Saturday, March 27, 2010

Auto Pilots and Washing Machines

I had an interesting night Thursday night. I had some problems with my auto pilot. I spent a few hours in the middle of the night in the tiny aft compartment trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I spent the rest of the night hand steering waiting till day time to give my team a call. It was really a very miserable night outside with freezing waves crashing over the boat, pouring rain, and 30-40 knots of wind. Not the most fun conditions for being outside hour after hour after hour.

Cold holds an entirely new meaning for me now. I don't think I will ever complain about being cold again, not after that night!

Things are all sorted out now; my back up auto pilot display screen wasn't working but the rest of it was fine so I hooked the screen from my main autopilot to the back up autopilot and so far it's running fine. When my main autopilot started acting up I went to switch to the back up but there was no display so I couldn't control it.

I didn't get any sleep Thursday night so last night's sleep was very sweet. I'll start working on trouble shooting my main autopilot today.

Right now I have about 30 knots out of the WNW and I'm heading east towards Cape Horn at about 9 knots. The waves are pretty crazy here. They're not just big, about 15-20 feet, but they're coming from absolutely everywhere! I had heard that it is like a washing machine down here.

It would almost be fun, if things could only break down during the day!

My mom (yes, I have one :)) asked me if the Southern Ocean was better or worse than I expected. It is better in some ways and worse in others. The wind and waves are not as bad as I thought they would be (so far) but the cold and wet is really hard to deal with. I have a ton of warm layers made of all the latest and greatest cloths but my hands and feet are always cold. My hands are covered in tiny cuts that actually feel better when my hands are numb but when they do warm up, like while I am sleeping - they really start to hurt!

If anything gets wet, it takes forever to dry it. Even though Wild Eyes doesn't leak, the condensation makes everything damp. The heater does heat things up but after I turn it off, it gets cold pretty quickly.

My dad is in Ushuaia and preparing to come out with some of the locals. It is hard to plan how to meet so we'll see how it goes.



  1. Don't worry about meeting up w/your Dad, he's quite experienced after the experience w/your brother last year... all will work out... and I can believe how hard it is to have things dry out!... Hey Cali is suppose to hit the 80's this weekend.. Santa Anas are a blowin'!.BTW it Palm Sun. up...

  2. I'm sorry for the rough night. We're all rooting for you though. Good luck on the rest of the vogage and I hope you're in a warmer, less wet place VERY soon :)

  3. Welcome news about your Dad being in Ushuaia already Abby.
    You are a brave woman to stand there all night in the cold. I pray that you will get more sunshine to dry out your clothes or just enough wind and smaller waves to generate a tumble dryer alongside your washing machine. lol
    Keep safe and good luck with fixing the auto pilot problem.
    Jeanie In The Lakes

  4. Go Abby! I've been following your progress from Long Island, NY, and having a great time hearing of your adventures, and hoping someday to do the same. Have fun in the washing machine. Be careful! Things can go wrong very quickly if you become complacent or cold and tired, especially on deck! I'm rooting for you!

  5. Stay safe, sweet Abby. We are the wind at your back ;-)

  6. Do have a wind vane just in case?Looking forward of you getting past the horne we will rest a lot easier,wow,your skill and yacht will get you threw,

  7. Hi!
    I found a web site written by a guy who is circumnavigating, partially alone, partially with paying crew. He started in Sydney and has been out for eight years! He has apparently spent a lot of time in the Caribbean/USA/Europe. Now he is in Ushuaia near Cape Horn for repair and has met Laurence the dad. He wrote: "He seems quite a decent chap, I tactfully mentioned my objections which I think he spoke to sensibly. Obviously Abby has lots of sailing experience and it sounds like she is as up to the challenge as much as anyone. An Open 40 sure is a lot of boat for a 16 year old lass to handle though."

    In my opinion you seem fully capable to handle the Open 40 boat all the way around. Good Luck with the Cape Horn passage. It is not easy, but you will make it.
    Ben, Sweden

  8. Abby,
    You are doing great. Many folks around the world are praying for you! This trip is fantastic! We are thankful to share a bit of what is going on . Keep your cuts disinfected and your smile big. Try to enjoy each day, soon the Cape will be behind and the warm shall return. So Cal is very proud of you girl.
    Stay tough,
    Mike, Koki,Sky,& Ryan
    Torrance, CA

  9. You brave young woman. As anyone should realize as they place themselves in a position of adversity, it's the decisions you make in times of unexpected difficulty that reveal your character and lead you to your goals. A voyage without complication is a vacation.


  10. Good luck Abby! you are doing really well! I also can assure those nights are really hard... go, Abby, go! xx


  11. Having been at sea, I can safely say that I can understand how difficult it must be to have 15-20 foot waves coming from all directions! It's bad enough when they're all coming from the same place. I can also appreciate how difficult the cold and damp is.

    Based upon your location, I would venture to say that the next week is likely to be about the most difficult of the voyage as far as weather and sea conditions go, but I know you've got a great family and team behind you, and you've very experienced and ready.

    You've got thousands of people cheering you on; so go, Abby, go!

    With continued prayers and best wishes,


  12. Hi Abby, sounds like Thursday night was a rough one. Hope you get your main autopilot fixed soon. Freezing waves, 30-40 knots, no rest, sounds like fun, not. The last time I sailed in weather like that I was worn out for a full day. We had no auto pilot and the waves were not even close to the size you’re dealing with and it was during the day. It drains you mentally and physically. I hope you get some more rest and your main autopilot fixed before the next exciting ride. Cape Horn awaits.
    TonyF – Sailing the calm mild waters of the Chesapeake bay.

  13. Abby,
    Why don't you turn around NOW, go to the 50's, fix your problems, get some sleep, and THEN return to the washing machine? Just a thought.

  14. I wish you the best of luck abs

  15. Now comes the good part about being 16; you can bounce back from a night of no sleep like a rubber ball bounces off of the floor (as I remember). Just give you a few hours of sleep and its like it never happened.

  16. You sound well Abby and I am very excited for you to see your dad. It will give you a nice burst of energy and happiness. I hate it when my hands and feet get cold too. Our family goes skiing and I can never seem to keep my hands and feet warm even in the best ski equiptment. Try to just keep moving your fingers and toes when they are cold, it will help to keep the blood and circulation flowing. Also, keep putting lotion on your hands as it will help to keep the cuts from hurting less. I know those cuts hurt, I get them too when I do repairs at home or have my hands in water a lot. Keep up the great sailing and thank you for keeping us all up to date. I hope you get your auto pilot all taken care of too! You are doing an amazing job!!
    Alyssa from Irvine, CA.

  17. Hi Miss Abby,
    Sorry to read that you learnt what cold (cold and wet) can actually be. Of course, it had to happen while rounding the world in a sailboat. I wish you a sunny atlantic ride in not too many days, so you will have all your stuff drying up, plus yourself getting more comfortable.
    Keep us posted about the Otto cousins, i.e. Main Otto and Backup Otto. Don't let them mutiny against Captain Sunderland! I suspect they would like to lock you up in the cabin, and drive Wild Eyes to warmer seas, like the Caribbean... If they hate the cold climate, Hispaniola, Tortuga and some bucanneers' harbors must look attractive to them.
    Good luck Miss Abby. Take care of your cuts. Dad Lawrence will manage to fly over you sooner or later, that's not your main worry now.

  18. That-a-Girl, Capt. Abby,
    You're doing Great, not just great,great but G~R~E~A~T !!!!... as Toni the tiger "would say"
    part of this journey isn't just the miles across 'Wild Eyes' keel... but as Zac would say over and over ..."DO the Hard Things"
    you're adapting fabulously to these Furious 50's conditions, getting prepared in mind and body for what is ahead...
    thanks for the insight into your hands and feet, massage them as often as you can hopefully with some kind of lotion, like your auto-pilot, they serve you well, if working properly.
    It's GREAT, that your dad is so close, we'll all be awaiting his first hand insight, as he does the fly by... get ready for some tears...
    we're all behind you Abby, so proud of what you have accomplished, you're one brave woman sailor,
    you're in all our thoughts and prayers all across this globe at all hours of the day and night...
    "Full moon" in a day or so enjoy it's magnificence...
    "Easter" in a week, remember where you were last Easter? Who'ld a thunk it, that you'ld be where you are this Easter, not even you, but "HE" knew. :~) riding in the belly of "Wild Eyes", just like Jonah..
    some soul food for ya...
    "The angel of THE LORD encamps around those who fear HIM and rescues them" psalm 34:7
    your writing and attitude are the best...
    Isaiah 53 and Psalm 103... couple of great places to reflect on, as the whole world looks upward this time of year.
    wish you were closer so we could give you a
    BIG HUG... all in time...
    Mark n Adino Vicksbburg, Mississippi, USA

  19. Hope you get some more sleep sweetie, and I do wish you luck with meeting up with your dad and the locals..God bless!

  20. HI abby....sounds like you are handling the problems real well....dont forget its the tough times that make you tougher not the good times!

  21. Hi Abby,
    Great job on Thursday night - you showed how strong you are in many ways! A huge milestone in your journey is so near. We are very excited to be sharing it with you from a distance. Thanks and God Bless!
    Keith and Kathy Wargo, Lynchburg VA

  22. This is the time to show your true Mariner spirit! This is the time to prove yourself worthy to be the Captain of Wild Eyes! We all know that you have it! You are now experiencing the most memorable parts of your journey. Godspeed, and stay vigilent!

  23. @bengt ... Thanks for the link, was especially interesting to read Laurence is English born and spent many years in Australia. That answers the accent question. And who knows, maybe Abby & Jesse are distant cousins; both their blood types have a percentage of seawater I'm told.

    Abby ... I had to put on an extra shirt when reading about your Thursday night at sea. brrrrrr..... Sorry to hear about the cut hands also and hopefully you have Neosporin or something similar to apply.

    The auto pilots sure seem to be the weak link in your circumnavigation. I immediately thought "back up" when the subject came up again and then you answered the question. You learned more about their workings lately and with a redundant system, it does seem like parts should be interchangeable such as the display. Hope they last the trip or the windvane or lack of discussion will continue on for some time.

  24. Hands? Who needs those anyways? :P

  25. Abby,

    Hang in there and tough it out. Once you turn the corner, you can work your way a bit north to thaw out. I know how miserable having cold hands and feet can be, but I also know you have the mental toughness to endure it. It will make you appreciate the pleasant southern California climate that much more. I imagine that the adrenaline is really flowing right now to know that you’ll be seeing your dad soon.

    @anonymous: You’re right that Zac had a chance to meet Minoru Saito in Cape Town along with Mike Perham. What a fantastic get-together that must have been. Wow, it’s already been over a year since they met. Minoru Saito is now 541 days into his backwards circumnavigation. What a marathon. Sounds like he is ecstatic to be underway again.

    Even though you’re getting some pretty lively weather, I hope you will dodge any extreme conditions. Rounding Cape Horn is a dream of a lifetime for so many. Have fun with every moment of it. Take care and be safe, Abby.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  26. Hi Abby,
    Just discovered your blog, and shared it with my daughters. They're 7 & 9, and they are really excited about your journey-thanks for the updates. We'll be checking on your progress as a family, stay safe.

  27. Abby You have been in my prayers everyday and after reading the latest post you are now in them every minute! In fact, I am thinking with what you went through the other night it sounds to me like there might have been another version of "Wild Eyes" out there on Wild Eyes! Abby I continue to be so impressed with your "beyond your years" skills and capabilities. Maybe Dad can somehow stow away for a while and we won't tell anyone-promise! Warm hugs to you and be safe, rest well, and know the best is yet to be!

  28. Hello Abby,

    As always, THX for writing to us. Sounds like you have your hands full getting ready for and getting around the Cape. It has a reputation all its own.......but so do you! You can do it!!!

    We, in your blogger family, always love hearing from you but PLEASE take no risks and blog only when it is safe for you to do so. You have what it takes to maneuver through this tough stuff, SO press on --stay alert, sail smart, sail safe.

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

    PS - Thought my verification word fit what you're about to do: (get) 'pastem' :)


  30. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Wet & Wild & Shake for a few more days and then a little R&R and a good overall look at your auto-pilots with Team Abby.

    Go Abby, Take care, Be safe!

  31. Abby,
    Whoever said it before, I want to repeat it!
    If your dad is flying out to see you like the Watsons no problem, but if your dad comes out in a boat, make SURE he's got someone with a solid reputation along with him because people WILL say he came aboard and gave you stuff or fixed stuff and your solo record will be gone whether it is true or not...there will always be doubts. WE have no doubts that you can do it!

  32. Hi Abby:

    Thank you for making time to update us during this crucial part of your voyage.

    You have been in our thoughts and prayers since you started your journey back in January.

    Wishing you the best of lucks

  33. Abby,

    These are memories... that though painful or maybe even worrisome at the moment.. will one day be some of the fondest and most memorable moments of your lifetime. Doing what so few have done... you are amazing. Thank God for the passion he puts within you.

    Still praying for your safty.. and now some sound sleep.

    Jax Beach, FL

  34. God will see you through this Abby. Wish you could use your heater more often, as I know too what it's like to be cold. Brrr. And warm feels good, so stay warm and God Bless you as you fulfill your dream. Lots of Love

  35. Hi Abby and followers,

    Sorry to hear about the auto pilot. As for the cold, been there (way south) done that, I found if I could keep my fingers, toes and ears warm the rest works fine. Good Luck. If it helps my world was also rain and cold just that I'm in a Desert.

    Sail Safe
    from the Deserts of Iraq
    around 34°40'20"N x 043°33'00"E

  36. Abby, I felt so much for you after you described your harrowing night of waves, wind and cold. The fact you could make it through that night shows that you are a tough girl with enough stamina and will power to make this trip, as long as auto pilots and boat issues do not sabotage you. At the same time you are a real sweetheart and have a gentle side to you also. I am pulling so hard for you and pray for you every day. Take care Captain.
    Dwight in NC

  37. Hi Abby
    Thanks for the update. I sincerely hope the backup autopilot stays operating, if not, prolonged tireness and cold will eventually lead to subtle apathy. Stay wise and stay safe.
    Best wishes

  38. Thanks Abby.
    A big warm hug for you.
    You are strong and can
    handle all situations.
    Bless you
    Luv Richard (QLD) Aus

  39. Abby, have your Dad bring you out some super glue. It works wonders when you put it into small cracks and cuts on your fingers and hands. I use it all winter when my fingers crack from the cold.

  40. Re-bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    "Auto Pilots and Washing Machines"

    The titles to your blogs are so good they could easily be used by an advertising agency! :-)

    Take good care, Be safe.

  41. Hi Captain Abby, I hate being cold. Reading
    your very descriptive account of that horrible
    night gave me the chills. I wish I could send
    you some sunshine. Your doing great!
    Be Safe! Be Happy! Think Warm Thoughts!

  42. Welcome to my country Argentina!! enjoy our ocean!
    I keep an eye on you. Hugs,Mariana

  43. Abby - you are such an inspiration - not just to young women - but to ALL women regardless of age. I am proud of you - and support you 100%. Rounding the Horn makes me feel many things, excitement, apprehension, elation, fear...everything. What an adventure you are taking on!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! Peace...

  44. Skipper, sorry that you have to stay our in the open all night. Cold and wet weather is always the dislike of sailors, I remember my days in Norfolk Virginia standing watch on winter nights. We are sailors we have to do what we have to do to keep our boat to stay on our path. I commend you on what you did. BZ, Abby, you took charge and do what is necessary. you have my salute.
    More power to you, wish you with fair winds as you go around the Horn and hope your day will be in good position to say hello to you.

    Old salty USN(Ret)

  45. Can the condensation be getting to the autopilot monitors? Perhaps when things are calm see if you can dump the software into the panasonic toughbook, or wire that up as the monitor.

    As for the cold weather, the good news is that it's not really cold :-) if it's 5°C and 7°C water (41°F and 44°F), this in actuality is not cold weather. You're just not used to it, and all it will take is a week or so to get your blood and system used to it. Once a tuned you'll be sweating and taking layers off the rest of the voyage.

    Today it's 5°C in the North for some of us, people are out in t-shirts and even shorts. Bringing in groceries from the car causes a sweat. This of course after 6 months of -10°C to 25°C all winter :-) so you will be fine so long as it remains above freezing (which is the key word), it will just take a week or so for you system to get used to it.

  46. Bud and Charla WinnettMarch 27, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    I know if I was your Dad, I'd find you, if your were a needle in a haystack. I'm sure he will be out there. Sorry to here you had a miserable night. But... part of the game. Hopefully you will not have too many of them. Keep your chin up amd smile. There are better days ahead. Luv Ya much. May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.
    Blue Skies and Friendly Winds
    Bud and Carla Winnett

  47. You are a brave young woman! I know I couldn't do what you are doing...keep safe!

  48. I was wondering if your dad comes aboard Wild Eyes? Does that mess up the solo part of the voyage? I'm sure you're got it figured out.

    Sounds like you had a heck of a night there.

  49. Hello Abbey,

    Thank you the many postings you have made to your blog. I check in every day to see what you have been experiencing. Could you please explain why you are using an autopilot instead of a windvane?

    Thank you,

  50. I am watching PassageWeather, knowing that the latest position was 56°35S 81°06W on 27 March.
    It does look rather miserable with 35-40 knots wind, and 5-6 m waves (17-23 ft) for today evening. The forecast for the morning is same wind but 6-8 m waves (20-26 ft).
    I assume that the weather forecast is average wind, and that gusts are harder. It will be a rough night.
    For Monday it seems to be a little less wind, but still 5-6 m waves. For the passage of The Cape Horn on Tuesday or Wednesday it seems better. So there is no reason to wait with the passage. Rough conditions near or at The Cape Horn makes this only more memorable, both for you and for us the supporters.
    /Ben, Sweden

  51. Hi Abby:
    Sorry to hear about the problems but sounds like you handled
    Everything ok, good for you. Things could have gotten nasty
    real quick Murphy figured you would panic and loose it , I
    have often thought if for some reason you fell over the side even with your life line on trying to get back aboard would be like trying to get back on a bull that’s still bucking. I applaud you for staying calm. When the going gets tough the tough gets going. Looks good on ya Honey. Glad you got a good night’s sleep later, Murphy probably didn’t think you knew how to switch the monitors either Ha!
    Be careful out there as I know you will

  52. Its like nothing else you've thus far shared and vividly described. What is the same is your noble detachment, humble acceptance,and fastidious attention.

    I agin reviewed the online video prior to your departure that included family and their comments. What a solid carrying force be with you!

    The other day a female pilot from the 30's had her life reviewed in the wsj. She first flew at age 10. At 16 she soloed her aircraft under 3 Manhatten bridges and the 4th one went under it either upside down or sideways. If NY's mayor had not been charmed by her upon their meeting her flying days would have been over. She went on from there to have an illustrious life.

    You on the other hand (hopefully warmer at this reading),of same age, yet differing in transport vehicles, plot and ply raging waters while enduring nature's barrage of ferocity that illustrates a spirit beyond measure.

    Continued prayers for you and family. With hopes of restful warm sleep.

  53. Hi Abby,
    You are a very courageous young lady to say the least. Working in small spaces below the deck is not fun at sea, working below decks whilst in a washing machine must be downright horrible. My dear you are one heck'uva sailor!
    You and Wild Eyes seem perfect for each other. I am so happy that your Dad made it down to see you when you zoom through Drakes Passage.
    Please stay rested and super prepped.
    God Bless you Abby.

  54. Hi Abby: I'm sorry to hear that your auto pilot is acting up. If your main auto, and your back-up goes out, I think you'll be doing a lot of hand steering untill you fix it. It will be hard getting some rest at the tiller. I know you and your team will figure it out. I think the inside of your cabin is damp, and nothing will dry is because your heat is up too high, and you don't have enough ventilation to keep the condensation out. The condensation will also affect your electronics, and maybe your auto pilot. Abby; you need your sleep, and it's hard to get it when your at the tiller.
    You probably already know the reason why the sea's are angry around the cape. For the people who don't know, it's because, several oceans are coming from different directions, and there trying to squeeze between the cape and antartica. The bottom also rises abruptly just to the east of the cape. I've said enough, so try to stay dry and get ready for some troubled waters. And always stay tied off.
    Woodrow Wilson from San Diego

  55. Hello Abby

    I had the pleasure of hosting Zac for a day last year in Costa Rica and I am enjoying following your blog. I wish you the best and hope you ahve a safe journey. I am writing as i thought that folks might like to know how to get a good look at the kind of conditions you are currently sailing through. If they go to they can get daily wind and surf reports of Cape Horn. Once you get into the site go to "world" and then click on "south america" Nice esay to read representations with colors for strength and arrows for direction. And a prediction for the next 5 days.
    Neil Kahn Kayak Jaco

  56. Ditto on Gerry, use super glue for the cracks on your hands. If you don't have that, use duct tape or something like that. It's not pretty, but it works and we can't see it from land anyway. Lessons learned from 30 years of laying pipe and concrete in all weather.

  57. 03-27-10 @ 19:023
    Hi Abby,
    Yeah, I have to agree with you, that sounds like it was a pretty miserable night for you. The way that you described what you went through had me shivering, but you, being you, toughed it out and got through it. Situations like that can seem like they are ‘never ending’ and can affect you emotionally, let it flow. Couldn’t you call your team, or did you just not want to bother them??

    I hope you were able to change into some dry clothes and get a chance to warm up. I’ll bet you did sleep well last night, that cold weather will sap the strength right out of you, but I’m glad there were no further problems while you slept. Amen!!!!
    Glad to see you got things straightened out, and good luck with the main A/P today.
    Just be careful that you don’t get hurt being tossed around in that ‘washing machine’. What is it they say, “one hand for you and one for the boat”????

    Well, there you have it folks, straight from the lady herself, Abby has a Mom!!!!! Thanks a lot for filling us in on that, by the way, how is your Mom doing????

    I know this is a real ‘shot in the dark’ question but, would you possibly have any Vit. E on board? If you do you can break open a capsule and take the gel out and smear it over all the cuts and rub it in, this will help stop the itching and clear them up almost overnight, depending on the severity of the cuts.

    That condensation buildup is keeping your clothes from drying quickly, if you could get an airflow through there it would help. I guess some things just have to be put up with,……nasty situation. But don’t despair, things will get better. By the time you get this post all the above mentioned problems will probably have been repaired or corrected and you will have other things to consider….lol…
    I am concerned about the hot and cold, hot and cold, and the fact that you have a build-up of condensation. That isn’t good to be breathing that warm damp air. What to do, what to do?????

    Well Abby, I am glad to see that your Dad made it to Ushuaia and that you will get to see him. First human in a long time so who else should it be. Right????

    So stay as dry and as warm as you can and I hope you’re drinking lots of liquids and eating well, be cautious and keep that smile on your pretty face be happy/don’ worry…..yes you’re right, nag, nag, nag. I know, I know!!!

    OK, no more nagging (for now) just keep doing the great job that you have done so far and take care of yourself “Wild Eyes” and your crew.
    I’m very proud of you Abby, not many young ladies like you.

    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.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  58. Hi Abby, I love your blog! I never realy thought much about sailing but you make it sound so cool. This is the first time I ran aross your blog. I am going to come by everyday I can and read your blog! And I hope you acomplish your goal to become the worlds yongest solo circumnavigator! If you want come visit my blog at:

  59. Yo again ... I just watched Snoop Dogg on Larry King so that's why "Yo" is on my mind. I keep thinking about the auto pilots. I don't want to jinx your trip or anything but was thinking all might not be a loss if you had to port to have them repaired. You're gaining enough fame in the world's sailing communities that if your attempt is forced into a "with stops" attempt, the word would spread and a more reliable auto pilot would probably be invented. They might even call it "The Abby" or "The Abbey" with the catch phrase "We're so good, we're almost Holy!" :-)

    So you never know what life's circumstances might bring you.

  60. Buenos vientos para ti y que disfrutes el cruce del cabo de hornos. Te seguimos todos los dias y siempre estamos atentos a tu gran viaje.Todo saldra de maravilla.
    Estamos contigo
    Quito Ecuador

    Good winds to you and you enjoy crossing out the furnace. We continue every day and are always attentive to your great viaje.Todo will be great.
    We are with you
    Quito Ecuador

  61. Awesome blog I am definetly going to follow you.

  62. Thanks for the post, Abby. Make sure you don't let yourself catch a nasty cold. So keep those layers!! In a few days, the Horn will be behind you, and you'll think, "what an adventure that was!" Any comfort food to take off some of the edge of those hard moments? Chocolate?

    You're so brave! A young hero in the making!!


  63. stay strong sailor in your amazing adventure. Wishing you nothing but safety and happiness!

  64. Things NEVER break down at a good time.
    If a car breaks down it is nearly aways at traffic lights in the centre lane.
    Must be Murphy's law.
    I would love to come and rub your hands & feet to warm them up, but I hate the cold.
    Keep the sunny side up and keep posting as we look forward to your updates every day.
    Bill (Brisbane)

  65. Hey Abby,

    Glad you made it through that nasty night of hours at the tiller. Hang in there, girl...... you'll be back in warmer waters before long. These are the southern-most latitudes you'll be sailing in on your circumnavigation.

    Fingers crossed still for good weather for your passage around the Horn. Hope Dad finds a way to catch a glimpse of you, and more importantly that you can see him (even if it is from a distance).

    Clear skies,
    ~Phillippa & Brian
    Vancouver, Canada.

  66. Are there limitations, in terms of the officialness of your circumnavigation attempt, to how you and Dad can hook up? Is he allowed to resupply you at all? I'd imagine you're not allowed to put in anywhere. Are there other rules you two have to observe?

    As I was reading this entry, I was wondering how much you might think about all the people before you who've navigated the Cape in years past, and all they had to contend with. On the one hand, I can imagine how you might draw strength from that but, on the other, maybe it's just too much thinking. Do you ever get the chance to just think?

  67. Wow! U really r an inspiration! :)

  68. You're crazy kid. Thanks for setting up this blog so that I can read your story. (Brookings, Oregon)

  69. G'Day Abby,

    This problem you have just experienced with your Auto Pilot and subsequent miserable night hand steering was one of my queries some time ago.

    Why would you put yourself in the position of having to rely on electronics when there is a simple mechanical option in the form of various types of wind vanes. One type being used by Jesse watson. Fondly called 'Parker" after a character in Thunderbirds.

    The old axim "Simple is better seems to apply here - or is it to do with sponsorship?

    You seem to be doing Ok and I wish you good conditions to help you on your way. As mentioned before I am particurarly impressed with your merging of 'phots ,video and blog to keep us all informed.

    Sail safe,

    Poppa Bear
    Down Under

  70. Abby probably already knows this, but some others may not understand one of the most basic reasons why things do not dry out quickly--salt water. The salt in the water attracts the moisture, and does not let go of it quickly, i.e. without extra dry or warm conditions. At sea, with the constant humidity, wet clothes might never dry out. If they can be rinsed in fresh water, to get the salt out, they will dry much, much better. But with limited fresh water aboard, I'm sure it's simply not possible to rinse everything in it.

  71. Why are you and your dad gonna meet?

  72. Hiya Abby,

    There you go... makin' memories again! It's one adventure after another!! Sailing is fixing one problem after the next. Not bad if it doesn't get more than one can handle. Sounds like you weathered the "storm" mighty fine. Now all you need is some rest and you'll be off to solve another problem. Remember to smile and enjoy the journey. You'll reach your destination before you know it. By the way, wave to your dad for all of us. Stay safe

    Capt'n Mudgie
    Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

  73. Abby you are doing great,sail safe and take care..cornwall,Ontario,Canada..Brian

  74. Dear Capt. Abby, many of us were not so gently reminded by that Blog why everybody isn't busy doing what you & Wild Eyes are.
    Otto#1 likely got overloaded by the violent multiple - conflicting signals via the washingmachine input. I trust Team Abby will by now have provided for Otto#1 a reset treatment and cut him some "slack" in course maintenance and management? Keep a tight grip sailor. "Sail on."

  75. There have been a couple of questions about Abby's Dad supplying her items. Her trip is solo, non-stop and unassisted. So as David Dick's circumnavigation (1996) has an asterisk stating he received a bolt to fix his rig near the Falkland Islands, making his trip assisted, so would Abby if she received any outside help. I doubt she would want her name associated with superglue for the rest of her life.

    And a couple of more questions as to why not a windvane. There's been a lot of advice and wondering since the very start of her voyage. Grant from Seattle waxed eloquently with many comments in favor of having one while another experienced sailor maintained an Open 40 is not well suited for one for several reasons. As far as I know, neither Abby nor her team have addressed the subject. I thought it was obvious from the get-go they had decided against one when they mounted a pair of solar panels off the stern basically taking the spot where the windvane would have been. Soooooo....... if anyone wants to speculate further, it's been one of the more popular discussions here.

  76. We are going to be at the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday and I will dip a foot in the water to symbolically say goodbye to you until you once again come back to the Pacific. Stay safe!

  77. I love the washing machine analogy! Such a visual in my head! Stay safe and warm as possible!!

  78. I admire your courage and tenacity SO much. I'd be in bed in the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth!

  79. Hi Babsy,
    keep up them dodgers,
    Jony the Pony

  80. Hello Abby, I have followed you from the beginning and have shared your blog with my children. I love the water but have never sailed so I occasionlly look up words in your blog to see what your talking about. I've enjoyed following your blog. If you can try to post more pictures and videos of your trip. I'm wishing you well.

  81. Hi Abby,
    I'm amazed by some recurring comments about the unassisted part of your voyage and dare I say it - the wind vane saga! I wonder why people just don't get it. It appears to me you have explained both adequately. Just keep smiling Abby!

    You are now so close to achieving the awesome goal of rounding Cape Horn. Sorry to hear there have been a few technical hitches to 'dampen' the experience a little but your attitude shines and you are taking all these things in your stride as I somehow knew you would. You knew this would perhaps be the most challenging part of your voyage so keep that chin up, stay alert, think clearly despite the numbing cold and take care of yourself. Like most 'big' moments in one's life this will be behind you before you know it so enjoy every miserable moment and it will etch in your mind forever.

    We're all with you Abby following you every step of the way, cheering you on, and praying that all will be well. Believe in yourself, Wild Eyes and the team and all will be well. God is with you.

    Jo-Anne, Geelong, Aus.

  82. Successfully conquering the hard times will make for the sweetest memories.

  83. Hey Abby! I just discovered you through Yahoo!News today and I'm so PSYCHED that you're doing this! I find it totally awesome - you're probably on a huge journey of self-discovery as well as a journey around the world.
    I'll be checking in on your blog often! I'm keeping you in my prayers! =)

  84. Everyone here is praying for you to stay safe. Hope all continues to go well, you're gonna make it.

  85. Abby you are an amazing girl!! I just saw this in the news and I wish you a safe voyage with no problems larger than what you can control. I would not have had the courage to do what you are doing.

  86. Hey!
    I'm new and your like my first blog I have read!I will ot forget this writing you are so very talented and you do such cool thungs!!
    PS: I hope to become friends :)

  87. what do you do for fun on the boat? there's probably not much to do for fun because you're probably busy taking care of the boat and doing schoolwork, but i'm just curious :) i bet you can see a ton of stars at night!! be sure to get a pic of the cape!

  88. Abby,

    I have been following your success... Words of Encouragement.

    Move Forward, Move On, Move Up.

    You are an encouragement to young woman around the world..

    God Bless You, Be Safe, and Return Home....

    Chastity Keifer

  89. An autopilot system in Washing Machine will allow you to basically go into deep control yet still have enough control to feel safe.