are responding. Their professionalism and the great value that they placed on Abby's life has been a gift to us that we can never repay. Thank you for caring for our daughter as if she were your own, for answering all of our many questions cheerfully and completely and for going above and beyond our wildest expectations to keep Abby safe. Thanks also to Congressman Elton Gallegly! Congressman Gallegly had offered his help to us some time ago. Thursday, when things looked bleak, a call to Congressman Gallegly resulted in his staff engaging three agencies in minutes. In less than 5 minutes the State Department, with location coordinates in hand, was in full swing with our country’s friends. Thank you Mr. Gallegly! Your concern for Abby is greatly appreciated.

We are not certain what will happen to Wild Eyes at this time. It is highly unlikely that she will be able to be saved. As we told Abby this morning, she is the most valuable piece of 'equipment' on that boat. The loss of Wild Eyes will be felt deeply by Abby who poured so much blood, sweat and tears into her and who has been, in a sense, one with her for many months now.

Godspeed Abby as you make your way home! We love you!!!

Mom, Dad, kids and the rest of Team Abby

213 comments:

  1. Ditto!. She is the most important piece of equipment... I bet she will get another boat..Glad she is safe... Now u all can get some shut eye.

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  2. Thank God, she's safe!

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  3. I am so happy to read this. I was very worried about her and this is great news!

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  4. God speed Abby. Your one heroic young lady. As are your parents, brother and support staff.

    Find satisfaction in the fact you gave it a solid try, and that alone is enough. It's a big ocean out there and we are such a tiny dot.

    From an old Master Mariner, and avid bluewater sailor

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  5. Dear Team Sunderland,

    I have followed Zac and Abby daily every day since day one of their adventures. Same with Jessie and Saito. Each has touched my life in ways you will never know.

    I am frustrated by the press with their inaccuracies and attacks against the team, but stay strategic and unemotional. These are little people, jealous of Abby's supportive family, big dreams and skill. The pressure will increase, as Abby is now on the international stage now, but this is an incredible opportunity! The world supports Abby's courage and accomplishments. Make the most of it.

    I can not imagine the terror that Abby must have experienced alone in the high seas, but this will only make Abby stronger. She has experienced something so few will ever experience or understand. Abby must be emotionally and physically exhausted. Take care, Abby!

    Know that the reason a person sets a goal is not to achieve it, but to discover the person they will become in the pursuit.

    Peace, prayers and love,
    Harry

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  6. What an extraordinary young woman and family you are!! It is so refreshing to see a girl who is determined and focused on her goals and a family that will support her to achieve them. As a parent, I know how hard it is to balance allowing your children the independence they crave and holding them tightly so nothing will hurt them. I'm sure it was not easy to let her go and I'm also sure that you and she prepared for everything that could possibly happen. I admire her and your family for doing this and hope that my daughter will follow her dream with as much determination and focus (and that I will find the courage to let her go :) Your daughter is a true role model for girls everywhere.

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  7. Congrats for making it so far, and happy to read that you are on a more secure vessel now.

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  8. Hallelujah!
    Job well done to Australians and French!
    Abby the sailor is now Abby the fisherman *wink*.
    TC from Texas (USN,retired, former Airborne SAR-electronic operator).

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  9. thank God Abby is now safe.... for the past 48 hours been glued to whatever coverage is out there - watching the Weather Channel for any news before CNN picked it up more.

    all i can say is thank God ---- our prayers have been answered. Abby is a strong resilient person - such an amazing young lady - and we will all wait to hear her amazing story.

    in the mean time, God speed to Abby, her rescuers, and to the entire Sunderland family. xo

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  10. I'm so very happy that Abby is safe, and I wish her a safe journey home.

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  11. Delighted to hear that Abby's alive and well!! but I feel sorry Wild Eyes can't be saved ... I love my yacht and can only imagine how Abby will feel about that. Thanks also to Search and Rescue of all the countries involved - at least Abby had the chance to make her attempt and luckily no lives were lost. Glad circumstances meant I was up late to see this news come in. Abby's mum dad and brother can relax a little now :) Dawn, New Zealand.

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  12. So very happy that you are safe. I was devastated to hear about the turn of events on Wednesday and have been praying for your safe return. I can only imagine your sorrow. You are truly blessed to have completed the journey you have and I have no doubt your life will continue on its amazing journey. I just know we will hear about you again in the near future! Many prayers and congratulations! It has been a joy to have been a part of your life since you began your travels from your home state several months ago. (xo-Ohio)

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  13. It is good to hear that she is finally recused safely.
    Abby, awesome attempt, you're really brave ....

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  14. Praise God for this safe ending to a courageous journey!

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  15. Poor kid! What a blow. But at the end of the day it is still an adventure with a very happy end! You have survived and expierenced a lot and that is a treasure no one can take away. Chapeau Abby!

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  16. I'm pleased beyond words that it looks like I am the very first/one of the very first to comment on this post to be followed by many, many others.

    It would take up far too much space for me to say all I wanted to but just thank in the Good Lord that Abby is SAFE.

    Bless you Abbey, such a wonderful person with a wonderful story.

    Bye for now, Pete Woodruff.

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  17. Well now she's safe and headed home. : ). I hate it that wild eyes is probably lost. :(. But at least Abby wasn't hurt and now she is safe. That is the main thing.

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  18. Gail Gower, CamarilloJune 12, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    I admire the parents strength to allow Abby to take this adventure. I know they would not have agreed to it if she was not ready and prepared.
    I admire Abby's strenght to take on this huge adventure and make it her own. I hope Abby will be an inspiration to other teens. I hope a book will be written. I would love to read it.
    I am so happy you are safe.

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  19. Wow! What a deal. Congrats to you, Abby. You are an inspiration. Now get yourself home so your Mom and Dad can hug you!

    Chris in Tennessee

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  20. I am very happy to hear that Abby is okay. I hope she returns to you in good health and I hope she will again try to fulfill her dream of circumnavigating the world. She is a couragous young woman who is fortunate to have parents who are so supportive of her dreams.

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  21. We're proud of you Abby! Get some rest now!

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  22. What a remarkable young lady. You are courageous and a tower of strength. I know we'll continue to hear great things from you. You and your parents are to be commended for supporting your decision to go on your voyage. Seize greatness and continue to take chances. Dream even greater dreams. Never, ever give up.

    Don't listen to any bad press. The journalists will always stir up things just to have MORE news, even if it's negative. Pay no attention.
    Tune them out along with any critics.

    I leave you with one final quote by President Theodore Roosevelt. Take these words to heart, and never, ever let them lose there potency:
    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

    Way to go Ms. Sunderland! Write a book, and I will buy it.

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  23. I read the news earlier today and felt a great deal of relief. No doubt, the family will have a happy reunion soon. What an experience this has been!

    Malcolm

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  24. Team Abby wrote:]

    The loss of Wild Eyes will be felt deeply by Abby who poured so much blood, sweat and tears into her and who has been, in a sense, one with her for many months now.

    Godspeed Abby as you make your way home! We love you!!!

    [end quote]

    To which I can only add Amen to that!

    ~ Cynthia (sending love, hugs, and good wishes to Abby and her family)

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  25. So happy to hear this!!

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  26. I'm happy for her safety, but sadden for her lost. She is still a hero in my eyes.

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  27. Congratulations on a happy outcome in horrendous circumstances to Abby, Team Abby, and the fabulous Rescue Services!

    Please (re)explain to naysayers that the training and professionalism exhibited over many years by Abby, Zac, Laurence, Marianne, and the many others involved, has been at the highest international standard: that's the way it's done!

    All the best,

    -The ClustrMaps Team
    (you may remember us from a brief phone call during Zac's trip, offering help with blog statistics - glad all has worked out for everyone, even with this as-yet-unfinished voyage!)

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  28. My wife and I admire your strength and courage, Abby. When are you going to give it another shot?

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  29. Keep your chin up Abby! Thank God you are safe now! Your are an amazing young lady and should be proud of what you just accomplished and as lived to tell about. As for the press, who cares, they are just boosting their little egos and only want people to fail. I would like to see them survive a week of what you set out today. There is always next time sailor. Can't wait to read the book, you are all inspiring!
    Sail on Sailor!

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  30. Just praising God with you that Abby is safe! We totally support your family and Abby - and are thrilled that she was able to go so far in her journey, saddened that Wild Eyes is lost, but so grateful to our Heavenly Father that the heart and spirit of Wild Eyes - in the form of Abby - is safe, sound, and will sail again (someday!).
    The Shelton Family

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  31. Thank God Abby is alive and well! So happy she will be home with her family soon.
    Even though she did not complete her journey she will always be an inspiration to many both young and old alike who can only dream of doing what she has achieved at 16!
    Though very sad to hear about Wild Eyes however the most important thing is that Abby is alive and well.
    Godspeed Abby on your journey home!!!!!
    Virginia in Miami,Fla.

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  32. Wonderful News. It was very nice hearing that she was safe on the news last night. Wonderful! Will be waiting to hear about her next attempt. Age doesn't make a difference.. God Bless

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  33. Ms. Abby you are amazing. Your courage, experience, and patients have made me proud. I'm sad that your goal was not completed, but I'm happy you are safe. Peace, Ed in Vermont

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  34. Wow, thank God! :)
    We'll continue to pray for you, Abby. :)

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  35. Abby has a unique opportunity to become a symbol of something more than she had intended. As she comes to grips with the loss of Wild Eyes, her protector spirit will remain within her. Achievement is not necessarily a function of the goal as originally envisioned. See Abigail. See Abigail run. Run, Abigail, run. Where will this spirit of exploration lead? Humanity at its best. Her family is pouring gratitude to the world for her rescue and the amazing unity we all shared in their concerns. I must make the observation: Humanity owes the Sunderland family a great debt for giving us Abigail. Run, Abigail, run.

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  36. Abby,

    We prayed for your safety and they were answered. Keep smiling and remembering all the good times you have had. I am sure you will have many more in the future.

    God Blessed You,

    ~Scott
    West Central ohio

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  37. One dream may have ended, but a precious life continues toward future dreams!

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  38. G'day from Queensland, Australia. GREAT NEWS!!!!! "SOMEBODY UP THERE LOVES HER" I have been following the events of the past few days very closely,Abby is a very lucky girl!! I have personally battled those "humongous,breaking,liquid moving MOUNTAINS of water, but in larger diesel powered craft, it is a frightening experience,moreso at night.Given that the craft is UNSINKABLE, & therefore still afloat & drifting, WHAT HAPPENS TO HER NOW?? AS SHE IS SURELY A DANGER TO OTHER CRAFT IN THE GREAT SOUTHERN OCEAN!! Will she be salvaged or sunk by Naval boats or planes? THE RESCUE WENT LIKE "CLOCKWORK" CONSIDERING THE VAST EXPANSE OF OCEAN TO COVER, I AM PROUD TO BE AUSTRALIAN & SHARE WITH YOU MY RELIEF FOR ABBYS' RESCUE. Verdun Lake, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.

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  39. Abby, your family and your team have been in my thoughts constantly since the beginning of your journey and especially the past four days. I'm relieved that all is well. A boat can be replaced but a strong beautiful young woman like yourself can not. You have so much to be proud of, please always remember just how strong you are. You can accomplish so much in your life!! Good luck.

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  40. Godspeed. Huge sigh of relief.

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  41. Congratulations to all of you, Everybody's prayers have been answered. I will continue the prayers to get her home safely throughout the rest of this journey. Your family is a insperation to all to nuture our children and to support their dreams as they grow. God Bless all of you!

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  42. wild eyes is just a boat, abby. it's a honda, a bungalow, a computer, books, food, a hole in the water- stuff that can be replaced. the main thing is all the safety plans you made worked, you are safe, and you are coming home.

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  43. We've been following with interest your story. We have been a family of sailors and have been discussing our various opinions of what you might be going through.

    We are all glad to hear you are safe and will be able to apply the various wonderful lessons to whatever is the next adventure.

    Can you tell us a bit more about the boat? The bulb keel to advance righting and multicompartment design to keep it afloat is quite interesting. Is the boat a Wylie design?

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  44. Thank God Abby is safe! I have been praying for her & I was thrilled to read that she was found safe! It will be an awsome day when she returns to California and you finally get to see her! Congratulations to Abby...for getting as far as she did on her very own! She should be extremly proud!!
    Donna

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  45. I am so happy for ya'll. I have followed Abby's journey since Day 1 and I am grateful for her courage. It makes me see what potential we all have to do whatever we want. Abby taught me that. She is determined and brave and has a goal and that is so important. Not only for Abby, but for the rest of us that see her. We all felt her disappointments when things didnot go as expected. But in my eyes, she is a great inspiration. Even to this 50 year old woman. You should be very proud of her, mom and dad, as I am sure you are. But give yourselves all a big hug because Abby undoubtedly had awesome inspiration and leadership and had really great role models in you. My prayers to you all. Godspeed Abby and hurry home. ~~Sharon

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  46. I am so happy you are safe Abby! My thoughts and prayers have been with you for months. I feel very sad for you in the loss of Wild Eyes. I hope your good memories will carry you through the sadness of her loss. Lisa Marx, Accord, NY

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  47. We share your joy in knowing that Abby is safely on board the rescue vessel.
    One adventure ends and a new one begins.
    Abby has great courage and handled the events of the last few days with maturity beyond her age. You must be very proud of your remarkable daughter!
    Brian & Phillippa
    Vancouver, Canada

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  48. So glad she is safe and sound on the fishing boat. Also, you're so correct, she IS the most valuable item on the boat. Godspeed Abby for a safe return. We're all so proud of you!

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  49. Abby's dream has been deferred. Thankfully, she is safe. Her efforts are still bold and inspirational.Can't wait to see where she goes from here in her life.Peace to all of your family.

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  50. And hurrah for the skipper of Ile de la Reunion!

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  51. Hi Abby & Family & Team,
    We have been following Abby's trek since she left 6 months ago. We are glad to see Abby picked up safely on the fishing vessel this AM. We enjoy the blog and have read the BBC and CNN coverage this morning. We appreciate the kind words of thanks to all the folks around the world who have helped. Those are inspiring responses, when people, agencies and governements can work together for a good cause, efficiently and effectively and with care.
    Congratulations, Abby, on your sail to the Indian Ocean. Half way around the globe single handed is a lovely accomplishment for anyone of any age. We've all been through enough fog to know that its skill and calm that make the difference when difficulties arise. We know this must be a sad time, to have lost the mast half way around, and a grateful time to be headed home in safe hands.
    We wish you well. Rest up!
    Sincerely, Lorraine & Bob, Western North Carolina, USA

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  52. This country needs more young women like Abby..

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  53. So happy to hear she is safe. I'm sure she is grieving the loss of Wild Eyes, but I echo you. She is the most precious cargo! Now you can breath knowing she is safe and on her way back to you! God Bless!

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  54. Praise God,Abby is safe and on her way home. Bless her parents for supporting her and her dreams.

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  55. Bobbing like a cork, in the middle of the sea
    We felt the relief flood to see our live Abby
    Wild Eyes dismasted, with her headgear stripped
    One might see this sight as the finish of a trip
    But Man is tough, and sailors always strong
    Abby’s shown her spunk, she won’t be gone for long
    Her parents have been hassled about her youthful age
    As if Abby were entered first on the rescue page
    “Our children are too young; they need a score or more”
    Yet we patriotically send our teenagers off to war
    We pray and preen and thank some mythic lord
    While on this Earth, it’s Man that makes the score
    Piously we show our faith, and give all up to God
    All while condemning, hoping for a firing squad
    Abby has a life, it is her life to live
    And those that go to save her it is a gift they give
    So park your hate and judgments, restrain that vile tongue
    Let others start their trip of life, even if they’re young

    Once again Abby's trip has shown the best of what teamwork and cooperation can accomplish. Beyond those mentioned in this post, are the uncountable unnamed who worked to design, and to build, the equipment that carried Abby to the middle of the ocean; to keep her safe and warm; to keep her fed and healthy; to let her communicate; to help her navigate; to locate her in the vast expanse; to keep Wild Eyes afloat, even though mortally damaged; to quickly carry search crews; and so on through the chain mail of uncountable links. Of some 6 Billion people, we can know for sure that Abby has lived life, and I will rejoice when I hear Abby is back in her family's embrace.

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  56. Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to pass on a quick message to let you all know that we are glad to hear that Abby has been found safe and sound and is in good spirits.

    It is so unfortunate that Abby was unable to complete her journey, however there is no doubt with her determination and strength she will continue working towards her dreams and aspirations.

    I strongly remember one particular thing Abby said in one of the many interviews, was that she was going to complete this journey and prove all those people who criticised her for attempting such a journey wrong... Well i believe that she has shown people that she is strong enough to keep battling on and that one setback isnt going to squash a lifetime of dreams.

    All the best to Abby for the future and all the best for her family aswell, especially as they await the return of their beloved relative.

    God Bless You.

    Amy (from Australia)

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  57. Glad to hear that Abby is safe. What an amazing trip it must have been for her. God Speed Abby.

    Sad to see Wild Eyes left behind. The thought of a water tight vessel floating around in the middle of the ocean is a scary thought for any other sailor...hope no one hits it in the middle of the night in a storm....

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  58. lorie from Auburn CAJune 12, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    I am so glad that Abby is okay. I prayed that God would look over her while she waited for the fishing boat to arrive. I hope that if there is anyway that Wild Eyes could also be rescued that it happens. Thanks to all our friends around the Indian Ocean for helping to find and rescue our young sailor.

    Lorie

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  59. Welcome to France Abby
    It is wonderful to see so many people have invested so quick to help Abby.
    If all nations could always include both the world would be changed.
    Abby even if you do not finish your round the world, your performance is a gorgeous model of determination and courage.
    You and your family the best illustrate the American spirit, courage, ambition, passion and determination entrepreneurial freedom.
    Sunderland Family thank you to exist, thanks to you young people see that every dream can come true if we are completely committed to achieving it.
    Abby thank you, I have 68 years, but you make me dream (You got me so scared!)
    Jacques Lamblot


    Bienvenue en France Abby,
    Il est merveilleux de voir que tant de gens se sont si vite investis pour secourir Abby.
    Si toutes les Nations pouvaient toujours s'entendre aussi bien le monde serait changé.
    Abby même si tu n'as pas pu finir ton tour du monde, ta performance reste un modèle magnifique de détermination et de courage.
    Toi et ta famille illustrez le meilleur de l'âme Américaine, courage ambition détermination passion et liberté d'entreprendre.
    Merci d’exister famille Sunderland, grâce à vous les jeunes voient que tout rêve peut se réaliser si on est complètement déterminé a le réaliser.
    Merci Abby, j’ai 68 ans, mais tu m’a fais rêver (Tu m’as aussi fait peur !)
    Jacques Lamblot

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  60. Dear Abby, family, and team,
    My husband and I are overjoyed,with you, for the safety of the precious human being on board Wild Eyes. At the same time I am crying with sadness for Abby's loss of her plan and her cocoon, (W.E). I believe that you survived, Abby, for a huge plan of God. Remember Joseph (Bible) was thrown in a hole, sold as a slave, put in prison due to lies, and spent so many years with no plan in sight, but he trusted God. You persevered with courage and patience. Keep going and God will reveal His plan. We have gotten so much from your trip and beautiful spirit, thank you. Delores & Jose' from Ventura

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  61. It's just after 1am here in Australia & I've just heard about Abby's safe rescue I'm so relieved that she is O,K I actually feared the worse yesterday when the media reported her being lost at sea, A big well done to the Aussie & French rescue teams who have bought her to safety & although you have lost Wild Eyes remember a boat can easily be replaced. Although you will be feeling disappointment remember that you will have so many other opportunities in life the world is at your feet Abby.

    I hope you have a safe trip home & you will have a happy reunion with your family & friends & best of luck for the future Abby. xxoo

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  62. Well said... we can all see where Abby gets her grace and positive attitude from! Thank god shes warm and safe and dry....and on her long way home to loving arms. "Fair winds and following seas" from here on.

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  63. Hey Abby,

    Congratulations for your adventure, we are praying for you.
    Unfortunately, nothing happens exactly as we plan.

    Julio - Brazil

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  64. Tears and more tears. I am so thankful that Abby is finally on her way to land. As a mother, I was terrified, but could not imagine the sheer terror the family went through. Have been following the family since Zac's trip. Sending virtual hugs to all. I hope that the press will give you the time you need to recover from this scare. As for the age issue, obviously she was a pretty darn good ship person to have made it as far as she did without trouble.

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  65. You people are all amazing! I am a 45 yr old female following Abby's blog all spring and can honestly say...a 16 year old girl is my hero! I have been praying for you all from the start and will continue to do so. Don't listen to a word the critics are going to say about you all, letting her go on this dangerous adventure...your daughter obviously had what it takes deep inside of her to handle any situation that ocean was going to throw at her...even in the worst of times. You raised an inspirational girl and I can't wait to read her book!

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  66. I have been watching the new reports on the situation with Abby and have been praying that she would be okay and found safe. I am glad that so many prayers were answered. I know Abby is dealing with the reaslization that this part of her dream is over, but Abby don't give up, your Dad is right to many kids today have lost having dreams because of being infront of the Tv and the computer games. I just want to say Keep dreaming don't ever give up your dreams know matter what anyone says. GOD BLESS
    JIM HAJNY
    JOPLIN, MO

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  67. Beautifully written. Glad to hear she is safe and sound.

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  68. Abby,

    I am sad your voyage has to end this way and saying goodbye to Wild Eyes, but glad you are OK. Ignore your armchair critics, I for one admire your adventurism and I know based on how you handled yourself that you did properly train for this risk. You give me hope that the next generation, either in the US or the world, still has that spirit that seems to be lacking in our society. My hats off to you, your family and your sailing team. I know you will be stronger in the future, and look forward to hearing your next endeavors.

    JL

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  69. According to French News www.lefigaro.fr Abby will be transferred from fishing vessel "Ile de la Reunion" to patrolship "Osiris" to be brought to La Reunion Island.
    Great work and thanks to all involved in her rescue.

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  70. Thank the lord for his wondrous deeds. Hats off to ALL involved in the rescue. Congrats on your passage! One cannot understand what it means to become one with your vessel and the oceans unless they have truely experienced such a passage. Finding ones passion is a gift from above.

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  71. I admire this young lady! She has experience, knowledge, and had pretty good control. This is something that would have happened to anyone no matter the age. So! Give her cheers and not make her feel like they were wrong in having faith in their daughter having the ability to do this. I hope to see her take the challenge again.

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  72. Im so happy all has turned out well , you have been in my prayers !Love, Jeanette

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  73. THANK YOU GOD FOR KEEPING ABBY SAFE! I have prayed hard for Abby to come home safe, and am so happy for her and the family. I hope that once Abby is back on her feet she is right back sailing, doing that which it seems she loves so much. Wait a little while tho, before you start up trying to go for the record.

    And to those who criticize her family...Abby is proving to be someone "to look up to" for other kids, she is doing something with her life. I see so many kids her age pregnant, not finishing school, selling drugs, or killing other kids...Abby is definitely a role model! GOD BLESS YOU ABBY AND YOUR FAMILY! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

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  74. Glad to hear you are safe and sound Abbey, you are a brave young woman! You have done more in your young life than I have in ALL my 41 yrs. keep up the zest for life!!! And DO try again to complete your trip! Glad u r safe and sound take care and best wishes! Tanya from Duluth, mn.

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  75. Personal message to Marianne & Laurence!

    Dears,

    take my sympathy and congratulation on the successful rescue effort. I am involved in your story for just the latest couple of days, though I heard about Abby's commitment monthes ago.

    As a three-daughter father and an experienced sailor I kept an eye on Abby's latest progress and on the entire rescue efforts.

    Me, my Mum (85!) tracked Abby's tough hours on the internet with the biggest empathy. As parent-mates in quite another corner of our Earth we'd like to express our joy on your bright weekend! Thank you for the committed reporting on Abby's blog.

    We congratulate to the Team Abby, and to Zac's record! Anyway Abby's sailing career would go ahead, the performance she achieved on this way is fantastic and it is subject of our admiration. Salute Abby, salute Zac!

    Good luck for all of you!
    With love and hug,
    Peter and family

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  76. As mom of teens myself, I am so very proud of you, Abby!!

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  77. I certainly would not have sent my teen age daughter on a trip like that but she was successful and survived! What a life long achievement.

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  78. A tremendous relief that Abby is safe. Yet, she must be mourning the loss of her unsinkable 'Wild Eyes' that she continued with toward her around-the-world goal even after the non-stop record escaped her after repairs. She was going on for more than a record and glory. That's maturity! And to weather what she did in the manner that she did? What is wrong with the media? And how much different in age is she from those going off to war? What one has done with the 16 years before that birthday is what's important. The citizen critics attacking you for letting her go? "Child abuse"? What kind of parenting did they do to have 16-year-olds without Abby's experience or dreams? Are any of their kids or kids of their friends on drugs to knock the stuffing out of them? I'm not saying they are; I just wonder at this baby-fying of a 16-year-old. Congratulations to you all and Abby as a family for a job well done. Where are the feminists to praise you for parenting a son and a daughter equally confident to tackle this still-rare challenge?

    The media (it's a business, so no surprise?) so quick to pick up the wrong sensational and lazy story thread from comments they read and run crazy with blinders on, creating issues. Didn't a "youngest" girl already finish? And what about Abby's brother? And the time of year? I've read pros and cons. If they are going to scrutinize you, the parents, wouldn't they want to know the secret of your success with your offspring? And the choice of a "better" season? It was not Abby's initial choice of season and had to be weighed, but a better season is no guarantee of a smoother sail. And you all knew the boat was designed to be unsinkable.

    Back to the role of parents as sayers of either yay or nay: first, sixteen is hardly a child. Society has given 16-year-olds permission to drive a potentially lethal machine. The younger drivers may have a worse safety record as an average, but society does not generally attack the parents of the young driver who caused harm or died when that driver was at fault.

    You had said that you told Abby that she'd have to prove herself before you gave permission and full support for this undertaking. You are not clueless parents with lapses of judgment. A look at your children proves that. With the descriptions of the rough seas she rode out, why is the news about parental permission rather than what Abby is made of?

    Maybe not a coherent message, here--I'm just fed up with the news I was seeing upon Abby's rescue. Any re-attempt will have to be taken under their spoiler radar. But Abby, may choose a different challenge. Whatever her decision, I am already cheering.

    May the winds of news shift to questioning those who question your consent to Abby's journey. What is our world coming to? And shift to looking at who Abby is and how she succeeded this far. She is much stronger than the mast was. That's the story!

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  79. Thank God you are safe and We Hope you go right on doing your best at everything you do! Age is only a concept of how you are on the outside not your abilities and feelings on the inside. Individuals like you are what makes American Dreams come true!! You GO Girl!!! Keep Your Dreams Alive and Follow your Heart.
    Those that say - you are to young - are to scared to follow their own dreams and passions.
    Believe in yourself other will follow!
    Gods Speed to you and your family.

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  80. Why would you send your daughter on this trip. Mom and you are STUPID

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  81. The most important and valuable piece of equipment on board is Abby herself!

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  82. What an inspiring young woman! I love that she had a dream and tried to fulfill it. How many people, 16 and older can say that about life. I give Abby and her parents two thumbs up for the endeavor. If she never completes circling the globe she has succeeded in life! Love you Abby - Minnie Ballard, Newport Beach, CA

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  83. Glad you are safe. Regarding your comments on storms, while it may be true that weather does not discriminate between young & old sailors, experience does matter. Quite frankly, given your years, you just do not have enough experience to sail around the world. Try it again in 10 years.

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  84. Great news!

    Thank you for sharing us it, luckily your(our literally) adventure ended happily, otherwise we all would be sorry forever.

    Take care,
    Mark

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  85. Abby, congratulations on LIVING and doing GREAT things with your LIFE (instead of sitting on a couch playing video games or being a mall rat.) And God bless your parents who let you LIVE.

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  86. God protected you Abby because He has an even better plan for you. Don't ever give up dreaming, living those dreams and staying true to yourself. You have a wonderful family and a whole bunch of people in the world who love and respect you. I, along with I'm sure a lot of others, can't wait to hear about your next adventure! As the old saying goes, "Never underestimate the power of a woman!"

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  87. 1st of all...Welcome back Abby..we are very proud of you and very happy that you are safe...you WILL one day be able to fullfill your dream...2nd, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous..do you think it is right to tell a child that her parents are stupid??? think about the sacrafices that you have made in your life, or the dreams that you never fullfilled are your parents stupid for letting you do them or not letting you do them??? I can't believe you would call a child stupid or even their parents...GROW UP!!!! Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland and the rest of the team..we are happy that your daughter is safe..At 1st I was a little upset with knowing that parents let a 16 year old sail across the sea alone...but my 16 year old son asked me "Mom if I wanted to do something like that and I was so passionate about it..would you actually tell me know and ruin my dreams"? he also said that remember we as parents are suppose to encourage our children to follow their dreams...and we as parents are suppose to help them to follow that dream, not take it away from them...I believe you parents and the team...helped you daughter, sister etc...follow that dream, it may not have been fully fullfilled, but at least she was strong headed enough to start her dream...WAY TO GO ABBY AND TEAM....we are glad your safe....Love to Abby and the Team...

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  88. keep the inspiration going... a lot of us need it. Stick to your dreams, and never give up. Learn from mistake, make correction and set sail again. The world is just not enough.

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  89. Abby, words excape how proud I am of you. I keep deleting and rewriting, because I simply have no way of telling you how much of an inspiration you are. There will always be naysayers and gripers. They are a dime a dozen. You, girl, are
    one in a million. Courageous, intelligent and inspired.
    - J. Hemming, Pennsylvania

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  90. I agree with Keith, Abby and her parents are just stupid people, What gene pool did these people escape from? To Danny321 and to Robert Butler, God does not Bless,Support or Condone Stupidity. "A woman of Stupidity is Boisterous, She is Simplemindedness, itself and has come to know nothing whatever" Proverbs 9:13 see also Eccl 7:25 Prov 9:13

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  91. Don't let the press get to you Abby. The world needs more people like you. I ,for one am proud of the person that you are.

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  92. So glad that you're okay Abby! :)

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  93. I am relieved that Abby is alive, of course. The loss of life at such a young age would be a travesty. I can only imagine that this young lady will attempt this adventure again, but I do hope that she will be older and wiser when she does. There is no right or wrong to this story. The decision to go on this adventure at 16 alone was a Sunderland family decision - HOWEVER - my question is: who pays for the search and rescue? When one makes these kinds of "passion for adventure" decisions, I do think that they need to be financially responsible IF something goes wrong, as it did, and to know, that if something goes wrong, and a search and rescue needs to occur, then they should take into account when making a decision to go on this passionate adventure alone, at 16, in a sailboat, around the world, in high seas and storms and high winds, whether they have the kind of finances to pay not only for the adventure, but also for the efforts and expense of the search and rescue. That is all.

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  94. Thankful and grateful for the Lord's blessing upon Abby and her family!

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  95. Abby is going to litter Wild Eyes to the ocean? What about all the battery acid and fuel aboard? I didn't realize people were allowed to pollute the ocean.

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  96. Abby;
    As the father of a 17 yr old and 14 yr old your story has given us such pride to go after your dreams & such hope that if you want something bad enough you can do it with your type of endurance, hope, strength and can do spirit. I would love to be able to purchase an autographed photo, personalized to each of my daughters to frame and hang in thier rooms to remind them to sail on to thier dreams like Abby did! koreaseabee@Mail.com

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  97. I must go down to the seas again
    to the lonely sea and sky
    And all I ask is a tall ship
    and a star to steer her by
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song
    and the white sail’s shaking
    And a gray mist on the sea’s face,
    and a gray dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again
    for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call
    That may not be denied
    And all I ask is a windy day
    with the white clouds flying
    And the flung spray and the blown spume
    and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again
    to the vagrant gypsy life
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way
    where the wind’s like a whetted knife
    And all I ask is a merry yarn
    from a laughing fellow-rover
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
    when the long trick’s over.

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  98. So glad you're safe. What an adventure!

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  99. Hey Abby: Glade you are safe and well. You will have to tell us all about your ordeal. Even though you did not get to finish your trip around the world you can now publish a book. Bet you got some great stories to tell us about your great adventure. Your friend LA by the way my middle name is Abbey.

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  100. Count me among the life-long women sailors who recognize the level of skill and knowledge you possess, Abby. Your parents also get my support for holding the painter only long enough to be sure you knew what you were about. It took confidence to go, but knowledge and skill to effect your return. Fair winds and following seas.

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  101. It is not what lies behind us or ahead of us, what is most important is what lies within us.......keep your dream alive and try, try again!

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  102. Abby. I knew nothing of your journey until you encountered your recent troubles at sea. Since then, I've read everything I could find about your adventures. As the parent of a 25 year old daughter and 21 year old son, I would like to express my support and admiration of you and your family.

    Many people do many stupid things in this world, but devoting yourself to years of training, preparation and discipline in an effort to pursue your dreams is not stupidity. It's courageous. It's maturity. It's passion and it's an example of what the human spirit can accomplish. It's the stuff that real leaders and the most admirable people on the planet are made of. From what I've seen, you have more discipline, courage, stamina, intelligence and commitment in your pinky finger than most people walking the face of this earth could ever hope to have.

    Beyond your own courage, there's no doubt in my mind how much courage it must have taken for your parents to support your endeavor. It's obvious that your parents love your very much. I'm sure it would have been much easier for your parents to say "wait till your older" than to manage their own anxiety and fears about the inherent risks in your journey. In my book, that is a tremendous act of love.

    I could go on and on, but in summary, I'm extraordinarily impressed with you and your family (not to mention your brother's zac's accomplishments). I have no doubt that you are an inspiration and example of what a loving, supportive family can do to enable a person to fulfill their capacity of the human spirit. You will never know how many lives you have touched and inspired.

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  103. oil in the ocean that can`t be stopped!! Now wild eyes to the bottom? Can`t the boat be scrapped? Not sent to the bottom? Maybe it could be used to plug the hole!!!
    Great for the adventurer and alive and well now lets go green and bring the boat home to rest!!

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  104. I am very happy to know you are safe, Abby.

    I appreciate that you seem to know your limitations as well as your strengths.

    Listen to and honor yourself as much as you do your family.

    After you get home and things have quieted down, rent/watch the new "Alice in Wonderland" DVD. I think it offers a lot to a young woman such as yourself...and it's good, silly fun.

    Here's how to say "I'm tired. I want to sleep now" in French:

    "Je suis fatigue. Je veux dormir maintenant."

    (Jʊ swee fat-ee-gay. Jʊ vʊ door-meer man-ton-aunt."

    (ʊ = the vowel sound in foot or put)

    Bonne chance!

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  105. Do not let all the negative publicity or peoples negative comments bother you, you have done what many people only dream of. I am sure that most people in the sailing community would say the same in that we are all proud of what you have achieved.

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  106. Hi, I'm glad Abby's safe. As an Australian, please ignore the idiots complaining about the 'cost' of rescuing her. This is unimportant and simply due to politics. I wouldn't worry about it or give it any more thought to it. We're all glad she's safe.

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  107. I guess if Abby told her parents that she was passionate about jumping off a cliff, they would let her do that too. Was this kid born with a silver spoon in her mouth and always gets her way? I hate when parents say,"Oh but she is so mature". Maybe, but not experienced enough. The parents should be brought up on child abuse charges. What if she was boarded by some other boat where they were not so nice. Do they realize what could of happened to her. Or they didn't care. I also think they need to pay for the rescue. I'm tired of my taxes going to pay for people who are just stupid.

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  108. Don WestmorelandJune 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    I'm so glad Abby is safe and sound! I can't wait to read about her making it all the way.

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  109. I'm glad you had the good grace to thank the people who are responsible for her being safe on a French fishing boat right now. Abby herself seems too self-absorbed to do so. Team Abby might want to put "teaching this spoiled little girl some good manners" at the top of the project list.

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  110. schoofly@yahoo.comJune 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Dear Abby, I am just an old guy from northern Illinois but I just wanted to say to you that I prayed for you when you were out of touch . I am happy to see God has answered my prayers and those who joined me our hopes of your deliverance .

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  111. Qantas is footing the bill for its own plane and the fishing vessel is French so I don't understand why the Australian is complaining about his tax dollars being spent on a rescue. Unless he means the salary of staff sitting in their office coordinating things over radios and telephones. Seems rather petty if so.

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  112. Reunion is as nice if not nicer than Mauritius. Take a week and lay on the beach to reflect on things.

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  113. I am so very pleased that you are safe Abby. I have followed your voyage from beginning to unfortunate end and I think you showed an impressive amount of maturity and mettle for a person your age. You are easily a true inspiration for people young and old throughout the world. Don't let the naysayers get you down. Down deep inside they envy you, your spirit and your courage.

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  114. Hey Abby,

    I'm glad you're okay. Keep doing what you love.

    Cheers

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  115. Hey Abby...Happy you are safe..Love Ya.

    Bob from Boston

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  116. Good idea to try and save Wild Eyes. All that camera footage, if it caught the wave that did this it would be epic. Did she manage to transfer her writings and whatever else is on the laptop to a USB stick?

    Don't you have insurance for this? Saito-san refused to abandon his boat unless it was also towed back to port when he was rescued. That fishing vessel that saved him and his boat sought compensation, and he had insurance that did just that.

    Can someone explain the technicalities of a dismasting? Can a mast break like this with the sails up where the wind is so strong it catches the sails and simply breaks the mast? Or is it when a boat rolls? Does it break as it is rolling over, where the mast and sails meet the water and the force of pushing down into the water breaks the mast? Or is it the other way, where the boat say gently rolls over the mast and sails go under water and it is the straightening or rightening up that breaks the mast?

    Why would sails up up or on in such a storm or even it it is a tiny sail how could that cause resistance even that the mast breaks at the base?

    Any technical explanation appreciated. :-)

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  117. ALL IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL AND AT THE END OF THE DAY ABBY IS SAFE ITS THE BOTTOM LINE ! CHEERS !

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  118. Glad to hear you have been rescued. You must have awesome parents to encourage you to go for your dreams, and to even help you prepare for them.
    Pay no attention to any negative press. Your parents can be proud of their daughter and the way they have raised you.
    I can't image being out in the ocean, alone, in the dark, on a boat. You've proven to all teens that they can do anything they set their mind to.
    And don't forget to thank the Almighty God who kept his hand on you.
    GREAT JOB

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  119. So pleased you are safe, Abby. You have the rest of your life to go on another great adventure. God Bless you and your family. You have the most wonderful, caring parents who have rounded you into a fine young lady. Nancy M.

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  120. Abby..I do admire your courage and determination, HOWEVER why NOT be very grateful to the people who rescued you. My God!!!!! they saved your life and first thing your worried about is why the media is being negative on your solo trip. Be thankful for your life and the people who rescued you. Give me a break!! Give up sailing and GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!

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  121. Your updates are so greatly appreciated. It is so much more meaningful to hear from you directly via your Blog, that all the online news services. You obviously have a great deal of courage, in addition to your marine expertise.The support of your family - in addition to the rescue team - has been most inspiring. You have renewed and inspired probably millions of us around the work.Thank you for taking the time for the updates

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  122. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so GLAD to hear Abbey is okay....no doubt it wont be long before she is right back on the (sea) horse!

    Until such time, have a wonderful time with your family and friends celebrating your magnificent achievements Abbey... It's such a hard-won cliche that we learn more form our 'failures' than our 'successes' eh? Just remember that everything you have experienced and seen is gold. Much love from Scotland

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  123. Abby,
    We are so relieved that you came through your first dis-masting so well!
    And so proud of you for sailing your dream!
    A grandmother in Texas

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  124. Your updates are so greatly appreciated. It is so much more meaningful to hear from you directly via your Blog, that all the online news services. You obviously have a great deal of courage, in addition to your marine expertise.The support of your family - in addition to the rescue team - has been most inspiring. You have renewed and inspired probably millions of us around the work.Thank you for taking the time for the updates

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  125. Abby,

    You are a courageous young woman who fulfills dreams of those who can only dare dream of such ventures.

    I, as the rest of the world, are glad that you are safe. There will be more!

    Hey catch some fish while you are out there…………

    Geoff Vaughan
    USN RETIRED

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  126. Your updates are so greatly appreciated. It is so much more meaningful to hear from you directly via your Blog, that all the online news services. You obviously have a great deal of courage, in addition to your marine expertise.The support of your family - in addition to the rescue team - has been most inspiring. You have renewed and inspired probably millions of us around the work.Thank you for taking the time for the updates

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  127. Dear Abby and Team,

    Best wishes as Abby continues her journey, albeit on a larger ship!!

    Please know that the Team's support, organization, dedication, professionalism, graciousness and love are an inspiration.

    At a young age, I was blessed to work as a backpacking guide (ages 17-21), and as a river rafting guide. This work was challenging, dangerous and life-changing. While my friends were shopping at the mall and going to the movies, I was leading folks over 12,000-foot mountains, teaching wilderness skills and maneuvering rapids.

    People were injured and killed by heart attacks, snake bites, rock slides, bear maulings, boat flips and lightning strikes. I will never forget 14-year old Barry from Madison, Wisconsin. He and three friends were struck by lightning during an afternoon storm. Barry's dad was one of the adults on the trip, and watched helplessly as his son was mortally wounded. This is reality in the wilderness.

    Reality in the wilderness is also countless sunsets, campfires, friendships, dreams and passions. We were young adventurers. We are now teachers, doctors, bakers, artists, lawyers, writers, scientists, managers. In our communities, we volunteer, lead, create and motivate. We pursue our dreams because we know we can. We were 17-and-passionate, and now we are 40-and-passionate.

    Rock on...Rose

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  128. That's great news! My family and I are so happy that Abby's safe and on her way home (even though it'll take a while).
    I'm just really surprised the Gallegly actually cares about someone inside his constituency. From what I've read in the Star, he's never cared about what goes on around here. But it's a happy surprise and I dislike him as much as in the past.
    But the important this is that she's alive and well. (:
    Just ignore the insulting people, they have nothing better to do with their life than complain about those who are reaching for their goals.

    ~ Lizzie
    Simi Valley, CA

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  129. Abby, I am so glad you are safe and on your way home. Forget the textbooks, look at all you have learned and the chance to see Australia and a little of Cape Town. Please please ignore the chicken anon gripers, they are just jealous. From what little I know about you, I too would have allowed you to go on this trip. I am sorry about Wild Eyes, it is always hard to lose a friend. Remember, it's not about the destination, it all about the journey and just look at the great journey you had and will have again. I am 55 and if I had been out there in those big waves, I probably would have cried instead of keeping my head. :-) I still hope to sail one day, I have relatives in Chicago who have a sailboat business so I really should go try it. Maybe they can help you find another Wild Eyes at SailboatSalesCo.com Any chance I could go for a sail with you when I am in Palm Springs next winter? It is only about a 2 hour drive. Please tell your Mom and Dad how wonderful they are when you see them.

    Angie

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  130. To the anon above, how do you know that Abby did not thank her rescuers? Were you there? I am quite sure she thanked them profusely. No spoiled little girl would have ever taken such a trip, perhaps you are another one of the jealous?


    Angie

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  131. gommie- over the hill in VenturaJune 12, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    You people are really starting to piss me off and I am not easily put into that mode-it is not necessary for Abby to post her thanks and gratitude to the people who rescued her to the blog just to appease people of your ilk-this courageous girl is going through emotions that someone like you will never understand- her voice is no doubt hoarse from thanking over and over again her rescuers IN PERSON-the fact that you anon's come in here hiding your identity tells me everything I need to know about the depths of your courage!! I would venture to speculate that you mean spirited posters are in some small way acquainted with the Sunderland Family,jealous as hell of them and you finally have a venue to spew your hatred and venom at them and using this cowardly fashion to do it-

    Now moving on to the Sunderland Family.....

    I would very much like to be able to help bring 'Wild Eyes' home where she belongs-however I feel you are limiting the people who can help to those who use credit cards only- I believe there are people who write checks that would like to help. I know I am one. Perhaps you can make that option available to those of us who still write checks (-:
    I think leaving 'Wild Eyes' to just drift along alone and unattended, to end up wherever would be the MOST TRAGIC thing to come from this. I think Abby will always feel guilt if this is allowed to happen. Wild Eyes and Abby are connected now- Abby may never have another connection like this. Leaving little wild eyes all alone after everything she has been to Abby is akin to dumping your dog after it has been a faithful companion and given you the best years of its life- The two of them started this voyage together and it is only right they come home together- the pain that Abby is going through at the thought of never seeing her dear companion again must be devastating to her.

    It breaks my heart to think about what she is going through at this prospect- some will say it is just a boat and to them it is, but to Abby it is that and so much more-

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  132. I was just studying the panorama photos of the Island Ile Amsterdam close to there and it looks like a well equipped fishing village. They even have a helecopter. 200 miles from her boat.

    Link to Island photos
    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/21455514

    Just so you know what is there

    Regards Rick M (ADogNamedGromit)
    http://fun.axis-design.org

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  133. Hey Abby.
    I am so proud of you. God used you to be an Inspiration. He kept you safe. I have been keping up with you, since the first Incident with your boat. I am proud that you and your family are taking what the "Press" say, so well. I will always keep you in my prayers. I pray that God will always kep you safe. Keep doing what you love.
    "Reach for the moon, the worst you could do is land on the stars." God bless!!!!
    Jessica.

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  134. I DONT CARE WHAT THE NEWS SAYS ABOUT YOUR DAD. I THINK HE SHOULD WRITE A PARENTING BOOK. WE NEED MORE YOUNG PEOPLE TO GRAB LIFE BY THE HORNS AND GO FOR IT.MOST 16 YEAR OLD CALIFORNIA GIRLS COULDN'T DRIVE A CAR FROM LA TO VEGAS.YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE THIS ARE WHAT MADE AMERICA GREAT.GOOD JOB ABBY

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  135. Love you, girl. Glad you're safe. Us VeCo folks gotta keep it, you dig? TO FTW!

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  136. Ignore the press. there in such a hurry to cast blame, just to sell a bias story. Were very happy that you are safe and sound. Dont let this set back squash your dreams. History is filled with many who failed, only to suceed later. Be true to yourself, dont forget who you are and DONT let anyone stand in your way. Trust and faith in God, if it is meant to be, it will happen threw sacfrice, blood, sweat and tears. (you already know this). Hope to hear of your next adventure.

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  137. Congratulations on your courage. You have accomplished in your sixteen years more than most people are able to accomplish in sixty. Life is an adventure... thank you for sharing your joy and excitement.

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  138. Abby, You have soooooooooooo much to be proud of. Keep the positive with you and let the negative roll off. Keep your dream alive.

    God Bless,

    J. Lee

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  139. Abby, Forget about whether your parents should have allowed this...all you need to think about is listening to your gut. The reason you would have been the youngest to sail around the world is because it takes incredible experience to do this. It is just like life. Don't get ahead of yourself. There is no need to prove anything. You have already proven to the world that you are the bravest 16 year old. Enough. Live to teach others and try again when you have more hours under your belt. I think you are a super star. My son is getting his pilot's license and will have it by age 16. If he crashes will I be criticized? YOU BET. And I love him just as your parents love you...with my life.

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  140. Abby, It's nice see the pictures and stories of your long venture so far away. Most of all, I'm so very glad knowing you're safe! Best wishes, Rose

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  141. Abby, It's nice see the pictures and stories of your long venture so far away. Most of all, I'm so very glad knowing you're safe! Best wishes, Rose, Washington state, USA

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  142. You Go Girl. Don't give up. Get your boat back.
    You are braveer than most and done what many only dream of. I have followed your travels with you and had the chance to see the voyage thru your eyes.
    Way to go.

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  143. What are the coordinates?

    Good for Abby, I'd love to shake her hand! She's OK!

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  144. how awesome it is to hear that abby is safe and doing well!

    jimmy

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  145. I am very happy to hear your doing okay Abby. I can see how proud your parents are of you. You have a very nice blog here too. I have three teenagers that are 15,17 and 19 and so I was very interested in seeing how you speak here on the blog. This was so I could see for myself if I thought you were a smart mature young lady that could handle such an adventure! Well it seems you are!! I feel for your mom though! Being a mom of kids your age I can see how it would be hard to let you go to sea for so long. I have a feeling that if you cannot get your Wild Eyes boat back you will get another boat in the near furure. The main thing is that you are not replaceable!! and the boat is. I hope you are reunited with your family soon. I was so happy when I saw you were safe. You are an amazing young lady.

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  146. Great News! So good to hear Abby is safe and sound.

    Jim in Waterford PA

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  147. Abby your such a brave young lady our country is so proud of you. im so happy your safe and wish you all the best. so when a dream is calling you theres just one thing that you can do. you gotta follow that dream where ever that dream may lead.

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  148. Friend of AdventureJune 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Very proud for you young lady. Loved the age and storms comment! Perfect!! I am so happy that you are of a family that encourages the human spirit!
    I hope you will try again.

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  149. Abbey,
    You are a very capable and brave young lady!!
    What an inspiration to all of us, of all ages!
    So glad you are safe!
    God bless you!

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  150. I prayed for your safety. I am glad you are safe. I find inspiration in your courage and the fact that you don't let fear of the unknown to hold you back. Kudos to you for your adventurous spirit and courage. I have to say you've definetly got guts, smarts, and spunk. Good for you. Don't listen to the negative nannies, they just have to have something to complain about just because they have nothing better to do.

    I think your parents used their judgment and encouragement on supporting your dream in a very intuitive way; meaning if they didn't believe in your ability and maturity to accomplish such a feat as sailing around the world alone they wouldn't have supported and encouraged your journey which you chose to take in life and give you their blessing to pursue your dreams. Follow your dreams Abby and don't ever let anyone discourage you. I wish I had one-sixteenth of your courage. May God speed many of your blessings along to your family and team, as well as you.

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  151. I am so glad that there are so many people looking out for you, and support you in spite of the setbacks. It's so courageous of you to have handled the storm, and held it together, and be so calm after all that had happened. Life is surely an adventure, and you have done it in stride. You are an inspiration!

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  152. many of the people barking will let their kids drive across the country this summer, and i believe that is far riskier. what strange things they came up with for complaint, then others read it and simply followed suit. i've been worried about you from the get-go, but you were certainly up to the task. i just want to reiterate that you have not failed in any way. you've made the right choices and proved yourself capable.

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  153. I'm so glad and thankful that she is safe. I have been thinking of her and praying for her frequently since I heard of this accident...

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  154. Hi Abby and Family,
    I am so glad that you are safe. I was holding my breath for days til I found out that you were safe. I think you are a very remarkable young lady. I wish I had the courage that you showed to all of us. I felt as if you were one of my family members. I have followed your journey from the beginning, I am sad that you dont have Wild Eyes any longer but in time there will be another sailboat, but I am more saddened at the thought that you may not have been comming home. I wish you well in your future endeavors as I believe there will be much more from Abby Sunderland.
    A Fan of Yours
    Pepsimomg in calif

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  155. I see there's a link on your blog to help bring Wild Eyes back home as well!
    What a great idea!

    If there's a way to do it, I think she should be towed to port. I mean, why not? If Wild Eyes were my boat, the magic carpet to my dreams, I'd want her back. To repair or rework or incorporate into Wild Eyes II.

    If everyone who's been inspired by your story would just give a little bit, we could bring Wild Eyes home. And we'd all be a part of the new dream.

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  156. I strongly believe God had something to do with this. He wanted what was best for sweet Abby. He saved her by having this tragedy happen. She will now be returned safely to her family and continue on living! :)

    Southern Hemispheres Winter season is lurking, therefore Abby needs to be safe. Glad all is well. God speed Abby as you return home! Your a great role model to young ladies around the world!

    I'd enjoy meeting both you and Jessica Watson! That won't happen but if it did, I'd be happy! :)

    God bless dear one!

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  157. Terry in WhitsundaysJune 13, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    As an Aussie tax payer I don't begrudge one cent of the money that was spent rescuing Abby. Nor will my Government be looking to recover any costs involved. We need the Jessica Watson's and Abby Sunderland's on this planet to reach for the stars or the human race would stagnate. I look forward to Abby's next attempt.That will be a given. The naysayers that are now crawling out from under their rocks to launch vitriolic attacks on her parents can go jump.

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  158. I think it should be incumbent on anybody attempting such undertakings to arrange an insurance policy to cover the costs of a rescue should it be required rather than expect "strangers" to pick up the tab

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  159. Abbey....

    Soooo glad to hear are safe..

    I am always amazed by women-men like you take the challenge and find new path.

    Stay on the path you have chosen and remain ever vigilant. You have inspriied an entire group of explorers behind you.


    Michael in Colorado

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  160. Abby,
    when I see from watchman eye,
    I can see you as rapture picture of God.
    Before the earthquake in the ocean 7.7
    you were resqued.

    We would be as well before the tribulation come.
    blessings,
    Veronica

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  161. I was so relieved to know you were safe Abby! I was also proud and thankful for the help and concern Australia and French authorities took by immediately taking action to rescue you! They have done us all proud. Thank you Australia and France for showing the utmost love, care, concern for the one precious life lost at sea! It shows the hearts of two countries willing to sacrifice and put time in to helping a fellow man.... or I should say fellow young woman!

    We can be proud of Abby's courage and her achievement for sailing half way around the world in dangerous conditions and be proud for the immesurable help Australia and France gave!!

    Stick with your dreams Abby....they are well worth it :)

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  162. You are an incredible inspiration to young women all around the world! As an Australian, I am thankful I was able to share a part of your journey! I am sorry you had to abandon your boat but I am glad you are safe! Even more so, I am proud of my country for doing everything possible to rescue you safely! You made it half way around the world and that is an incredible achievement for a young woman of your age. You have done us all proud!!!

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  163. I sure hope the Sunderland family is billed for the full costs for Abigail Sunderland's rescue at sea. I think it is OUTRAGEOUS that we, the Australian taxpayers, have to pay AUS$ 200,000 or more to get her out of trouble when she ventured onto this voyage with what according to experienced sailors is a boat designed for speed -- ie for her _ego_ to get a record and fame for herself – and she is already talking about doing it again! – The full costs should be recovered from those who caused the them, including 100% offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions produced for flying the Qantas jet and smaller plane to her location. – Individuals like the one we are talking about here can only be so selfish to seek fame and glory for themselves because they know the public will have to rescue them if they get into trouble. – I sincerely hope Abigail Sunderland, her parents and siblings take some time to seriously think about their moral obligations to the wider community.

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  164. $200,000 - this is a expensive mistake and I'm concerned that you now talk about doing this again.

    This is troubling to me that you would take this risk again and not cover this yourself with some kind of insurance and not expect the Australian tax payer to fork out !!

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  165. I admit in the UK I was only aware of this amazeing young lady through her unfortunate accident. This is an amazeing story of courage and I am sure that it will not be long before Abby makes her second attempt!
    Ellen MacArthur was such a big hero over here but Abby at the age of 16 tells the world what young people are capable of.
    God bless and good luck for your next attempt I will be watching your blog

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  166. It makes me laugh to read comments of people who say it is not about money ... well if Abby or her parents paid for the rescue ission themselves it wouldn't be about money ... but now that the tax payers had to cover the cost - that's a copletely different story. The money could have been spent so much better than rescuing a silly American teenager ...

    Marta

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  167. Abby you should praise Jesus you are still alive. I read you were briefly knocked unconscious. Thank God it wasn't a super-wave that hit your craft! Please stay home and be safe.

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  168. Thank God for an Epirb and the Australians,but what in the devil were you doing there at this time of the year..winter! Jim

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  169. Sorry that you had to abandon "Wild Eyes," but it's more important that your safe, and you can always build another boat. And as a former US Navy sailor, it's important for everyone to understand that your boat is now a hazard to navigation, and any war ship will that spots it will have to sink it.

    I can still remember us sinking a boat after we rescued boat people escaping from South Vietnam. It's just standard procedure. Don't know how close you are to the Maldives, but that's the best place in the Indian Ocean to go. The beaches there are just fantastic. Nice place to celebrate that everything is okay.

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  170. Abby, you are right when you say age does not create waves or storms. However age does give one the common sense to stay clear of those things. Apparently you have not reached that age yet. You were very lucky.

    Florida

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  171. Hi Abby, I am so happy for you that you are fine and safe now, I am sorry you wont see the Wild Eyes anymore, I can imagine how hard it was for you to let it go...but you know at least you are safe and life goes on...I hope you had the opportunity to read my other comment too, that was very important for you to know also...I wish you the best... and always remember God loves you very much!!!

    Eliane Nascimento
    elianecs_74@hotmail.com

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  172. wonderful Abby, such a courageous girl you are. so glad you're back home

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  173. Just who will be paying for the Australian rescue flights, the fishing boat, and all the other resources that came together to rescue Abby. Seems excessive and should be reimbursed by the family.

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  174. Abby,

    It matters not what men say. Only the words God has breathed into the heart of the believer will remain.

    A brother in Christ.

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  175. I posted a note of support when I first heard of the trouble at sea. A simple idea for those of us who care is to go to the "Support" area and pitch in a few $$$ to help. i agree with the comment from Australia that the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for it. On the other hand I fully agree with Abby's determination to try again and hope you support it. My final comment comes after reading many many posts on CNN yesterday. It is astonishing to me how many mean spirited people are out ther commenting on your choices as aparent and Abby's decision to do this at all. The Beast to all of you - glad your fears were groundless.

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  176. I'm a sixty-two year old father and grandfather. I admire you and support a new attempt. The world is full of jerks and do-nothings. Stay on it and if tragedy happens, be at peace. The great endeavors always have critics and Monday morning quarterbacks, who never know the joy and satisfaction of accomplishing, or even trying for a dream.

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  177. I hope that you and your family will seriously consider donating the funds you are collecting "to Save Wild Eyes" to the fishermen on the Ile De La Reunion who so courageously saved your life.

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  178. In a world where people are so quick to put down teenagers, I am incredibly impressed to see that a 16-year-old is tackling such a huge endeavor with maturity, responsibility, wisdom, and even a bit of humour. If Abby is an example of the next generation, then '5o-and-over' people such as myself should breathe a collective sigh of relief over our world to come. Abby, I'm proud of you.

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  179. go abby go so strong, so brave, so cool,so young at heart may your nexts journey be safe all of the prayers are with you....follow your dreams do not ever let anyone tell you different....

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  180. I am so proud of this brave young lady. I can't believe how many people are being critical of her age and her parents decision to let her go. In this day and age it is truly inspiring to see such a brave young woman "go for it"! I am a father of 4 and have shared this exceptional story with my children to inspire them to reach for the stars. Without such bravery we are lost and certain to become subjects of some socialist control. People, get over yourselves and start commending her for a heroic attempt. I am a fan and certainly hope to see Abby complete this attempt very soon. God Speed Abby!

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  181. Dear Abby,

    I think you have the most amazing parents. I was raised on a sail boat. Made numerous trips to Mexico and Hawaii. It was the era of Robin Lee Gram. I would sit in my English class (Junior high school) reading about Robin in the National Geographic. (Teacher didn't much appreciate it.) I would come home every day after school and tell my dad, that is what I want to do, and of course my dad said "NO WAY".

    I think it comes down to how much you believe in yourself, and even more than that, how much your parents believe in you.

    So when you get home give your mom and dad a really, really, really big hug and kisses.

    Ps Very relieved you are safe.

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  182. Dear ABB


    i hope you get to see this blog my name Is William K. Hass Willi for short I have had the same dream as you since I was 13 years old and I'm 57 years old now but my dream Is not dead follow your dream your success Is an inspiration to me and I'm sure your the Inspiration to all women you were never 16 years old you our a women and very much a part of many lives I myself have never had the oppertunity as you but I am a man of the Sea and always will be i HAVE A SON AND HE iS iNTO FILMING AND HIP hOP SO I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW i'M NOT JUST A FLY BY NIGHT BUT I'M SO GLAD YOUR VERY WELL AND WILL BE HOME SOON I'M SURE YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER OUR THE HAPPIST PARENTS IN THE WORLD i SURE DO WISH THAT I CAN MEET THEM ONE DAY AND I'M SURE iT WOULD BE AN HONOR IF I WORKED FOR YOUR DAD THAT WOULD BRING ME CLOSER TO THE OCEAN AND SAILING THAT I HAVE BEEN WANTING FOR A LONG TIME BUT ENOUGH OF THAT i WILL TELL YOU YOU OUR THE GRANDIST LADY AND NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING LIVEING THROUGH WHAT HAS BECOME A DREAM OF MINE SAILING.

    THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME
    BE A PART OF YOUR ADVENTURE
    SINCERLY
    wILLIAM k. hASS
    mystic_seas92805@yahoo.com
    Anaheim California
    iT

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  183. iim glad you're safe abby...i been keeping up with the media about your travels...it's great to see someone that is so full of passion and that is head-strong enough to follow their passion..it makes me remember when i was young and had passions and dreams...keep moving forward abby!!!!...may you live a life of fulfilled dreams

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  184. I'm happy to hear that you are safe!
    And your family also must be very happy to see your smile again!
    you gave me courage, brave heart.

    Take a chance on you.

    Kyoko, Japan

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  185. I'm glad to hear that you are safe and well. As a parent I too wish to see my children fulfill their hopes and dreams too. However I would never allow my kids to undertake such a folly as sailing round the globe at such a young age. True that your age did not create that storm but with age comes wisdom, wisdom enough to know when conditions at see are too dangerous. Wisdom enough to know that your life is not worth the risk for your 15 minutes of fame. Now your asking for donations to get your boat back to your home so you can try again no doubt. Why not ask the Australian government for it after all they have just spent $300,000 on your rescue so far. To put that into context for you that would equate to restoring the sight of 12,000 people in developing countries through the work of the Fred Hollows foundation. I know what the good people of Australia would rather see their tax dollars spent on. Hmmmmm A 16 year old child foolishly setting off on a round the world record for her own gratification or life changing operations for 12,000 people in the 3rd world. Hopefully when you are older and gain the wisdom to know better you will understand why so many people in Australia are upset about your parents allowing you to go on such a risky voyage when they have to rely on others to pick up the cost when things go wrong

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  186. To Team Abby,
    Thanks for sharing your hero, Abby, with us. She's a marvelous illustration of determination and courage.
    God Bless Abby and Team Abby,
    John

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  187. Hi Abby, It's amazing how many people have come together to let you know that we are cheering for you. You have done something more than most of the world is willing to do and that is set out all alone to cercumnavigate the world. You made it half way around the world. You were at least twelve hours ahead of everyone in Thousand Oaks. You accomplished a great thing in your life. I wish I had more money to help get Wild Eyes back home again. I hope you get enough money to search for her and bring her back home. I can tell Wild Eyes is your best friend. You two shared so many great times together. I'm so happy that you are still with us. Someday we'll find out just what you went through. I looked at the storm and it seemed about a thousand miles from north to south and about 300 miles east to west. Try to get all the rest you can, because you may not get any when you return home. Bye for now.

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  188. To all the people who have grumbled about how Abby's parents should pay the bill instead of the Australian taxpayers, would you have our country send a bill to them because we rescused their daughter who was lost at sea? I am proud of my country that we would have morality and human compassion to do what was necessary to save a life. What if this was your daughter lost in American waters somewhere? We did was was right, and honestly I am proud to say that our government didn't place the cost of her life and weigh up whether or not it was with it to attempt rescuing her. Abby didn't set out knowing she would find herself in dangerous weather conditions and she didn't know she would have to abandon her boat. I can think of worse ways our taxes are spent and really, when you think about it..... It's only money at the end of the day. Abby is safe.... That's all that matters isn't it in the grand scheme of things. Their is no cost you can place on a human life!

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  189. Firstly I wanted to say I am so relieved to know Abby is alive and safe! I wanted to make a comment about those who have made comments regarding the taxes who payed for her rescue! I admit, it's alot of the Australian taxpayers money, but was there really even a question whether or not Australian taxes was an issue in rescuing her. If I was in America and needed help, I would expect the same help given, wouldn't you? I've always grown up poor and struggling praying and going for a home for my family, but despite all this, I think we did what any human being would do. Sure she set out aware of the potential risks, but that doesn't change the fact that she needed help and we gave it. Isn't that what Australian people stand for? I would be ashamed to call myself an Australian if we sent her parents the rescue bill. I'm thankful we won't be!

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  190. For the record, the cost associated with any rescue operation at sea do not come out of funds for other causes - they are set aside for just such emergencies. As for the crews, they were delighted to get involved, they were all able to gain real experience rather than endless training. Besides, it sure beats the endless and mind-numbing Mall experience that is a kid's lot in today's cotton-wool world!

    From Oz

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  191. So glad you are safe, Abby! You are one heckuva girl. Carry on!

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  192. I am so proud of your determination and skill. As a mom of a 12 year old, I admire your courage and confidence. You have set a great example for girls everywhere! You had a dream and you went for it regardless of the critics who said you were too young. Please, please keep chasing your dreams. You are a hero! My daughter is inspired by you. She is not popular and doesn't have many friends but when she heard about what you were doing she told me that it really doesn't matter what other people think anymore. "If Abby can do this, I can follow my dreams too." Thank you for giving my daughter the boost of confidence she needed!! Keep living you dreams, sweetheart!!!

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  193. Dear Abby! Worry, relief, disappointment for you but we will see you out there again!
    Looking forward to your book.

    How about updating the coordinates (you were a few days behind already) while there is still a beakon (maybe in a different color on the map) so that any ships in the area might choose to salvage Wild Eyes? You never know!

    Christine from Palm Harbor, Fl

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  194. I know there are a lot of comments to sort through. I just want to say that Abby is a true hero. I hope I can instill even half of the qualities that she possesses---courage, fortitude, strength of character to name only a few---in my duaghter. Thank you, Abby. And Godspeed.

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  195. Oh, Abby. I wish I could give you a much deserved hug. You have been so strong & brave through all of this, well beyond your 16 years.

    I know the firestorm of press will be awaiting you when you return to land, but don't feel the need to divulge everything you feel and think. Those people are only interested in the negative. Your fellow bloggers are only here for the positive (despite the few morons that still can't seem to understand the big picture) and we not only believe in you and the chiopces you;ve made, but we know that you are capable of completing your journey.

    Kudos to all that helped rescue you, we are all thankful for them, as what would the world be with so few adventurers? What would I have to dream about?

    YOU ROCK ABBY, NEVER FORGET IT!

    ~ALANA

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