Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hey guys,
Hope you all had a great Christmas! I had planned on writing a Christmas blog, but with my leaving Christmas shopping till the last minute, and also having to be working on the book right up until a few days before, I didn't get around to it. Seeing as I didn't get out a Christmas blog, I'm going to have to make this one extra good. :)

I was down in the marina the other day, don't worry, I wasn't looking for a boat, I'll make sure to let you know if that happens. But there does happen to be a shiny new red and white Open 60 sitting in the yard over in Marina del Rey and I have to say I'm a little (little is a bit of an understatement) jealous of the people who are going to be sailing her. The Open 60, O Canada, is a very different design from Wild Eyes, but none the less, I have to say that all open style boats are absolutely amazing!

O Canada just got off the ship last month and she's over here for the Transpac, of course that's not for a while so her crew won't be over here till February... maybe I could stow away on board before they leave! Well, it was quite exciting to see a boat like that in Marina del Rey. We don't often get to see boats like that around there. Alright, well enough about the boat now.

We all had a great Christmas over here. A bit smaller then previous Christmases, but a great day all the same. I'm sad to say I did not get a boat for Christmas, but there is always next year! I did, however, get a new water-proof camera, a little bit rinky dinky compared to my big 7D Cannon, but I cant wait to get it rigged up on the bow of the next boat I'm on, or get down to the beach with it.

So, now that the first manuscript is in to the publishers I have quite a bit of free time on my hands lately, a little too much in fact, enough to come up with the idea to get a bagpipe... Yep, I am proud owner of a "practice Chanter". Its what you learn to play before moving on to a real bagpipe. You may wonder how such an odd idea came about. Well, I was sitting in church one day thinking about something new I could do, something that would be fun and take up some of my free time, and the most off the wall, oddest thing I could possibly think up was learning to play the bagpipe, and so that is how it all began.

I also have some plans in the works for possibly getting into smaller boat sailing. At first I laughed at the very thought of me sailing a small boat, but as time went on the idea seemed more and more like something that could be a lot of fun. Of course, there is that ever-present problem of not having a boat, but a friend and I are working on that and are hoping to be able to get one by summer.

And so there you have the happenings of the past week of my life, definitely a bit more exciting than the week before this one! Well, hope you all have a great New Years! As Paul Wellstone said, "The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

A new year is coming and we're all going to make New Years resolutions, and I have to say, when I think of a New Years resolution, I think more of wishes, it seems that so many people want to do things but just don't get around to it (like me writing my blog). Lets do something different this year, don't be afraid to make some big goals, and to have big dreams, but lets be the people who believe in our dreams. The people who make their future their own.

Dreams are great, but they're no good unless you're going to fight to make them come true. Happy New Year to you all!!
Yours always,


  1. A lovely message, Abby, many thanks.

    J x

  2. Here's a thought or a question. A serious one. Ever seen anything weird while out in open waters? Just wondering.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Abby. Bagpipes, eh, a fearsome instrument. You might consider Uilleann Pipes instead, a smoother sound in my opinion. That's not to say it's any easier to play. An example:
    Have a happy new year!

  4. Happy New Year to you, Abby. I hope there's a new sailboat in you future!

  5. Next boat to sail would be a yacht.

  6. Thanks Abby.
    Dreams came true for you.
    The flute is a nice instrument. Try it.
    Happy New Year.
    Love You ♥

  7. Thanks for the update you shared with us... Keep on believing in yourself and dreams will be fulfilled. Don't forget to follow Laura Dekker and Jeanne Socrates (she will be rounding Cape Horn pretty soon) on her next solo singlehanded circumnavigation.
    Tell your brother we are awaiting the DVD2 release.. and I have your book already pre-ordered.
    Stay stron and wish all the best for next year.. Thanks for sharing..

  8. Happy New Years to you Abby and family! I like the idea of the small sale boat.
    Love to all.

  9. Abby,

    Have a happy new year, and best of luck achieving your big goals. I always enjoy the little tidbits you say that make me start thinking about them.

    Thanks for all your wonderful blogs of 2010,


  10. You are wise beyond your years, Abby. If only I could be your age again, with your drive, determination and wisdom. There is truly nothing you can't accomplish. Go get 'em in 2011 and beyond.

  11. Sounds like you're having a pretty good time. Have you ever thought of trying a multihull? Some of those beach catamrans are pretty awesome!

  12. Fun blog!

    I confess, I've never been a fan of the bagpipes. They remind me of firemen's funerals, but otherwise that droning single chord just grates on my nerves after a minute or two.

    I'm wondering just what you consider "small-boat sailing"? I know that probably the most fun I've ever had sailing was in Newport Harbor in a Lido 14, in conditions in which we really shouldn't have been out. There's just something adrenaline-inducing in the whole "move fast or swim" mentality.

    It's also a small boat, but my wife and I just got a 1967 Cal-20 that we're hoping (and working) to have in the water by next summer, with a Catalina trip planned in October. I just thought I should thank you & your family for demonstrating the "It's possible" attitude that this project will require.

    TTYL and G-d Bless
    Mouse in Whittier

  13. Hi Abby,happy new year.
    As I said in my previous comment is it at all possible to locate Wild Eyes and if located have some multi rich person sponser the towing it to port for repairs and you could complete your round the world trip.The sponser would get a big tax writeoff and get lots of publicity.
    I think you would have lots and lots people pulling for you.
    In your next blog I wish you could address this question and tell us if there any possibilty of this happening or if even possible.
    Abby you gave us all an E-ticket ride for six months.
    Thanks for all the enjoyment.
    Libby Di Bernardo
    San Pedro,Ca.

  14. Abby

    Turns out there's a local bagpipe band that gives free lessons. Meets every Monday night at Newbury Park High School around 7:00pm. Drop by some time... we'd love to teach you.

  15. Ahoy Captain! Thanks for the quote from Paul Wellstone. Are dreams are "limited" only how far our imagination will take us. I pray that you keep JESUS as the Captain of your soul and the Master of your destiny! HAPPY JOYOUS & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO YOU & YOURS!
    Still "DREAMING" of you & luvin' it :-)

  16. Hello Abby and followers,

    Just a couple of thoughts;
    1. Bagpipers are way cool (most don't know that).
    2. Some of the best accounts of learning to play the BP's is by Rufus Harley, he plays jazz bagpipes.
    3. Small boats keep you on your toes. See the movie "Wind".
    4. Have a great New Year, and thee rest of you life.

    Travel safe
    from Home

  17. Hey Abby, I love Bagpipes.....please post a video of you playing them (once you master them that is)....Thanks for the wishes, and the same to you and yours...and, as always, keep on truckin' girl.....Gus

  18. Abby:
    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for the update.

    As I think of the Christmas spirit and sharing and gifts, I must send a big thanks also to your family, for without their support and their willingness to share their daughter, none of this would be possible.

    Abby, keep believing in yourself and keep the big dreams alive. As I said before, most of us die full of "I should have..." or "I would have, but..." When you get to my age (59) and you look back at life, you will be able to say (as I do) "I did this and that." It feels much better to look forward having done things in the past than it is to see the future devoid of any past accomplishments.

    You had a wonderful year and, I believe, that next year will be better yet. Just keep being Abby, believe in yourself, and follow the dream.

    Happy New Year as you GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!!

    John R Willis

  19. Abby, dear - the bagpipes were invented by the Irish & given to the Scots as a practical joke. The Scots never got it.

  20. Happy New Year Abby,

    We hope there is much sailing in your future. It's in your blood and once its there, the sea will always call you home.

    If you are looking for something unusual to do, might I suggest you join the crew of one of the tall ships around the LA area. There is a perfect program down in San Pedro, on the Brigantines IRVING and EXY JOHNSON. Sailing singlehanded is fun but there is nothing more rewarding than being part of a team on a vessel so large one person couldn't possibly sail her alone.

    Tip of the hat to you on the pipes. That is something I wouldn't even try to do. I have nothing but respect for those who are good at it.

    Again, Happy New Year and lots of Black Eyed Peas!

  21. Hi Abby,

    So nice to hear from you again. Really looking forward to your book as I followed your adventure from the start.

    I think you'll enjoy the bagpipes.
    My grandson plays the bagpipes. He really enjoys them. He started with his highschool group, the Highlanders, and even though now in college, he is still with them. (He is one of the 2 in the group that has graduated from highschool.They play many gigs and march and play in parades. He loves it. Please think about joining Newbury Park High School's group.

    May you have a wonderful New Year, full of dreams come true.

    Your friend,
    Clare, Spokane, Wa.

  22. As far as I'm concerned you may do whatever you like; cause "YOU RULE!" forever & always! I do not mean to be too brash or bold, but you do, in my world anyway.
    Cheers Mate:-)

  23. Those last three paragrahs are so true Abby.

    Here's another way to define it;

    'Only 2 things will make your dreams come true - 1: your choices and 2: your commitment to those choices'

    All the very best for 2011 to both you and your family.

  24. Haha, I know what you mean when you say your new camera feels so small. The only reason I ever got a small point and shoot camera was because it was waterproof, and my Canon Rebel was not. I'm sure it'll record some great memories for you!

    It's great that you're picking up something new and unique! :) I've decided to try to learn something totally new this year too, and I guess I surprised everyone by saying "sailing." Your definition of a small boat probably isn't going to be the same as someone like me who's never sailed before, but I'm going to be trying my hand at some Lasers or Hobie Cats this year. ^_^ Thought you'd like to know you've convinced someone to try new waters.

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year as well!


    What you wrote is all yours for the taking and for your very personal and engaging synthesis in action...

    2011? Abby it!

    Take care, be safe! :-D

    Found a quiet place for the bagpipe practice?

  26. Happy new year to you and your family. I think you need to get a new boat. I think you long for the open sea. You know, you can play the bagpipes while at sea. Ever hear if Wild Eyes was ever spotted?

  27. Hi Abby
    Happy New Year and best wishes for 2011.

    Tom~Tom suggests the Uilleann Pipes instead of the Bagpipes, I'd agree, much sweeter.

    Best regards

  28. Hi, Abby!

    I've enjoyed reading your blog and following your adventures. You are a brave and wise young lady.

    Congrats on taking up the bagpipes. I started playing several years ago and really enjoy them. Small boat sailing is great, too. I have a 26' MacGregor (a slow old water ballast boat) and a 12' Hobie Holder (out of production). The 12' is really wild, especially on big waves. You can really get some great air sometimes. In the higher winds, I take my wife and dogs out with me to help hold it upright. We think it's a real blast. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

    Vernon & Joyce Goodman (Dallas, TX)

    P.S. My dogs sing along when I play the bagpipes--it's really funny.

  29. Abby,

    Did you know that you made the list of Yahoo News 2010 Year in Review: Survivor Stories? Stories

    May the Lord bless you and your family,
    A Homeschooling Mom, whose oldest son has taken up the bagpipe in college!

  30. Abby - you've given me encouragement. Your unwavering attitude of perseverence and determination are wonderful qualities missing in many people today. I appreciate all the blogs you have written and anxiously await your book. After I finish it I will place it alongside "Woman Alone" another great sailing adventure. You will be on another boat soon and I can hear the bagpipes as you sail around the world - marvelous. Keep going - you've kept me going! Thank you and God bless you.

  31. Abby,
    A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. I think bagpipes are great, but they look pretty hard to learn. I can't wait to see a YouTube of you playing! Keep dreaming, you'll be out on the water before you know it.

    Nick, Waterbury CT

  32. 01-05-11 @ 19:27
    Hi Abby,
    That was to bad that you didn’t get a boat for Christmas but it sounds like you got a real nice camera…lol… Maybe next year Santa will have a bigger sleigh….lotsa luck. I bet you’d have a lot of fun on a small boat and you would enjoy that, at least you’d be out on the water. Glad to see that your working on the book, I’m anxious to read it. I’m also curious as to when you’ll be able to send a cd of your musical abilities on the bagpipe. I really do enjoy the bagpipes, not a steady diet of them though, I like to mix all types of music during the day, Jazz, Bluegrass, Good Gospel and some Dixieland.
    I just read a post from Laura and she got an invite to crew on the “Stad Amsterdam” for a ten (10) day cruise, she sounded so happy you could almost hear her giggling between the lines…lol…
    Well Abby, take good care of yourself and keep up the good work, how’s the schoolwork coming along???
    Take care of yourself and continue to enjoy all your travels. God Bless You! Thank you for sharing all your interesting journeys.
    Loads of love and hugs, and remember God is always with you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.

  33. isn't that quote from eleanor roosevelt?

  34. Thank you very much, Abby, this is really a wonderful comment...and a teaching to believe in the dreams.
    Love, Matteo

  35. Hey Abby, what can you tell us about the Barcelona WOrld Race????

    Any favourite for yoy????

    All the best sailors of the world are taking part of the race.

    Pablo SPAIN

  36. ♥The rhythm of my heart beats like a drum, with the words I Love You rolling off my tongue,
    never will I roam, cause I know my place is home: Where The Ocean Meets The Sky I'll Be Sailing♥
    Fair Winds my Love!

  37. Hi Abby!! I love your latest blog entry. It says a lot of how i think. I know all too well the feeling of wanting to do something but not yet having the one most important element which in my case is a bicycle and in your case a boat. All good things come to those who wait. It WILL happen. Bag pipes....InTeReStInG!!! I play the harmonica. Try it sometime. Its an easy instrument to learn, small and compact and will drive the family nuts until you master it. Anyways...Take care and have a great day!!
    Art Romero

  38. Abby, Its been a while since I've written. I wanted to let you know a lot of us are still out here keeping up with your blog, if not writing back, but reading them.
    I love bagpipes. Yes, I would think they are hard to master. Good luck with it.
    To: 33.2 ,- 117.2 degree. Your poem sounds almost musical, when read. Love it.
    Hope you, Abby and your family are well Take care.
    Dee Thompson, Santa Clarita, Ca.

  39. I wish that your dream to circumnavigate the globe solo be fulfilled someday.

  40. Hi started your voyage last year on January 23rd...HAPPY 1ST ANNIVERSARY!!!

  41. Now finale to the shore,
    Now land and life finale and farewell,
    Now Voyager depart, (much, much for thee is yet in store,)
    Often enough hast thou adventur'd o'er the seas,
    Cautiously cruising, studying the charts,
    Duly again to port and hawser's tie returning;
    But now obey thy cherish'd secret wish,
    Embrace thy friends, leave all in order,
    To port and hawser's tie no more returning,
    Depart upon thy endless cruise old Sailor.
    ~Walt Whitman
    Greetings & Fair Winds my lady♥ :-)
    (33.2º, -117.2º)

  42. Your final paragraph, short and to the point recalls some Avril Lavigne lyrics > > > " I know what I want I always get what I want ! "

  43. Dear Abby,

    I hope you earn quite a pile of money with the book so that you can buy a really cool boat! Greetings from Germany (around midnight now). I am dreaming of learning to sail myself now!

  44. Hey therel, Sister Abby. Get a few friends together on a week end and go gliding out to see before its get too hot and too moany boats out there. Who know, you might find a nice date to gho out in HIS boat on a valentine date, huh? That woudl be soo fun. happy days. Isounds like jessica, is having a lot of events going on for sure, bUT ALSO, i CAN NOT HELP BUY THINK jESSICA IS VERY6 WORKED ABOUT YOUR MUM AND DAD ANHD BROTHERS AND SISTER AND BROTHER. iT IS IN BIG SERIUO TROUNBLE, AND WE WONAT 5TO SET L9OTS OF BLESSINGS AND PRAYERS FOR THEM ALL. oALL THE ANIMAL AND CATTLE, WOWOOOIESL lOVE TO YOU ALL, dEE IN SANTA cLARITA, CA. usa

  45. Marina Del Rey is a beautiful harbor. I slept there in the bushes as a homeless person. Was passing through on foot, on my way south to San Diego. That was just over 2 years ago....

  46. i have a practice chanter too!!

  47. I think your a very articulate young lady who carries yourself well on these shows...i am watching you on The View. I am thrilled your alive and made it home and I say if you want to do it again...Go For It
    Good luck in all your endeavors in life