Monday, February 1, 2010

Ask Abby

Hey everyone!
Things have been going well today. I've had some nice wind for a good part of today though its just starting to die down. I got a bit of a shock last night. I saw a ship for the first time in at least four or five days! I just saw it on my AIS and it was 86 miles away, but still, I guess I'll be seeing a lot more now that I'm close to shore.

I should be into Cabo sometime tomorrow afternoon. From the comments it looks like there is a bit of confusion as to how this affects my attempt. I'm not going to be a non-stop stopper. One of the rules of a circumnavigation is that you have to cross the equator twice and since I'm north of the equator still, I can just re-start from Cabo. This will mean that my voyage will officially end back in Cabo.

Also, with the timing and weather windows and all that we had been concerned, but with my weather router's guidance we will take each leg one leg at a time. I almost certainly won't go south of New Zealand but will go north via the Tasman Sea.

My mom sent me a list of questions from you guys, so I'll do my best to answer a few of them.

1. How do I wash my clothes?
I don't get to wash my clothes very often, but when I do I do it in a bucket.

2. Do I use Sailmail?
I don't use Sailmail. Sailmail goes through the Single Side Band high frequency radio. The coverage for that system isn't very reliable in the southern ocean. I have Inmarsat through my Thrane & Thrane Sailor 250 unit. That is how I get online, write blogs, check email, and all that.

3. How do you carry enough water?
I have a thirty gallon water tank and a water maker so I can fill my tank whenever I need to.

4. What kind of cameras do you have on board?
Most of my cameras were sponsored by Gopro. They're really awesome little things and we have them set up in water proof cases. They are also called point of view cameras becasue you can put them on your head or your chest and film what you are doing while you are doing it. I also have a Canon video camera (thanks to Samy's Camera) that isn't mounted for video blogs and pictures.

5. How do I keep from falling over board?
I wear a harness whenever I'm on deck and if I were to fall off, Alan Blunt, the rigger that was working on Wild Eyes, set up a system for me to get back on board. If for some reason that didn't work I have a hand held epirb (or PLB) that I keep with me all the time when I'm outside. This was loaned to me by Dr Daniel Chen from Microwave Monolithics. Check out his link on my Sponosr's page. His design of PLB (personal locator beacon) is used by a lot of government officials because they are so powerful and reliable.

6. What kind of music do I have on board?
I have 50 gbs of music on my ipod, so there's a little of every thing.

7. Who is the little girl in the picture on my nav station? (the picture is on my Facebook for anyone who hasn't seen it yet)
She's my little sister Katherine. I was thinking of bringing her with me... but I don't think she would have liked being in my little boat for so long :)

8. Do I have an anchor?
Yes, I have two anchors. You never know when you might need one!

I think that answers just about everything for now, but please feel free to ask anything and see the Ask Abby page on my web site for more answers to other questions.

I'm still working on figuring out my cameras but I'll try and get some pictures on the blog soon, maybe some video too!



  1. Hey Captain Abby...back at ya.

    I think you covered it all in your comments this evening. Good job.

    Safe sail into Cabo. Team Abby will be happy to see you.

    Big hug,
    Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

    PS Hello to little sis Katherine from Canada eh!

  2. Hi Abby

    When will you pass by San Jose, Guatemala? My wife and I will be lying on the black sand beach waving to you...we'll be there March 1, 2, 3.

    Good luck...we are proud of you!!!

    Larry and Margie

  3. Abby,

    I just came across your blog today via a newslink and am in awe of your courage and sense of adventure. I read all your entries and immediately sent your blog to all my friends around the country (USA) and Vancouver.

    You are truly an inspiration and I wish you success and safe travels!

    Los Angeles, CA

  4. 11:30 PM, ET, Mon, Feb 1st, 2010

    Hello Abby,

    My wife Sally and I have been following Jessica Watson since she left Sidney. We're praying for her that she'll make it back home to her family whether or not she can finish her challenge. Now that you've started our, we want you to know that you have a couple of older folks praying for you as well. Like Jessica, we hope you're successful, but most importantly, that you come home safely. We are amazed at you too young ladies. So young, yet appear to be so brave and knowledgeable of the sea.

    God be with you as you make port and get everything in order for the rest of your voyage.

    Leon & Sally Winter
    Waxhaw, North Carolina
    Find us at

  5. What a shame you have to stop but dont let that get to you as the dream is still alive young lady and you WILL complete the journey.i am sure young Jess will be saddened to hear your going to stop, but like all of Australia and the rest of the world i wish you all the luck in the success of your dream.

    go on just do it you have earnt it

    With Regards
    Robert from Adelaide S.A.

  6. Abby,

    Good update. And thanks for taking time to answer questions for us. We’re all interested in hearing what life onboard Wild Eyes is like. Hope all goes well in Cabo. Enjoy your stopover as much as possible.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  7. Abby, thank you so much for the updates.

  8. gommie- over the hill in VenturaFebruary 1, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Hi Abby- Great update- You answered several of the things I have been wondering about-'nice wind' sounds very nice for a change and a boat sighting must have seemed strange, yet welcoming all the same-- Thanks for informative update and as always keeping you in my prayers--

  9. Is there a link to make donations to your effort? Maybe paypal?
    Thanks and best wishes.
    Texas Sailor

  10. It's so good to read your update. My husband and I check throughout the day to see if you've written yet. It is so much fun to think about you out there on your adventure and wonder what you are facing throughout the day. As we are not sailors, we won't try to give you advice - other than have fun. We are pulling for you all the way.
    Carol from Humboldt County, CA

  11. You go girl! Take lots of pictures! :)
    Chrissy <><

  12. Abby,
    We all appreciate you sharing your journey with us. Thank You and stay safe.


  13. Thanks Abby.
    Enjoy your updates
    Keep smiling
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  14. please post some videos or pics. can hardly wait to see them. best of luck and hope the wind stays fine..

  15. Hey Abby; The good news is you finally got a decent shakedown cruise; Now gonna get the bugs taken care of; start it off again and complete the challenge. Make every moment count, make sure your supplies are right, then hoist jib and main and go for it. Our Blessings and Prayers go with you. Hugs John & Louise. Oh yeah, be safe and clip in topside.

  16. Skip'Ohoy.Captain Jessica.Enjoyed from 1 to 8.Yes,when you are in Cabo,please drink only botteled water,I used to live in Santo Domingo.Dom.Rep.and every 4 months when I went home on vacation from the ships I was for at least one week straight out in bed with a terrible unbelivable diarrea just because I drank the local water.It took me years before I got uset to it.If you go out to dinner in Cabo I think Pollo Frito (Fraid Chicken)is a safe meal.One time in Panama canal westcoast I went to resturant and pointed out from the menu Pollo Frito and the waitress come back with Octopus in a black salsa.I said to her No no Pollo and pointed at the menu and there it was on the line above,Octopus in Spanish.Well I got my Chicken in the end.But dont take take my word for it,Mexican menu's have a good selection.G-d speed.All the best.From:Herman.Hampstead.USA.

  17. Hi Abby
    just to wish you the best and to
    ask for more information on you AutoPilot and electrical charging?

    Fair Winds and Smooth Seas
    Bruce Stanley
    Sydney Australia

  18. Hi Abby, THX for your newsy update. Loved it that you answered so many questions --things we all are curious about.

    May you have safe sailing into Cabo, and may you and your team get those pesky problems put to rest so you can be on your way. There are a whole bunch of us out here who will be following your blog daily (and the 'bunch' will continue to grow --you can be sure of that!). We are eager to cheer you on and will love traveling along with you online. THX for making that possible! --All the best to you!

    GO GIRL!
    Love ya,
    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  19. I 'd like to know if you need any special documents to enter the different waters in the different countries, visa, passport, anything special? Viv from down under

  20. Know that even though you are the only one on Wild Eyes, you are not alone. This may be a solo circumnavigation, but you are not going solo! You have all of us "with you" in spirit.


  21. 02-02-10 @ 00:52
    Hi Abby,
    Sorry for your interruption, but since it happened take advantage of it. From your previous post I thought you were already in Cabo.
    There's a gremlin in there somewhere. Could it be that the amount of equipment that you have is just to much for the generators or, with the wiring of the solar panels and the generators, could they be bucking each other, is one system draining the other system???? Just a thought, but there has to be some logical reason for the system going down so quickly. I hope you can locate the problem so you'll be able to sail on worry free, and trouble free.
    You also might try looking for the most obvious instead of “slide ruling” it to death. Not insulting the intelligence of the engineers, but sometimes you can make a major project out of something that has a very simple solution.
    Thanks for the answers Abby, that was interesting.
    Good luck on your repairs and I hope you set sail again soon.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  22. Hey Abby,

    I hope it's a very short stop in Cabo for you. You have to beat winter down south (like you don't already know). :)

    We just left Cabo on Thursday. Sorry to miss you and the team. We would have liked to have given you a wave.

    We'll be anxiously waiting for your blogs and the restart of your circumnavigation.


  23. Thanks for the update, Abby. We seem to grow a little more concerned about you when we don't hear anything for a few days. Glad you are taking it all in stride. I know your in capable hands with your Dad! Here is too a successful voyage yet to come...

  24. Hi Abby,

    Almost in port for the refit of the power problem,I am sure that you have discussed many ways to overcome this with Team Abby, without having to add to much more on board weight, as I mentioned in an earlier post serious consideration should be made towards a wind vane, this would solve many problems.

    Sounds like your run into Cabo has been another good sea trial with the better winds letting you practice more sail trimming and reefing, to use when you restart.

    Your actual practical & physical time with 'Wild Eyes' was limited before these sea trials and all will work in your favor.

    Keep Smiling
    Brian Riley
    Hervey Bay,Queensland, Australia.

  25. It took a while and a little online research but now I understand what a "non-stop stopper" is. Which makes me wonder - Is there some agency or group independently monitoring your voyage or is the non-stop aspect based on the honor system?

  26. YOU GO GIRL~ living the dream...have been enjoying your blogs~
    So Cal Mountains

  27. Great Update Abby...

    Take as long as you need in Cabo to make it totally right. No sense getting out in the middle of nowhere and not having either instraments or power.

    Some more pics would be good when I show the kids at the schools. Everyone is really impressed with the shot of Wild eyes heeled over.. but it would be good if it were YOU at the helm. ( I am guessing it was taken on one of the sea trials.) Get Team Abby to do a fly around as you come into Cabo and take some pics of you waving or looking all captian like at the tiller.... the kids will go wild for that kind of shot.

    Take care and keep us all posted.

  28. Hi Abby,

    I am so glad this little minor hiccup isn't detering you, as if it would, It's is obvious from reading earlier blogs how determined you are to sail around the world, non-stop,sounds like Team Abby is right behind you. I remember you made very positive remarks towards Jessica when she hit a cargo vessel on a sea trial before she left and you said it shouldn't deter her on the LA times website page. You come across as a lovely passion with a passion for sailing. Likewise Jessica has made complimentary remarks to you on a recent post regarding you need to stop off in Cabo. You two gals I can see hold much respect for each other, all the best Abby.

    Perth, Western Australia

  29. Hi Abby,

    We just finished our blog to Jesse. Great to read your blogs and to read about you and your boat. Love your boat but what would you's an aussie boat.

    Stay safe and we look forward to reading of your adventures.

    Dave and Una Brisbane Australia

  30. Captain Abby,

    Were here with most of the goodies needed.
    Hurry up were ready to go we hope you make it in by dark tomorrow.

    Team Abby

  31. From Bill In Columbia Missouri: Abby, sorry for your delay. I've been watching your progress and that of Jessica Watson and I've been sharing it with the troubled delinquent teens with whom I work. They are inspired that two young teenage women are taking such a challenge. We are with you gal!

  32. Hi Abby. Good for you for doing this singlehanded. Good wishes. - Dave, New Zealand.

  33. Thanks for the update Abby.
    Hope your stay ashore is short and you are soon back on track.
    We all hope you reach your dream and arrive home safely,
    Best wishes,

  34. Abby. Get those cameras going. We want pictures and we want them NOW! lol.
    It's too bad that you will have to do a restart but everyone wants you to be safe and to succede so get it all together and go for it kid.
    Have fun in Cabo. lol
    I'll write you again soon.

  35. Hi Abby,
    So good to know your doing a good thing to making sure the ship is in good shape as they say. It sounds like you and Jessica are not the only ones wondering about the squid. It was on our So. Calif. news that several fisherman had been catching lots of them also. They said it is very unusual. Hope they don't follow you much longer the rest of your trip.
    Dee T.
    Santa Clarita, Ca.

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

  37. Hi Abby,
    Thank you for updates. I wish you good luck with the repairs and hope that you soon will be out on the see again.

    Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

  38. Greetings Miss Abby. Closing in on Cabo. Sounds fun even though it wasn’t in the plans and all. I remember going on long journeys as a kid. It was OK to know you would be going from ‘A’ to ‘B’, but what made the trip really fun were the unexpected side trips we went on. Course I wasn’t driving then either. As an adult traveling with my own kids I found the side trips necessary to keep my sanity when the kinders got to be too bored.

    I think maybe you should get a sidekick while you are there. A parrot maybe, or a gerbil. An iquana would good, I don’t think they get seasick.

    I look forward to seeing some pictures of your voyage.

    “I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin

  39. Hi. I think this is amazing. I'm always inspired by people who just go out there and follow their dreams...well done you! I hope you find the experience amazing and exhilarating. Good luck! xx

  40. Hi Abby
    Enjoy Cabo San Lucas.
    Hide all your cutlery!
    Don't rush back onto the water, regardless of windows, the lower 50's have a mind of their own and Wild Eyes needs to be in good shape. Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best wishes
    John N

  41. Thank you Abby, good uptades and helpful details on your whereabouts and perspectives. Your answers are interesting too. We only have to wish you a good and not too long time in Cabo, and an efficient work on Wild Eyes' itching problems.
    Hey girl! Watch your wires! Not that handsome Mexican boy! ;-)

  42. Dear Abby
    what you do is so amazing. I've been following Jessica's blog and read her entry about you. I'd like to wish you all the best as well! I hope that you get all the technical equipment you need in Cabo to successfully continue your journey.
    From Zurich, Switzerland
    Michelle Lupold

  43. Should I assume your blogging is your personal journal of your trip? and if its in addition to having a physical journal then it would be a cool keepsake for you to look back on... and to pass down to your own children... You are a brave young woman to take on this journey.. I realize your brother has done this and maybe it just seems more special cuz u have proven sex does not define what can be accomplished....

  44. i stumbled upon your blog and i really admire your courage. wishing you a safe journey. you are an inspiration... God Bless!!!

  45. hey there,

    so...I just wonder:

    what do you do for a daily life now? for 24 hours routine?

    what do you think usually? what is in your mind for the most part?

    and what is your goal(s) for after the complete sailing the world as the youngest one?

    I stand by your journey

  46. Hey Abby,
    That is really cool about all your cameras. My dad loves sailing and at camp I take a sailing corse because I really want to get better and eventually learn how to sail by myself. You are a real inspiration to keep trying and just give the learning time. Thanks!

  47. Hey Abby
    Best of luck with all the nessesary adjustments need and dont forget the utensils and pens
    Thanks for answering all the Questions we have. It will help us understand more of what it is like on board as we travel with you, even if we are not on board.
    I for one hope that this will be your last stop for 6 months or more
    Safe sailing

  48. Dear Abby,

    Would you or your team mind a little more clarification for us non-sailors. You are no longer attempting the same record as Jessica Watson, is that right? I believe she is going for non-stop unassisted around the world. Abby you are very sensible to put your safety before a record. Our prayer for you is that you arrive home safely and have a wonderful experience. God Bless you dear.

  49. Has your team considered the type of generator that drags through the water behind you? Should give better performance than a wind generator and could alsoo be used in addition to the wind generators. The extra drag shouldn't affect you too much!

    Good luck!

  50. The fact that you have to stop and restart in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, does this mean that you will have not made history?

  51. Good to see that you are going to start again! Go for it!

  52. Dear Abby, Good luck your amazing journey!
    Your quite ambitious in your young years. I'll be following your trip.
    Abbie from Rhode Island

  53. I just wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying reading your blog! Sailing is something I'm dying to try, but I may never get the chance, so I'm really glad that you decided to blog your experience. I appreciate it a lot! :D

  54. i appreciate your dream and admire you.
    We have olso in Poland a girl who is a sailor and just finisher her single race round the world. Her Name is Natasza Caban.

    Visit also my Diary (

    Good luck.

  55. Hello Abby!

    Thanks for the Ask Abby session, but don't concern yourself with us while you head in towards more traffic. We’ll be patient, honest ;-)


    Why are you reading this? Get back to getting back! Good luck with repairs.

    Stay Safe,

    Mike D (out)

  56. Nice job Abby! Keep up the good work. It was nice hearing from you and your answer to those interesting questions. Please, don't forget to log on to DAILY WORD.COM for daily prayers and inspirations. You are greatly admired. I wish you were my daughter. Looking forward to hearing from you. Until then.

  57. Abby, great to hear from you. I hope the Cabo stop over is as much fun as it will be work. Cheering you on from Florida. Come and see us when you get done. After all, every great athlete comes to Disney World!

  58. Hello!

    Hope you get to enjoy Cabo while you're there! Even though you have to head back on land, it's great that you can still complete your goal. Best of luck to you and take care!


  59. By the way, I was wondering if you were planning to read any books while you set sail.. but I'm sure just being out there is adventure enough! :)

  60. Hi Abby!
    I'm reading your blog to my kids, Joseph and Ari...they think you're on a great adventure!

  61. Abby...all crew at TECNOTOON ANIMATION STUDIOS are following your trip. We think can be an interesting movie for young can see more of our company in FACEBOOK

    and Twitter

    kind regards
    raul macias

  62. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherFebruary 2, 2010 at 7:42 AM

    Nice Q&A, Abby! Glad you'll be in port soon and will have Team Abby working furiously to get you back out, better than ever! Take good care out there... Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

  63. oi vc ñ fala portugÊs

  64. Hey Abby it's a better time for this to happen so early in your quest but as you point out it doesn't affect your record attempt,but overall your safety is the most important thing and well maintained equipment is vital for such a mammoth task ahead.Take care and we all look forward to your next blog!!

  65. Your blog is so exciting and really inspirational. You should write a book :) Good luck on the way into Cabo!

    London, England

  66. Hello Abby,
    I was reading how your sailing was postponed by court decisions and I was thinking that the courts were right. But seeing you turn to shore shows you understand limits. Good decision. God bless and good luck on your next time out.

  67. Hey abby i hope you make it you go girl

  68. Hello Abby, Glad that you will be starting over in Cabo...a fun place to be even though that wasn't your plan. Safe sailing and hope that you are out and about really soon.
    NJ Mom

  69. Hey Abby..I don't notice a windvane on your boat. Are you going all electronic?

  70. I am a teacher at Centralia High School and we are following you everyday on your adventure. My class has a few questions for you.

    1. How do you keep from falling out of bed at night because of the waves?

    2. Have you seen any sharks, dolphins, or whales?

    Thank you so much. I am sure we will come up with more questions later.

    Mrs. Greene

  71. Reference the wind vane (again). There's a number mentioned by the original owner about why not having one. Can't find the original post, something about the rudder being 50% of the keel. Thinking about it and seeing a picture that steve in ca. pointed out, the original rudder does indeed appear to be quite long. Perhaps steve in ca. and/or Grant can address this.

    Does it mean if you have such a long keel, (deep down), you need a long (deep down) rudder in order to steer the boat. If the boat is moving forward, that long keel will is essential a long rudder (fixed), in order to apply force and steer it, you'll need a long rudder to combat (or counter) the keel holding a straight course.

    Is this the idea?

    If so, a bolted on wind vane, perhaps it's rudder is simple to short (not deep enough in the water), to effectively do that. And if you make a bigger and longer rudder for a windvane, you would then need to increase the size of the actual vane itself. And when you do that you need to increase the size (strength) of gears, the frame and the bolts that are used to attach it to the boat. Then you would have to worry about the whole thing not being ripped off or out of the boat itself.

    Main question is is it because of the length of the keel holding course, you need a rudder that is long or deep enough in the water to actually steer the boat while under way.

  72. Abby,
    We're following you here in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. My freshmen students will be tapping into your blog and website, and along the way writing to & about you in their own blogs. I'm going to encourage them to follow your blog & maybe even comment.
    Each of us here is really in awe of you and your courage. Good luck, and know we are praying for you.

  73. Now that you're in Mexican waters, I was wondering about a couple of things....

    1) Do you have a permission slip from your parents? LOL

    2) Do you have a 'life-ring' that you can throw to yourself in case you fall overboard? LOL

    Just a few memories/issues from Zac's sail as he was traveling in Mexican waters. Hope this brings you a chuckle! Good times, eh?

    Melanie in Torrance

  74. Me again re windvane :-)

    I'm assuming a windvane includes its own little rudder. Difficult to grasp from even monitors site, looks like a rudder thing that's folded up at the bottom. Or is it just a wind vane above and somehow attached to the boats existing rudder. Looks like Abby's got a long tiller arm fixed to two control arms that enter into the back of the boat. Does a windvane attach to that? If so, why wouldn't that work, if it it's set on top of the existing gearing, existing rudder and existing steering mechanisms.

    All unclear to me :-(



  75. Lisa from Mt. Juliet, TNFebruary 2, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Hey there Abby girl! I pray you have a great new start from Cabo and it will be just as exciting as the first start! Ha! Be at peace, all things work together for the good....

    Psalm 91

  76. Hi Abby! We look forward to reading your blog everyday! Your amazing. Best of luck to you on your adventure. Stay safe!

  77. Hey Abby,

    Good luck in Cabo. I'm hoping that you and your team can get all the bugs in the system worked out, and you back out at sea as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    You and your journey are constantly in my prayers. Keep up the good work! :)

    Stay safe!

    -Andrea, Camarillo, Ca.

  78. Greeting Abby!

    Thanks for the update and answers on our questions! This is very interesting and cognitive! I’m glad to hear that everything on your boat is going well! While you are staying at Cabo check everything twice, like your brother Zac says! Summon up fresh energy your during stopover as much as possible. All of us are a little bit worried about your restart and we are impatiently waiting you to return into your great voyage.

    I wish you every success!
    Good luck and stay safe!

    Alexey from Moscow!

  79. Good luck in Cabo. Hopefully it is a short, um, vacation there and you can get back on your quest soon. I was showing my kids your planned route the other night on the Google map and my 5 year old said "it looks easy". Tried to explain to her just how far it was you were going but a full globe on a laptop screen just did not translate for her. Still working on trying to convey to her the gravity of what you are doing. When she asked if (I and told her) there were sharks and whales in the same water as you, she then became concerned a little. My 8 year old (boy) of course wanted to know how you go to the bathroom. My 10 year old was interested in how you got water, what you took for food, and in all the technical stuff. We'll be watching as your trip unfolds. Take care.

  80. Abby
    What frequency are you on when you use ur SSB radio? Enjoy reading your blogs. Good Luck and
    Be Safe


  81. Hi Abby

    We are at ConectUS in Thousand Oaks and love following your journey. We wish you all the best. Stay safe!


  82. Hi Abby,

    Love Wild Eyes!! She is a beauty, I look forward to your blogs everday. Thank you for taking the time, we really enjoy following you while you are on the adventure of your life. May God be with you as I know you are with him out there in one of the wonders of this world. Keep writing!!

  83. Bonjour Abby,

    Keep smiling, be safe.

  84. Hi Abigail,....Thanks for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. I imagine as your team arrives it will be rush city to get you back out there in the wild blue (aka Pacific). Even though there has been much said on the need of a wind vane, I'm not holding my breath that such a big change would happen to Wild Eyes in Cabo. Time will tell how that addition or lack of plays out, and in the meantime we'll all be sitting on the edge of our seats watching, hoping, and for the faithful, praying that you make it safely.
    With this stop you have another chance to make sure you are well prepared to catch that first fish. Recently watched Thor Heyerdahl's film about sailing the balsa wood Kon-Tiki from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. They had no problem catching all the dolphin fish (mahi mahi) they wanted. Ate it the whole trip. Bamboo pole with a baited hook, hung over the side and jerk when it bites. Simple as pie. As someone suggested, use the squid for bait. And to do that you will need a hook, besides the lures you have taken along. Baja has probably more fishermen per capita than anywhere else on earth so ask the locals.
    Hope the repairs go quickly.

  85. Abby,

    Even though your a smart and bright young girl I don't agree with you being out there all alone by yourself for 5-6 months. However, I wish you all the luck in the world in making your dream come true. I will keep you in my prayers for God to watch over you and keep you safe.

    God Bless You
    Patty (California)

  86. You wrote I'm not going to be a non-stop stopper. but yet clearly this stop is changing things somehow. So what condition is it that is being affected? Is it the unassisted aspect? I'm confused. But no matter what the conditions/rules are, your feat is amazing! (as was Zach's before you, and Jessica's, and etc). I have to live vicariously by reading these blogs, because I don't think my stomach would be up for sailing through storms!

  87. Three cheers for going after the prize.

    "I don't get to wash my clothes very often, but when I do I do it in a bucket."

    That's what's up.

  88. Abby,

    I'm 100% with you on things you have to do to get back on track. Great decision on your part. Hope all will go well on the fixes.

    Its always good to go to the checklist again before you head out.

    Thanks for answering those questions.

    Good luck.


  89. Abby , I emailed your Dad and Zack Just after you left. Your 9th departure photo shows lines if shade on the panels. On my three solar outfitted boats my Blue sky amp meter would show a 98% loss of amps.
    I,m sure you will enjoy Cabo...Its all part of a Beautiful Journey. Shane Friday Harbor

  90. @ Anonymous re: wind vane on Wild Eyes.

    Here's a comment you might find informative clipped from:

    Taken from a seminar presented by Rob Macfarlane to the Singlehanded Sailing Society in San Francisco.

    "Wind vanes are problematic for boats that surf easily. A vane is working with apparent wind angle (AWA) and knows nothing abut true wind angle or swell height or any of that stuff. When you start down the wave on a surf the AWA moves forward as the boat accelerates and the wind vane will see this as a wind shift forward and reacts by turning downwind to restore the AWA. As you go faster, it turns downwind more. This can lead to catastrophe in the form of round down - I did that in a matter of seconds when the boat went from 7 knots to 11 knots on a 3' wave in 20 knots of breeze of Los Angeles. Wind vane spun the boat into a perfectly executed highly professional round down followed by an amazing round up, then we rounded down again and that was the end of the spinnaker."

    My comments: Wild Eyes is a "surfing machine" and Abby will be saling in conditions much tougher than a 3' swell and 20 knots of breeze. You can google "round down" and "round up" to get an idea of what is about (hint: also look under "not a good thing"). An understanding of TWA (true wind angle) and AWA would also help...maybe Grant will spend some time explain that one for you all?

    Suffice it so say the author is not being serious when he refers to the series of (seriously dangerous) movements in the last sentence as "highly professional".

    Steve in California

  91. @Anonymous asking about windvanes. Here's a couple of links about them:

  92. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. And you did a superb job. Nice and clear.Thanks too for explaining about the restart. That was easy to quote 'Staples'. So by completing there it becomes the 'new' start. So you are not doing a non stop uninterrupted. What are your planned ports?

  93. Hi Abby,
    Thanks for the update and the info. I guess you look on this as your shakedown cruise to really sort the bugs out. It must have been hard in some ways to make the decision to pull in, but I'm sure it was the best decision.

    Good luck with the repairs.


  94. Hi Abby ,Good to hear you ok an happy . Abby We were wondering how long you will be in port ,any idea of how long it will take the crew to get power prob sorted .Hope not too long and that you are on your way again and having fun and staying safe . all the best Terry and Patricia Melb Aus

  95. Abby: Good Luck in your quest to sail solo around the world. I'm hoping to see you make your goal and also hope to see you be the fastest one around the world. Love reading your blogs. Glad you had a chance to test your equipment and set a new port to start from. Good Luck!
    Tom L. Portland, Oregon

  96. @Steve in California makes a great point about the Apparent wind -- which is basically true wind with boatspeed factored in. If a boat starts surfing, it can go faster than the true wind, which will leave the windvane confused, enabling it to turn to windward, which would result in the broach described.

    However . . . I've always acknowledged that the vane wouldn't work downwind on Abby's boat. My suggestion has always been: Put one on the boat (even if the blade and vane are stored below, and only the bracket is mounted) just IN CASE the electricity or electronics are lost.

    What would the windvane do? It would allow Abby to go in just about every angle of sail except downwind. If she lost electricity in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean, or Indian Ocean, she could use the autopilot to get to the nearest port. She might have to reduce sail area so as to not go too fast for the wind vane. She would have to avoid going dead down wind, but it would at least enable her to get to port.

    As I noted earlier, if this same electrical problem had happened in the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, or anywhere else more than a few hundred miles off shore, a ship (or helicopter if near enough shore) would have to be dispatched for Abby and her boat would be sunk by the ship's rescue crew so it wouldn't become a navigational hazard.

    (I suppose that without electricity and without a windvane Abby could drop the sails to sleep, but that is dangerous too.)

    PREDICTION: Abby won't leave Cabo San Lucas without some sort of a windvane having been added to the boat.

    PREDICTION #2: If she does leave Cabo without a windvane, she will take the Panama Canal and not round Cape Horn.

    Why this brash prediction?

    Because it doesn't make sense to attempt to sail around the world when everything is dependent upon not losing electricity.

    Just as an insurance policy: So you don't have to sink the boat, a windvane makes good sense.

    Will it be easy to add?

    No way. Abby's escape hatch and life raft are located on the stern. She's also got a huge solar panel that appears to overhang the stern.

    But, with the right stainless steel work, a bracket could be fashioned to enable use of a temporary vane -- just in case one is needed.

    So . . . now in the great tradition of armchair adventurers everywhere, the prediction has been made and we can sit back to see if it comes true. ;-)

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  97. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    A little help on the info about windvanes and autopilot self steering systems:

    Keep smiling, take care

  98. Steve and Grant thanks for the (non) reply ! :-)

    Is the wind vane a whole unit including it's own rudder, or is it bolted on top of the existing steering mechanism.

    1. If it includes its own rudder, does it have to match or meet the size length how deep in the water it needs to be because the keel is so long and deep as well (something 50% of the area or somethig in an earlier post), therefore logically, you'd need a larger rudder, larger housing, larger gearing, larger vane itself, and larger bolts to affix it to the boat to match or counter the long keel to "force" the boat to steer.

    2. If it's a bolt on thing that takes the place of a human being holding the tiller, that's directly connected to the existing rudder which obviously is the correct size width depth etc, if I'm understanding anything, the wind vane itself is replicates say Abby sitting there holding the tiller and feeling change in the wind, say on her face, or watching some sort of guages, and physically manouvers the tiller herself, if it's a weather vane on top, doing that physical moving of the tiller and therefore the rudder, what's the difference?

    Not understanding the physics involved :-( as being a non sailor. But if the thing controls from on top the existing steering system what goes wrong, if it's a matter of mere size the physical size of the actual hardware is too small for the boat based on the lenght of its keel, can understand.

    Is in Abby's boat's case, due to size of keel and her rudder and there are no "off the shelf" wind vanes engineered for that, or as the quote for the website discussing it, which is based on speed,and in Abby's case, this isn't how fast you sail around the world, rather just sailing around the world.

    Even if she did slow the whole thing down, will an off the shelf windvane work on the boat or not? I guess is the question I'm trying ask :-)

  99. Hi Abby!
    My name is Alex. I am 6 years old. I can't wait until you finish sailing around the world. It sounds like a good adventure. My sister Dianna and I will be tracking your journey. I told my first grade teacher and maybe the whole class will be tracking your trip.
    Safe travels from,

    Wharton, NJ

  100. Abby im only 10 years i know im to young its just that im in 5th grade nd we have a thing with channel 1 nd we check u when ever we are done with all ahour work i just love it and im sending u this cause i have faith in u and be
    safe abby i hope u make it thru the equater fast my name is keyla BE SAFE bye ABBY!!i will be checking on you

  101. I love reading this blog! Thank you so much for posting so that we can imagine how great of an adventure this is.

  102. What unbelievable courage you must have.Very admirable...will you try and catch fish at any time along your journey to supplement yor diet? It sounds like you had calamari all over Wild Eyes a few days ago.

  103. Indeed "Wild Eyes" is a boat on the water and not in the water..The word "surfing machine" is very appropriate. With my limited North Sea sailing I know the difference between long lateral keels and these modern short lateral (but deeper) keels.. The latter needs constant attention..and I doubt a windvane selfsteering system will be the solution for this type of sailer..
    Energy management will be the answer with a autopilot..

  104. OK Grant here's my prediction:
    1) No windvane
    2) Cape Horn
    Anybody else?

  105. Hi Abby,

    By now I expect you're in port getting Wild Eyes fixed for your trip. Thanx for answering all those questions. Knowing more will help us understand what you're talking about on your blog over the coming months.

    Looking forward to hearing that you're back on your way before long.

    Brian & Phill
    Vancouver, Canada

  106. This website will explain the different types of windvane self steering system.. The most popular is the servo-pendulum windvane...
    But I doubt the effectiveness with this type of a "surfing" boat.. Not much lateral keel in length hence the increased sensitivity..

  107. @Amonymous wind vane person-guy-gal (could we get a name huh?)

    Wind vanes (at least those designed for open ocean sailing )do not have their own rudder. They do have what looks like a rudder extending below the water but that does not steer the boat but rather "magnifies" the force of the steering correction provided by the vane that is in the air to the control mechanism (often lines) connected to the tiller itself.

    (Hey, ya know if you followed some of the links supplied from "Lat/Long" above you could educate yourself about this stuff directly.)

    No, an "off the shelf" system (as you might think of going out to buy an "off the shelf" car cover to fit a '92 Honda sedan) would probably not be considered. I don't even know if there IS such a thing as an off-the-shelf unit. Boats do comes various sizes, displacements, etc that would determine the configuration of the wind vane, but the existing items that Grant points out that are already attached to the boat's stern would dictate a custom mounting structure - even if the mechanism did come off the shelf. (If you actually could find an "off the shelf" unit in Cabo would be a whole 'nother question)

    Seems to me two things are primarily at play here (yet another arm chair sailor with nothing better to do at the moment): Grant's observation about the physical difficulty of attaching such a unit to the stern of Wild Eyes AND the comments by a "previous owner" of Wild Eyes (buried somewhere in the second page of comments to Abby's Jan 24 th blog)about rejecting the idea due to the forces likely to tear the thing off the boat.

    Grant's proposal (don't ya just love it when we can propose modifications to someone else's boat - such fun?!) to have the vane fitted as a last ditch rescue effort would seem to avoid the idea that it would be used as the primary self steering device, hence reducing the possibility that device would tear itself apart under the constant (and considerable) strain of trying to control the boat under speed.

    The observation (and hence the prediction) that a boat wholly dependent on an autopilot without a reliable charging system presents a problem is no idle comment.

    But ya know what? Abby and her dad are going to do what they think best, what they think is most safe for her, etc. Its fun to chat about this stuff on the blog, but it's really just idle chatter.

    Grant really put himself out there with his predictions - I'm impressed! I can see how he came to them, and they may well come true. For my part, I'll keep mine to myself for a while -if I thought I could predict the future I'd have timed my stock positions better.

    Hope I got close to your wind vane questions. Can you tag a name (any old name) on your next post? It would sooo much nicer.

    Steve in California

  108. Yep, rattled on without updating my info on wind vane aux rudders - was speaking to one type and clearly offered bad info. Apologies.

    Now I TOO will review the Scanmar link that USAntigoon supplied.

    Steve in California

  109. Grant/Bob
    Prediction: No windvane, reverse course...pass Sidney and the Southern Oceans first while the weather's good, then Cape of Good Hope, then Cape Horn after the rainy season!

  110. @Anonymous 4:15 p.m. -- Sorry I didn't see your query earlier. My last comment was dashed off in the few minutes I had between picking up one of my daughters at school, and getting ready to drive her and one of her pals to gymnastics. These days my voyages tend to be from one kid thing to another -- which is actually a nice journey to be on. ;-)

    You ask some GREAT questions about the mechanics of windvanes. Your questions are SO good, that I can't answer them. ;-)

    I can add some clarifications, though. The type of autopilot that connects directly to the tiller -- and hence uses the boat's rudder -- is electric.

    The wind-powered windvane self steering is an aparatus that hangs off of the transom of the boat, held in place with beefy stainless steel tubing.

    The lower half of the unit consists of a relatively deep and surprisingly narrow mini rudder. It isn't nearly as deep nor as wide as the boat's main rudder. These rudders are usually designed to fold up to keep them out of the way when not in use.

    The upper half of the unit is basically a very small, but strong, sail or vane. The two work together to adjust the boat's course to keep it heading in your pre-set relation to the wind. For example, if going to weather (or into the wind) you would set the windvane to keep your boat about 35 degrees off the wind. The beauty of this is that the wind veers in direction (as it does a lot) the vane adjusts the course of your boat so that you are still 35 degrees off the wind.

    If she needed to go further off the wind -- onto a reach -- the vane would be set accordingly. Now a reach is a very fast way to sail. We already know that a vane wouldn't work well while surfing downwind. A quesstion would be, how will it work if Abby's boat is reaching at 10+ knots? I don't know, but have said all along that if need be she could drop the main, reel in some of the jib, and control her speed in this manner.

    For those who have never been on a sailboat, it is frustrating as can be to be singlehanding without automated steering. The electrical versions -- autopilots -- are often affectionately referred as "Otto" as a dependable crew.

    If you are alone in the boat, and can't leave the helm for even 30 seconds, you can't eat, relieve yourself, or do much with your sails.

    The question is this: (And I've posted this same question over and over): What does Abby do if she is 1,500 miles from shore and she loses her electric autopilot?

    Please place your answer here: _____________ ;-)

    She could sail until she is dangerously exhausted and try to drop her sails to sleep for a while. But it is very hard and very dangerous to drop sails in the midst of a blow, especially when exhausted.

    My contention is that if she loses her electrics at virtually any point along the way (in that she will nearly always be very far from shore, and even further from a port), she will lose the boat (for reasons I've described above (getting pulled off by a rescue ship that can't take the boat) and she could lose a lot more than that.

    So to everyone who suggests that a windvane won't work very well on Abby's boat, I say: Agreed.

    But . . . maybe, hopefully, it would work well enough to get her to a port so that if she loses the elctrics she doesn't have to get air-lifted, or ship-lifted off of her boat and bid Wild Eyes farewell forever.

    @USAntigoon: Agreed. But see above. Won't work well, but might be better than having to abandon Wild Eyes.

    @Bob from Seattle: You might win that prediction. It's tough to say. But that's part of the fun of checking in on these blogs.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  111. so excited for you, will be following your blog, love for you to check mine out :)

  112. Could/would someone explain the difference in configurations between Jessica's and Abby's boats? Why is Abby having these problems and Jesse isn't? What are the trade offs? Could someone help the novices understand the technical differences between these 2 boats?

  113. Abby,
    It doesn't make a lick of a difference (to me) whether your the youngest, non stop solo, ect. I'm proud of you for following your dream and taking this trip that means so much to you. I'm following Jessica too, and it's amazing what you're doing and I enjoy following your blog.
    Lori (western wa)

  114. Ok Bob and Grant -

    1) No windvane
    2) Cape Horn

    Why - because I think the record is more important than will ever be admitted!


  115. Abby,
    You are a role model to young women everywhere;Your strength and perseverance are inspirational. We have been at the Cabo Marina, and it is pretty nice there. Hope you are back on your way soon, and we will keep following your adventures, and praying for your success. We have always told our son and daughter to meet all challenges with a positive attitude and to believe in themselves; we would like to wish the same for you. Keep up the good work, and have fun!!
    Kelly and Dave Directo from Santa Clarita, CA

  116. G'Day!Abby,
    Have been following young Jesse, and now will keep tabs on you as well.

    I have been flying Marine Surveillance Aircraft for last 14 years so know what it all looks like from the air.Find it extremly educating from the sailing perspective.

    You both have good writing skills on describing what to you both is probably mundane.

    Good to see you clip on whenever on deck, calm or otherwise. We as a crew all had personal EPIRB's on our person as well as other survival gear. You only get out of a ditched A/C with what you have on you.

    Also interested in your phot' gear. Been suggesting to Jesse to take plenty of phot's and videoi.Moments pass, never to appear again.
    As the pro's say " Don't take one, take a hundred" With todays digital makes it all easy.

    Trust all will be fixed on your stop, including pen supply.
    When you have time and if this blog is read would like to know just how you get back on board if you happen to take a tumble? Noticed some yachts trailed a knotted rope. We hade 20 power stabalized video so could see all in living colour.

    Sail safe,
    live the moment.
    Poppa Bear
    QLD Australia

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

  118. Do you have a Jordan-type series drogue for major storms?

  119. Abby,

    Thanks for the update. We're looking forward to hearing more. Make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed in Cabo so your journey is safe. Take your time and enjoy!

    Denise and family
    South Dakota

  120. How do you get Internet way out there? Sometimes when I go to a restaurant I can't get Internet.

  121. Hi Abby you are a inspiration to all teenagers!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!

  122. How can u stand all that heat from the equator?

  123. This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. This comment has been removed by the author.

  125. Reposted due to previous grammatical errors.
    Mistakenly posted my draft copy first.

    @ Grant
    I’m with Bob from Seattle on this one. No wind vane and Cape Horn.

    I concur that an electrical system failure is overwhelming on any electric auto-pilot only, solo sailed vessel; only to the extent that it has to be hand-steered most of the time. In no way should this mean that the boat need be forsaken and scuttled. A solo sailor needs only to heave-to or lie-to at sea-anchor to catch a break. Reeling in a sea anchor repeatedly is an unwelcome task to be sure but one does what one must. In the advent of extreme weather it is unlikely that a solo sailor would get much of a rest, equipment failure or not.

    Yes an electrical failure would mean having to stop the journey mid-way to get to port for repairs as soon as you can, but it certainly doesn’t necessitate abandoning the boat.

  126. Thanks Steve in ca. and Grant! That definitely clears it up for me, the main thing being call it a "stand alone" system versus "plug and play" into the existing steering sytem and rudder.

    So we have two things:

    1. whole steering system by itself, the windvane
    2. auto pilot that's plugged directly into existing steering system

    Can I throw a curve ball? :-)

    Now what is the wind vane mode of the auto pilot?

    Looking at Mike Perham's boat there was that massive housing at the back, which I assume is some massive motor and gearing that does the steering. That's the autopilot? Based on it's size (from reading I think Abby's are inside the boat), that indeed can require a lot of power to run?

    So wear does a wind vane mode for an auto pilot come in? Wild guess, you can stick a wind vane directly into that motor on top to have the wind van control or move (steer) it? Bascially hand-cranking the electric motor if there is no power to run it?

    Abby's spec says there is a wind vane mode for her auto pilot(s), and I did look at a brochure that was posted way back in an earlier blog entry.

    That one looked like it still required electricity to operate. Don't know if it's the same as hers, even so, and again wild guessing, surely it would require much less electricty to operate (obvious purose being it's a wind vane of course). Must be much less than to operate the whole auto pilot motor itself.

    So how does this wind vane mode for Abby's auto pilots feature in all of this. She must have some minimal electrical power generation just from the wind generators say (pretend it's cloudy the entire balance of the trip), so if full power generation breaks down again, there should be some. If that wind vane mode for the auto pilot (again guessing based on the brochure before), does require some power to operate, is there enough.

    questions being:

    1. the wind van mode for her autopilots, do they require any amount of electricty, or is it totally manual, where you stick a shaft directly into the motor with the van high above it, that catches the wind and moves or steers or "hand cranks the motor" to hold the motor which in turns holds the rudder in place


    2. I got it all wrong (and I think I do), the wind vane mode, is a bypass for the front end computer that you input your data / course etc. If that comptur or electronic means to set data to instruct the electric motor burns out or fails, you have the manual wind van mode to instruct the motor what to do, in which case you still need all the necessary electric power to run the motor.

    Once again many thanks your input and time and efforts :-)

    p.s. I have gooled quite a bit looking for the answers, doesn't seem to be any clear cut answers to anything.

  127. Hi Abby...I agree with another poster...finally a really good shake down cruise!
    No Worries, you'll be back out there soon enough!
    Be safe, have fun!
    Anita M Miracle <><
    Captain SV "Wombat"
    Waterloo, NY

  128. Just seen on Abby's map she's now in Cabo san Lucas. Also looking at the marina there. wow, that's one serious marina looks like it's got everything and anything. In fact we should call the whole thing off, and just hang and party there for the winter :-)

    Interesting to note that even such a splendid marina, the maximum draft is 12 feet. I think Abby's keel is 10.5 feet? I take it their maximum is based on low tide? Or will they haul Wild Eyes out?

    I imagine Abby's way to busy today to blog, perhaps Mom can drop us a note what's going on :-)

  129. Congratulations Abby on navigating your way into a foreign port! Well done! Good luck with repairs.

    @ wind vane man
    The following is merely an educated assumption on my part. Mode selection for an electric auto pilot would seem to be a way to select how you want the electric auto pilot to navigate. One would select a mode for it to operate in; either by following a compass heading (compass mode) or to follow the wind direction input signal (wind vane mode) received from the wind speed/direction indicator (also a wind vane) mounted on the mast head (not to be confused with a mechanical wind vane steering device mounted on the transom.) Hopefully someone can verify this assumption.

  130. Hey, Abby-
    Have some great food in Cabo, then get back out there. I know team abby is ready to get things repaired. fair Winds
    Kodiak Mike

  131. @ wind vane man

    follow this link to answer many of your auto pilot questions

  132. @windvane man (thanks!)- boy you ARE going deep into this self steering thing. As I already shot my mouth off without proper preparation, I'm bowing outta this last round of questions. Sounds to me that you may now know more than any (many?)of us about Abby's friend Otto.

    re: Your final PS to your last post - Like oh so many other things in life, you're right - no clear cut answers.

    re:Anonymous questions about differences between the two boats - tough one to answer well in a short space. Really best if you crawled through both sites looking for drawings of the two boats - you can find Jessica's from her homepage and Abby's from

    click on The Yacht link in upper right

    Jessica's boat is a more "traditional" design wherein the keel is an integral part of the boat. That boat sits deeper in the water and sails "through the water" -ie. pushing water out of way as it moves. The design is strong, "heavy" and relatively slow for its length. Abby's boat has a keel and rudder system that are attached to, and extend below, a hull made to sail "on the water", hence does not have to push as much water out of the way, lighter (yet strong) and potentially faster - especially so when sailing with the wind behind the boat as it can easily "surf" - lift higher than usual in the water and ride the movement of the ocean swell behind the boat.

    There are many other differences, some of which (obviously) have sparked the discussion about the self steering system.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Steve in California

  133. Here's my two cents for today's discussion:
    If you look at a photo of the stern of Wild Eyes, you will see they went to a lot of effort to custom mount extra solar panels, which would make the addition of a windvane difficult to add. Since this family already put one kid around the globe, you would have to assume they know what they are doing. They obviously decided against a windvane when they went foward with the stern mounted solar panel instillation.
    Now here's my question for the experts: I realize Abby already has a backup autopilot, but would it be possible to have even another one or two on board to wire in in case of failure? I'm adding a pic of the first one I saw on Google image. Couldn't the boat be wired where it would have a simple plug to exchange autopilots in the event of a failure?

  134. Mike D, that actually makes a whole lot more sense than it manually steering the boat, and would explain why it's still electrically wired.

  135. The marina's webcam, for a moment I thought that was Wild Eyes, right in the middle of it

  136. And here's another question:
    Abby said she taking on more fuel for her Yanmar 18hp diesel engine/generator/heater. With the boat being 40 feet long, couldn't plenty of fuel be stored to accommodate all her electric power needs, and her heat needs in the Southern ocean? Or would you need a 60 ft boat?
    And what is this exactly, mentioned under misc.?
    Custom Carbon Emergency Rudder and Tiller Cassette

  137. Abby,

    Break downs are a disappointment , but on the bright side ,it's better now than later. At least you hadn't crossed the equator before the problem showed up .
    We are hoping you have good wind and fair seas with NO more problems for the rest of your journey.

  138. @ Josie 11:57 pm:

    Very true, I'm afraid to say. This point has been missing quite a few of the armchair spectators cheering from the sidelines. I know that there are others who share this view as it's been said to me in private conversation. I'm just glad to see someone else pointing out the obvious.

  139. Maybe a better way of putting this question would be what's the maximum volume of fuel Wild Eyes could take on with a crew of one? How often could it be used in a 6 month trip without running out of fuel? And are there other smaller more fuel-efficient generators available which would have been better to have on board to use in conjunction with the solar and wind systems than relying on the Yanmar alone? It seems like electrical power would need less than 18hp. The Yanmar has to be as big as it is to propel the yacht through a marina. Remember these questions are coming from a person who spelled sailor sailer three months ago.

  140. Hiii Abby, I'm following you, so if you want follow me for us to talk!


  142. Good luck Abby.
    Though having thousands of miles of ocean under my feet all I can say is this is only the beginning and you've been sailing in a really nice warm mellow location. I really hope your experience extends beyond Socal waters this is not going to be an easy trip especially on a boat as demanding as your 40.
    Stay safe! Be very conservative, and plan way - way ahead of whats comming at you.

  143. good luck in travels....richard / colorado

  144. hi im not going to tell you my name!!

  145. Hi Abby good to see you have so much and that your having a good time,
    Have fun keep sailing and please be safe.
    We will keep an eye on you
    Good going girl
    Your friend Robert,Ellen Alison and Autumn from North Carolina
    God Bless you lil one

  146. Read "Storm Passage," by Webb Chiles. He single handed an Ericson 37, a boat that I'm sure someone's out there on right now.

    He didn't even have any type of electrical system. No radio, bilge pump, no head, no GPS, he didn't even have life lines or pulpits!

    He had a windvane steering system, but it was broken early on and he had to rig self steering with the jib sheet tied to the weather jib sheet.

    Now that guy deserves credit for an achievement.

  147. Hi Abby!
    I just heard about your trip and its really inspirational! I'm 12 years old and its really cool to think that i could do something as awesome as what you are doing someday!I hope you have a spectacular sailing trip. Best wishes,
    Your impressed Fan Megan : ) : )
    P.S. Is it scary to be on your own in the middle of the ocean?

  148. hi Abby i dont know you but you are really brave and i look up to you :) Be safe and have fun!!!! Good luck :)

  149. Sooo, I came across your blog by chance and I'm really glad that I did! What you're doing is really cool and I'm going to be sure to see how this goes for you :) Good luck!

  150. Don't Look - It Will Only Scare You! ;-)

    Just got an e-mail from Steve in California with a link to a world map showing all of the ships currently being tracked. (And I'm sure there are a heck of a lot more large commercial vessels that aren't being tracked).

    Anyways, you might want to hold onto your armchairs extra tight when you click on this link and take a look at all of the ships that singlehanded sailors need to concern themselves with (and Hooray for AIS the automated dectection and alarm system). The link is:

    Steve also suggests:

    - Go to the Ship Tracker menu
    - Click on Cruising Yachts
    - Look for OS3169

    Sure looks like Jessica's boat out there in the Atlantic, closing on Cape of Good Hope.

    Boo Hoo! Steve just sent me a followup e-mail. He tracked the vessel down and they're on a trip up from Antarctica, so it isn't Jessica's.

    @Anonymous 6:43 PM: Yeah! Agreed. Read "Storm Passage" by Webb Chiles. You can read the book free online. What a crazy singlehander he be! ;-)

    @Bob from Seattle: You are a Quick Study, Dude! From being a nonsailor to advising on dedicated generators a few weeks later. I'd put you on my team any day. This is something that the bigger boats do. Would be interesting to see what the smallest diesel-powered genset would be.

    However . . . I don't think packing on more fuel can be the answer. It is risky enough to be dependent on solar panels and wind generators. The more you have to run the engine (for its alternator), or a dedicated genset increases the risk that if you develop a fuel problem, or if anything else goes wrong, you can't produce the juice required to steer the boat (as well as power the radar, AIS, insturments, and other electronics.)

    A couple of folks have wondered if there might be a drain on the system somewhere. Seems like a great suggestion. I'm sure that Laurence and the team will be all over that possibility.

    About Predictions and Stuff: Just part of the fun of being an armchair observer. Now back to work for me.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  151. Hey Abby
    Was just wondering if you could do me a favor while your out leisurely sailing around the world.Could you please photograph all the birds you see and post them on your blog, or if possible send them to me via my email It is only a request, if its not possible I will understand thanks

  152. Glad you arrived safely in Cabo Miss Abby. Enjoy your stay while you're there. Beware the water though as you've been warned prior.

    Stay healthy...Godspeed in making the needed repairs and adjustments.

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

  154. Not to detract from wind vanes and other technical matters, but back to fish: if you caught one, do you know how to clean and gut it and all that stuff? It would be thrilling to supplement your boxed up food with something you catch with your own hands (so to speak). Too bad there's not chocolate available for catching! :^)

  155. Grant

  156. Would it be possible to see more photos of the interior of her Open 40? What size and types of batteries is her team putting in now.

  157. I havent't read all of the replys but will give my two cents worth on steering. Autopilots can either follow a compass course by being slaved to the electronic compass or follow a GPS course with lat and lon entered. Navigating to a Way Point is the most accurate. Autopilots can use a lot of electric power depending on how well you have the boat trimmed, but under any circumstance they are energy hogs. Wind vane steering uses no electricity and therefore is a wonderful back up, and under the right conditions could be used as your primary with good accuracy. If I were doing what Abby is I would like to have the redundency that it would provide.


  158. Hey Abby,

    I've been following you... but haven't commented 'til now. I followed Zac through the last part of his journey and so happy to follow you all the way through. Hoping all gets resolved quickly and permanently in Cabo. Looking forward to a good re-start for you.

    Marianne, Just shooting a quick hello! and saying some prayers for you guys.

    Jacksonville Beach, FL

  159. Hi Abby,
    are your 5 other brothers/sisters also planning some record smashing?
    Looks like it is going to be a family tradition this teenage circumnavigation.

  160. Hi, it seems my last post didnt make it!

    My predictions are:

    1. No wind vane
    2. Panama

    To Josie (11.57pm 2/2/10)

    I think you are right, the record is more important than what is being said on the blogs.

    The evidence is the boat that was chosen. It is a race boat, it is a risky decision, it needs more work, more maintenance but it can go faster...faster for what..for conquering the record and keeping it for longer.

    I would have prefered a slower boat but being able to rest more and enjoy the trip as Jessica's seems to be doing.

    Hopefully Team Abby will get Wild Eyes to work well and stay full operative during the circumnavigation and that Abby is able to complete her trip safe and happy.

    Ciao from Turin,


  161. Hi Abby,
    I think we are soul mates.
    When you are back we should consider roaming the world's oceans together!

  162. Well with no news as were waiting for Abby's next update, which should come any minute, and with commenting here while sipping on my morning coffee becoming an enjoyable ritual, I was tempted to talk about what percent of the 84 million barrels of petroleum oil we use daily is represented by the ships seen in Steve's ship tracker chart. In fact I wrote a whole piece on the subject and then held down the backspace key and erased it. Not appropriate here. Diesel use is an interesting subject and I'll leave it at that.
    Abby, can't wait for the first pic of Wild Eyes to know for sure if it has a shinning new windvane and to learn if your intended route is still Cape Horn.

  163. Two more for Wild Eyes:

  164. From January 12, 2010 11:18 AM
    "What Dwayne said about nearly drowning while doing a modest 5 knots is scary. And shows why a knife should always be worn, although for a single hander there would be no one there to circle back, so either way would be a disaster. When I raced on a Santa Cruz 50 to Hawaii we used to joke that the jacklines were just so they could retrieve the body. I always figured that when we were doing 16 knots or more, the snap of the line on your harness would likely break your back."

    That said, "Alan Blunt, the rigger that was working on Wild Eyes, set up a system for me to get back on board."

    Is it like a automatic control that pulls you back aboard conscious or not?
    Personally, I liked the idea of when you hit the water, an radio signal goes to your autopilot and tells it to release the sails and turn a tight circle...then maybe you could catch a line and get aboard! Maybe it could drop the drougue as well!

  165. A further note on Webb Chiles.

    There is a short article on him in last month's Latitude 38. He's 67 and on his fifth solo circumnavigation.

    He soles problems on the fly, some of which he could have avoided fairly easily, but we all make mistakes.

    His book was one I shouted at, "Why don't you have a bilge pump after your last attempt?" As he bailed with a bucket day after day.

    You don't need an electrical system, or even a bilge pump, I guess.

    After his wind vane broke, he tied the weather jib sheet to the tiller and used bungee cords on the other side of the tiller. Used this arrangement most of the way around. Even in the heavy stuff.

    The only radio he had was a battery operated one to listen to commercial radio stations, he couldn't have been rescued if he had to be.

  166. "Anonymous" above quotes Mcfarlane on some of the potential problems of windvane self-steering in a boat liable to sudden acceleration when surfing downwind. Oddly enough, though, they don't quote the very next paragraph in which he points out that this can be got around with a very simple fix (some bungee cord tied to the vane's counterweight to dampen its sensitivity to momentary changes in apparent wind direction: see

    Some spectacularly uninformed comments about windvane self-steering have been offered in the comments on this blog, none quite so disturbing as those purporting to come from the yacht's previous owner (though there's no proof that they do) to the effect that you can't use windvane self steering because of the relative size of the rudder (irrelevant with respect to the modern servo-pendulum style ones) or because the windvane would be "torn off" when the boat "powers up" (utterly nonsensical).

    Countless yachts have circumnavigated and made other long ocean passages using windvane selfsteering as their primary (and often only) form of selfsteering. They have held up through the worst that the world's oceans can throw at them. Short of damage in a collision, there's almost no probability of them suffering irreperable damage. Many of the modern ones have fabric vanes which are easily replaced if damaged or removed by a wave, all of them are designed to give way at key sacrifical points under maximum stress so that no structural damage is incurred to any vital parts. They are incomparably more reliable than any electric autopilot.

    One final comment: the comments on Jan 24th that purport to be from the yacht's former owner include a claim that his electric autopilots never gave him any trouble in his around-the-world race. If that really was Mr. Paris commenting, he might need a gentle reminder that his primary autopilot failed on the very first leg of his journey (see Several participants in that race had troubles with their autopilots and we should remember that not one of them was attempting a non-stop circumnavigation.

  167. Marina from Turin, said:
    "The evidence is the boat that was chosen. It is a race boat, it is a risky decision, it needs more work, more maintenance but it can go faster...faster for what..for conquering the record and keeping it for longer."

    It is interesting to speculate why an Open 40 'race boat' as you call it was picked over the traditional keel part of the hull design used by others. With Abby's weather window now a concern, it was a good choice because she needs to get through the Southern longitudes quickly. It's not a speed race, it's an attempt to be the youngest. If Jessica Watson succeeds, Abby will still have an opportunity to set a new record if she completes the circumnavigation at a younger age than Jessica. Abby is 5 months younger, so unless the trip is much much longer than anyone is predicting, she will have it. The big question marks are how she and her boat fair in the Southern weather and will her electric autopilots stay operative the whole trip. Hope this clarifies things for you.

  168. Marina from Turin,....I forgot the p.s...
    p.s. Have you seen the Shroud?

    Experts: I'm starting to think through the autopilot self-steering and was wondering if anyone knows or could guess what type of mechanical devise Abby has on board to move the tiller? It must be some type of electrically driven ram which would require a lot of electrical power to operate when thinking about moving the rudder against so much water pressure. Wow, that would take a lot of juice, right?

  169. I look forward to your re-start.
    Keep smiling.
    You are special.
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  170. OK's another twist. Jessica reported being startled by a sailing right past a buoy with an antenna on top in the South Atlantic

    Remember the ship locator map?

    Try this - right from the world map - click on the area of interest (S Atlantic for Jessica - Leaving Mexico and points South for Abby)

    That will zero you in on the smaller area. Note not ONLY the ships in the area, but scroll to the bottom of the list and you'll see Buoys listed as well. Click on an individual buoy and you'll see these puppies are Drifting Buoys...roaming the oceans transmitting sea temp, location and barometer readings. Perhaps one of these was Jessica's buoy?

    For Abby's current location, the ships outnumber the buoys but its a different deal where she's headed.

    Havin' some fun now huh?

    Steve in California

  171. Did we find the gremlin yet?

    I'll take a wild one, something is set to "high" when there is "medium" and "low", where "low" will work just fine this purpose.


  172. @anonymous - Steve in CA:
    The drifter buoys are no concern; see

    Jessica´s buoy was something different; perhaps a dislocated/drifting deep ocean buoy that lost its mooring, but obviously not one that emits its position anymore.

    Autopilots can and will drain the batteries simply because they work the whole time making tiny corrections - spending amps correcting what they just did. Something like an iteration in calculus...
    In addition they must be anticipated to fail (mechanically or electrically) multiple times considering the intended duration of the voyage.
    The solar panels are only effective in full sun, and their output drops steep at the slightest shade on even part of them. Obviously they can not keep up.
    Are they connected independently or is the problem that shade on one of them has been turning them all off?
    I am puzzled about the mention of extra diesel for the Yanmar. Is it really an option to run the whole 20HP and not just a smaller generator to charge batteries?

    Besides all that tech stuff weather in some parts at the time of passage is a concern.

    Lots of points to consider and really tough decisions to make.

  173. @ Anonymous, Your link to

    has provided the most straight forward explaination yet. I'm not sure why you insist on using no name at all (as Grant says...any name will do so we have a name to call you! Perhaps you are from Vancouver which would explain your hesitancy to use your name.)
    What I get out of it, is that Abby needs spares and needs to hope for sun or wind or both eveyday!

  174. OK, Ryan Langley has finally made his circumnavigation announcement:

    Jump on board! He'll need LOTS of advice for this one!!!

  175. Abby-

    A girl making this voyage...great! What does Zac think about this? I enjoyed following his adventures last year.
    Mary, WA state

  176. Ron Spears n SC. AKA SeaWolfnscFebruary 9, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Abby, A question came up today about your safety.
    With all the trouble with pirates nowadays, Are you armed and if so What kind of weapons do you have on board? I'm sure this had to be apart of your pre-planning. I know your AIS will alert you if any boats or ships come close but what is the smallest boat your AIS will detect?

    Wishing and praying for a safe voyage for you.
    Ron n South Carolina.

  177. Ron Spears n SC. AKA SeaWolfnscFebruary 9, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Abby, Been Following your counterpart from down under journeys also. I see that you are taking different routes, Your westerly, her's Easterly.
    It appears you will pass each other somewhere west of Australia. Will your team let you know when Ya'll are close? Would be AWESOME if you could pass close enough to see and wave at each other as you pass.

  178. Hi Abby,
    Just wanted you to know my three and a half year old son Connor and I are following your trip. He asks me to check on you everyday. Good Luck!!

    Kris and Connor Hamilton
    Killeen, Tx

  179. hola Abby i know you are happy outhere.take a good care of yourself.the picturesss!!!! girel.i have some from cabo san lucas they goood!!!!i like to see the colection i know you have one.
    my fotolog is maybe one day you have a chance to take a look to my art.
    i will keep in touch,not cause youre are a big arist and im one too. and remember GOD is in your side. love chucasso

  180. That is great that you are having a great trip, hopefully you don't get stuck in the rain (: well i wish you luck have fun!

    Cheers, Ashley

  181. are you all by yourself out there?????

  182. hey abby i love to read your blog and i am keeping track of where you are. never give up keep on going.

  183. Hey, I'm 12 years old, and you are doing a pretty amazing thing! But I have a few quick questions.
    How do you keep your food like fruit fresh?
    And how do you wash your clothes out there at sea?
    Also, What do you do in your spare time besides blog?

  184. Hi Abby this is Robin I'm using my moms blog you are so amazing are you ever scard out there what do you do in your spare time.

  185. Abby, How clear are the constellations and planets at night without the extraneous lights from the cities interfering?
    Jake T.

  186. Hey Abby, I'm not a seafaring person, so what does 15kts mean?

  187. hi,
    my class of 5th graders have been looking at you for quite a while my name is kayla im 10 years old and abby your my hero and my idol im in clombiaville Michigan very far away from your home town. u interest in so many ways. i look at this site every day either in school or at home. i hope you r keeping your studies up i saw your video of all your things including your school books. i think it was funny when you said that you have to though the squid and flyig fish off your boat in the morning.i hope your getting more sleep. i came hear tonight to see if u where ok. u might get hit with the tsunami wave my family said hold on tight and were your life jacket.hope to hear bake from you. love:kayla

  188. Looks like the tsunami passed you by with no problem and that you are on a broad reach.
    A good point of sail for fishing, from my experience. Just be careful about what you haul aboard.
    Time to turn east and get on a beam reach? That boat ought to really haul the mail there.
    There are hundreds of millions of people watching your progress; you aren't alone.

  189. Wow! Like other's here. You were the first thing I thought about when the news about the Sunami emerged. I am in Iraq for 6 more months and your adventure is helping me endure this tour! Thanks for being so brave! Your trip has inspired me to buy a sailboat when I return to the states.


  190. Abby you are my hero
    . I grew up sailing in Newport RI and I see from one of your post that you picked up your boat in RI. Did you get it in Newport and what kind is it. Love to know more about how you settled on Wild Eyes?
    Also, is that Popeye on the main?

  191. Holy cow, you must be such a brave girl....I did not grow up sailing as you did so it is the farthest from my passions but it is amazing what you are doing. I would think it must be quite scary at times tho. I have two teen daughters myself and simply cannot imagine them doing a feat such as this. Incredible! ( I am not sure I could give them wings to do it either). I pray you make it safely the whole way thruout your travels. Best of luck, I will be keeping an eye on you and your journey.