Friday, February 19, 2010

Inching My Way to the Equator & Photos

Sitting in the cockpit at sunset.

Sunset in the doldrums

I had planned on crossing the equator yesterday. But the weather had other plans. Right now I have hardly any wind and the little bit that there is is coming from the south, so it has been pretty slow going.

I am 6 miles away from the equator, so I should be crossing it pretty soon! I've been pretty busy out here lately. I ran my watermaker for the first time yesterday. The water that was coming out, though not salty, tasted and smelled horrible. Due to the heat here, the little life forms that live in salt water had died and begun to really smell! I had to clean out the pre-filter, run it for a little while, and then it was working nicely again!

I also needed to change my fuel filters as they had gotten pretty dirty. So after a lot of crawling around under the cockpit in the very back of the boat she is running strong which is good, because when there isn't enough wind or sun for my wind generators and solar panels that is how I charge the batteries.

Boiling hot and covered in diesel, but things are ship shape around here and I'm headed in the right direction , so all is good out here!

I'll let you all know once I've crossed the equator!!


  1. Good job Abby! Congratulations on making the first leg. Onward to the Horn. Thanks for the photos too!


  2. Yay! Pictures... You look great... Here in Cali, we are expecting some light rain... wish we had some of your heat... Good going...Post more pics when u have a chance!. Be careful out there.

  3. Go Abby girl! It sounds like you are really settling in!

    Psalm 91
    Lisa from Mt. Juliet, TN

  4. Abby,
    By the time you get this you will probably have crossed the equator. Congratulations, you mini mechanic.


  5. Hi Babsy
    Thanks for the update and photos.
    Captain, chemist and mechanic, writer and photograher... WOW!
    Good luck tomorrow on the first goal- the Equator.
    Looks like the wind will pick up when you reach 5degs South.
    Best wishes
    John N

  6. I can't imagine the lonliness of being out in the middle of the ocean !! Do you ever get scared or paniced when there are strange sounds or smells ? I think my imagination would run off somewhere.. You are an inspiration, keep up the good sailing job.!

    Uncle Al

  7. Great job Abby, how about posting your lat and lon so we can keep track of your position.

  8. What a great adventure!! All I wanted to do at 16 was to meet boys and get my driver's license.

  9. Thanks for the pictures. I hope the wind pick up for you.

  10. Your doing Great Abby! I hope ur having a good time, and hope that you cross the equator soon!

  11. Great job Abby!

    I would love to see my son covered in diesel in the bottom of a boat! lol

    He would probably love the adventure of it all!

    Still praying that your challenges will become achievements completed!


  12. Hi Abby
    thanks for the photos and well done keeping filtres clean.
    Hope a beam reach happens soon
    and you are Welcomed into the Southern Hemisphere!

    Bruce Stanley/Sydney

  13. You are my hero... I have always wanted to do what you are doing!

  14. Thanks for the update. I look forward to them. What a great adventure. Bobbing on top of 2 miles of Pacific Ocean. Wow. I admire you.

  15. Thanks for the update and photos!!

    I have had an eye on your map.

  16. Wow! Cant wait to hear that you crossed. NOw only if you can blow your own wind right?:) Keep on going, your doing well. Were rooting for you here in Kansas!!!!

  17. I was looking out for a message, hoping things were OK . . . It's good to see things are going well.
    Love the photos.

  18. What an adventure for you and all of us that are following you. Absolutly fantastic.

  19. Me and my friends are watching you Abby from Georgia. Stay focused on your journey to success.

  20. Good job. It's fun to hear how your doing. Thanks for the pictures. Helps us visualize what your seeing!

    If you ever feel like explaining your systems (like your water system, etc)we'd love to hear how your boat works. I've never been on a boat like yours.

  21. Rooting for you from Des Moines, Iowa, USA!

  22. Congratulations on the progress you've made so far. You are in my prayers daily and I look forward to reading about the rest of your journey! Stay safe!!

  23. Absolutely beautiful sunset! Congrats on a great picture, making it to the equator, and getting things ship-shape!

    God's richest blessings to you as you head into the heart of summer!


  24. Hi Abby,
    Thanks for the update, great photos.
    When I was a combat enginer in the army, I was told a diesel engine needed three things to run:
    1-clean fuel, 2-clean fuel, and 3-clean fuel.
    Good move changing the filters, as it should give your engine the three things it needs to run.
    Good to hear the water maker is functioning. That will make your voyage much more pleasant.
    I hope you soon get a push over the line.
    Sleep and clip on.
    San Diego

  25. Six miles to a milestone!!! Way to go Abby! Keep on keeping on.

    Jim - Boulder Creek CA

  26. Hi Abby,

    You'll be across the equator by the time you see this comment, So Congratulations on this accomplishment! God is watching after you as you know.

    That water sounded real gross, I'm glad you got that up and working again so you can have clean water to drink. It looks like it's real hot out there. I guess you'll be going from one extreme to the other just like Jessica has experienced continually. You are both getting ready to cross major milestones, (literally) you’ll be crossing the equator and she'll be crossing under the Cape of Good Hope. Good for both of you girls. Girl Power all the way.

    Take Care and God Bless,
    Debbie in Tampa, FL

  27. We had about the same thing when we crossed the equator. At about 7 degrees south it got sunny and we had five days of perfect sailing. Three of the five we made over 200 miles and were some of the best of our entire trip. Didn't see any more shrimp south of the equator either. The boobies will be with you always no matter how far out you go. Good luck and remember to enjoy the adventure. You will remember it always.

  28. Congrats,have you seen any other boats in the water lately

  29. Fantastic! So happy to see you heading southward!

    You're in my thoughts as you continue on the adventure.

    If you're ever looking for something to write about, I'd love an entry on power consumption vs. generation capacity and, a few months in maybe, something about how you're managing balancing what equipment you run and how you cycle their power needs. For a day and long weekend sailor like me looking to do an extended cruise next year (six months or more) I'm awfully eager to get more info on how you'll be managing your power consumption.

    It may not be the most romantic part of the voyage... but it's one spot where it could become decidedly unromantic (like the whole covered-in-diesel bit! I'm sure you smelled and looked positively divine after that!) if not managed well.

    Take care, have fun, and be safe!

  30. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Waiting for the picture of your salt water baptism! :-)

    Keep smiling, stay cool, be safe.

  31. Such a tremendous challenge. Good for you. I guess you know everyone is going to expect a book from

  32. Thanks for the pictures, sometimes in life God wants to teach us patience, this might be a teaching time. My prayers are with you and we hope for some wind before long. Blessings!!!

  33. Hi abby
    Sounds and looks like you are doing very well, A little maintnance never hurts anything expect the maintnance-ee, better to do it now when you want to and not when you need to.I'm not a sailor but enjoying what you are doing. I am a 75 year old great grand paw and learing some things I didn't know about sailing. I'm impressed that you are a mechinical minded young lady ,be careful and have fun sailing ,Your the best.

  34. No big announcement huh? That's OK, patience is a virture they say. If you can wait it out, we will to. 6 miles to go, you're probably across it by now anyway so congratulations Abby. First leg complete!

  35. Hello my civilian Hero!!. Thanks for the add on Facebook!!!. I have spread the word of Abby to everyone and you have more followers on line!. Those are some nice photos. I love the ocean. Can we have a photo of the boat sailing out there to??!

    - Sgt. J. Baker US ARMY

  36. Capt Abby,

    Thanks for the wonderful pics, you look so confident! keep up the great work. You may have a way to go but the postive thoughts and constant care of Wild Eyes and shear determination that you already have will get you and W.E home PDQ! You have your "family" here to cheer you on and give you all the support one could ask for!!

    sail on lil lady!!!

    susan H ny

  37. Thanks for the pics Abby! You look amazing and completely in your element.
    Can't wait for the crossing....whatcha' gonna do?

    Melanie in Torrance

  38. Great blog.Funnily enough you actually look quite happy. All other pics show some tension nerves, this the first if i may say, of genuine relaxed happiness :-) i could also swear there's a pic of zac exactly like that somewhere on his site, same angle, same distance from the camera same everything, i'll have to dig for it.

  39. I would suggest that you not post your lat and lon. The wrong kind of people might decide to pay you a visit.

  40. We are with you in our prayers, be safe and I am so proud of you......Sherry

  41. Thanks for the pics. Take care.....Congrats too!
    Martin Slippery Rock, Pa

  42. You go girlie! We are keeping you in our prayers here in Memphis, TN. We helped pray Zac around too, so let all of us know on your blog what you need. Having my own 16 YO daughter, I have to worry about you. Give your Mom and Dad our love.
    The Brown Family

  43. Thank you for the post and the pics, Abby. You look hot! I mean, you look like boiling hot, really! Equator is rarely a cold area, isn't it? Store this heath inside you (in your feet would be wise, it seems they are the worst cold sufferers in the deep South) for later.
    Don't forget the treats for God Neptune! You must be on the line now, 6 milles are not that many, even with little wind.
    I hope you will enjoy the southern hemisphere. Is it really the first time you are crossing the line?
    Fair sailing, Miss Abby, and enjoy your journey...

  44. Hello there girl, I heard about your about your trip and was very imprest. Have a great trip and hope to see more blogs. It's interesting to see, how trip is going. What is this horn thing that you will be crossing soon. Is it dangers or what? lol don't know much about traveling on the big blue sea. Can you explain Thanks.

  45. Each day I make it a point to open your website and click on the "Where's Abby" link to check the map to note your progress. Looking at the map it becomes, "She's to Ecuador... Peru soon!" Then it's off to your blog to hopefully see a new entry.

    What a wonderful adventure you are on! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Always hoping for your safety and smooth sailing!

  46. Great job so far Abby . You are quite the photographer also as the pictures of you and the sunset are terrific. You look pretty happy in your pic which is a good thing. Hopefully we will get a video sometime also.... maybe of the celebration for the equator crossing? Do you cook or is everything pre-packaged so all you have to do is heat it up? Well, take care girl and we will continue to pray for your safety.
    Dwight in N.C.

  47. Hi Abby -- THX for the pix. You look great! And the sunset is beautiful too. Glad you are keeping up your daily maintenance tasks on Wild Eyes and remember to take good care of yourself too!

    Savor every moment out there --this is a huge adventure that you've been privileged to take. And I feel privileged too, that you are taking me (and a whole lot of others) along with you via your blog.

    Keep up your good work. Keep diligent. And sail safe!

    GO GIRL!
    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  48. Ms. Abby
    What are you going to do when you pass over the equator? there is a wash down and some other insinuation 'of torture' as you pass the equator this is a seaman's rule.(only way to prove this is to have pictures of it)
    By the picture of the sunset, you must be very hot, a two piece swim missing one part? that is alright, your by yourself, so modesty is what ever you wish it to be.
    Now as you get near Cape Horn in about two months, it will be turning winter again, Jessica made it, but it was cold for her during the summer.
    Keep up the work, and it gets better farther down the water.
    Robert ex-USCG Great Lake Sailor - D9

  49. Abby,
    I totally enjoy reading about your day and seeing the pics you post, you are doing the bvery thing I wish too.
    U Rock!

  50. Can we get your current latitude and longtitude to get the idea where you are?

  51. Thanks Abby
    Nice Photos
    You look hot and tired,
    another bucket of water over your head?
    Well done, princess.
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  52. Hi abby: I used to hate the doldrums too. Sometimes you think your going backwards. You know the drill when you cross the equator, right? I had a Village Marine water-maker on my boat. It worked pretty good. On my diesel I had a Racor filter to keep all the water out. If you get water in your diesel engine youv'e got problems. The Racor separates the water from the fuel before it is injected in your engine. You probably knew that,right? Soon after you cross the equator, you'll notice all your water will drain counter-clockwise. When your'e north of the equator all water drains clockwise. It takes a few miles southward to notice it. Anyway,have a good sail and remember: stay tied off.
    Woodrow Wilson Jr. from San Diego.

  53. Guess you’re across the equator now. The first time I crossed I had my boots on the ground in a place I’d like to forget.

    Getting all greasy and stuff cant be too fun. I don’t suppose you can simply tie a rope to your ankle and jump overboard to get cleaned up. Yeah…not a good plan. Its something I might do, being the landlocked wannabe pirate that I am. Only I’d hit the water and realize I hadn’t tied the other end of the rope to the boat. So….where were we anyway?

    Congratulations Miss Abby. I’m really looking forward to you rounding the Horn. WHAA WHOO!!

    “I'm sailing away
    Set an open course for the Virgin Sea
    'Cause I've got to be free
    Free to face the life that's ahead of me

    “On board, I'm the captain
    So climb aboard
    We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
    And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on”

  54. Way to go... I am envious. I can't wait for the book. Thanks for the pics.... keep 'em comin'. Good luck and Godspeed....

  55. Are you there yet? We're waiting with bated breath to hear that you're officially in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Hope you pick up some breeze soon.
    Brian & Phillippa
    Vancouver, Canada

  56. Hi Abby, You don't know me but I've been following your trip and admire you so much! You've got such guts!

    I'm a high school English teacher and have told all my kids about your adventure.

    PS Your English is great! You get an A! LOL

  57. Ok ok ok.... the wind is slowing down our celebrations back here for your crossing.... sooo I just guess I will have to toast you again with the red bull .... ummmmm NOW!

    To Captian Abby... May Fair Winds and Following Seas bring your journey to a fabulous and excting conclusion...

    Glug glug glug.... ( sound of aluminum can being crushed...)

    Richard Rumble
    Dana Point, CA

  58. Way to go, Abby. Fix the engine, clean up the water, see the sunset, stuff sailors dream of! Hopefully you're a shellback by now. Looking forward to reading more about your journey. Safe sailing, Abby!

  59. Eat some beans. That should get you accross.

  60. Always love your updates! Sending you good wishes.

  61. Ok you pollywog, it won't be long and you will be judged by the royal order of the raging main, King Neptune will deem you worthy or not; should you be deemed worthy you will be certified, containerized and pasturized as a Shellback; crawling around in the bilge and maybe eating something disgusting like cheese, jelly and hot sauce, will make you worthy - go Abby go - we rooting 4 u............

  62. Bud & Charla WinnettFebruary 19, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Well it is 6:57 here in Missouri on Friday evening. I guess you are now South of the Equator. One leg done, just a few more to do. Keep your spirits high and keep on sailing. Enjoy your Blog. Kinda make me feel like I am traveling with you. May the wind be always with you and sun shining upon you. Our Luv

    Bud & Charla Winnett

  63. Great going Abby, I just read you did cross the equator. Glad to here it, hope all is well. You are in my prayers as well as the prayers of countless folks. God Bless.
    Norm Strasser :-)

  64. Just saw on facebook that you crossed the equator. Congratulations on this wonderful milestone!

  65. It's easy for me to say, I live in a desert. But enjoy the heat while you have it, you will probably be looking forward to a little warm sunlight for a pretty significant part of your trip. Me and my kids still check out where you are every day, and then cross reference that with the weather reports.

    Good luck and stay safe.

  66. Hey Abby...!
    Good to hear your update (been wondering) and great to see some pics. You're looking good, like its all agreeing with you. I'm assuming by now you've made that 6nm so did you pour a bucket over your head or what? lol..
    Take care, enjoy, I'll be looking for you every day.
    39*50'N, 86*9'W

  67. That sunset looks amazing! I'd give anything to be able to experience that.

    Bethlehem Ga USA

  68. Thanks for the fresh photos. Who does your hair out there? Really chic & nice too. We can plainly see the Equator in that open sea-view photo, however it is not as obvious as it is on most of these maps. {{{We are aware this is serious business and this is a well meant tease in case Zac didn't get you today... Best wishes to you and Wild Eyes, y'all are a good pair ...

  69. Hi Captain Sunderland; Fixing the engine again are we? I know that is your favorite job but try not to neglect the other chores around the boat. Just teasing Abby! I wouldn't wish that job on anyone in that heat. Thank you for those fine pictures. You look healthy and contented. Getting away from the stress of the land is just what a sailor needs. Congratulations on crossing the Equator. Yours in Spirit
    Vancouver, Canada

  70. gratz on crossing the equator. busy life on a boat alone in the middle of nowhere. cool we can follow you during your awesome trip.
    happy sailing!

    land lubber

  71. verry ok ,thanks for the photo,in my home ,snowing cold, and lot of wind,but it´s time for spring in sweden i think / martin

  72. Hey Abby, you look great. Keep up the great work. The world is cheering you on.

    St. Louis, MO USA

  73. Congratulations!!! I hope you cross the equator tonight if you haven't already done so. We are very prod of you!!! Bob O Redondo Beach, CA.

  74. Congratulations!!! crossing the equator!

    read the map and facebook

  75. Congrats! It must be amazing, being out there. I've only ever read of the duldrums..and dreamed about the open sea. You're an inspiration!

    Rooting for you from Penticton, BC, Canada.


  77. Hi Abby,
    No doubt it will feel good to be able to tick off little milestones along the way, like crossing the Equator.

    I gather from your comments that eau de diesel isn't one of your favourite perfumes! Hopefully you had a good sloshing of salt water to cool you and defuel you at the same time.

    Pity about the southerly. But it must get better!

    Wishing you all the wind you can manage - from the right quarter!

    From Oz

  78. Congratulations on your crossing !!!! Keep on keepin' on... YOU GO GIRL !!!!!!!

  79. Congrats on crossing the equator. Welcome fellow Shellback!!! Keep up the good work. From Shreveport, LA.

  80. Congrats, Abby, on crossing the equator today. Be glad you're there and not here in Minnesota, where it was 30 degrees with a couple feet of snow on the ground. Good luck to you the rest of the way. We'll be keeping track of where you are and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Take lots of pictures, if you have time ... we love to see 'em.

    Best regards,

    Rich in MN

  81. congrats on making the equator...your very pretty in your picture

  82. Hi abby! so, now that it's official, let's get it on! i was talking to someone at work the other day and found out that he and his family were big fans of yours. we're all wishing you the best. Philip

  83. Hi Abby
    I am sure you know that five minutes after starting a diesel, the racor filter will look dirty. Your vacuum gauge will show you when you need to change the fuel filter...
    Water makers need to be run at least every other day even if you only make product for two minutes..
    Be alert, be safe, wear your shoes...
    Dusty Way

  84. High five on crossing the equator . . . Shellback!

    Loved the pix . . . you look happy if a bit tired . . . keep up the awesome work!

  85. Hi Abby
    Thanks for the great pics. Congratulations on crossing the equator. With the crossing I hope you pick up fair winds.
    Evie from Bendigo

  86. Good girl! Keep things running smooth! Love the pictures. Keep 'em comin'!

  87. 02-19-10 @ 23:15
    Hi Abby,
    So near and yet so far, (since you don’t have any wind) that’s a shame ‘cause I had figured you were already over the line. Well six (6) miles won’t be so bad, you’re probably there right now.
    Good thing that you were able to get some work done, and were able to get rid of all them little ‘life forms’. They can make for some funky tasting water.
    Glad to hear that everything is running good for you, and please keep it headed in the right direction….lol..
    When I first glanced at your blog I saw the word ‘smell’ and I immediately thought that the squid had somehow found a good hiding spot, glad to see that wasn’t so.
    I hope you were able to take a quick dip or a bucket bath and get that diesel off you, I’m sure you know it will burn you.
    Keep her headed in the right direction and God Bless You, Abby.
    Take good care of yourself and always be cautious.
    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

  88. Abby,
    We indeed toasted tonight to your crossing the equator, and we are very excited for you. What an accomplishment! Your family must be so proud of you. Glad to hear you are getting some sleep, and hope the doldrums will soon be left behind. Our prayers are with you for safe and beautiful days ahead...thanks for giving us your updates, as we really are so happy to hear of each experience you have, and that you are going strong!
    Kelly and David from Santa Clarita

  89. Hi, Abby, I am following your progress as well as our girl Jessica.Couragous young ladies living their dream.An inspiration to young women worldwide.I am a Christian and pray for you both.Keep looking to Him, trust Him and He will not let you down. You are doing very well, crossing the equator,next goal Cape Horn. God bless and keep you.
    Peter, Newcastle Australia.

  90. Good going girl! you're great / Peter

  91. Hi Babsy,
    great pictures!
    Looking forward to see more of them!
    Yes, give us some videos too.
    So, still struggling with them Dollydrums!?
    It looks like you enjoy the crawling around covering yourself up with diesel and chasing some life-forms! Nothing of sorts back at home, I guess. So enjoy it as long as it lasts!
    Keep up them dodgers!
    Jony the Pony

  92. Super fantastic going, Abby. Thanks for sharing your pictures and your endeavors keeping your boat in good repair. You are a very pretty and strong-willed teenager. Grandmom, Patricia and granddaughter, Courtney, 13.

  93. Thank you for the photos Abby. You look lovely and content, and the water looks fairly calm (my type of water) although calm is nice, you need the wind.
    Am hoping you're using plenty of sunscreen in the tropics whether it's cloudy or sunny.
    Take care sweet Abby.

    Sunshine Coast, Qld. Aus.

  94. To all Sailors wherever Ye may be, and all Mermaids, Sea Serpents, Whales, Sharks, Porpoises, Dolphins, Eels, Lobsters, Crabs, Pollywogs, and other living things of the sea. GREETINGS: Know Ye: That on this 19th Day of February 2010 in the Latitude 00 0 00 and Longtitude 120 15' 03" there appeared within the limits of our Royal Domain the WILD EYES bound for World Wide circumnavigation. Be it remembered that the said Captain thereof has been inspected and passed on by ourselves and our Royal Staff. AND BE KNOWN: By all Ye Sailors, Marines, and Lubbers and others who may be honored by her presence, that Captain Abigail "Babsy" Sunderland having been found worthy to be numbered as ONE OF OUR TRUSTY SHELLBACKS has been gathered to our Fold and duly initiated into the SOLEMN MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE DEEP. Be it further understood: That by Virtue of the Power invested in me, I do hereby Command all my Subjects to have due honor and respect to her wherever she may enter our Realm. DISOBEY THIS ORDER UNDER PENALTY OF OUR ROYAL DISPLEASURE. Given under our Hand and Seal this 20th Day of February 2010..... Neptunus Rex

  95. Hi there Abby, Oh my gosh, If the water isn't tasting right, you should add your YOLI blastcaps to the water, you will like your water a lot more and you will be getting your nutrients to help keep your immune system strong, with antioxidants to fight free radicals that are trying to break you down. Keep yourself healthy sweety.

    Love from
    Sunny Miller and The Aquafriends Group
    The Hollywood Group
    The Kauai Group

  96. Be safe & smart, don't rush any decisions.

    Joe in NJ

  97. Abby:

    I have a 9 year old son named Cole that is following you on his globe. We are plotting your progress on it every few days. He jumped for joy when I showed him where you are now! He really thinks you are COOL and wants to be as brave as you are when he is 16. Good luck! We are wishing for calm seas and good winds every night before he goes to sleep.

    Travis and Cole

  98. Hey Abby! I was just wondering how you got this far with all of the troubles you had in mexico? Also, thank you soo much for all the "girl power" , it has been an inspiration to me.

  99. In the secound picture of the sunset is well to bear with the dark clouds.

  100. That sky is just to beautiful for words! I bet you could stare at that for hours!

  101. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

  102. hey love your blog just start mines a couple of day check it out and comment and send to people u know plz and thx...........

  103. Wow! Abby, you are one brave little lady, I think I'm actually a bit jealous of you. Sail on beautiful!

  104. It look's like all the water is going to go over the side of the boat