Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Week Out

I've got some good news! I'm going a nice (and very fun) 8kts.

The bad news... I'm headed to Cabo san Lucas...

Don't start worrying, since I'm still north of the equator I won't have to give up on the non-stop attempt. I will be re-staring from Cabo as soon as I can. We have all been discussing this for awhile now. I've spent the last week talking with my team, testing things and doing whatever I could to make this work. The fact is I am just not able to generate enough power with my solar panels and wind generators to keep up with all of my energy needs. We didn't budget enough fuel for me to run my two alternators as often as I have been needing to so....A new battery or two and more fuel will be put on board in Cabo. Also, the trouble with the wind speed gauge seems to be in the wiring in the mast. I have tested everything else so that needs to be fixed as well.

I was really upset about having to stop. I've hardly even started and I'm already heading in! I had finally gotten settled in, things were going somewhat smoothly and I was having fun. But I am glad that my team will be there waiting when I get in and I'll be back out here soon, hopefully with a few less problems.

I'm sorry I didn't write yesterday. I did think of all of you guys back home wondering what was going on, but I had gotten pretty caught up in the work I was doing on Wild Eyes. I had my first shower out here yesterday. It's still pretty cold, so I zipped up all the canvas panels on my dodger and stuck my little alcohol heater out there. It warmed the little room right up. The water was still freezing, but it was good to get a shower any way. Of course just after that I ended up in the engine tightening belts and fiddling around with alternators, covering myself in engine grease :-/

You'll all be happy to hear that I actually have been sleeping in my bed the past two nights, and that my sleeping patterns are much improved since a few days ago. Though I am headed towards shore, which takes a bit of fun out of things, its not at all bad. I'm racing along close hauled and slamming into everything with the waves splashing up over almost the whole boat! I'm not sure it gets any better then this!

It definitely beats being at home doing school. :)



  1. Hey Abby,
    That really stinks having to ashore...But I would rather have you safe than have you get into a lot of trouble when you can't go to shore. At least it's near the beginning, so it can't be that bad- I know how you feel though...
    I'm sure you'll be able to get everything fixed soon- good luck!
    -Heather : )

  2. Good call, Abby. It was always an option, and well taken advantage of now. A stitch in time saves nine, eh?


  3. Don't be too concerned with the minor hiccup. Jess Watson was hit by a cargo ship on the way to the start line and three quarters of Australia said she should not continue but after a week of fine tuning etc look at her go. Keep your chin up and follow that dream

  4. small energy saving tip:

    hit key FN (blue key bottom left) + F1 on the panasonics. Reducing the brightness from brightest (default) to bare minimum (that you can handle) saves an unbelieveable amount of power consumption (I forget the sat.), like wise any other montiors you have on board, reduce the brightness particularly of the are lcd's.

    that's fair enough to stop and get everything sorted out, no big whoop :-) everyone else does that. Disappointing to you but not really, biggest concern would have been continual problems with the auto pilots. Powering up isn't exactly fixing something that's broken.

  5. Whew!!! so glad to hear from you- I was sorry to hear you are having some problems and must go ashore, BUT so glad to hear that was all it was--I'm not sure I will survive this adventure-My prayers and good wishes are with you as always,Abby-

  6. i glad this doesn't affect your non stop status; i was concerned when i saw that you were coming in. hopefully, you'll get everthing taken care of while in port. as we golfers say, a bad day on the course is better than a day at work! good luck in Cabo!

  7. Please keep posting and letting us know your status. Hopefully you won't be in Cabo too long and can get back out to sea! God Speed young lady.:)

    Ken - Columbus, OH

  8. Sorry to hear that you have to make an unintended stop, but you're still doing just fine. Sending our pride to you from our house in central Illinois!

  9. Sorry to hear about the temporary stop. Hope you get back up and running soon. GREAT to read the last 3 sentences though!

  10. Abby....Well, better close to home and able to restart than later. I am sure you and Team Abby have learned a few things thus allowing for both repairs and corrections that will allow for a successful (and safer) continuation...and finish!

    Again, my prayer and God Speed to you and your team...... Bob in NW PA

  11. Hey, getting the wiring fixed and the electricals tweaked is worth the stop. You need the wind data and you need the juice. Better solar panels and batteries are the answer so do it. So what if this means that you need to do an additional sail from / to Mexico? A sail from Cabo to MDR at the end of the trip will seem like a breeze by the time you make it around . .

    Question: Can you distill water? Collect rain? All of the above?

  12. Abby
    Many thanks for your update.
    Do the safe thing and it will stand to you in the long run.
    My 16 year old daughter, Aisling, is on the U18 Irish hockey squad and she can quote the greatest sports person of all time at lib :
    "A setback is a setup for a comeback"
    Best wishes
    John N
    Dublin, Ireland

  13. Not too bad news, Abby, it is definitely better to stop now to fix your problems, than having to suffer from them later and in some harder place.
    I was fearing something like that; several troubles so early after your departure didn't call for a blind go on.
    Preparation is the first key word --- but it is late for it.
    Congratulations for having finally opened and used your bed. That's a very good point.
    Sleep is another key word. --- You're in.
    Patience is a third one. --- You'll explore it thoroughly. Jessica, who is on her way back home now, has already experienced it and seems to get accustomed.
    Ocean doesn't play games. You are brave, you must be wise too.
    Good repairs, and keep faith. We know you are a courageous and competent sailor.
    Some bad news about school, though: it will be waiting for your return. Little chance you can escape it for long!!! ;-)

  14. Best wishes from Virginia. We are with you all the way.

  15. Good advice about the display brightness! Minor setback - better to get it all sorted out now. Keep posting... a lot of folks enjoying your adventure!

  16. good luck.
    l know you are getting good photos. Please update. Whar Camera are you using

    gerald from Seal beach, ca.

  17. ANYTHING beats school! Sorry 2 hear about your probs but at least you weren't @ Cape Horn when they hpnd. Think of this short distance as a shake down cruise. Get 'em fixed and get on with it, you're psyched I can tell. Good luck!

  18. Like everyone above me says, dont worry about having to take a pitstop. Its better to have these issues sorted now rather than have ongoing problems.
    Wishing you all the best on your travels.
    Regards from everyone in New Zealand ;)

  19. This will all work out. You have the drive and desire to make it work. Repairs are unfortunate, but necessary, and much better that they occur when the record is still reachable.

    Having the guts to pull in shows strength of character as opposed to the rashness of youth that so many have used to oppose this trip.

    I expect that the lack of time before departure to really get Wild Eyes out and tested can be attributed to this, but those decisions had to be made as they were.

    Keep up the good work, Abby. We'll be there for you no matter what!


  20. It is also probably better than having to listen to Zac brag about his trip and Toby telling you about his upcoming trip in a couple of years. Godspeed.

    Bill Mann

  21. Little One don't forget to load up on pens!!!! LOL. Please would love to know about swell and wind so I can day dream being on the water with you. Remember your taking a trip of a life time and we want to live it with you!

  22. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    All part of the adventure. You'll be back on course in no time.

    Keep smiling, stay cool, be safe.

  23. Good Call. The other day when you wrote that your equipment was getting cranky, I could feel all of us followers tighten up a bit. I know I did. We'll ALL breath easier by this. And, it will make an even more interesting/exciting story (if that's possible).

    Google's air view of Cato's harbor and yacht basin looks like a perfect place to stop. I expect your electronics sponsors will be all over your situation like white on rice as, "the whole world is watching"! Bet you won't lose over a couple of days. Just a "free" shakedown cruise.

    Thanks for making us all smile!

    Oberlin, Ohio

  24. Yo Abby

    Glad to hear from you! I too was feeling a little worried. No problem with the stop, good call actually! Take care, fix her up, stay in touch.


  25. A minor set-back. Keep looking up and hanging tough!


  26. I saw on passageweather the wave height was 3-4 meters. Don't hurt Wild Eyes slamming into the waves. How many of your shore crew are heading South? Interesting blog, thanks for being so up front with us all. It shows a beginning intimacy with your fans, if I may call us that, and we appreciate it. What will it be, a one or two day stop? I'm surprised your water for your shower doesn't run through black tubing to solar heat it. Would your team have time to install that? Warm showers are one of life's treats, and it's too bad you won't have that luxury with plenty of sunshine heading your way.
    Take care, enjoy Cabo, be safe especially with food and drink, and get back to us soon.
    Good Luck!

  27. I'm glad to hear you're taking care of it now and not later. Good call. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. Hi Abby,

    Does this pit stop for outside help repairs mean that you are now "assisted"?

    A friendly correction to Commenter "Tom" Jessica Watson had the run in accident on a Sea Trial, not on her way to the start line, unless you mean that figuratively.

    Hope you get up and sailing back out soon. God Bless and Good Luck.


  29. Do what you gotta do, and get back out there Abby. All in all, not a bad deal. You've had some opportunity to sort out and find problems and get them taken care of before you cross the equator. Fingers crossed that you're in and out of Cabo in a timely manner!

    Melanie in Torrance

  30. Just think... the party is going to be even WAY better when you return to Cabo instead of stuffy old MDR!

    That, and you can look at your run down there as a terrific trial run to check things out. Now you REALLY know where the kinks are, you and your team will solve them, and you can then set off on your journey, hopefully trouble free, and with more pens! :-)

  31. Thanks for the update.

    I know you had a number of troubles from that start.

    Sorry, you have to make an unintended stop. But better to stop now and get things right.

    Make a list batteries, forks, pens, etc...

    All the best to you and your family.

  32. Hi Abby,your doing good.
    all you want is to be the youngest to do the world thing and your going to.
    You and your brother are good sailers.
    I keep up with Jesse every day and now your one more for me to look at and im am so happy for that.
    The wife and i are now into sailing because of you and Jesse, and we want to sail to Hawaii.
    Your doing so good and your so brave. Fix your problem then you will be all safe for your trip.
    Just remember the good Lord is all ways with you...He will guide you all the way.
    God bless you lil one be safe,we all love what you are doing.
    Your friends Robert,Ellen,Alison and Autumn from North Carolina

  33. CAPT ABBY,




  34. Better to go in now than have loads of problems later when you can't get in. As everyone else says, it is just a blip, no big deal!

  35. Thanks for the update Abby,
    You are doing great, I'm glad the weather has been getting more favorable for fun sailing :)
    Looking forward to see you get the needed fixes and get back out there. Proud of you!


  36. Abby, Sounds like a blast. I'm glad your having fun, you should be. I'll bet it does beet being at school.
    You are an inspiration to me, as well as many others I'm sure. You realy make me want to just quit work and go for my dreams! I love logging on and hearing what you've done so far.
    It's good that this minor set back is taking place so early ,like you said. So I'll be looking forward for you to get back out.
    Take care, and God speed.
    Semper Fi, Baci

  37. Abby,
    Congratulations on making a what must be a very difficult and very adult decision. This shows me all the more that you will accomplish your goal. Good Luck happy sailing:)

  38. Seems like it would be worth the three days driving time with a trailer to bring Wild Eyes back to your home port to have access to everything and everyone rather than the comparatively huge expense of bringing all those people and equipment down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I imagine there will be some things Team Abby won't be able to lay their hands on down there so that will mean more delays. I'm sure everyone is brilliant, but just another way of looking at it.
    Charles C.

  39. Hello Abby,

    Hide those 2 pens from your team Abby. Dont worry about what the minority say. Only half a dozen were against Jessica Watson when she had problems they just had the biggest mouths. The rest of the 17 million are behind you both in Australia.

    The Creationist

  40. Just count it as a one week sea trial, and get a good meal in Cabo. You're still trackin.

    On a seperate note, could you post your gps cords when you post? I'd be interested in plotting your progress.

  41. Dear Abby,

    if you would have a choice, you wouldn't be stopping.

    It is wise to recognize the present limitations, correct and repair and start again with better cards!

    You'll also be able to stock up on pencils and cutlery!

    Good idea from Bob in Seattle to have solar hot showers with black tubing!

    Good luck, what you are doing is admirable,

    Trudy, Austria/Australia

  42. Shin up girl, leep on keeping on!!!!
    Viv from down under

  43. Take your time and make sure everything is in A1 condition before you set off again. Your safety is the paramount consideration. Oh, and get in a fresh stock of pens and cutlery! :-) And a few extra bars of chocolate for times like these.

  44. Yeah, don't risk the boat. Slamming into waves on purpose isn't the best thing to do, either. Too many come up that you can't help.

  45. What a mature decision you are making! I am sure things will be ironed out and smooth sailing is ahead for you. What a fascinating blog! I am excited every day for the news of your journey.Thanks for updating us followers!Good luck!

  46. Abby, maybe the stop is for a good reason.. don't feel down... there must be a plus side to the delay..Play it safe....Take some photos of Cabo and share them... don't worry about your readers...we will be here....

  47. Happy to hear your ok. weather in PA snow ice cold so not sailing much.look for your blog daily.Why not cook up "sum" squid? use a little oil in pan with bread crumbs or substite oatmeal.Tasty Small delema -stop in Cabo- can't wait till you % wild eyes are up running. I feel like many other followers agreat sense of joy for you cause simply I hate anything more than 25 knots. So watching you makes me fell wimpy

  48. Be wary of taking on tap water in Cabo. It might contain bacteria your stomach is not used to, and it could very well ruin the re-start of your journey. It will be expensive, but you will need to take on purified water.

    Same thing with the water you drink while ashore there... drink only bottled water, even for brushing your teeth. The last thing you need is a serious case of stomach cramps and "the runs" a day or two out on your re-start!

  49. Gives us all an excuse to go to Cabo next summer to welcome you home!

  50. Sorry to hear you have to head to port for repairs but it is a wise move. Whist in port take the opportunity to fix yourself a solar water heater for your showers doesnt take long. Might i suggest you purchase a hand warmer for the colder climes and check the food supplies and kitchen equipment well before you cast off. It is your last opportunity to double check every thing.
    Jessica's Mum, Julie gave her a special t-shirt in her latest food parcels and she is really stoked about it.
    Good luck with the repairs
    Evie from Bendigo

  51. I'm sure you're disappointed but the 'dry run' was good to help you see things you needed..a box of paper-mates..a journal or two. How long will you be in port before you start again?

    Thinking of you..and waiting to hear more..


    Gary & Jan

  52. Bruce (Brisbane, Au)January 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Sorry to hear that you have to restart - must be disapointing, however I'm sure you recognise the wisdom of your decision.
    Does this mean you have to finish at (in?) Cabo?
    Hope the turnaround is smooth and you are soon back on your quest.

    Jesse Watson had a problem as well with squid trying for a free ride - you should swap receipes although I seem to recall she received lots of advice but couldn't actually bring herself to cook any.

    Follow your dream...


  53. Hi Abby. Sorry to hear about having to put in, but best get the problem solved when you are still within reach of civilization (315 nm). Does that mean your departure port and return port becomes Cabo? Or, will you backtrack to 118 degrees so you can then cross all degrees of longitude and keep mdr as your departure port?
    B.C. Hofeld, Grand Terrace, Ca.

  54. heyy.
    i heard about you on Channel 1 News at school and was really interested. good luckk on your trip!

  55. Hey Abby-
    sorry you have to head in. Keep your spirits up. its okay. You will be back out there in no time. Its better to be safe than sorry. Glad to hear you are doing good. Say hi to your Dad for me.Good luck! We are reading your blog everyday.
    Have fun!
    Kevin Wildermuth

  56. Sorry to hear about your needing to stop for repairs, but necessary none-the-less.

    I just had a feeling before you left that something was going to go wrong - I'm glad it's happened early on where you're close enough to receive the support you need from your team.

    It seemed in the end that the start was a bit rushed especially as you had some problems in the trial.

    Take the time that is needed this time to be assured everything is right to go. We woudn't want it to happen again.

    I had wondered how you could have gone on with no wind instruments as you were left to guess the wind speed... and guessing isn't fact. It was detracting from the accuracy of your trip, especially with Jessica being able to tell us all about the gale force winds she experienced. Guessing isn't the same.

    All the best with your repairs and please keep us posted with how they're going and how long they're expected to take to fix so you we can wish you well when you set out again.

  57. Better now than several days from now. At least its a good place to meet your team. God is on your side.

  58. Skip,Ohoy.Captain Abby.Sorry to hear about all the tecknial problems,but its SAFETY first,Cabo San Lucas vill be a nice break,hope your team can fiks all the problems and get plenty of those pen,s.Get youself a good dinner and some of your favor snacks.To the Bloggers:Do you have to throw Jessica Watson in Abbys face when you write in here,This is about Captain Abby.G-d speed and fair winds Sailor.From:Herman.Hampstead.NH.USA.

  59. Abby, you ceased being "American" when you started this adventure, you belong to all of us now, support and love comes from all over the world, and great respect from those that have been to sea. What an amazing family you have, well done mum and dad.

    The journey is far more important than the destination.


  60. Just so glad when I checked on you today there was a new blog !!! When I looked yesterday I got a little concerned but you were doing what you had to do....we are all pulling for you and want what is best and safest so you do what you have to to make that happen. Just a little hiccup in your plans but something will be learned from this stop I am sure. Take care and continued Godspeed to you Abby.

  61. Abby,
    Did you sabotage your equipment just so you could spend some time at Cabo san Lucas?
    I checked it out on the internet, what a fabulous place! Mexico has no shortage of places where you can pig out on Mexican food, soak up the sunshine and do nothing.
    Leonie from Australia

  62. Hey, I knew after the last log entry that you'd have to stop in Mexico to reprovision. It sounds like you have an autopilot only and not a wind vane, is that correct? You really need a windvane for steering in order to succeed on a nonstop trip. I know they are expensive, but autopilot uses a lot of energy and this is definitely not the last time your electrical system will fail, it is something that happens. The vane will also get you better time overall even though you travel a bit further due to it staying trimmed when the wind shifts a bit, and you'll not have to worry about losing the wind in the middle of the night, or jibing. Good luck.

  63. Good Call, I sailed from Suva Fiji to the Bay of Islands N.Z. With out an auto pilot. It was a double ender colon archer design. Tiller driven, I used bungie cords to lash the tiller down while sleeping, Needless to say It was hard to sleep at night. Safe travels, and don't reload H20 from Cabo.

  64. hey kiddo, hope you get some wind soon. take care

  65. @ron, January 30, 2010 4:39 PM

    Agreed. Hey it's just human nature that regardless of the issue, the vocal minority will always seize the floor; this is then often further compounded by the media misrepresenting the views of the VM as the "consensus view". I would hope that most rational people realise this. In any case, I don't thinks this is really an issue anymore for either Abby and Jesse..

    Oh btw you've sold AUS short by about 5 mil; latest stats put us at around 22 million souls, not 17 :-)

    Abby, best of luck with the repairs and as others have said, stay positive and just think of the last week as a good shake down in prep for the "real" start!


  66. The Finisterra Hotel is just a short walk up the hill from the Cabo Marina. Do yourself a favor and get a room for the afternoon and relax/shower in style...every cloud should have a little bit of a silver lining! Enjoy!

    Barrington High School Sailing Club
    Barrington, IL

  67. Good for you Abby! Glad you put the bed down and decided to make the stop. Better safe than sorry. You are doing great!

    Steve B
    Birmingham, AL

  68. All the best for the re-start.
    Still praying for you
    Richard (QLD)

  69. You have done a wise thing to pull over and make your repairs early on...and to listen to team's advice...Keep on Sailing...John, Alamitos Bay

  70. Abby, good to hear the news. Thanks. Please explain how you can sail non-stand and stop. Just trying to understand. How it is a short stop.


  71. Hi Abby!
    As disappointed as you may be having to stop in at Cabo san Lucas, look on last week as extended sea trials to get everything just right,while still north of the equator, and be able to start your adventure from Cabo, hopefully with all repairs ship shape. Like Jessica who sailed from Queensland to Sydney before starting her circumnavigation. You two are so alike in many ways. Including School Work.

    Richie Paris has said it all in his post being wise is a good asset.

    Nice to hear you are sleeping horizontal in your bed with your nap patterns being better for recharging your batteries.

    Keep Smiling, Safe Passage.
    Brian Riley
    Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

  72. Reminder: SPOONS!!! Be safe....thinking of you in Michigan and Missouri! ~ The Miller's

  73. @Anonymous (Herman.Hampstead.NH.USA.)

    Herman, as an aussie I was wondering if the references to Jesse would bother anyone here; and hoping, perhaps optimistically, this wouldn't be the case. I'm *sure* posters in no way intend to throw Jesse "in Abby's face" you put it, or in any way " hijack" Abby's blog. Anything said seems to be with the best of intentions; mostly to pass on to Abby news and lessons learnt from Jesse's journey.

    I'm seeing an amazing amount of admiration & respect for both girls, as there should be; and btw this applies equally to Jesse's blog, where Abby is frequently mentioned.

    It's all good IMHO. The girls fully support each other and us "grownups" would do well to follow their lead.

    @Grant Fjermedal:
    now I understand ;-)


  74. Stay on your diet in Cabo. Last thing you need is to pick up a "bug". Pepto actually works good before-hand, btw.

  75. Hi Abby, it must be very disappointing for you, but certainly sounds like a good idea.

    Remember that Jesse had a little hiccup at the start of her adventure. Sure, she hadn't officially started, but she was on her shakedown trip from Mooloolaba to Sydney when she had her little collision. She had to sail into port and face a lot of criticism and doubters, but she did so bravely, calmly and confidently.

    You will need to do the same, confident that you're doing the right thing. Remember Edison - one of your forebears, well maybe not directly - but he didn't invent the light bulb first time round. Thank heavens he kept trying and didn't give up. I, for one, am grateful to him!

    And sure it would be the icing on the cake if you were to be the youngest solo circumnavigator, but if that turns out not to be the case, it doesn't make your achievement any less important and magnificent. So, don't rush back out to sea injudiciously.

    And make sure when you're back in the marina that you have a security guard posted on the finger who does a full body search of everyone leaving the boat - except you of course - to make sure they aren't stealing pens and spoons!


    Good luck with it all,

  76. don't forget to get pen,pencils spoons hahah just kidding,is better to be in the safe side abby and get all that fix god is always with you,and we are too. milie san francisco

  77. that should be your attempt finished

  78. Sounds amazing! I can't wait to continue reading about your adventures. And absolutely, definitely beats being at home and in school. Do you listen to music or audiobooks while you are sailing?

  79. Good going Abby! I know you are disappointed to stop now but getting all sorted out now is so smart before you go on into more challenging areas. I wanted to let you know how inspirational you are to some of us landlubber wimps. I take off next week driving from Montana to California for a baby shower for my daughter (first grandchild for me-yay!). I will be driving alone and was kinda scared to do it with winter driving conditions maybe not being optimal. Now I will think of you while driving along by myself - your journey is SO much more courageous than mine and so I will be brave on mine:) God speed and enjoy every minute!!

  80. You're doing great! Great successes always come with some problems. Overcoming the challenges with a great team is a huge motivator!

  81. Good choice to stop,I remember my heat was off one time and I had cold water. So I know what thats like..I could hear you yelling in the

  82. It's ok. don't worry about stopping. Don't let it bother you. Easy for me to say of course but you'll be back out and on you way in no time!!
    Auburn, Alabama

  83. At 3:51 pm local time, Saito-san departed Punta Arenas under overcast skies to resume his circumnavigation.

  84. Dear Abby, Sorry that you havd to stop but at least you discovered your troubles early..after this I am sure you will be on the ride of your life:) God bless you,NJ Mom

  85. Good to hear from you. I kept checking yesterday--------sounds like you were busy! It is definately better to be safe than sorry. Glad your team will be there to help you. I am sure you and Wild Eyes will be back at see soon.

    Glad you are getting some sleep and good wind! ;-) Good Winds beat school work any day!

    In Him,
    Scotty Mac

  86. I know this isn't what you wanted to do, but I am glad that you have made plans to work out the kinks. My students will be following your progress and you have opened the door of ideas for them. I appreciate that, but as a teacher I'm worried about you and praying. Keep a good head on your shoulders by making wise choices like fixing things now and God will help with the rest. Good luck and safe travels!

  87. Hi Abby......I'm sure you're disappointed but as you said , you're still North of the Equator so can re-start. How does that figure in your return do you have to dock at Cabo for it to count?

    At least you have found out these little hiccups now and not in the middle of the Atlantic. Take care xx

  88. glad you're finding these problems now before you get in the Southern Ocean! Get 'em fixed and then go for it!

    Thinking of you and Wild Eyes every day!

  89. Hey, Abby - Don't forget to also pick up some more PENS and PENCILS while in port.

  90. Hi Abby!
    Good luck as you venture out into the ocean alone. I love following your blog as you make history one day at a time. Good luck and be safe out there. God is holding your hand through this sea adventure. Tell Nemo I say hi. (: Good choice to stop. Don't be too bummed you stopped, but be happy that you stopped early enough so you can remain safe.
    God bless you and your family,
    Julia xxoo

  91. So happy to hear from you Abby. I was a little worried when you hadn't posted for a few days. My daughter, Marie and I look so forward to reading your blog each morning. We are so proud of you. SAIL ON!!!

  92. Hi Abby,
    If things need fixing, Cabo will be a great place to pull in and get the problems resolved with the aid of your support crew. Then you can start over, and end up at Cabo again before heading up to CA at the end of your circumnavigation. You're still in the running for the record of youngest.... YOU GO GIRL!!

    Brian & Phillippa
    Vancouver, Canada

  93. Well.... Cabo isn't too bad.. it's a nice safe clean place to take care of the business that needs taking care of... I was tire of the wireing problems on my boat so I went with the TackTick wireless system. MUCH better for me though I don't know how it fares on circumnavagations and long term ventures. I bet you can find a WARM shower there too LOL...

  94. Hi Captain Sunderland; As Captain, you just made your first important command decision. It was the correct one. Also you got a little greasy adjusting belts on the engine. Just another one of the perks of being Captain. How lucky can a girl get! Best Wishes, Alfred
    Vancouver, Canada

    P.S. Can't wait for the party at the Equator!

  95. Well, I hope you are putting that pen to good use and making up a list of everything you need. As far as not having enough electricity, how loud do you play you music anyway? :) Glad to hear your playing it safe.

  96. Hi Abby,,,lots of us have started again,its part of life,!! and gone on to do greater things as we are sure you will. Love to see some video of you 'crashing 'upwind,as you say,so much fun,no when you hit Cabo.
    All the best with your hassles, I've see more skippers swear at Auto-pilots than any other part of a yacht !!
    Sail safe. 'different drum' Fremantle

  97. Abby,

    I’m always the optimist. You’re just finishing your “shake down cruise.” You’re right that since you’re still north of the equator, you are just establishing a new start-finish point. What a nicer place to have your “finish” celebration than Cabo. More than anything, have fun, Abby.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  98. HELLO ABBY, Much better to be sure than sorry. I am sure you will soon be on your way again. Can understand your disappointment though.

    Hope all gets underway very quickly for you, I am sure it will.

    Lynne (Picton, NZ)

  99. Hi Abby, Enjoy your stop over in Cabo. I hope you take a nice long shower and have a good nights sleep. You'll be back on your way before you know it. Lisa

  100. G'day Abby,
    It is always best to safe rather than sorry, so good onya for making this decision. I am engrossed with both your journey and Jesse's. You are both very brave and it is great you are doing these adventures. All the best for your repairs and your trip.
    Good luck from Sydney.

  101. Captain Abby,

    That a Girl you said it all just like i would like to hear it.
    See you in Cabo

    Team Abby

  102. Hello Captain Abby,

    To stop...a disappointment. But look at the "team building" that's been going on here...fantastic. And Team Abby is going to make it right in Cabo San Lucas and your adventure will soon be on again....big time.
    As it happens I am going to be flying in just south of your port of call but on the coast at Bucerias next I will feel a little closer to the "restart" in a small way. I will be taking my laptop to monitor your progress for sure.

    In preparation for the arrival of Wild Eyes in Mexico I found this surprising "Spanish Helper" on the internet:

    "Although English is spoken in much of the resort area of Los Cabos, it's helpful to know some phrases especially if you are looking for PENS, FORKS AND SPOONS!"

    "How much does it cost? ¿Cuánto cuesta?

    What is the price? ¿Cual es el precio?"

    You'll have forks, spoons, pens, fuel and batteries in a flash.....hehe.

    Seriously Abby you are doing an outstanding job of living your dream. We (your followers) appreciate the information you're sharing with us..."the good and the bad". We believe. We care.

    Good night young lady and safe sailing to port,
    Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

  103. @Charles - you're probably right that they'd be better off at their home port, but maybe she doesn't want to sail that distance again, short as it was. If it were my daughter, I'd have her sail it again because she'd be closer if it failed again. Also, once she crosses the equator (or at least that seems to be the deal) she won't be able to come in again. I would rather be sure. Maybe they actually considered your plan and it would cost more? (but I don't think so!) But you know what, it's not our voyage, we're just along for the ride where ever it takes us!

  104. Yo AbbyRoad! Youre an inspiration to all us landlubbers, good on ya mate!

  105. “remember in school when your eraser would run out and you would scrape the paper with the metal just to try and erase even a little ?”

  106. Hi Abby,
    Sure soon you are on your journey again.
    Safety is most important thing. It was very good you detect failure near the civilization, still near home.
    Hope see you on the ocean soon.

  107. Now Abby you pose a problem,My brother is American my great uncle was a colonel in the Confederate Army and I am Australian so is it to be Jessica or Abby.Answer, neither you both are inspirations to the young people of the world.Dont worry about the stop over,Jess hit a ship not long after she set off.I hope you guys contact each other,give and take a bit of 30 advice.I spent 30 years as a Policeman in Australia, you teenage girls have more guts than I could ever muster , but then I did learn to fly. God Speed,clear skies and fair winds and trust Neptune holds you in the palm of his hand with Jess.

  108. Dear Abby,
    Got word of your quest through Captain Jesse's website. Clearly, you and she are made of the same "stuff". Best of luck repairing everything so you can get back to pursuing your dream.

    My prayers are with you and your team.

    Ben from Texas.

  109. I hope Abby has a great welcoming committee in Cabo to get these first issues corrected. Perhaps some of her newfound fans/followers will arrive to greet you, so let the world know.

    These posts are great and want to hear the good, the bad, the ugly.

    I have to say that pictures would be worth 1000 words - and video even more! So I encourage Team Abby to equip with camera and ability to upload images.

    Good Luck and godspeed.
    Mike in LA.

  110. You're obviously making the right choice. I've been curious about one thing since I started reading about your attempt. Why no wind vane self steering? Seems standard on most long distance cruisers, but I've never seen it on an open class boat. Is there something in the Open class design that precludes its use? Surely if you had the type that attaches to the wheel or tiller, you'd have enough steering power to handle even Wild Eyes? Obviously, your transom design would need a custom mounting for the vane, but it seems do-able.

    The vane would reduce power consumption and reduce the likelihood of mechanical failure of the electric autopilots (as has happened to many), if it could be achieved somehow.

    Just curious. Good luck.

  111. There's wisdom and maturity in knowing that you're out of your league on the wiring and that the need for more power makes a stop necessary. I'm quite sure there are those who would choose to try and go on and end up in trouble later. Thank you for being a good role model for my 9 year old daughter. She's been on a "girls can't do ___________" lately. Reading your blogs, she's starting to see that being a girl isn't that bad. You're in our hearts and our prayers.

  112. @A Whole Bunch of Folks: Sure appreciate the kind words that were sent my way during the last string. Very thoughtful. ;-)

    @Everyone: Abby is right when in her introduction to today's post she says this is bad news. With the charging system and wind instruments faltering just days into the journey. She's got to stop, no doubt about that.

    What makes this news bad is the calendar. I haven't plotted the distance from Abby's current position to Cabo San Lucas, but it looks as if it will take her 4 days to make port -- perhaps even longer as is showing light - to very light - winds over the next 4 days. (However, her boat is extremely fast in light air.)

    While it's possible her pit crew -- and I bet there will be a whole bunch of electrical expertise flying in to help -- might troubleshoot the problem within a day (and I hope they do so within an hour) charging system problems can be a pain. If the pit stop takes 3 days, she's lost a week (counting the 4-day trip in), plus a few extra days making up for southwestard distance lost.

    If (and that's a word armchair sailors toss around easily ;-) the problem is more systematic -- Abby notes that her systems are drawing more than what the charging system can support, then the 3-day pit stop could take longer. And, as painful as it might feel, it seems as if at least a day or two of sea trials would be good before she heads back into her journey.

    Good News: Cabo is a major yachting center, and it is a great place to make a pit stop. It also requires a heck of a lot less easting than if they had called her in say a week from now, rather than acting now.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this might be a good time to re-think an emergency non-electric windvane for self steering in case she runs into this problem again. She mentioned having to steer by hand to save the batteries, which is great fun for a while, but not when you have to go to the bathroom, eat, change sails, and sleep.

    And by the Way: It warmed my heart to see Abby writing about how warm that dodger kept her as the on-the-nose waves broke over the boat.

    A 3-day pit stop -- plus the days to sail in and sail out -- would have Abby (according to my very loose calculations) rounding Cape Horn around the first day of Fall or so. (Fall in the Southern Hemisphere begins March 20).

    Now just because the seasons move from Summer to Fall doesn't mean that the weather immediately changes . . . and she could end up drifting off of Cape Horn for a day like Jessica did, before she got her 40-knot blast to carry her past the Cape in proper Cape Horn fashion. ;-)

    Why write all of this down? Just to provide a bit of insight into what a drag this development is. I'd been greatly enjoying -- as was everyone else -- watching Abby tick off those miles on the excellent "Where's Abby" chart that the team provides on this site. It's not going to be fun seeing her turn East -- even though she absolutely has to do this.

    Let's hope for a speedy -- yet incredibly effective -- pit stop, and for great winds and speed from here to Cape Horn. And let's also hope for a mild Fall this year in the Southern Hemisphere.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  113. Hi Abby,
    Sorry to hear you have to head in but better to get everything right now than get caught out later on.
    Hope it doesn't take to long to complete the repairs.
    Keep safe,

  114. Hello Abby,

    Thanks for the update, as everyone else has said to you better now than later. At the end of the day we still think your amazing to take on this challenge so kudos to you.

    Try to relax and enjoy and remember that no matter what, your very brave even getting this far.

    We'll stay tuned.

    The McGraths, Nowra NSW Australia

  115. Hi Abby

    Hope the repairs go well, don’t forget to stock up on a bit more chocolate.
    Stay safe now.

    Love from Faye and Max (Mulgrave, Vic, Aus)


    Take the proper outlook about the glitch in light of upcoming unknown challenges when out there left entirely to your own devices.  Do NOT consider this a setback at all but, rather, a good trial run.  How about your systems going down the toilette when depending on them the most, say, in the type of tight spot Jessica survived recently in the South Atlantic off the Malvinas.  No, eh?

    Odd as it may seem at first, it's better that is happening at this time.  The immediate problem can be solved for good, for one.  For another when triple-checking everything for the Nth time, and taking a broader view, do address, though, similar type of "management", design, and workmanship issues that led to the situation in the first place.  Be happy the problesh cropped up at this stage of things.




  117. Hey Abby,
    This is a minor setback (and better now than half way round...)

    Your other 16-year-old co-adventurer, Jesse Watson, also had a setback very early on. On her first night out, on the leg to reposition Ella's Pink Lady from Queensland to Sydney for the start of her attempt, she was run over and dismasted by a 63,000 ton container ship!
    It delayed her attempt by a few months, but it didn't stop her. And this minor setback won't stop you.

    Good luck, and keep going!

    Greg in Sydney

  118. 01-31-10 @ 05:05
    Hi Abby,
    Geez Abby, what a bummer, I'm sorry you had to run into trouble, but at least you were reasonably close. I'm glad to see that you are in good spirits, trying to keep everyone from worrying, and keeping a cool head yourself.
    Just when you were having some fun. OK, you'll get it fixed and be on your merry way, yes???? At least you didn't have to come back to MDR and start over again from there. Will you be able to repair your wind instruments here, and don’t forget to get some pens.
    Keep smiling Abby, stuff happens, and you’ll get past it.
    Good luck to you and take care.

    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  119. Hello Abby. Just like any adventure or battle, it never survives contact with the enemy. You have done extremely well so far and I am excited following you. I miss my days crewing races in the Great lakes. So if you will excuse me I am living vicariously through your adventure. With regards to the power draw issues. I agree with the previous poster that says turn down your brightness on the things that are on all of the time. That would be just like having a setting on your laptop tp turn off the display after 5 minutes when you are idle. Computer still runs, but display is dark. I saw you say that you were going to get some more batteries. That is good to delay the time between running the engine to charge, but I was wondering if you could give us some info regarding your solar panels and wind turbines if you have them. Like how many watt hours they produces at full bore.

    thanks for your time, and God bless you.


  120. Hi Abby from Australia,

    The up side is that your problems happened before you crossed the equator. As you know Jess had a mishap on the shake down cruise from Mooloolaba to Sydney. Shure got the skeptics out from under their rocks, but look at her go now. You are both brave young inspiration.

    Good luck!

    Dave and Una Brisbane Queensland Australia
    Stay safe

  121. Hey Abby,
    As everyone is saying - just look at it as a one week trial to iron out those bugs!

    I'd be upset too, in fact very annoyed at having to port at Cabo and basically start again!

    But it is therefore a very wise move to fix these issues now.

    It is interesting to realize how your energy demands are so much higher, I wonder what are the differences between Wild Eyes and Ellas Pink Lady as far as energy consumption is concerned, so far Jess hasn't mentioned having any energy problems, I was concerned actually because she has one of her Solar Panels bent out of shape due to her recent knockdowns, but she hasn't mentioned if the Panel has been damaged so we have to assume it is least to some degree.

    Anyway Abby...get things corrected and get back out there!


    Clint - Melbourne

  122. You’ve heard the saying, When life throws you a lemon, make lemonade? Well what better place to do so then Cabo San Lucus. Ya got yer team comin’ down. A bit of downtime. Your overall journey and goals aren’t in jeopardy. So make the most of it. Don’t be forgetting to get a couple boxes of plastic forks, knives and spoons, not to mention a pack of pens and pencils.

    Hope your back on the waves soon Miss Abby.

    “Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
    ~David Frost

  123. Captain Abby ! I'm sure we all read your disappointment and frustration. Been there many times sailing in my lifetime, regardless of the length of trip. Point being, my respect for you and your team has increased even more after the right choice has been made to stop, assess the problems, make repairs and modifications.Sailing is always a learning experience. One thing I learned many years ago is never to push a bad situation. It always gets worse on a sailboat of any size. Proud of you girl!

  124. Hi Abby, the bloggers are right: though you tried to, you couldn't escape a real shakedown cruise. That's Ocean's Law.
    Everyboby says San Jose del Cabo is a nice place to party. Beware, pretty blonde girl! Don't get entangled in dark eyed latino boys!!! Did Marianne give you strong warnings about navigating encounters? Jessica's Mum did, and the bloggers had some good times with that.
    If you studied history, remember what happened to Hannibal in Capua. If you don't know, it will be a good subject to google for while you will have to wait in San Jose.
    So now, your journey will start from el Cabo and arrive there.
    An American girl, on an Australian boat, circumnavigating from and to Mexico. Modern world has no borders left. If you have some free time there, you could look for mexican sponsors, and take some tasty fresh mexican food for the first days?
    Patience and duration do more than power and anger. (La Fontaine).

  125. Hey Abby
    Sorry to hear you have to abort your attempt so soon, but take into it that you can restart.Its better to get the niggling little things fixed up now than to have to put up without for six monthsat sea. Cant wait for you to start again. All us Aussies will be cheering you on.
    PS dont forget to get some cutlery and pens

  126. Hi Abby,

    Great to hear that you are getting more sleep.

    Sorry to hear that you are having to stop in at Cabo San Lucas. You are still on track for achieving your goal Abby which is great. I think that with anyone setting off around the world solo it's great to have an ultimate goal such as yours, but at the end of the day, finishing and arriving home safely will also be a fantastic achievement.

    You have my 100% support that YOU CAN DO IT.

    Keep safe Abby and enjoy catching up briefly with your team before you set sail again.

    Warmest wishes from Jan Pace (Auckland, New Zealand)

  127. Make sure you have an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER/MASTER ELECTRIC type person address your power requirements. That way everything will get addressed and be 100%. That stuff has got to be right no matter what.

  128. Just a mom with 2 cents to the end of it all you will have learned just as much about life and will have tested yourself no less whether or not your journey ends up meeting the details of the challenge criteria. If you can stay focused on that some of these small bumps in the, er, road, may not seem like such a big deal. I don't know thing one about sailing, but I am fascinated with your journey. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the world! Best of luck!

  129. Hi Abby, I havent seen any notes from Maryland, so heres one. I follow your progress daily and with much interest. I know nothing about sailing, but it sounds like you really know what your doing. Above all be as safe as possible, and don't let your guard down. Sounds like going in for some touch ups is a good idea. Thousands of us will be with you all the way. My very best to you. Arnold

  130. Hello Abby,

    I'm sure you'll swiftly handle the stop at Cabo and be on your way in no time.

    I live in Colorado and have been following your story with awe and admiration. I am founder of a web 2.0 company in Boulder, CO that builds tools for blogs. I am giving the keynote presentation at a large blogging conference in a week and I am going to talk about your journey in my speech. I hope that is OK - I talked to Matt on the phone and he said it was fine. This keynote will be in front of hundreds of women bloggers, all sharing their stories and their blogs to help create change.

    If you had a sentence of advice you'd like to share with all these women, what would it be? I know you get lots of comments and have important things to do like sail a boat around the world, but if you are checking emails or comments and would like to pass an inspiring word of advice on to hundreds of women, I'd be honored to deliver it. The talk is on Sat night.

    We are cheering for you Abby!!

    Holly Hamann

  131. Hi Abby, What a pest that power problem, Your crew will get it sorted and you will be on your way again . Better to get it all working spot on now ,than to have dramas further into your trip . Take care and stay safe Terry and Patricia Melb Aus

  132. abby, continuing to pray for you...for some fun surprises as well as the usual stuff of safety, wisdom and rest.

    Loved the last bit about school. One of my commenters asked about your education, and it hadn't even crossed my mind even as a mom who has home-schooled.

    Blessings from Amman, Jordan

  133. Question Abby... since Cabo is north of the equator, does it now become your return port?

    Keep up the great work!


  134. Abby,
    TBC News wants to send a crew to meet you in Cabo for a 1/2 interview. We will then air it on our television show which will hit 92 USA cities, Ireland, England & 20 Western European countries.

    We sent Susan an email about this. Hope we can work this out, so everyone can hear it. May steady winds be yours. Cheers, John Fleming,CEO TBC NEWS

  135. Greetings Abby! Don't get upset! Everything will be OK! Don't give up! I believe in you Abby and in Wild eyes! The Godspeed you!)))

    Alexey from Moscow!

  136. Abby, You are an inspiration to us all! Keep the faith and all will be well. You are wise beyond your years with a wonderfully positive attitude that we would all do well to emulate.
    Take good care, enjoy the experience from this little bump in the road, and smooth sailing from here,
    God's Speed, Miss Abby! Nan

  137. @Grant....... Great analysis.... Just catching up on things with Abby... I too would strongly consider manual self steering... wow...


  138. Can we get a technical analysis of the power consumption for future reference?

    What's the actual math involved.

    If you put in 4 hours per day and switched the autopilots off, how would that figure, or 6 or 8 etc.

    Or is this just a combo of bad luck that is no wind now sun too long coupled with no hand steering at all since the start?

    Had there been sun/wind would it still have been noticeable that the usage or power consumption is off?

    And is it the autopilots that are the biggest consumers or is there a drain somewhere?

    Since the wind monitors are down and it seems to be in the wiring in the mast, is that perhaps what is draining all the power? Call it a short , or "bleeding" electricity :-)

    Interestingly Zac's radar went out and it was found in Grenada to be a chafed wire leading into or in the mast as well.

    Ask the team to bring down solar chargers for the ipod, the kindle, the computers and any other peripherals. They all add up and you don't really need to plug them into the mains you can do with out one or the other over the course of a day while it recharges.

    Hopefully Laurence will give us one of his mega analysis posts once everything is sorted out.

    This stop, and this trip is all a learning experience. Which at the end of the day is the root of it all. Both man (woman :-) ) and machine.


  139. A good call to be safe and insure that you have the things you will need to be succcessful.Look at it as the sea trial that will get you ready.
    smooth nights fast days safe journey

  140. you don't have a windvane? i would hate to hang the success of such a voyage on electronics...if your autopilot goes south,or any part of the electrical system that feeds it... you are pretty much done unless you want to hand-steer the whole way...with a wouldn't matter if you lost all your could still complete your voyage...

  141. Chocolate. Take on a pallet of chocolate. I have heard, though not confirmed, that 20 pounds (about nine kilos) of chocolate has as much vitamin A as a shred of carrot, positively making chocolate a health food. Chocolate will get you through times of no homework better than homework will get you through times of no chocolate.

    We’re all pulling for you Abby, I’m sure (more sure than about the Vitamin A). You and Wild Eyes form a team, and as captain of the team, you are doing the correct thing not to ask her to play hurt in the early season when it matters little. When Abby Wild Eyes plays the big games against Pacific, Southern, Atlantic, and Indian, you both need to do your part. While you can cover somewhat for each other, it is unreasonable to ask or expect that one player can carry the team against all four.

    BTW, power failures are overrated. Chocolate will get you through a period of no power failures better than power failures will get you through a period of no chocolate. Take the chocolate--leave the power failures.

    I’m looking forward to following your team on a winning season. Stay strong, stay healthy, stay smart.

    Sammamish, WA USA

  142. Hi Abby,
    keep up them dodgers,
    Jony the Pony

  143. Written by Marianne Williamson, given by Nelson Mandela.

    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
    We are all meant to shine, as children do.
    We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
    It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear,
    our presence automatically liberates others."
    Aloha Abby :) (happy happy joy joy!! singing)

    Let everything in your journey be accepted with good cheer. All is guided by God and his BEST "WILL" for you! Always LOVE from God. I hope you are able to look around sometimes and let laughter fill the air. It will also be good for you both mentally and physically (releasing happy hormones and contracting your core system, abs and back muscles). Enjoy your day and oh yea, get a little stretching in too so you will be physically prepared at all times. SMiLES :)

    Aquamom says Hello, and I am the one who painted your rock with the Ezra scripture on it. Keep enjoying your journey.

    Sunny Miller

  144. You go girl!!! I wonder if you even read the comments... haha. I'm 12 and you really are a great role model for me. :)

    -Hannah: Palm Desert, CA

  145. Meanwhile....things are heatin up with ryan!

  146. Sorry to hear you have to come into port. On the bright side you can use this opportunity to restock your pen supply. Of course if you do that you can't use the excuse of no pens to do home work.:) Grandpa Bob in Tucson

  147. Can Abby's course and projected course be followed on Google Earth. If so, how? pat

  148. Hi Abby,
    Think of this as a pit stop. Danica patrick has to make them, why shouldn't you. I've been around sailboats most of my life,and I've learned that things don't breakdown at the dock, but when you take HER out into the harshest element on this planet things WILL go wrong!!!!!! Just regroup, and keep on sailing. Get some good rest in Cabo and remember; take it one day at a time, and ENJOY the time you take.
    Woodrow Wilson from San Diego

  149. @ClintJeffrey-VK3CSJ: You note that Jessica hasn't encountered the kind of energy draw problems that Abby has.

    Of course every boat is different and every charging system is different. But probably the biggest reason is that Jessica has a more traditional (and a wonderful one it is) sailboat that can be steered by a non-electrical, non-electronic, old-fashioned windvane.

    Abby's boat is more of a downwind rocket that defies windvane steering. (Although anyone who has followed the trip much has heard me and a few others suggest that it would still be good to have a non-electrical, non-electronic wind vane on board just to use in emergencies, using the logic that you could slow the boat down (shorten sails) and alter the course from surfing downwind, in case she did get stuck out in the middle of nowhere without a charging system for her electric-powered, electronic self steering.

    I would imagine that Jessica has a backup electric autohelm system (For example, when she got caught in the hurricane blow in the South Atlantic, this might have been a time when an electric autopilot could have been used (though the force of wind and waves (recall her boat was picked up by rogue waves and slammed down on its side 4 times during the storm) may have broken it.) And perhaps she was hove-to or just sailing along, quartering the waves,through the storm. (There's a lot about the storm I'd like to know, but can only guess at. Though she did say she carried a jib (which I'm assuming was a very small and very, very tough storm jib).

    So, two very different boats (I've said before that I'd be too chicken to go on Abby's speedster, and would definitely choose Jessica's Spakman & Stephens 34, but have also admitted maybe that just makes me old fashioned.)

    If Jessica lost her electrics and electronics in the midddle of the Indian Ocean, it wouldn't be a big deal. We'd all be scared when her satellite phone battery went out, and we didn't hear from her day after day after day. But I'm sure she's got a bunch of pocket-sized GPS navigation devices that run on AA flashlight batteries. So she'd make it home just fine. This is because she has old-fashioned non-electric windvane steering. If vane system broke, which sometines it does, the traditional design of her boat would enable her to rig up her own self steering, by tying a jib sheet to the tiller.

    If Abby were to lose her electrics in the middle of the Indian Ocean -- and if she didn't have emergency windvane steering as is currently the case, she would have to call for help and a commercial ship, naval ship, or some other large vessel would be diverted to pick her up off her boat. The boat itself would probably be sunk as to not become a navigational hazard, although if seas were too rough to put a scuttle team aboard, it would simply be left to its own devices. (See Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" ;-)

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  150. There seems to be some confusion as to how the equator fits in with this new development so I'll have a go at explaining it.
    Abby's attempt has rules. One of them says you have to sail in both hemispheres. This is because it wouldn't be fair to Northern based people for someone from Christchurch, New Zealand (for example) to sail around Antarctica and return to Christchurch. Jessica has already sailed around Kiritimati Island in the Northern hemisphere to meet this requirement. Let say Abby encounters another problem and has to port in Lima, Peru which is in the Southern hemisphere. That could be her new start/finish line if she chose to continue just as Cabo San Lucas is her current one. But she would then have to go around a Northern hemisphere island sometime in her trip.
    As Grant Fjermedal pointed out, the real problem with this delay is timing. She'll be South of Australia in our November for you Northern people. That's late and there could be big storms. It would be shorter and better weather going between Indonesia and Australia but Abby doesn't like pirates and who can blame her? I'm not an ocean sailor so take this suggestion for what it's worth. I think it would wiser and safer at this point for Abby to change her attempt from a nonstop to a stop and go through the Panama Canal. This was the route of both her brother and Michael Perham. If successful, she would be the youngest with stops, an accomplishment she would be proud of for the rest of her life. Going through Panama would shorten the trip, she'd arrive in Australia earlier and her chances of favorable weather would improve.

  151. Abby, You should pick up one of those 5+ gallon solar water bags while in Cabo. Hang it on the sunny side of your boat and it will be heated before dusk. They sure beat a cold shower. I will be watching your whole trip and hope you stay safe!
    Bill from PA

  152. Hi Abby!
    I think you are doing great so far, even if all parts of Wild Eyes does not.

    I would like to quote an article I just read:
    "so many ocean sailors focus on how tough and trying it all is, it's more than a little inspiring to see that these two aren't afraid to point out the fun of it all." (these two=Abby and Jess)

    This is what I like in your and Jessica’s blogs. You love being out sailing, and it shows. The majority of round-the-world sailors are middle-age men (even if there luckily are women also) and these men often complain about the hardship and the weather. You don't complain about seasickness, only hint about "little stomach problem" but make no big deal. Abby, continue with your enthusiasm!

    Hope everything sort itself out. Hope there are not too many paparazzis in Cabo San Lucas.

    Bengt "Ben" Larsson, Sweden

  153. @Grant
    Ouch! That's pretty stark!
    But it sounds like you were right weeks ago when you were pushing for the wind vane. Do you also agree with Charles and Kelly about it being better to take it home to MDR? Rent a motor boat NOW to tow it home to MDR (go out and meet her - DON'T wait for her to crawl in!!!) Rent two boats, one to tow and one to bring Abby into Cabo san Lucas to get a night's rest and then fly home! When they get Wild Eyes back they could do EVERYTHING they need to do to her and only have lost a little time, but I agree with Kelly that if she departs from Cabo san Lucas without the whole package, she may have problems again.

  154. When in Cabo, stop into Cabo Wabo for lunch or diner!! Have someone from your marketing team ask for a little 'sponsorship help' .. couldn't hurt!! I can think of worse places to get repairs but I think you'll be able to find anything that your team needs for your boat right there in Cabo. Wide Open Adventures is another company close to the docks that may be able to throw a little sponsor money towards your trip....
    Wish I could get to Cabo right now to meet with your team and chase down anything that they didn't bring with them.
    This may be a blessing in disguise ... maybe you can load up some fresh fruit while in Cabo... mangos, oranges, etc... Everything's going to work out for the best!!
    When you sail out of Cabo you'll be on a re-newed energy source for the boat and yourself!!
    Our Best From Wyoming..

  155. Abby,....Even though you are a long ways from Cape Town, this weather comment on Jessica's blog has good local information.

    Willi from Switzerland says

    Atlantic ocean Indian ocean

    The closer you get towards the Cape of Good Hope the more often you may encounter this foggy condition.

    The warm air coming from the Indian ocean will meet the colder conditions from the Atlantic.
    Towards Cape Town the fog may fall on you within minutes. They call it the "Devils Table clothe".
    Watch out for container vessel traffic coming down from Europe.

    The gales coming down from the mountains don't show any ripples on the water giving you hardly any time to reduce sail.

    I wish you a safe trip.


  156. @Grant: FYI, Jessica does indeed have an autopilot and utilized it during the big storm with her small storm jib. She also used the autopilot when she climbed the mast to inspect the rigging. She took her remote commander aloft with her in order to change course as necessary in a shifting wind to steady the boat as much as possible while swinging around at the top of the mast.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  157. Hi Abby,

    Given the big picture this is a minor setback. Much better to have everything fine tuned for rest of the voyage.

    The way I sometimes shower when away from the slip is the cup-bucket method. Heat water in the kettle, then pour it into a bucket, add cool water until the temp is correct, and then use a cup to pour the warm water over yourself. It works well and I get a good "shower" with around a gallon of water.

    Sleep Grasshopper, sleep.

    San Diego

  158. Bonjour

    Take a deep breath Abby.

    The numerous problems you have experienced already are really just a blessing in disguise. This stop will give Team Abby another chance to fix everything and make sure 'all systems are go'.

    Everyone is cheering for you Abby.

    Take the time to get Wild Eyes up and running at 100% Do not accept anything less. Your safety is number 1.

    Bonne chance!

  159. You are doing great Abby. Keep up your positive attitude. Wish I could be in Cabo to see you.

  160. Hi Abby, I hope everything works out for you. It's better to be safe than sorry. Godspeed!

  161. Hmmm the situation is tight.
    With the delays that Grant points out cleverly, and their consequences, I think I would join my voice to Bob's one and suggest Panama. I remember that not long ago, Abby hoped to start in the first days of DECEMBER to have suitable weather conditions. We are now two months later. Achieving a circumnavigation usong the Canal would be anyway a fantastic adventure. Inside myself, I would feel awful if Abby met several nasty storms because she is too late in the season, and did not come back, for not having written a stronger entry here. Just typing now, I feel my stomach hurting. Hey Team... Please keep Abby safe!

  162. Hi Abby

    Hope the repairs go well and don't take too long!



  163. There are two autopilots and two rudders on the boat. How does that work. Are each operating one rudder at the same time? How do you sync. that? Or are they hooked up to gether or something? Or one of them is just a back up? Otherwise in light conditions wouldn't running just one work and conserver energy? Be really interested in what is draining the energy, this boat originally and that other open 40 that went around all have same or similar setups. even less solar panels by the looks of the pictures of them, not even seeing wind generators either.

  164. Forget Panama. Amounts to the same thing, can be minimum 1 week upto a month if you're not lucky transiting there. The distance is no great savings so you'll still end up in Australia at the same time.

    The boats capable of 240 miles per day. Soon enough there is going to be absolutely no shortage of wind to fill her sails. Lots and lots of time to make up for any lost time. Drive the boat as it's designed to be driven. Race it to your heart's content.

    The Vendée Globe boats can do it under 90 days, open 60 of course but they did have open 50's previously.

    Sail the boat, sail it well and carefully and have fun doing. Any other way would be like creeping around at 30 mph in a Ferrari. Looks pretty impressive at the red lights and parking lots :-)

  165. I'm always puzzled by unsigned posts. Is it shyness? Any open discussion is OK, but it is strange to see that the "race!" advices often come from carefully hidden people. The transiting time may true (I don't know), but I would prefer the racing advisors to go on and race themselves, rather than pushing others to do it. Or, at least, are brave enough themselves to take off their mask.
    Sorry Abby, I don't want to look negative, but I am careful and I am thinking only of YOUR own interest, not of the spectators ones.

  166. Abby, while I share your frustration and disappointment at having to make a pit stop so early in your voyage, you have swallowed your pride and made a very mature and wise decision. This might also be a good time to reconsider your route as I am very worried about the high probability of you and Wild Eyes encountering truly wicked weather down south so late in the season.
    On the subject of overcoming challenges, Jessica Watson's mother revealed in an interview yesterday in a local paper that Jessica has overcome profound dyslexia and the tag of illiteracy (she was unable to spell, read or count) to pursue her dream. As Jessica could not read at age 11, her mother read her Jesse Martin's book of his solo circumnavigation which made her realize that one doesn't have to be superhuman to achieve greatness. Even today out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean navigation presents her with a unique challenge as she gets her numbers mixed up.
    So, Captain Abby, I hope your repairs can be quickly effected so you can get back out there on the high seas, overcome whatever challenges come your way and achieve great things. Both of you wonderful girls inspire us greatly with your courage and determination in pursuing your goals.

  167. Hello Abby,

    Just read your last, but not any of the comments yet, so please forgive me if I am repeating previously written content.

    I’m glad you have been settling in enjoyably to your new routine;-) I had no doubt that you would. I’m also delighted that you will be stopping to correct some of your mechanical difficulties. Just consider this sail as an extra shakedown cruise. The repairs will go smoothly and quickly and you can get back at it with little loss. Once repairs are complete you can start anew with audacity and vigor; lighthearted in the knowledge that nothing vital was lost during your brief hiatus.

    OH! Hate those cold showers! Ask your team to get a solar shower for you. They are cheap and work very well when the sun shines. At least you can get a warm shower some of the time.

    I’d like to take this moment to reiterate how proud I am (we all are) of your achievements thus far, your courage, optimistic attitude and your humility; just a few of the many admirable characteristics that you have shown. Thank you again for letting us all join in and follow your unique journey.

    Wishing you all the success in the world!

    Mike D
    Philadelphia, Pa, USA

  168. Phil and Fila from MichiganJanuary 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    ha abby its a good thing to discover and make whatever repairs are needed while your still close to home. I'm wondering about the sea conditions around cape horn, wont it be getting pretty rough down there soon? with the fall season approaching. Take care and GOD Bless from Your arm chair adventurers.

  169. I would say there is a big difference in an around the world sail going through the Panama Canal or rounding Cape Horn.

  170. I can't believe how mature you are for such a young person. I am really impressed by you. I want you to stay safe though, remember safety first as you have a long life ahead of you. I see what you are accomplishing at such a young age and makes me look back on my life and wonder why I was not as smart or focused as you are. Take care.

  171. Big or not, there is one difference, yes.
    And between alive and dead, how big is the difference?
    The same as between unmasked and masked.
    You are a wonderful girl, Abby,and with a strong and responsible team.
    I am sure you and Laurence will make the right choice, taking in account all the plus and the minus. Your great sailing abilities are not questioned. Wild Eyes, after her pit stop, should be OK too. This lets one pending question, the calendar one (seasons and weather). I am no expert, but my message is that all the aspects must be examined. After all, it is YOUR adventure, and YOUR life. YOU will be having the fun, and the risks, not us, the armchair army. So it has to be your (and your parents') decision. GOOD LUCK, Sailor!

  172. I'm sorry you have to stop, but glad that you are early enough into the trip to be close to a repair point. God-speed to you once you get back on the waves.

  173. Look at the bright side, you get to enjoy land legs for a short time. I'm so glad you posted. I feel like a worried mom when you don't post! You are amazing!

  174. What's the ETA at this time? Days or? Asking because also, are we out of juice? Will Abby have to hand steer all the way to Cabo.

    got a weird feeling just before getting there everything will correct itself. Got to be something simple and weird with the charging system. Doesn't make sense with all that's installed.

  175. For Bob from Seattle
    The route over the top of Australia sailing eastward through the Timor and Arafura Seas and Torres Strait is not a good passage option for Abby. Apart from pirates, from May to December well developed south easterly trade winds prevail and Torres Strait experiences the strongest trade winds in the world. Also there are navigation challenges as the region is flecked with shoals, submerged reefs and fierce currents.

  176. Your doing good Abby!
    Hang in there! Get some sleep!

  177. As a doubter, I truly want you to succeed...safely & triumphantly! I have never been a doubter based on your age. My doubts have stemmed from the seemingly rushed nature of your launch. I hope that your father will use this opportunity to take a long, hard look at any other systems which may have been a bit rushed in their preparation.

    Of course these things can happen to any sailor, but the stop in Cabo should serve as a real opportunity to ask if the expedition is as absolutely prepared as it can be.

  178. I have confidence in Laurence and his team. Absolutely things go wrong even with any amount of time shake down cruise. Something's wrong with the system and it's not a usage calculation. Having watched (via the internet) Laurence rip out Zac's cracked bulk head literally with his bare hands and re-inforce it and the boat 4 x's beyond spec. they'll track down this bug whatever it is and nullify so that it can never happen again, on Abby's boat or anyone else's. Text book quality.

    There's a gremlin in there somewhere, and thankfully it's not the autopilots or the rudder bearings :-)

    It will be solved.

    p.s. relax rich, that wasn't directed at you personally ;-)

  179. No worries mate, you;ll be right!
    Better safe than sorry Abby!
    Blessings <><
    Anita M Miracle
    Waterloo, NY
    Captain SV "Wombat" ~~~_/)

  180. Abby's boat was built as BTC Velocity, raced and then sailed around the world before Abby purchased it. You can see a VERY interesting collection of design drawings and construction photos at

    The construction photos are of note as they give you an idea of compartmentized nature of the boats design. Don't miss rummaging through all the options from the "The Yacht" link on the aroundalone2002 home page. If you poke around you'll also find a few photos (and some commentary) during her self righting trial.

    As you'll also see, she was built as and still sails using a single rudder - not two as suggested by an Anonymous poster farther up in this thread. You can confirm this also by scrolling back into Abby's blog of Dec 23rd, where Wild Eyes is out of water with Abby sitting beneath the hull. You'll see the boat's new red heart around the base of the keel and the single rudder just to Abby's left.

    Grant's sober assessment of Abby's situation re: charging system and drain on same from total depenance on the charging system is shared by myself as well. Her stop in Cabo is all too reminicent of Mike Perham's stops that altered his sailing attempt from non-stop unassisted to youngest around. In his case it was the autopilot that constantly dogged his trip.

    I'm with Grant (probably also of an age as he as well) that I'd prefer the S & S "tortise" to the hot red Open 40. More tech - more fast - more potential problems.

    Steve in California

  181. I agree with Anita, better safe than sorry. Absolutely get to the bottom of everthing before heading out again. And as someone else posted earlier, drink only bottled water in Cabo.

    Good Luck and God Bless!

  182. Good decision to get everything up to par as best you can. Following your adventure from here in Lancaster, Ca. Good Luck.....God Bless.

  183. Hey Abby, Don't worry about getting things right before your attempt at the circumnavigation. Dodge Morgan and American Promise originaly left from Maine on his nonstop solo unassisted, and with auto helm problems had to put into Bermuda for repairs, then went on to finish in 150 days. The 'Voyage of American Promise' is a great read although out of print. His voyage took place in 1985-86. So carry on, do what is right for you.

  184. Best wishes Abby that all problems can be sorted quickly and you are soon able to head out on a new beginning to your exciting voyage.
    Good luck
    Jan from Sydney Aust.

  185. Hello Abby,

    As a determined follower of Jesse Watson, I am amazed at your strength and effort. It equals the effort of Jesse and I am in awe of both of you.

    I wish you all the best and safe sailing on your endeavour.

    Please stay safe and prove all of the doomsayers wrong.

    Find the kind winds and sail home as quickly as possible.

    June and Richard Thorn (Brisbane Australia)

  186. Why do people object to references to Jessica Watson? Isn't it logical that with both girls attempting this challenge at the same time, there will be "comparisons"? Except we're NOT comparing, just anxiously hoping both will succeed. I myself wasn't aware of Abby Sunderland until I read about her in Jessica's blog! So Jess seems to be in no way inclined to ignore Abby's efforts and seems to be following her exploits as anxiously as anyone else. I don't think Abby and Jessica see themselves as rivals. They're just two rather remarkable girls embarked on an adventure of a lifetime and I am certain they just want to get the job done.

  187. Good luck to you Abby. Hope your power-balance problems are quickly rectified and you're on your way. Set-backs like this can be expected. Good to sort them out early. I hope you have favorable winds. You're very brave.

  188. If you hugged the coastline of western South America the difference between taking the Panama Canal and Cape Horn is only 820nm (944 miles.) But to catch the wind in the correct direction, you need to be farther off shore. In fact if you get anywhere near shore, the winds frequently are blowing landward and north east...not good! Plus, there will be more storms and a LOT more rain as the end of February approaches. So the short answer is that on paper, going via Cape Horn isn't too much farther, but for sure the Panama Canal would be quicker and safer. They'll make their best decision based on current conditions and time constraints.

  189. Hang in there, Abby. We're still with you either way. Above all else, be safe. Take care. ~~~~~~Alfonz.

  190. Hi Abby! How proud we are to have such a daring young lady like you that has the guts to pull off an experience that most of us wouldn't even consider. Sorry about the delay having to port in Cabo. You're in our prayers. Don't forget the pens!

  191. Hi Jess,
    keep up them dodgers,
    Jony the Pony

  192. Abbey, you and your team have absolutly made the right decision. Now it is time for all of the self apointed experts, particularly the anonymous ones, to shut up and let you and your team do your work.

    I hope it will be a quick stop and simple repairs to get you back on your way quickly.

    I look forward to your onward voyage and safe sailing.
    Cobrarog from Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

  193. I hope what ever decision is made after the repairs are done about what route to take given seasonal challenges and risks - that Abby's safety is paramount to all concerned and that record making is a distant second.

    The first attempt seemed rushed in the end, especially as the sea trials leading up to it had high-lighted problems.

    Please make sure that all is well before the second attempt.

  194. Hi Abby,

    Im sorry about the news but the good thing is that you will have a better boat when you start again, it is good that it happened now and not later on the trip. Keep the good spirits and dont loose your faith.

    Remember to take with you more pens, pencils and forks when you stop there.

    God Bless you,

    Marina fron Turin (Italy)

  195. Hi Abby!

    I fully agree with, Grant Fjermedal, Seattle.

    Team Abby should already have a designed wind vane to be fitted to "Wild Eyes" I do not see this would be unstable to your hull design, and would give you the freedom of recharging your power system while holding a true course not using the power required for your wind instruments.

    Auto pilot systems are great, but can eat into the power supply, some more than others as I found out while delivering a 65ft masthead sloop to New Caledonia, no power no steer.
    Unless your dad has a reason against wind vanes, they are successful.

    Keep Smiling.
    Brian Riley
    Hervey Bay.Queensland. Australia.

  196. In the scope of the whole voyage, this is merely a small white cap. Your safety depends alot on your equipment working properly. You have made a very responsible decision and the correct one. Good luck and Gods speed. Mark in N.H.

  197. Hi again...

    I have a question to make about the problem Abby is having with the charging system, is it caused for some kind of malfunctioning or Team Abby just didnt calculate how much power will it need. How come it is possible that it wasnt predicted. And if the answer is yes, I hope the team take some time to recalculate the needs and double check everything before she departs again.

    Best wishes. Marina from Turin

  198. Safety is job one! Go Amy Go..:)