Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Things have been pretty busy back here. With the departure coming up we've begun to sort out a lot of things like food, clothes, and foul weather gear. Its been a little weird being back home after spending so much time on Wild Eyes and I can't wait till she gets here!

Thanks to Brian, back in Fort Lauderdale, we have a computer and navigation software. He was a great help, and it is thanks to people like him that my trip is possible. Also Shoe City has been great throughout all of our preparations and they are the reason that we were able to buy Wild Eyes in the first place.

Mountain House dehydrated food has come on board recently and they are working with Kristy Morrell, the sports nutritionist that is helping plan for my nutritional needs en route. I'm working on getting some foul weather gear too. One of my sailing heros, Dawn Riley, gave us some advice as to what to do to keep warm in the Southern Ocean. I'll have one lighter set and then a heavy duty set for down in the Southern Ocean.

My ditch bag is just about packed and my medical kit is coming together with the help and guidance of Dr David Lowenberg.

Something I hadn't been doing much about up till now is getting together things to do while I'm out there. There are so many other things to do it really seemed unimportant in comparison, but I'm starting to work on getting together some books (can anyone recommend the Kindle?), getting some new music on my ipod, and getting my school books together.

Zac and I were on Good Morning Australia on Monday which was good fun. I have been doing a bit of interviewing and I have to say that it is actually getting a little easier!



  1. Great news to hear that things are proceeding apace.

    Thanks for the effort in keeping us apprised.

    Don Stubbs
    Summerfield, NC

  2. Good to hear that all is comming together while you are waiting for Wild Eyes to arrive. Dawn Riley (I wonder if I am related Ha Ha)has a lot of experience and will be a good mentor.
    With Zac not giving you heeps of comic alternatives you are able to progress to you way of thinking and the needs you will require.
    Will talk later.
    Brian Riley
    Hervey Bay. QLD AU.

  3. Hello,
    It was good to read your up date. Can not believe all the things that you have to do to get ready. Two quick questions. I do understand what you are saying about Ditch Bag and Medical Kit being ready. However in your long sailing could you address the issue of what is in both bags. Is there any books you might suggest. I find what you are doing in wonderul and for me at 65 I am using you the fill my dreams. Have fun, be safe, and keep on sailing.


  4. Hi Abby

    I don't think the stand-alone kindle apparatus would take to a wet, salty marine environment very well - you might need a special weatherproof cover for it, which could make it difficult to use. But you can get the "kindle for pc" software which you could use on your weatherproof laptop. I think you can even get "kindle for iphone" although, again, iphones don't love marine environments...

    All the best for your journey.

  5. The Kindle is absolutely wonderful, Abby. I have had mine for a couple of years and have not had any mechanical failure or anything else. The battery life seems good if you keep the wireless off unless downloading a book and use the sleep or off switch when not reading. I haven't timed it. But I LOVE MINE. Books are cheap. You can try them out for free before buying. Load up a bunch before you go and more as you are within range and there are no storage issues. Ask me any other questions as they might come up for you. Your mom or my blog site has my email address.
    Take care, Kathy Bend, OR

  6. If your iPod is a Touch, you could install Stanza (free) and read books that way (lots are free, and some can be purchased).

  7. 11-24-09 @21:40
    Hi Abby,
    Thanks for the update. I imagine you're getting pretty busy now. At least you have a little time before "Wild Eyes" arrives. When do you expect her? I know you're anxious to get on her again. I was a biker and anytime my bike was down I was a mess until she was up and running.
    I have a question and I hope I'm not being to nosy. How do you go about financing a trip like this? Do you have to get sponsors, do you take donations? I know it's not just as simple as getting on a boat and taking off. All the electronic gear, foul weather gear, food and numerous other things that I'm not familiar with.
    I plan to follow you throughout your adventure, it’s kinda like my adventure too. I was a loner and loved to travel all over the country on my bike. It’s more fun when you don’t have anyone disrupting your planned layout. Traveling as you want to and not being diverted by another one’s suggestions or whatever. Yes, I was (and still am) a picky old fella. LOL…..
    All the best to you Abby, take care and stay alert. Looking forward to your next post.
    May God be with you and watch over you and may the angels keep your sails full. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Michael (74) from Kingwood, WV

  8. It is great to read that things are coming together. The preparations for a non-stop journey are quite different than for Zac's adventure, aren't they. You must not forget anything what you need during your many months trip, whereas Zac could get things at the next port. All the best with the preparations.

  9. Hi Abby!
    I'm excited to follow your trip... read your brother's blog almost from the beginning of his. I'm praying for you. God be with you and keep you safe. Hope you have a grand time!
    ~Jessica from Canada

  10. G'day Abby,

    I have to say, it's truly interesting reading about how things are coming together; the food and gear you need, the people who are getting things done, how you were able to get 'Wild Eyes'etc. It's sounding like a well-oiled machine now, beating a count-down rythm to the moment you sail.
    I'll be praying for you, your family, and your team.

  11. I'm fond of the Nook from Barnes and Noble for ebook readers. If I remember correctly, I think Zac had several iPods bite the big one due to the marine environment and I suspect similar problems with e-reader. I really wish someone would do an eBook that's marine-ruggedized. It's a solid market: we're always limited for space *and* looking for ways to entertain ourselves!

    I'm going through some of the same considerations right now, though I have more time left to plan. Intending to sail to Peru and then the Juan Fernandez islands and Rapa Nui. Not a circumnavigation, but months and months at sea - so there's a lot to consider!

    Take care.

  12. Abby,
    Doug and Kyle on s/v Estrela love their kindle. Their HAM call sign is WDB3042. They're on passage now off the coast of Brasil, but you can track them on YOTREPS (you're going to check in on the net, too, aren't you?). http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=WDB3042.
    Are you familiar with Winlink email for HAM? Estrela's offshore mail address would be WDB3042@winlink.org if you want to ask them. Or you might patch through during Atlantic check-in. I would find tupperware or rubbermaid container about the right size for it and keep the kindle in it all the time except when using it. Salt is insidious. Our laptops gave out about every year, but you won't be out that long. ;-)
    My advice after 40,000 miles is to take paper backups of charts and books. We got library supply houses to give us that cellophane-like stuff they use to cover books and make them waterproof. Don't worry about your waterline; books are going to be your best friends.
    Fair winds, Christine
    PS Also, remember lots of rechargeable batteries for the ipod.

  13. Abby,

    Just joined today to give my support and prayers.

    Be safe and best of luck...


  14. Don't forget to have a GOOD emergency rudder system --and WORKING plan on how to actually install and use it, in various sea and weather conditions. This MUST be second nature to you before setting off.

    This is one of the top ten important things you need to prepare on your high-perforance boat, given the amount of time you will be sailing and the conditions you will face. There will be enormous loads on the rudder(s), and to not have a reliable back up steering system and plan to implement it would be courting disaster. See here for some details: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/emergencyrudder.pdf

    This couple, very well known cruisers who have accumulated tens of thousands of offshore miles during a trade wind circumnavigation and many years of high latitude cruising in Iceland, Chile, and long high latitude ocean passages (Argentina to Australia), know what they're talking about. Their advice on emergency steering systems is highly worth considering, espeicaly on a boat such as the Class 40 in the Southern Ocean.

  15. Hi Abby,
    I'm really interested in your programme for the trip. Five months seems to be a very short time to complete it. Do you have an extremely fast boat?

    Rosalind, New Zealand

  16. What will you have as an emergency backup for your self-steering equipment?

    Your boat is too fast for a wind vane, correct?

  17. Allyson has a Kindle and absolutely loves hers. We got it precisely in hopes of having a space saving device for offshore cruising, especially for as avid a reader as Allyson is.

    Make sure it's the Kindle Global, not the local US one. We were in Grand Cayman last spring and couldn't download any books. That was how we discovered there is a difference.

    We will be keeping an eye on your voyage. Stay safe.

  18. Hi Abby,
    Are you planning on sailing Wild Eyes alone to MDR? That would be some great solo experience for you.

  19. Hi Abby,

    Thanks for keeping us posted. All the best with our preparations.

    Jan (Auckland, New Zealand)