Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Family Post

Our family would like to thank everyone for their wonderful support and encouragement over the past week. As you can imagine it has been an exhausting time with so many mixed emotions and we are now eagerly looking forward to Abby’s return.

We will not be issuing any further public or private statements. To assist us to manage the publicity Abby’s trip has created we have appointed a public relations consultant / manager to act on our behalf and request that from this point, all media enquiries be directed to him. This will enable us to return to our primary role – parents to our children and in particular at this moment, a supportive mom and dad to Abby.

We would ask that you respect our family’s request for privacy at this time. Our focus is on both Abby and our new baby who is expected to arrive into the world at anytime. The next couple of weeks will be very exciting for us.

We will continue to update our blog with Abby’s progress and in due course Abby will be available to tell her story.

Thank You,
Laurence & Marianne Sunderland


Media / publicity enquiries – Please contact Lyall Mercer:
USA: 310-776-7557 (Int: 1-310-776-7557)
Australia: 0413-749-830 (Int: 61-413-749-830)
Email: info@mercerpr.com

228 comments:

  1. I think it's wise to try to sell the story. Good move, geting Mercer involved. Good luck getting a good publisher/movie producer contract. I'd like to see a documentary type film, myself.

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  2. I'm so glad Abby is safe. God Bless you and your family, and congradulations on the new addition to the family! We're still very proud of Abby and her accomplishments. She has still accomplished what very few people could do.

    Randy from Ohio

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  3. totally understandable! Sending good vibes your way

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  4. Marianne, Laurence, Abby, Zac and family,

    From our family to yours we wish you all the best. We cherish the opportunity you have given us to be a part of your lives and certainly hope everyone respects your need for privacy. We will be thinking of you Marianne.

    Thanks for the ride of a lifetime Abs. Let's do this again! Safe return home super sailor. Love you kiddo.

    Love to you all,
    John and Sandra Day,
    Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada
    jandsday@gmail.com

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  5. You have done the right thing. It will all blow over when the media latch onto the next victims.
    God Bless the Sunderland family.

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  6. Kudos to you for guarding and protecting your family. That is the most important thing - that you stick together, be there for each other and love one another. Strangers and media only have the potential to inflict poison into that. Do not, please do not receive it.

    Abby - I want you to know that I have never taken a trip solo or taken on an adventure that I have regretted. Think about all the venturers that have climbed mountains, explored the corners of the earth, the depths of its seas and canyons, and the heights of the skies - they don't speak of regret (or age!) - whatever the outcome. They speak about the intrinsic nature of the person, the daring, skill and motivation, and how it is "in the blood." How one is never the same again. That is a beautiful thing and sometimes hard to put into words - having need to be lived out - as you did.

    You have lived experiences that the vast majority will never know. Your future is bright. Pay it forward.

    Blessings and Goodness Abouding

    Julia

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  7. Thanks Sunderland family.
    Our family understands and will not be contacting Mr. Mercer. We will patiently wait for the blogs and for Abby to have some private family time she so needs right now. God Bless and congratulations on your new baby.
    Alyssa from Irvine, CA

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  8. That is a smart move. Your children are incredible, and most people responding with negative feedback have kids who live on their couch in front of their television, yelling at their mother to cook them some more meatloaf. Your kids have accomplished already more than most adults AND their kids have, combined, in their lifetimes.

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  10. it is a shame the world is so ignorant and that it has brought negative attention to your family. Abby is an amazing girl. I look forward to reading her blog the day she next sets sail for a second attempt to sail around the world.

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  11. Though it is not our position to expect (or demand) updates, thank-you for keeping us updated. It is nice to know that Abby is on her way home, despite the fact that I wished she could've completed her journey back to California on-board Wild Eyes.

    My prayers are with you, Sunderland family.

    I pray that Abby's homecoming is special and memorable in a good way. I pray that the birth of your newborn son is one of the best days of your lives.

    Continue doing what you guys do. You've done something right. You have amazing kids.

    By the way, speaking of Abby's homecoming... Will people be allowed to welcome her home, or will things be kept quiet? I can understand if you guys decide to bring her home under the media radar considering what she has been through, and how vicious the media and the public have been.

    That said, if people are allowed to welcome her home (in person) ... when will we know? I would enjoy showing my support of her and your family in person if it is at all possible.

    sword_fighter_gal@yahoo.com

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  12. Aw, good luck and I hope the media will calm down a bit and be respectful and courteous to the family.

    And we would all still want to keep hearing updates about Abby until she gets home safely! There are thousands around the world who are caring for her safe return, and eager to hear her story.

    Everytime I get to a computer the first thing I do is log on to this blog and see if there's any update to the story yet. I used to check email or facebook first, but now I've found myself coming straight here, at least ten or twenty times a day.

    There are plenty of people who care and support you Abby! Stay safe, relax, and try not to stress to much about the media. No matter what happens there will still be thousands around the world there to support and encourage you!

    Can't wait to hear the stories of your adventures. Surely you've collected quite a few! :)

    In the meantime, stay chill and get home safely, alright?

    :)

    -Howard W. California.

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  13. I agree, privacy is very important. Good luck to the new baby, and Abby's journey back home. That will be a long story to tell... Thanks for keeping us update...

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  14. Thank you very much for letting us know that Abby and you will need your privacy. Most people would have just stopped posting as to what's been happening. I guess you will no longer accept future posts at this website. I was going to send you a letter at the 672 address. I was also going to send a letter and a photo to Abby at the same address. If you want me to send both letters to the 672 address, you can Email me at edmstark@yahoo.com and let me know.

    If I don't hear from you, then I won't send the letters. Thanks again and I'm happy that Abby is safe and sound.

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  15. I know this must be a hectic and perhaps difficult time for the family and I hope everything turns out well. Abby is an amazing girl whose drive and determination is an inspiration to thousands everywhere. Don't ever forget that, no matter what kind of comments and negativity the media or critics might have. Your family is in my thoughts everyday, and I pray that everything will be alright and that you will all come through with the strength that God has given you. Do not let the world get you down!

    -Howard W. California.

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  16. This is a very good decision........
    An expert to handle the backalley dogs!!

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  17. All the best to both arrivals-the new babe and Abby back into the family fold!
    Very exciting!
    God Bless and may Abby still dream dreams:)
    Lyn
    QLD Australia

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  18. Just want you to know that you are TERRIFIC PARENTS for inspiring your children to dream big and go after their dreams. I applaud your family and was extremely happy to learn of your daughter's safety this evening. Let the naysayers come and go, for they will pass quickly, and you will be left with nothing but the whole world, still at your fingertips. I guess that's just my opinion...but the good news is that, for me, it's the only opinion that truly matters. Godspeed Abby!

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  19. Congradulations! Brilliant move on the media end! Truly it's about Abby...not fictional stories! Looks like Wild Eyes is still traveling! Many blessings to you all!
    Thank You for your inspiration and sharing the open ocean with us!
    Pam,
    Langley
    Canada

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  20. You are wonderful parents and have raised an extrordinary daughter! I applaud you and can only hope I can be half the role model, to my 2 daughters, that you are for your children! : ) I know the media is knocking on your door....don't fret about them! I am so very thankful Abby is well.......and am looking forward to her next venture!!!!!! I know she is not done (nor should she be).....I will be there following, supporting her (and you) and praying for her safety and guidence!
    Take care,
    Dana

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  21. I just want to say that I am 100% behind you Sunderland family,
    To,Mr.&Mrs.Sunderland I think that you letting Abby attempt to sail around the world. Thank you for letting Abby attempt to make her dream come true, I wish you ALL the best Sunderland family and to Abby, I hope your okay out there.
    Praying for your safe return home Abby
    God Bless you all

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  22. Sunderland's, thanks for the update information.
    I'm also sorry W E's is gone. I'm looking forward to Abby telling more about the adventure
    in a book maybe? All the Best, rich brennan

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  23. I am the 59 yr old father of two and grandfather of one. Your story of adventure and family is an inspiration. I vow to encourage my 8 yr old grandson's ambitions and dreams. With the proper education, family support and persistence on his part I believe a youth is capable of remarkable achievment. Thank you Abby, Thank you Zac, Thank you Sunderland family. And may the new addition to the family be blessed with the greatness of Sunderland!!

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  24. So that's it for the blog at this time? Sorry to see it end, but I totally understand. Thank you for sharing.
    Tim in Louisiana

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  25. yes. you deserve the privacy.
    i hope your family, esp abby will not be burned and scarred because of this experience.
    walk away from these, intact as a family and secured that there are people like us who believe in you, in your decisions and in your adventures.
    dont stop dreaming dreams. make a difference from the rest of the world.
    you are being criticized bec they envy you.

    skye
    philippines

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  26. Trevor & Carol Queensland, AustraliaJune 17, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Good on Ya and best wishes for both Abby's return and the new arrival.
    Cheers
    Trevor & Carol
    Queensland
    Australia

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  27. Don't let the media distract you from your real goals and needs. Your family life is the most important. The world is behind you.

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  28. All the best and I hope Abby is home soon. I hope you life soon becomes more normal.
    Joy
    Ballarat.
    Australia

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  29. Laurence & Marianne Sunderland:

    Please continue to be strong and continue do the right thing. You are parents first and foremost.

    My best to you and the rest of the expanding family.

    John R Willis

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  30. Good on ya to finally stop arguing with people who do not want to see your way. All the best for your baby and a happy reunion with Abby.
    And may I add I am very glad that she has survived all this. My wish to her is may she survive the nasty media storms ahead. I am quite confident she (and you all) will do just fine.
    Angelika from New Zealand.

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  31. Abby:
    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!!

    As the you have one landfall and then depart again, please continue to live the adventure with all the gusto for life that you have shown so far. This is yet another wonderful chapter in the great book of life. Follow your heart and keep a smile on your face.

    I like the new home page. It is neat to see your position and imagine what it must be like to be on and island that most people have never hear of and even fewer have visited, As you continue the voyage home, continue to make new friends see new sights, enjoy the moment as it will be over before you can blink.

    And, Abby, do not listen to those among us that are so small and narrow minded that they feel compelled to belittle you, your family, and your effort. These are small people that can only "grow" by attaching what others have done. These people have done nothing worthwhile in their lives and they are miserable. They seek to share the misery and loneliness in the world in which they live by attaching anything that anyone does. They are small people that deserve pity but little else.

    As you travel home, please remember family values and faith that got you to this point in time. Please continue to grow and mature as you get strength from your supporters and well wishers from around the world. Most of all, Abby, continue to live the dream that you have. This is all part of the grand plan and who knows where it will lead. Rejoice in the adventure and continue to dream!

    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!!

    John R Willis

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  32. congrats with your new child that is coming into this world..and god bless to you and your family...safe returns to abby and may peace and happiness follow you everyday of your lives

    Eddy

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  33. Smart move!I don't blame you!

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  34. Good for you. Nothing wrong with your priorities!

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  35. Hi Abby and family,
    Glad you have someone to help with PR now. Best wishes for you all especially the soon to be newborn baby. How nice that Abby will get to see the hew family member sooner than expected. Thanks for the updated maps too.
    Love to you all.
    From Lynne in Brisbane Australia

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  36. 06-17-10 @ 05:46
    Dear Laurence & Marianne Sunderland,
    For what it’s worth, I agree with you wholeheartedly, you have explained yourselves and there is no need to drag this out un-necessarily. You have a lot to contend with now, with the baby due and a daughter that will also need your love, understanding and attention. If the critics haven’t got it by now, they never will.
    I feel proud to have been a supporter of Abby’s and enjoyed ‘sailing with her’. I wish you all the best of luck and happiness and hope to see Abby on the “High Seas” again.
    Take care of yourselves and just concentrate on you and yours, that is the most important. You are always in my prayers.
    Loads of love and hugs, and remember God is with you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

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  37. Laurence & Marianne

    Thanks for the update

    All the best

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  38. Let me add my support to that ever growing list of well wishes for you, Abby, family and the little one to come. We as admirers of Abby's achievments where very worried for her safety and we had no more ties to her than a blog. What you as parents went through would of been heartbreaking until you heard the good news. I'm glad that Abby has the urge to do the trip again. Hopefully with a lot more luck involved.
    Looking forward to more positive news in the upcoming blogs

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  39. Best of luck to you all during these exciting times! I think you're both wonderful parents for allowing your children to dream big and having the confidence in their abilities to let them go.

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  40. Dearest Sunderland Family,

    We the Pace family wish you well with the new little blessing to your family. We know that this new little bundle of joy will bring you all much love.

    I know that you will be looking forward to having Abby home so that you can have family time together. I do hope that the media respect your wishes and leave you all alone.

    God bless you all from the Pace Family (Auckland, New Zealand)

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  41. I'm disappointed that Abby's team took down the "where's Abby" navigation record of her voyage. Unless there's some reason to take it down, it was a testament to her steady progress and handling of Wild Eyes, and I think it deserves to stay up as a historical record of her attempt along with her two current maps tracking Abby and the boat.

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  42. Where's Abbie? Please update her progress on getting home.

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  43. The publicity machine lives on a 2 way street. Once you turn it on, it won't go away easily. When things are going well, there can not be enough publicity. When things go poorly, there is too much publicity. A double edged sword. C'est la vie.

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  44. A wise decision indeed!

    I look forward not only to hearing more from Abby . . . but also to news of the soon to be newest member of the Sunderland family.

    I hold every one of you in my heart.

    Be well!

    ~ Cynthia (still on the road somewhere in Wyoming)

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  46. Good move on the media front appointing a rep!
    Good luck for the arrival of the new addition to the family, and Abby's eventual return home.
    RNLI volunteers conduct rescues on a daily basis around the UK coasts, sometimes in terrible conditions. No charges are levied for this service, as it is a charity. I know . . some years ago as a diver, I was once rescued by these dedicated people.
    Cheers
    Dave

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  47. Absolutely the right call. I just hope everyone else can respect it like you've requested. I hope everything goes well in the delivery of your child and on the positive side, Abby will be able to see the baby sooner! :)

    Best of luck to your family and thanks for keeping us updated throughout these trying times.

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  48. I want to thank your family for your openness and willingness to share with the world over the last few days. I hope your wishes are respected, and that the Sunderland family can focus on being just that.

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  49. I simply could not imagine having the media in my face everyday. I think it would bother me emmensely. I have been watching this story unfold for some time now and I am thrilled Abby, that you are safe. For the parents, keep your chin high and know what you did will give your daughter so much strength & courage for her future. What a gift eh? Blessings to you all. Tazzy

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  50. God Bless your family in the days ahead and thank you for being caring loving parents !

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  51. Best wishes to you for the impending birth of the latest Sunderland. I imagine you are anxious to be reunited with Abby as well. Take care.

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  52. Best wishes to new Baby Sunderland

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  53. Very sad news. Now more than ever we need Abby. Many of us have had a dream that we were afraid to start or failed to finish. This is a common bond we all share. Her story is the story of all of us. How she handles it will be the real insperation.

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  54. I am so sorry that the media has to take everything out of context and try and sensationalize on Abby and your family or any ones family during trying times. I am grateful that Abby is safe and on her way home to be reunited with such a loving family. May God watch over you and your family during this time and I can't wait to hear about your new blessing due to arrive any time. Hugs and blessings sent your way.

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  55. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherJune 17, 2010 at 6:24 AM

    As always, you set the right tone and let everyone know who you really are by your wise, honest, caring decisions for your family. My heart and prayers continue to be with you all. What a joy it's been these last couple of years not only getting to follow phenomenal teenagers Zac & Abby as they pursue adventurous dreams, but also getting to know Marianne & Lawrence in this small way -- you both are amazing parents. Congratulations on the coming birth of your new baby! What a blessed child to come into the world part of the Sunderlands. You have my support, and if you're ever in need of a friend in Oklahoma, I'm here!
    Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

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  56. I think that is incredibly responsible of you and your family to have appointed someone you trust (hopefully :)) to take care of the media. You all deserve to have this time to focus on your family. I can tell you're excellent parents that truly only care for your childrens' happiness!! GOOD LUCK with the new baby!! Hope Abby returns home soon!!

    XOXO - ALANA

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  57. Is it possible to make a mobile version of the maps. With all the media attention I would not be suprised if abby went back to sea as soon as possible. As a submariner from the 80s I hope abby enjoys the peace that the sea brings I very frequently miss that

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  58. I am so glad to hear that you won't be doing anymore interviews at this time, because no matter what you have said to them, they just didn't seem to understand anyway. The media were asking the same questions over and over again. Maybe hoping for a different answer each time. They can be so cruel, and don't seem to care, as long as they get a story.
    How exciting for all of you - Abby is coming home and your having a new baby! Congratulations!!
    Lorie~ PA.

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  59. We will always continue our support to Abby. She shows to the people around the globe that she is strong enough to carry the pressure. Be safe Abby!

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  60. more blogs from Abby please!
    The adventure continues!

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  61. Be encouraged Mr. & Mrs. Sunderland
    There are many of us out here that respect your decision to release Abby into her amazing journey.
    As a parent, ultimately our responsibility and goal is to equip our children with the skills, the wisdom and the strength to become what God intended for them to be, to “Train them up in the way they should go” ( I subscribe whole heartedly to “ they should go!”)
    To release them with our blessing and to help them along the road, blessing them is more than just words it is in allowing them room to grow from life’s experiences to learn for themselves while under our care and guidance.
    Eagles literally push the babies out of the nest so they can learn to soar. (if you have seen how high off the ground their nest are…..its a long way down!)

    All too often we see children ill-equipped to take life’s journey. They are as they were trained, irresponsible, self centered, failures. Unable to walk, they crawl back to the nest they abandon moral direction and discipline. A burden to their parents, to them selves and to society.

    Ever see an adult eagle still in the nest… begging for food?

    Abby and the rest of your children are truly blessed! They will mount up and soar on eagles wings

    Be encouraged

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  62. I will be praying for your family as you adjust to the new baby and welcome Abby home! I am so happy that she is safe, and my family has prayed for Abby and your family. Have a fantastic day and next couple of weeks!
    ~Talitha

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  63. Loren SchumacherJune 17, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    You should stop trying to defend yourselves from you many critics. You've done a great job in support of Abby and you appear to be caring parents. Sailing plays a huge role in your lives and you need not apologize. Would I allow my 16 year old daughter to sail the world alone? I don't know, but it would be very hard for me to step on a dream, because I had dreams when I was younger and for that matter, still do.

    Loren Schumacher

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  64. Just some thoughts – God bless you all.

    Alan Villiers Born in Melbourne, Austraila, he first went to sea at age 15 and sailed all the world's oceans on board traditionally rigged vessels including the full rigged ship, Joseph Conrad. He was the author of 25 books, He wrote about young men younger than himself on these under manned ships, as they raced around the world. From England to Australia and return, in what were called the Great Grain Races. There were no radios, no GPS, no radar, no sat phones, and for the most part, most countries did not have a comprehensive Rescue Force. They sailed in the 50 foot seas with full cargo, and waves sweeping the decks (he took pictures and video that prove it). They were not equipped for the conditions they had to tolerate, the food was terrible, and work unrelenting. Read his books!!

    Joseph Conrad at 16 began his career as a seaman. He became a famous writer, to say the least.

    Louis Dearborn L'Amour left home at 15 to travel as a nomad, eventually traveled the world as a seaman. At the time of his death all 105 of his existing works were in print (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full-length works of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers"

    Captain Bligh first went to sea as a cabin boy or captain’s servant at the age of seven or eight on HMS Monmouth. Seven years later, he enlisted as a midshipman on HMS Hunter. That is Bligh of the “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame.

    In days of wooden ships and iron men, cabin boys were typically 8-10 years old. An “able bodied seaman” could be 13-15 years old. To be a captain as an “old man” was around 22-26 years old.

    Where would we be if there were not young people willing to risk the “normal” to conquer new heights – and parents who were for a variety of reasons, willing to let them go.

    In Christ,

    Alan Berry

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  65. abby, you are my hero!!! i am 54 yrs. old and was never together enough to deal with what you did. i too love the sea...but wow you rock!!!!! get home safely.

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  67. Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland and Abby, I have enjoyed learning about your family and thank you for opening your lives to the public. I am thankful Abby is safe. I think Abby must be so disappointed with this turn of events. The media coverage is to be expected I suppose, and I am sorry you have felt attacked. Refocusing your time and effort on your family is a great idea. There will always be people who want to belittle and critcize. Abby, I hope at some point you can set a new goal and move forward. Remember you set out to do something really hard, and there is a lot to appreciate about that. Hold your head high.

    Jenny

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  68. Ugh. Still fighting off the vultures, I see. Ignore the idiots. Don't let them get you down. Rejoice in the miracle that Abby is okay and let the media wallow in their pig-sty all they want.

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  69. Good for you guys! I'm behind you! It will be exciting to hear Abby's complete story in whatever format or capacity she choses. Take care of your family and welcome that new baby with lots of love!

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  70. I can only pray that your wishes will be granted!!!!!!

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  71. Praying for your family at this time. Many blessings to you as Abby arrives home and as the new baby arrives.

    Portland, OR

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  72. I understand completely why you must seek assistance to respond to inquiries. It's a shame that the many people that have developed a personal attachment for your daughter are now unable to feed their daily need for the personal level information concerning Abby's adventure. I hope your lives will get back to normal soon. Best wishes to Abby and her family and team.
    John & Darlene
    Kerrville, TX

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  73. Good Luck! Best Wishes!! And God's blessings to the whole Sunderland family, especially: Abby!!!

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  74. curiousor and curiousor... (sic)
    IndyMike

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  75. There Is like no way you will ever read this but I want you to!:( Anyways I think you look alot like Shawn Johnson!:) haha
    Thank you for being so inspiring!

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  76. Laurence & Marianne ... Understandable and wise, the media attention must have been overwhelming with other very important family matters needing your time. I wish it wouldn't end. After a quick first thing in the morning glance at world news on bbc.com, I have always gone to your blog to check on "our girl". I can't remember when it's bothered me so much for a routine to end. Not that I thought every paragraph was the essence of perfection and many times I was pulling my hair out wanting to wring more detailed information out of her. But a fondness for her spirit/personality developed over time and I became entrenched in her story.

    Looking forward to anything additional Abby chooses to share.

    Best wishes, Bob

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  77. I wish more parents in this world would take the time to teach and to stand behind there kids like the Sunderlands. I will bet that you will never see or hear about Abby being in jail, or being a person that is doing nothing with thier life. I support what she and her family is doing. I hope that Abby will finsh what she started, and know that the Sunderlands will be right behind her supoorting her.

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  78. Congrats on the new baby. I followed Zac and Abby and you are great parents. Half of the people who comment do not know what they are talking about. I hope my son has the amount of maturity and self confidence that your children exhibit. Thanks good luck.

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  79. Having followed Abby from day one of here journey, I have to say it has not been boring! And even though the outcome has not been as we anticipated, Abby is safe and sound and that is the most important fact. Hope you all may find peace and harmony and of cause privacy as long as you wish for. The very best wishes and best of luck to you all from Anita.
    Bergen in Norway

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  80. Abby's adventures have been very inspirational to me. Many thanks to her family for all their support. Glad to hear of the new baby. Yes, time for some privacy!
    Tom

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  81. Abby, please keep us updated on what you're feeling as you make your way home, even if it's just a short note on the blog every day or two. There are many, many of us who care so much about you and your family. For those of us who started following Zac before he left in June 2 years ago, it's hard to realize we won't have a Sunderland to follow around the world for awhile. We'll be going through withdrawals!

    Thanks to Team Abby for adding the 2 maps to the site. Awesome.

    And I send my best wishes to all you Sunderlands on the coming arrivals--Abby and your new baby boy. I hope you'll let us know when BOTH are safe in the fold.

    --Sue McGah
    Laguna Niguel, CA

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  82. Totally understand. God bless you all and congratulations on the soon-to-be arrival of your new baby!! Only those who have sailed can really appreciate, even the small details, of what Abby has accomplished. She is a true role model for us all and especially young people.

    Take care; get some rest; let Abby take her time getting home. Even this part of her journey is a special part of her undertaking.

    Best wishes to all,
    Nina from MdR

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  83. Let me just paste the ending of your message, because so many seem to think the Blog is over now. Thank you for letting us know that you will continue to update us on Abby's progress, and the assurance that Abby will tell her story when she is ready.

    (("We will continue to update our blog with Abby’s progress and in due course Abby will be available to tell her story.Thank You,Laurence & Marianne Sunderland"))

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  84. Seriously, after spending two years gathering as much publicity as you were able, don't be suprised when you achieve the attention you sought.
    Great adventure is just a story, but trouble and shipwreck sells!

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  85. I'm praying that you have learned that the life of your kids is more important than a movie about their adventures.

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  86. Wish I'd had parents like Abby's when I was growing up! What a lucky young lady!

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  87. You guys are really awesome Christians. I hope you all do well!

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  88. Abby, if you ever want to get away from the media and relax a little. Our boat is open for you anytime and zac also. Come enjoy Texas sailing for a different view. I was sailing out of Marina Del Rey after you left, wish I could have been doing it while you were still there. You and your family are in our hearts. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I hope you will continue to post on your fb page. Why not set it for (no comments) then the negative minded and the media couldnt reach you, but we could keep up with you. As I said you are welcome anytime on our sailing vessell. Love to you and your family.
    John and Irene (Esea Livin) Kemah, Tx
    joybe@yahoo.com

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  89. Thanks for everything your family has done, and thank you so very much to Abby, for her courage, conviction and amazing story. I have followed this effort every day from day 1, and looked forward to each blog.

    I am in my 60s, yet I cried and prayed like Abby was my own, when I found out she was "missing". And had tears of joy when I knew she was safe.

    I hope that your lives return to some degree of normalcy and that one day, Abby lives her dream and makes her circumnavigation... and that we all can be a part of that one, as we have been this time.

    Fear not the media, as was said before, soon they will have a new "victim" and you will be free.

    Cheers,

    RNL

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  90. I can understand your needs for a bit of privacy at this timer. I would hope though, that you will let us know when Abby arrives home, at least. She is the worlds daughter now and we certainly will want to know when she arrives home safe and sound with you and your family. Til then, our best wishes for not only Abby, but you and Marianne, as well. Congratulations on the coming event.
    Our Love Always
    Bud and Charla Winnett
    Wheeling, Mo

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  91. you should post links to search and rescue organizations so that your supports can vector their contributions to a cause that matters.

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  92. I don't know what to say that hasn't been said already. I extend my love and support and prayers to you SUNDERLANDS...You guys are the for real thing. PROUD PARENTS...that is what you are above all else. Mom and Dad. Congrats on the new baby Sunderland.
    I am excited with you about Abby's return home.
    But I totally respect your choice to let a rep take on the media. So you can concentrate on getting Abby home.
    Love, and Prayers to you all!! Very Much!!!
    Crystal
    Galion,Ohio

    p.s. I am posting a video with lyrics that our church did lastnight durning praise and worship...and it soooo made me think of your family. please if you get a moment...check it out. I believe it will encourage you. it is on Abby's facebook page.
    God Bless!!!

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  93. Sunderland family,
    To raise such resourceful children you have to be exceptional parents!It's terrible what the media has done to all of you,just terrible.Thank you ever so much for sharing Abby and her journey with us.I wish you well,and congratulations on the new baby.
    Doug from Ohio

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  94. The press can be very tough to handle but don't only blame them. You were very happy to have a big showing in MDR. Everybody knows that if you are part of a sponsored event, the sponsors will want press coverage. Once the coverage is requested it will be on during the good and we know that bad stories sell better than a good one.

    18 months from now, I would love to hear that Abby is around Catalina Island about to enter MDR to complete her solo trip. I would love to then sail my boat with her for the last few miles and then later read her book, see her DVD and meet her in person. This is how people used to do it before they were able to keep a 24/7 satellite link with home base.

    @50 year old anonymous: I also had some of my post deleted. This is bad because I was always polite and (I thought) objective.

    Bernard

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  95. You probably are doing whats best!

    Next step would be to get Abby counceling, as soon as its available! She keeps defending her age and that she is a capable sailor, and it was the storm that did the trip in. From what I have read from all the blogs, there are very few challenging her ability. Its not fair for her to keep defending something that she is not accused of! Folks are challenging type of boat, the boats reliability, and the voyage timing due to extreme weather in the Indian Ocean.

    Bless you all and have a happy reunion with Abby, who is a great young lady!

    I am going to miss her blog as I have been following it from the start. I also followed Jesscia's!

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  96. To Abby and her family:
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure, though cut short. Thank God, Abby is safe. I honor your request for privacy and look forward to hearing from you when the time is right. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart, and safe travels Abby.

    Always,

    Jackie
    Hollywood, Florida/USA

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  97. Loved watching reach for your dreams Abby.

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  98. Good luck to all of you. :)

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  99. Abby, you are a wonderful girl! I will be glad to know you are safely back at home....enjoying your family and cuddling your, soon to be born, new baby brother! God bless!
    Janell in OK

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  100. Thank You very much for the Update and Congratulations, on the decision to Keep the media at bay because they can be like wolves. Also thank you for the updates on Abby and how about some updates on the baby. Just a small request to let all the Abby Fans in on this important news to such a wonderful and together family. Once again Thank You. Abby try and enjoy the boat ride up to Reunion, and somewhat get your ideas together for the book..Peace & Aloha..38'43"N/122'67"W

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  101. Here's my opinion for what it's worth:

    Abby took on a difficult challenge that most people regardless of age don't have the intestinal fortitude to attempt. She is one of her parent's most valuable assets and would not have been allowed to proceed had she not shown that she is capable of the task. Having spent over 100 days at sea by herself she proved that she was more than capable of handling herself.

    The boat failed her. It's as simple as that. Had Abby not been demasted it's quite possible we'd all be reading about her approach to Western Australia and discussing less important issues such as a lost brush or how bored she is with the food she brought along. You don't make it half way around the world without the experience or knowledge necessary to complete the task. From what I read, Abby didn't panic and did all of the right things when she ran into her problems. That shows maturity and strength.

    Jessica Watson was knocked down several times during her crossing of the Indian Ocean. Right now we're all praising her for accomplishing her goal, but what if she had suffered the same fate? Would we be putting her and her family through the same scrutiny? Why is Jessica a hero and Abby is left to defend her attempt to do the same?

    As for the cost of the rescue, yes it's expensive, but it's what they do. It's all part of doing business when you're involved with Search & Rescue. There have been many other people out on the world's oceans by themselves that had to be rescued at a huge cost. We're not debating the millions of dollars spent on those rescues, so why should Abby?

    I do have to admit that I was a bit dismayed to see a request for donations to help find Wild Eyes and bring her home. I also have to admit that I'm happy to see that there will be no further effort to find her. That does seem to be an excessive cost that is not needed. I'd much rather see the funds go towards repaying some of the rescue costs already incurred. If the entities involved don't want to be reimbursed they should give the money to a charity of some kind. I also believe that if a book, tv or movie deal is put together that a portion of those funds be treated the same. That's just my opinion, though.

    I understand the families wish for privacy. I'm a bit torn on this, though. Abby's adventure was made to be very public with web sites, blogs, media, etc., and now it seems as though we'll see very little of Abby's ongoing story until a book or film is released. We've all been there for the first several chapters and it only seems fair that we get to see the story play out as it happens.

    That's it for me. I followed Zac's journey start to finish and I had hoped to do the same with Abby. I wish the best of luck to Abby and her family and hope that the public be fair in their judgement.

    Mike

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  102. It is very nice to know that you are safe. Congratulations to you all! Better luck in the next adventure! We will send our best thoughts!
    Regards from Rio, BRazil!

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  103. Tom from So. Cal.June 17, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    I applaud everything Abby has done and tried to do. It sickens me that the media is trying to ruin what is a great achievement for her no matter what the outcome. She learned more in those few hundred days than most people learn in a lifetime.
    Thanks for the adventure, Tom

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  104. @Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV - Good to see you still around. We followed Jessica and Abby from the beginning. We were always there for Jessica and praying when things got "a little bouncy". Jess is well on to the next level but Abby still needs us. I will be here until she no longer needs the support and I waiting in standby for her next attempt.

    By the time Abby arrives home in California the Gulf of Mexico will probably be filled with oil with terrible loss of life and economy. The news media will like that better and hopefully leave you guys alone.

    To the person that was comparing Abby's circumnavigation with a 16 year old girl hitchhiking across America………………….are you serious??????? I'm finding it hard to believe that there are perverts just cruising the southern oceans looking for teenage girls to sail on by. You really need to stop watching Nancy Grace and Oprah. Abby was safer where she was than probably anyplace else on Earth. Do you think she was in danger on the fishing boat? Was she in danger on that little island with the researchers? What about the ship she's on now? Give me a break. Then you compare Abby's trip to a girl partying and drinking in a bar in Aruba. Yeah, that was safe. It's unbelievable how trash TV can affect the way people think.

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  105. Abby - I have been watching you and reading your blog since the day after you sailed. I didn't know about it until my co-worker shared your story with me. You have told of your triumphs and your challenges. As I read your blog, it was obvious that you were passionate about your mission, extremely knowledgeable about sailing, and very mature. I commend you for being so brave and courageous to take on this adventure. I hate that the media is pounding on your parents, but this too shall fade away. As a parent I don't know what I would do if my daughter said she wanted to sail around the world at 16 - it all depends on the circumstances. Do you encourage and support her dreams? Or halt those ambitions out of fear? It's not an easy decision for a parent to make, and I wish people would not judge so easily.

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  106. Glad Abby is safe, Good luck to you all!!

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  107. I know this blog is generally very positive but I do hear some ongoing negativity out there about Abby's adventure so I would like to throw in my two cents.

    As I have indicated on previous Facebook posts I fully support Abby's adventure and her parents willingness to prepare her, equip her and let her go.

    I am not a sailor and certainly would not try to sail around the world but I am a hiker, climber and logical thinker so I hike and climb. When I was sixteen years old in the 1950's my parents would drop me at the sierra foothills west of Bishop California. I would then hike solo cross-country, climbing peaks, traversing arêtes and crossing glaciers. I would marvel at the beautiful vistas, high valleys and getting to know who I really was. I would only follow a trail on the first and last day of my trip finally entering civilization again on the west side of the mountain range two+ weeks later.

    To be sure these were minor trips compared to Abby's trip but they were none the less filled with adventure, risk and reward. Now I am certainly much older but I still go on my solo adventures and moved on from the sierras to more remote locations many years ago, I feel I personally am a better person because of these adventures.

    One last note is I don't feel I am now safer in wilderness areas because I am older. Also I certainly don't think Abby could have done any better than she has if she was older.

    Bill
    Shady Cove, Oregon

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  108. Hello Abby and Family: All of you did well. It is wonderful for youth to explore and parents to stand behind them. God made us to take reasonable risks in his fullfilment of our lives. The news media, with their devious behavior are destroying our country, but with that we can also learn to deal with humanity. Live as you are and Thank-you for five great months of life as it should be. Warren in Western Pa.

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  109. You are amazing parents!
    I pray God's richest blessings on you as you reunite with Abby and welcome the newest adventurer into your family!
    ~a

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  110. Dear Laurence, Marianne, and family ~
    Wishing you glorious family time in the days ahead. Please know that you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm already looking forward to the next exciting news! You must know how much you are loved.
    Blessings always!
    Marie, WA St.

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  111. I just want to say how proud I am of you. Things may slow you down, but nothing will ever stop you. It's very clear you know what you want, you have the ability & the drive to do things that a lot of people wouldn't. Your adult life will be amazing. Bless you.

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  112. I didn't do much, but I'm behind you people! Hope that your new family addition comes well!

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  113. Best wishes to your entire family. I hope one day to be again cheering Abby on as she pursues another sailing adventure. Thanks so much for sharing your lives. John

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  114. Best of wishes this week! You must be thrilled to welcome a new sweet babe into your home!

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  115. You are in my prayers, including your new little one.
    As a 50 year old who still has big dreams he wants to fulfill Abby is an inspiration.
    As a parent of two great little kids I just hope I do at least half as well at helping them have vision and support their achieving it. I'm sure some people question the ski slopes I put my 7 & 4 year old on but, like you, I know my kids! I got to see 7 year old do her first jump and black diamond and hear the (then) 3 year old declare "I kicked that slopes butt!" (He did.)
    Laurence and Marianne, if you are bad parents then what hope do the rest of us have? God's mighty blessing on all of you.
    If you're ever in SW MI drop us a line, we'll make a bunch of our homemade pizza.
    Prophetic thought for Abby: You will circumnavigate the globe one day.

    Take care. I pray a plague of darkness and confusion on the media.

    Gee, if this was about fame why are you limiting...chuckle.

    Dennis & Trudie

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  116. I hope Abby gets a second chance to sail solo around the world.

    A father of six. Tulsa, OK.

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  117. @Dennis, 1:24PM.

    You wrote "...I pray a plague of darkness and confusion on the media."

    Are you for real? Why would God entertain a nasty request like that? The only darkness and confusion I can see is in your mind. Comments like that denigrate Christianity. Shame on you.

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  118. May God continue to bless your family.

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  119. Hello Dear Abby and Sunderlands too
    Congratulations to Abby for being the YOUNGEST HALF THE WORLD CIRCUMNAVIGATOR!!!! and the YOUNGEST TO GO AROUND CAPE HORN and the sweetest sailor of the seas I have ever known! Blessings and comfort to you all for all that you have been through over these past days. I have come to just think the world of lovely Abby and Wild Eyes too and have become so attached to the blogs and felt such a proud kinship to Abby and "our" journey (because everyday I couldn't wait to see where WE were!). After seeing all of you, (Zac, Mom and Dad) over these past days and watch you responding to the PRESSures I now know where Abby gets her gracious class, patience, and grounded ways from. I think back when Abby was concerned about stopping in Cape Town and I wrote to her then and told her that I live by this mantra ". . .Nothing happens by accident. . ." and that becomes so true as we can never know what has been precluded from happening to us or what we have been spared. Whatever happens to us our part is only to trust and know that all is well--God will not fail us or will he let us fail--and all we have to do is trust. When Abby was first reported "missing at sea" as they put it, I probably was the only one on the planet that during my continuous prayers (for Abby and Wild Eyes safety) I also thanked God for the "long wave" because we will never know what Abby was precluded from or what would/could have also happened. Praise God Abby is now safe, sound, getting additional experiences and gaining new knowledge and wisdom about people, places and things that she never would have had the opportunity for had she not experienced this happening. Also we all come to learn sooner or later that Life always Happens while you are planning something else and the something else Miss Abby was planning has now just been a little delayed. I can only imagine that it must be so hard at times like these to hear the naysayers who have never risked anything and yet are always the first to evaluate and speak their mind. Please Ignore them if you can but don't ignore this--there is a whole slew of people out there who think the world of Abby and her family and wish you all only the best of the best in your futures. Congrats on Abby coming home soon and also on the newest sailor soon to be in the family--Take care and wishing nothing but smooth sailings ahead for all of you lucky and lovely Sunderlands!
    Gramma Lee

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  120. Abby is now elevated to my "hero" list

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  121. Thank you for your updates! I know that God will continue to bless your family! Good luck on your upcoming delivery!

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  122. Good decision! The media fails us in so many ways when all they want is a news story or when they want to sensationalize or put a spin on a story...regardless of the truth and personal consequences.
    Wishing your family all the best.
    Susan in Oregon

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  123. The media is going to want to get to Abby as soon as they know she is back home. For Abby to hold a news conference, I would suggest that only those news people that have read her blog completely should be allowed to attend and that all questions should address the adventure and nothing else!!!

    Your Follower;
    Garry, Virginia Beach, VA.

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  124. A good decision taken, all the critics are enough to make anyone sick.Blessings on the arrival of a new Sunderland and ofcourse on the brave and bright daughter of yours, Abby.Let this blog not be the end of Abby or the Sunderland family, you were part of our lives and we enjoy every moment of it.I can't wait for Abby to tell the adventure in her own words God bless
    [Port Elizabeth, South Africa]

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  125. let all readers recognize your efforts Abby travels make everyone proud

    sorry my bad english

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  126. Does anyone know if Abby has made the transfer from the La Reunion to the Osiris? By looking at the latest Abby map she is north east of the transfer location so it is my assumption she is on her way to her drop off island. I keep checking like 20 times a day to get an update of the transfer. Just want to make sure she is safe and I miss her blogs terribly.

    Sunderland family, great call on getting your family out of the media circus so you can enjoy your new baby and Abby getting home to hug her sister Katherine.

    Kelly, Chico, CA

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  127. Dear. Captain Abby
    Welcome to Kobe Japan after Achievement.
    Sin

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  128. Very well said.

    Congratulations on your expected new arrival, and Abby's soon to be homecoming.

    Thank you for letting us share in Zac and Abby's adventures. Twenty days or twenty years, we will be here for Abby's next solo circumnavigation attempt.

    Love to the Sunderland family and Team Abby.

    Jim
    Phoenix

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  129. Wow...It's been quite a ride over the past few months. As a liveaboard sailor for years on the West Coast of Florida, it's been exciting to be the witness of this great feat of a 16 year old making it more than half way around the world in a tiny plastic boat(compared to the hugeness and power of the sea).I've enjoyed every blog post since the beginning, and checked most every day to see what progress Abby had made since her last post.

    When it was reported Abby might be lost, it was a great shock, but somehow I felt she was okay and that she would be found in good shape,and of course she was found not only healthy and physically safe, but also in great spirits.

    Abby, as for sailing your adventure, remember there are many tomorrows. The ever changing sea will be there for the next time you cast off from the dock....Richard, Sarasota

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  130. Where is Wild Eyes?
    http://www.abbysunderland.com/abbys-boat.php
    I am not sure what you are tracking, but my husband and the team salvage are towing Wild Eyes to Ile Maurice right now.
    Domenique

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  131. Dear Sunderland Family,
    I wish you all well. It is sad that when parents raise their children to be something more than sponges or blobs they are criticised so mindlessly. Whether or not people would agree with all the decisions that were made, you must be complimented for your attitude to life and parenting.

    As an Australian, I sincerely hope that there hasn't been a media backlash regarding the rescue. I only listen to our public broadcaster and television station, so I have no idea what has been going on in the commercial sector. I am confident there has not been any adverse comment on our public radio or television. If any of you have experienced otherwise from Australia, then I am truly sorry.

    Australians have long valued the spirit of the 'battler' and the underdog, and the person willing to have a go. As in the US, it is what our modern nation was built on. I hope Australians at least can applaud that in Abby.

    My congratulations and respect to Abby for getting up and having a go. It certainly is no failure to not make it all the way round. How few of us have even started anything approaching that kind of goal in any aspect of our lives? She has great spirit and courage that I hope hasn't been dented as a result of adverse comments by tiny-minded people.

    May you all have ample blessings and only as many tribulations as you can manage.

    Best wishes
    Toni McLean

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  132. Last week I wrote a comment to LA Times about the criticism Abby's parents.

    It's here:

    http://bourgeois-bent.blogspot.com/2010/06/abby-can-think-for-herself.html

    They didn't publish. I had hoped it would help

    So glad Abby is safe

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  133. I've been a supporter of Abby since I saw her on Channel 1 during school. She inspired me to follow my dreams and step out of the box I've been in.
    I hope Abby gets to sail a second time. I, and many others, will support her the whole way.
    Thank you, Abby, for inspiring others, older and younger than you!
    Get home safely(:

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  134. To the Sunderland family,
    Thank you for keeping us updated over the last week. With all that has been going on in your lives. You still haven't forgotten us as we haven't forgotten Abby. Do what you have to do now for your family. Not to worry we’ll still be around when Abby sets sail once again to fulfill her dream. Best wishes to you with the new baby as well as your family. Godspeed getting home Abby. I am very proud of you.

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  135. I used to live in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park,
    learned to sail in Marina del Rey, so have always felt a connection to Abby although never the privilege to have met her. I wish nothing but the best for Abby and her family and do hope some day she attempts to circle the globe again.
    Ed in TN

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  136. So interesting that the media feeds more on "failure" than success. I don't see Abby's situation as failure, but the media certainly will. She is a star and she has shone brightly.

    I'll repeat this recommendation... "A Pearl in the Storm" -- great book about a woman who tried (and failed) to ROW across the Atlantic ocean. Very good book. When I read it a few months ago, it reminded me of Abby in many ways.

    God Bless your family.

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  137. Although Abby did not complete her trip, she still deserves a lot of credit! At least she did more than half the trip! I think she'll get a second chance, and be better prepared! Many learn from their mistakes! If she tries again she will more likely make it!

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  138. Good to know that the they got a public relations consultant/manager. The media is getting out of control about how she is to young and all this BS. Anyway it is aslo good to know that abby will be home to see her baby brother or sister born. And Abby i hope you get back to saling around the world sometime soon and lot of us of us fans with the abby sunderland fan page on facebook would be greatful to donate some mouney to get you a new boat.
    I hope you get home safe and sound.
    -Douglas, Honolulu, Hi

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  139. Abby,
    A friend told me late Thursday night (June 10th) that a 16-year-old sailor girl was in trouble but details were very sketchy. I was extremely depressed and scared, thinking it was you. (I lost my daughter when she was 11.)

    As I was packing the next morning for the mountains (prospecting), I turned on the TV news (which I rarely watch) and suddenly your family was on the screen and learned it was you and that YOU WERE SAFE!! It was with great relief and joy to learn you are OK. (I just got back yesterday so this is my first chance to write.)

    The following, I hope, will give the critics a little more understanding why we do what we do.

    Every sailor who has been at sea has been dismasted or had some tragedy of some sort. One who I consider the greatest solo sailor of them all, Tristan Jones, probably experienced every catastrophe ever. I come from a commercial fishing family (both sides), my grandfather crossed the Columbia River bar every day. He soloed the Pacific in the early 1900's to smuggle his sister from Russia to the U.S. However, I've only sailed "solo" once (while the skipper was below taking a nap). So I'm hardly qualified to criticize anyone. I started climbing mountains and hiking at a very young age - alone, usually without trails. I've had close encounters with bears (and cubs), rattlesnakes, cougars, and skunks (ahhh!). But it doesn't stop me and it sounds like you're a pretty tough girl despite your fragile appearance (OK, that's just my opinion, sorry).

    I'm so glad you decided to write the book and am looking forward to reading it. (By reading your blog, it's obvious you are a great writer.) Ernest Shackleton didn't achieve his goal but the book "Endurance" was a greater story.

    I'm very sorry you lost Wild Eyes, your home for these past months. It must seem like loosing a good friend. Only a few people can understand that, I think.

    As for the negative comments by the no-doers. Bah! Every ship has rats in the bilge. Pay them no mind 'cause they don't have one.

    Sorry this is so long but I'm a writer and get a little wordy at times. (My usual letters are 10 pages long.)

    As for the future, let the decisions be yours but let your family be your guide and you will never go wrong. And just so you know, I support you 100% in whatever quest you pursue.

    VernB, Medford, Oregon

    P.S. Did you ever get warmed up yet?

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  140. In a world filled with so much trouble and bad news like terrorism, disease, starvation, economic struggles and oil spills, it is refreshing to see the human spirit attempt to conquer challenges like circumnavigating the globe solo in a 40 foot sail boat. Especially when the sailor is a 16 year old young woman, mature beyond her years. Abby may not have completed her goal, but we should celebrate the success measured by the fact that we were able to live Abby's dream vicariously from the comfort of our homes. Let's not forget that despite the extreme challenges of the high seas and hostile weather, Abby was rescued from her disabled vessel through the ingenuity of technology and the sheer determination of the human condition. Kudos to a very supportive family to allow such dreams to be attempted.

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  141. For anyone who wants to post a positive or negative opinion about Abby and her great adventure, please read all her previous blogs before you post that opinion. You really need to get to know her and her family first.

    For Abby, I can just see Wild Eyes spotted off Australia’s west coast and being towed into Perth awaiting your reunion.

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  142. Dear Skipper Abby and Family Sunderland....I have commented so many brilliant & often comments that I must have saturated my Blogger. But promise us faithfully that you'll get the word out when your next boat leaves huh? Great thanks for all the excitement, inspiration and for forcing some of us to take a long look at ourselves... bigtime. Ken & Nell Haughton NSB, FL.

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  143. Just saw the Los Angeles Times photo of
    Abby awaiting rescue. What resilence!! Much happiness on the new addition to your wonderful family!! Continued strength and health to Abby as she makes her way home.

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  144. Dear Abby,
    If you don't write a book, we (the people) can't read it, and if you don't make a show/movie "we" can't watch it. It's your call Skipper, but I personally hope you don't let the negativity and criticism deny you "your" right to tell your story; "anyway" you want. May God bless you, keep you and guide you Skipper!

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  145. To the Sunderland Family;

    I hope Abby is home safe soon and all goes well with your impending new arrival. I think your previous post from Australia Search & Rescue and also hiring a media consultant is a great idea. The media can be downright cruel at times.

    Abby, Someone once said that "Eagles don't flock, they soar - one at a time". Maybe you chose sailing instead of flight but you "soared" too. What you did showed courage, maturity and wisdom beyond your years. I know when the time is right you'll be out on the water again. Thank you for sharing your dream with us and making us a part of it too.

    We'll look forward to hearing from Abby again when the time is right.

    God Speed you home and God Bless you all.

    Nick - Waterbury CT

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  146. A brief message of support from a sailor-girl and a mother of two young children.

    Abby is a remarkable young woman and I hope that my daughter has the courage and fortitude that she has displayed. Regardless of where life takes her, you can rest assured that she will be a success with courage, drive and ambition like that.

    Having said that, it's a testament to the parenting she has received - her dreams are supported and encouraged and as a parent, I fully appreciate how challenging it is to separate your concerns about her safety while encouraging her dreams. Yes, there is an undeniable risk in the journey she chose - but nothing worthwhile is without risk. :)

    Congratulations on raising stellar children. I've been reading Abby's blog for quite some time and it's been a great journey for me too. I'm proud of her!

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  147. As always, I'm here if you need me.
    Standing by.

    Bob in OKC

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  148. God bless your family and wish Abby a safe return home. Congratulations on your soon to be new arrival! What an exciting time. My prayers will be with you constantly. I have no doubt that Abby will fulfill what ever she sets out to do. Hope you have some peace and can enjoy your family and the return of your precious daughter and you new little one.

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  149. I have posted on other blogs, and I think even on this one somewhere back when Abby's journey began. I said it then, I'll say it a thousand more times: Abby, and the entire Sunderland family is tops in my opinion. The support and dedication I see in you all reminds me of my family as I was growing up. We spent all of our free time ripping across the SoCal desert at over 75 mph on those (dare I say it?) dangerous three wheelers (ATC). Every member of my family rode these things, we raced, we launched ourselves off the top of dunes, we occasionally crashed and even got hurt now and then. But we all (even mom!) kept supporting each other, and trusting each other. I can remember my brother (14) my sister (13) and I (17) riding alone out into the desert well after dark, and traveling over 20 miles to find a secluded dune to run. We traveled by instinct, and the stars. Mom and dad trusted us to get there and back safe. That was our version of a family weekend. I am now 47, and because of growing up much like the Sunderland kids, I, and my siblings, enjoy chasing new adventures. And we have always enjoyed the confidence to attempt anything that draws our attention, and usually succeed. I hope that when you are ready Abby, you take another shot at circling the globe. I have faith in you. You are a hero in my eyes.
    Sail on young lady.....sail on.

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  150. I'm so happy that Abby is safe & on her way to returning home! Good Luck on future adventures with your children, you are wonderful parents who teach and allow your children to follow their dreams. Best wishes on the birth of a new addition to your family!! Exciting times!!

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  151. Hope you don't try to make a buck off of your kid. That would be pathetic.

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  152. Thanks for the blog. I am glad that you have made the decision not to talk to the news media....no matter what you say they don't seem to understand and I wish that they would stop putting your family down. You are a wonderful family and I am in complete support for your family and Abby. Congratulations on your new baby boy...how wonderful. I am looking forward to receiving my T-shirt for my grandaughter....she is going to enjoy wearing it. God Bless Your Family. Gail/Otten

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  153. As we say here in Australia "she'll be right mate". Abby, just have another go, don't let people knock you or discourage you. We are sorry to hear about 'wild Eyes', I don't think we have seen the last of her though. I live here in Tasmania and it is very possible with winds and currents that it may turn up on our shores here somewhere, it has to make landfall somewhere here I think. Best of luck for your next trip.
    John, Northwest Coast Tasmania-Australia.

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  154. Bravo......... Truth is in you, not the press...

    Daveh & Skipper
    dave@davehickson.com

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  155. I am a father of four daughters, grandfather of three and a long distance sailor. I think the details of Abby's sailing adventure will provide a fine example to young women everywhere and my family and I will look forward to reading or watching her story. -- Good Luck Abby

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  156. I've been following you Abby since January when I started studying abroad in Spain and everyday there and since I've been home, I've looked forward to hearing your updates. I am back in the US and am still reading and keeping up with your updates and I am SOOO happy that you are safe. Abby, I know you will stop at nothing because if you want to achieve a goal, you will. You determination is inspiring. Keep your head up until you get home! I've typed on a keyboard in Spain and I know how FRUSTRATING a foreign keyboard can be! Won't rest easy until you're home and safe. xoxo Jessey Rockville, MD

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  157. I have been keeping track of Abby's whole trip from the beginning and am only now going to reply to one of these entries. When I read her entries and those written by you her parents when she could not, I have been moved to tears. This whole things has just been such a beautiful experience for Abby and I am so so sooooo very proud of her. I love the fact that as parents, you gave her your unconditional love, support and guidance when she needed it the most. Most teens would kill to have the kind of understanding parents she has in you. I know I would have. I am not stupid to think she wasn't deserving of so much trust either. She has been an exemplary model for all teens all over the world, not just in the United States. She took her years of training to sail and made a goal for herself and with your love and blessings, she set out to achieve that goal. She is very strong, level-headed and extremely capable of being able to do this and I am only saddened by the fact that her trip had to end now. I do not know any of you but I have seen the amount of love and trust and honesty you all have for each other and my heart just bursts for you all. I adore Abby and I sincerely hope she gets a second chance to sail around the world again. Much love and many blessings to the entire Sunderland family! ~♥~

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  158. The Media is always full of half truths. They will eat their own young if given half a chance. Congratulations on your new addition. Wow nothing like having a lot on your plate? You’ve always been amazing people. Stay focused on your family I am sure Abby will be a great help to have home. Our positive thoughts will be with you. You guys are building fantastic memories. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

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  159. To Abby and her family:
    You must be exhausted, and so we can really understand your very smart strategy to protect your family. We have nothing but praise for Abby's skilled and amazing journey, and for her parents, who understand and support their children. We have been supportive of all of you from the beginning, and will always be so. We pray for Abby to be happy with all she has accomplished; she is our hero. And we believe she will do it again, and would support her in any way possible. You are all the true salt of the earth, and we admire you so very much. Hope the delivery of your new little one is smooth, and the same for Abby's journey home. Think of all she is learning, and we hope she knows that we all think she's quite an example for all of us to follow. Thank you for all your efforts to help us know that all is and will be fine.
    Kelly and Dave in Santa Clarita

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  160. I wasn't going to post a comment, you have more than enough! :) But I read a comment above from some who essentially said that you are crazy for allowing your children into the world because they may meet predators. Whilst that is true, it's also very true that predators will prey on others even in their own homes. Parents may want to keep their kids safely locked in the basement, but when they do finally emerge into the real World, what chance will the have? They will have no skills or experience at all, and a predator will smell that a mile away! As an ex-policeman, I have seen this time and time again! The absolute best thing a parent can do for their child it prepare them for the World as it truly is. Safety is an illusion. 100% safety and security is impossible. The safest people are those who are aware of the risks and don't take "stupid" risks (like going to that bad part of every town anywhere in the World where you know you will probably get into trouble, for example.) If the kids don't know where the bad places they should stay away from are, and why they should stay away, how does that protect them? Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is guaranteed to get you into trouble.

    From all I have read, you have done very well as parents. And it seems your children know that also. You may not consider yourself 'perfect parents", I know I don't, but the perfect parent doesn't and can't exist anyway. :) I am very proud of my three (adult now) children, and they are proud of me. I didn't wrap them in cotton wool, but I did love and care for them, and I always told them the honest truth, and I taught them how amazing and wonderful our World and the people in it can be, and how dangerous and bad it can be also. It's all we can do.

    I and my "kids" are very proud of Jess and Abby and Zac, even though we have never met, and probably never will. That's not the point!

    You have done very well, and your children are a testament to you. I truly hope Abby will continue to challenge herself, she will succeed. She has learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, no matter how well prepared or how safe you are, things go wrong. That's life! Nobody ever achieves anything if they just give up, or live in the basement! ;) :D

    You are doing the right thing I believe. Your first priority, as you obviously know, is to be a family!

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.Stay strong, and keep loving each other. :)

    Paul.
    Australia.

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  161. Go Abby, an inspiration to many kids! Including ours, and she's only 5. Awesome adventure and thank God for EPIRBS and the rescue boats and crew !
    Terry, Alexa, and Ava Grace

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  162. Hi Abby,

    Go home from Ile de la Reunion with Austral Air direct to Sydney,Australia and then non stop Sydney to Los Angeles.

    Would love to see you in Australia.

    We are still very much a country that admires those that "give it a go".

    Go Abby.

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  163. Today I saw an ugly cloud arise over an otherwise refreshing, hope-filled story of your voyage (& rescue), Abby--
    someone came up with the idea that you could be another 'ballon girl,' as in the story of ‘balloon boy’, whose dad wanted a lot of attention & wanted to get hired by reality TV, so tried to use his boys in pretense. My thoughts about this accusation:
    a. With such a 'good news' story (of Abby’s voyage & rescue), some will need to find something bad about it--but that 'balloon girl' angle is quite a low, cheap one-- I hope no one falls for it.
    b. If her dad was sending her out to sea so he could get money from it (or fame) why would he need to send out his daughter--when his son already made it around the world solo--in theory wouldn't that already get the money & fame that he was seeking?
    c. If her dad is so 'strapped for money' as the rumor came up, how could they afford to invest the thousands of dollars to make Abby's dream come true?
    d. If it was done just as a pretense on the road to fame & riches with the media, does that mean that all those on the support team, friends, & family are all in on it(‘the plan’) together?
    Hey, whoever's coming up with such rumors-- you need to work a little harder to make up ones that at least make sense.
    And to you Abby--my prayers were with you out there, & He's answered our many prayers for you. I couldn't really understand why you'd want to do that, at such a risk, but life is a risk every day for everyone, so it's not so much different. The courage you have must come from God, & I hope most of all this trip has brought you closer to Him. His love & power is evident in your life, & as you write your story, it will be woven into your tale.
    Don't worry, they had to pick apart what Jesus did too, so you're in good company. Shine on, girl, He's with you!

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  164. The Main thing is that Abby is safe.
    Forget about the media, forget about the hype ( easier said than done i know), the media does not really represent the common man. They do not speak for us. I am from Australia and there was all this hype about taxpayers paying for Abbys rescue. We the people do not care....our taxes also pay for our rescue teams to do " Mock rescues". In this case they got to put that training into action. The media should be thanking you for giving our guys a chance to take part in a real rescue ( but i wouldn't wish it upon anyone....especially young Abby...smile). I think its a great idea for Abby to write about her experiences....good and not so good. It will be a good way for her to come to terms with what happened out there. The media can be harsh and Abby is going to need heaps of support. But just let her know.....we the ordinary people are sooooo proud of her for having a dream, for getting out there and giving it a damn decent try....and im sure one day she will get back out there and succeed. These trials can only make her stronger. Well done Abbs. ( Maybe you and Jessica will do something together one day....GIRL POWER !!! )

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  165. I'm looking forward to the post about your reunion with Abby.

    She didn't make it around the world (this time), but after seeing her spirit, courage and wisdom, I'm sure that she'll go much farther in life than she did in Wild Eyes.

    Good on y'all!

    ClimbHi
    Pittsburgh, PA

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  166. YOU GO, GIRL!!! You are doing great! You have courage and have been inspired for your dreams and the journey. Not only by training but by God, watching over you! You are not abused, as some people are saying. Nice to know your parents supported your dreams. Kudos to them! And to YOU!! Soooo...where are we going next time? : ) I know I will back you up!!

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  167. Thank you to the Sunderland family for letting us be a part of this wonderful experience with you and Abby. And congratulations on the soon-to-be-born baby boy in your family! I am so relieved Abby's rescue went so smoothly, and am very grateful to the Australian Maritime SAR and of course the crew of the French vessel who completed the dangerous pick-up! In fact, it seems to me every one of the people involved have been respectful, courteous, non-judgmental, and professional. I wish the same could be said for the media and many folks here. It seems America is miserable and it's only getting worse. Many seem to have nothing to be proud of and that makes them angry, petty and spiteful. Unfortunately they can't see beyond their own petulance to realize Abby and her team gave us something very precious and rare today: pride, and hope for the future.

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  168. You all have my admiration and gratitude. Few of us have to forethought and fortitude to actually act on our dreams. Most of us sit on the couch and cheer or jeer at the few who actually act. As parents you seem to have instilled the self confidence and motivation in your children to actually live rather than merely exist. As a byproduct you have moved a few of us a bit closer to action and life. For that you have my sincere thanks and sincere hope that you and your family will be able to escape the hype and continue to live healthy prosperous and empowered lives.
    Fair winds,

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  169. Abby's story and attempt to do what she tries to do in this blog has caught the eye of us Neo-Swashbucklers. We wish, hope, and pray that Abby is able to do her quest. Such bravery, such survival instincts, such hope and a good heart has made your daughter Abby a bit of a legend and heroine to our Yahoo group.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Neo-SwashbucklerIsland is the invite to our Yahoo Group. We would welcome Abby and members of her family that update this blog to join us.

    If I may quote part of what one of our best members Kingfish wrote:

    > Abby Sunderland is stranded in the Indian Ocean but the spirit of her quest to circumnavigate the world lives on.
    >
    > People crossed the ocean risking their lives at a much younger age than 16 to find a better life in the new world.
    >
    > Abby is a role model for all, regardless that she didn't succeed in her quest.

    Even if Abby and members of her family choose not to join our Yahoo group, we do hold Abby and her family members with the highest respect and honors.

    Most teenagers Abby's age are too busy playing video games, or text messaging others even if they are in the same room using expensive smart phones, just laying around their parents house listening to music or watching TV too much, but Abby is different, Abby decided to do something that most teenagers would not dare to do or even think about doing. So in our Neo-Swashbuckler Book we made notice of Abby who is one of a kind, must have been raised up by the best family she could have had, our nation, our world, needs more teenagers like Abby so that when they grow up they will be even bigger heroes and heroines and clean up the corruption in politics, religion, science, you name it teenagers like Abby will fix our bad economy, bring back the lost jobs, and do other things most people today say are impossible to do and have as much chance of happening as a 16 year old girl has to circumnavigate the world. Go Abby go, you have our moral and ethical support.

    Orion Blastar of the Neo-Swashbucklers

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  170. I just had to post, maybe for the last time. Abby has become the center of millions of peoples lives, all around the world. It is going to be a very hard thing to let Abby and Wild Eyes go. We've seen her at her happiest and at her saddist times of her life. She has become a part of our families all around the world. I'll keep checking back at least once a week. Abby has come home again, maybe Wild Eyes will too. We all thank Team Abby and her family as well as Abby, herself, for sharing her life with the world. We have her photos and her blogs to remember Abby by if she no longer posts to her webpage. Thank you again for sharing Abby with all of us. Peace be to your homes, everyone. Bye,

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  171. Great to hear that Abby is safe. She is a brave girl and what she had done is amazing! Sell the story, cash it out.

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  172. Hello from Louisiana.
    I am a 5th Grade Teacher and my class and I have followed Abby for months. I was so upset when I heard the news that she may be lost at sea and I shouted when I heard she was safe! I have never met Abby but I feel like she is apart of my extended family. I will miss reading her blogs. I understand the decisions made but I just wanted Abby and her family to know what a blessing this young lady has been to me and my students. I thank God Abby is safe and I hope to hear good things about her in the future. Abby, I don't know you but its like you have become one of my children. I will miss you. God Bless You and Your Family.

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  173. 06-18-10 @ 13:33
    Hi Abby,
    I’m sure I’ll be a way behind on this question but here goes: Domenique said….I am not sure what you are tracking, but my husband and the team salvage are towing Wild Eyes to Ile Maurice right now. This was posted @ June 17, 2010 4:17 PM Is there any truth to this??????
    Loads of love and hugs, and remember God is with you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

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  174. I'm so happy Abby is safe and sound and that the family is circling the wagons, so to speak. I was just disgusted at all the vitriol people felt compelled to spew online about your family. I will dearly miss checking for Abby's location and blog entries every day, and look forward to the next adventure! Old lady in Alaska

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  175. Congratulations to the Sunderland family on their new addition.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you for the safe arrival of the baby and dearest Abby.
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if they arrived on the same day?
    Strength, peace, and comfort to all of the family.

    Love and prayers from North Carolina

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  176. We are so excited for your family! We prayed together as a family for Abby's safe return. We are inspired by how much support and encouragement you have given to Abby. We hope to do the same for our children.

    God Speed & God Bless!

    -The Mecham Family
    Bellevue, WA

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  177. My comment will be reviewed and all negative remarks removed. I see. Media consultant = censure. That's be expected from a irresponsible bilge rat.

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  178. Last photo of Wild Eyes:

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-lat-me-abby3.jpg-20100618,0,7434318.photo

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  179. Aww I dind't know you guys were expecting! Congratulations! Hope you enjoy an awesome time when the baby arrives!

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  180. Abby, you're awesome. But the story isn't over! Would it be possible to continue posts until you get back?? I want to hear more of your impressions of the boat, Kerguelen island, and the other places you visit along the way. Captain Joshua Sloacum took years to sail around the world solo--the first person to do so--but part of the joy of his account was his observation of all the mishaps he had along the way and his reception at various ports of call; poor lost Wild Eyes may be stranded at sea but that doesn't mean that your own story is finished!

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  181. Glad everything has turned out OK

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  182. June 18, 2010: Abby Last news :
    Abby Sunderland en route vers La Réunion !

    in french :
    Abby Sunderland en route vers La Réunion !

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  183. Dear Abby,
    Me thinks you are the coolest, most wonderful-est girl in the whole-wide-world! Me also thinks Abigail is the most beautiful-est name in the whole-wide-world. Never give up on your dreams girl! Me loves you! Long may you Sail!
    33°12′42″N 117°19′33″W

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  184. Domenique said…."I am not sure what you are tracking, but my husband and the team salvage are towing Wild Eyes to Ile Maurice right now." June 17, 2010 4:17 PM

    Is this for real? I would think the family would have posted that on her blog. The Wild Eyes tracking map shows it is still heading toward Australia.

    Any clarification would be nice. Thanks, Kelly Chico, CA

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  185. For not knowing Abby I was sure worried about her when she lost contact. And elated when she was picked up safely.

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  186. Dear Abby, (and Abby's family), I am so tired of all the focus in the media being on what "the parents" should or should not have done, or what "the parents" motive was in letting their daughter do this or that! Frankly, I don't care if what "the parents" did was right or wrong, that is a moot point, it is done! Instead, I wish more of the media would focus on the fact that an extraordinary young woman went after her dream and, as far as I am concerned, accomplished it. So she didn't finish her trip as planned, neither did Christopher Columbus. And from what we have seen of Abby, she certainly is not done with her dream. What Abby did achieve was so much more important than circumnavigation. She captured the hearts of thousands, and inspired so many, young and old, with her courage, faith, and determination. The mark of character does not show when things are going good, but rather in the face of adversity. Abby, you have shown us great character, and you have my admiration. Ignor the idiots in the world, and keep on truckin' girl. Your friend, Gustaf J. Brock (Gus)

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  187. Sunderland Family,
    I wish you every happiness for the future arrival of your new baby and most of all for the safe arrival of Abby back into your family fold.
    Good luck for all of you in the future.
    Cheers
    Evie

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  188. Wow..!! What a family and a new member about to arrive..

    Your home is filled with love and the new one will bring more love..

    Kudos.....!!

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  189. please continue your blogs Abby. Your experiences since leaving Wild Eyes would be interesting. You write well.

    Richard

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  190. to team abby and the sunderland family
    u so deserve the respect of all the people that have been following you through your ENTIRE voyage as i have been . i hope you will take time for your selves before the media knows abby is on land
    i know tryin to locate and and tow WILD EYES is abandonded but if she comes near austrailan coast do u think some 1 may try and tow her to saftey .
    WILD EYES kept abby safe till she was picked up i think second on list would be to try and put feelers out for abbys home for more than 6 months
    thanks for listing to my ramblings
    paul outta maine
    2227hrs 18 june 2010

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  191. Best wishes and prayers for all of you.

    Gary

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  192. Neigh
    Neigh
    Neigh

    --I'm a neighsayer!

    (I'm just horsin' around!)

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  193. Anyone who thinks that a young person or a woman cannot sail solo
    around the world
    has never heard of Naomi James, Mike Perham, Robin Lee Graham, Tania Aebi,
    Jessica Watson, Zac Sunderland, Ellen MacArthur, David Dicks or Karen Thorndike.
    Abby, keep your dream alive.

    Bill Prestridge

    San Clemente, CA.

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  194. I have followed your attempt to sail around the world with great fascination. Having raised two daughters, I doubt I would have been able to allow either one of them to attempt such an adventure. But, that is me, not you or your family. Congratulations on an attempt well done. To quote Apollo 13, this could be classified as a "successful failure". Good luck and God speed.
    Bob Brown Visalia, Ca.

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  195. Here in Finland we follow Abby's trip and do not judge. We are thankful that she is safe and will soon be able to reunite with her family. This must have been an adverture of a lifetime for her, something to tell her grandchildren :)
    Love B

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