Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good News and Bad News!

Good news! I found my hair brush! I had been thinking about dreadlocks, they would definitely be easier out here... but, I don't know, I guess they're just not really my thing. Forks work very well for brushing hair. When I was sailing down the east coast with my dad and brother I forgot a hair brush and had to use a fork for ten windy days, but my hair was a lot longer then, its easier with my hair as short as it is now!

Also, I have a little wind, not much but a good enough amount to keep moving. The bad news is its still coming from all over the place. I would rather have wind like this than none at all, but it looks like I'm in for another long night. Last night a didn't sleep much because the wind is changing too often and I keep having to change course. I slept a little today so I'm not really that tired.

Then there is a system sometime this weekend that is supposed to be pretty gnarly. I think I would have to classify this as good news though. I'm really excited as its going to be my first big front since leaving. The boat is ready, I'm ready, and I knew that sooner or later I would get into something big.

I've got a list of questions here from you guys:

Do you have paper charts? Yes, I mainly use my chart plotter, but in case my electronics were to go down, I have paper charts for my whole trip.

Why is your course so far off Cape Horn? Right now I am heading pretty much straight south. The wind is coming from an angle where I cannot sail south east (more towards Cape Horn) When planning routing you have to look at all of the wind patterns. Soon I will be into the southwest winds which will give me a good position for heading east to Cape Horn.

Are you out of fresh food? Yes, I have been for quite awhile now. And no, I don't do any baking.

Will I go to Easter Island? I'm not planning on it. Since I was able to re-start from Cabo san Lucais I am still hoping to go the rest of the way with out stopping.

Is your AIS working? Yes, my AIS is working, both transmitting and receiving. I had been having trouble with it at first but it is up and running now.

Re: reefing in 5 knots In the picture in my last blog where the main sail is reefed, I had to reef so that I could reach to hook the main sail back to the truck on the mast. It somehow unscrewed itself. Its much more comfortable to have the sail to sit on while sitting up on the boom and I took the picture while I was up there. Don't worry, that reef came right back out as soon as I was done.

RE: outer track for staysail sheet: There is an outer track for the stay sail sheet and jib sheet, but as I have had the jib out for most of my trip so far I leave the jib sheet running through the outer track. If I was going to have my stay sail out for any length of time I would switch them.


P.S. Jimmy, Mr. Doggie is doing very well! He seems happy out here but I think he misses you.


  1. Thanks for the very informative update! Just curious, whats the water temp at now and at what latitude do you start getting concerned about ice. I'm sure that seems impossible now in the warmth...

  2. Abby,
    It is always a good day when we hear from you. Good luck and stay safe. Thanks for all the answers.


  3. Hi Abby and followers,

    I really liked what you had said about paper charts. Some time ago I was teaching basic Nav and got out a paper chart and my class told me they didn't need to know about them as they all had GPS. I then took my paper chart and beat it over my desk and unfolded it and said "It still works, would someone give me their GPS unit?". Not a word was said, the point was made. Thank you for backing up my point. The fact I have a GPS with me all the time I still use maps and charts.
    From the Deserts of Iraq
    Sail Safe

  4. So glad you are safe...thanks for updating us! I have enjoyed reading your posts...God bless and Safe sailing!

    GO Abby GO!


  6. Brushing your hair with a fork, just like the Little Mermaid. Love it. =)

    I'm wishing you the best of luck; you're truly an inspiration!!

  7. Abby,

    thanks for a great update,

  8. Good Evening Captain,

    Miss Abby...I really have to congratulate you and your team on a great blog. We know you won't always be able to correspond daily at this length as conditions will not always allow for it...but you have taken the opportunity early on to win our hearts and minds...and we will be here with you. The photos are a big bonus ...the photography great...and they compliment your discussion. It's interesting that some bloggers observed certain detail(s) within your photos and then we have your's makes for a great read. And your answers today were to the point. Wild Eyes IS in good hands!
    In response to one of your hope for you Abby is that you DO "go the rest of the way without stopping". Of course.... you'll have to hang on to that hair brush in order to accomplish that.
    From one night-owl to another... I hope the wind direction sorts itself out soon...and you can get some sleep. Take care young lady... and Charlie...and Mr. Doggie? Night, night from
    john, Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada eh!

  9. Hi, Abby, You seem a long way out but I guess you know how to catch the best winds. I continue to marvel at modern communication, you are way OUT THERE but able to talk to someone whenever. In the past one would have needed to "get along" with ones self, now when "self" gets too much you can phone a friend. Both you and Jessie Watson continue to leave us in awe, I live in the Northern Territory and places are far apart. I worry about a 3 hour drive on my own! Also my husband would probably discourage me from going anywhere on my own. Your folks must be more relaxed than my man! Happy sailing, youngen. Bob and Bev Darwin NT Australia

  10. Thanks Abby.
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  11. Do us a favor and DONT't do "good news bad news" headlines.

    It's heart sinking on immediate site.


    this is the second one.

    We still luv you though.


    seriously though :-(


  12. 03-05-10 @ 02:37Hi Abby,
    Good to hear from you, and I hope you’re in good health and feeling great.
    Oh, Happy Day, you have found your hairbrush, did Charlie hide it on you, I’m really glad for your sake that you won’t have to use a fork and that you won‘t have to resort to dreadlocks…lol..
    Jessica is experiencing the same problem with the shifty winds, and is constantly correcting and adjusting her sails.
    I enjoyed the Q&A set-up you had….very informative.
    I hope that system your heading into isn’t to ‘gnarly’, fun is fun, but don’t over do it. I do hope you enjoy it though….lol…
    You shouldn’t have to much prepping to do since you took care of that for the tsunami. Yes???
    I can almost hear you “Gnarly system, don’t mess with me or Wild Eyes”…lol…Go get ‘em Abby!!!!!
    Keep up the good work and have fun with what’s ahead of you, Good luck.
    Are you holding out on us…there’s a stowaway onboard…who’s Mr. Doggie,…LOL…Did Jimmy send him with you to guard you????
    I’m very proud of you Abby, you’re doing a great job!!!!!
    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

  13. Abby,

    Is it harder to brush your hair when exposed to salt water?

    Thanks for educating me about sailing. I am not a sailor but by the time you finish your trip I may be able to sail. lol..
    Stay safe always...


  14. Hello Abby,

    I can imagine that a fork works quite well to comb hair! That you forgot the hairbrush on another trip shows, that you are definitely thinking more about sailing then about grooming on a trip!

    Even though, I didn't ask any questions, I find the answers interesting and helpful, so thank you Abby for taking the time to actually read the posts!

    Hope you can avoid the worst part of the system.

    May the conditions out there in the ocean be exactly how you like them! Keep happy and safe,

    Trudy, Austria/Australia

  15. Abby,
    It's good to hear from you again. Hopefully you will soon get into those westerly winds and have some good sailing. You have the whole world with you on this trip and we are cheering you on.

    Love all the comments and pictures that you give us; it gives us a sense of being with you on your journey.

  16. By the way, don't do the dread locks. You are much to pretty to have that hanging on your head.

  17. Dear Abby,
    You really seems to like it out there, and thank you for the interesting update. I have never thought about using a fork to fix my hair. It's good being inventive. Keep on sailing safe.
    Ingrid, Sweden

  18. Wow! I can't believe you are doing this!

  19. Great to read the progress of your trip keep up the good work and good luck
    Clifton Springs Australia.

  20. Thanks for the informative report Abbey. Glad you found your hair brush, a fork could be a bit rough. Be careful, I hope the weather isn't to bad, I am sure you are prepared for it.
    Stay safe,

  21. God speed and fair winds are wished for you. You are amazing for such a young woman!

  22. Could you give us your lat/long most days. Perhaps ur already, if so where is that info :>)

    Godspeed, IM praying for you ! Thanks !!

  23. As I am sure you hear alot. We love looking at all your pictures. It is fascinating to see life from your perspective. I personally love seeing the different weather patterns you are experiencing, cloudy skies vs. clear skies, smooth water vs. rougher water etc.. Thanks so much for including us. Again the pics are fantastic!! Praying for you and your journey.

  24. Abby you rock.Thanks for answering all those questions.Do good and stay safe when the front arrives.Have fun and thanks for sharing your incredible journey with all of us.

  25. With the recent full moon, I imagine you had some beautiful sights at night, Abby (even if there wasn't a nice, steady wind). Enjoy the trip, get enough sleep, and stay safe. :-)

  26. Thank You for the what seems to be daily blogs? 2 in two days and you just keep sailing closer and closer to your destination. You Go Girl 38.44N/122.67W ps its nice having a brush

  27. I so appreciate the fact that you take time to keep us up to date. Your entries are so refreshing. Thank you for keeping us up to date.

  28. Thanks for the update Abby. Good info too! I'm hoping you get some good wind and a following sea and really get moving. Sounds like you're having fun tho. Way to go!!
    Be looking for you again tomorrow, enjoy...
    39*50'N, 86*9'W

  29. Glad to hear you found your hairbrush. I look forward to reading your blogs, so thanks so much for writing them. If you ever get bored, I could tell you a story :) Good luck!

  30. Abby-Looks Great. It looks as if Wild Eyes is in capable hands. I sailed with Michael M. on the second leg of Bermuda 1-2 in 2007 on Wildeyes, you have a great boat. Good Luck this weekend. Jim Fauci.

  31. Reading your blog and Jessica's also, I really envy you in your jouney. Not many young people have the tenacity to take on the world, and I think sailing around the world is taking it on. Good luck as you are closing in on the Horn and going around safely.

    Fair Winds

  32. Ha ha ha, I was a wilderness ranger for a long time and used to regularly brush my hair with a fork. Glad to see others have the same idea. Hang in there, you are doing great.

  33. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Reef: there is a good explanation for everything doesn't it? :-)

    Good wind is coming!

    Take care, Be safe!

  34. Hey Abby!

    I think dreadlocks are cool. But isn't it a bit weird? I laughed when you said you're using a fork to brush your hair. I can't imagine you doing it!

    Take care!

  35. All I can say is WOW, and the very best of luck to you on this adventure!
    I love sailing and many years ago my father had a sailboat in a slip at Marina Del Rey. We were always going to sail to Tahiti, but never made the trip. Life and growing up got in the way, LOL. I would love to attempt what you are doing.
    Take care now, we are pulling for you!

  36. Hi Miss Abby,
    A good thing you found the hairbrush just in time, before the strong winds that are coming to shake your cruise a little. Guards up, Sailor!
    We all know you are ready! I hope Wild Eyes will be as ready as you! She should make it.
    Thank you for answering all the questions.
    Don't forget telling us when you will see them Albertos. Our friend Jony loves them.
    Enjoy your trip abd show us your skills and your guts!
    Go on, Abby, there is still a heap of millage to chew!

  37. I enjoy hearing about the sailing, but curiousity has me wondering about your school work? Any time for that?

  38. I have started following your blog for sometime and it feels good whenever you post something. Are you halfway through your journey? . I haven't read your older posts . Will read them soon. keep posting.

  39. Abby, I got a smile when you used the word "gnarly". If someone did not know where you were from that would certainly identify you as a cute southern cali girl! Great blog by identifying bloggers questions and actually answering them. I imagine as your readership grows you will not always be able to do this but it is nice. Glad you found the hairbrush but I obviously cannot relate to the trauma from not doing so. Us guys don't always worry about the hairbrush! Hope you get the weather system you are looking for and keep up the great work!
    Dwight in NC

  40. Abby, thanks again for the update, keep your spirit up, stay safe, stay dry and we are all with you ALL THE WAY TO CABO.

    from the old salty USN(Retired)

  41. How many sails do you have onboard?
    Your in my prayers - Go Abby Go !!!!

  42. Wow, great attitude Abby! You sound as if you are more than ready to handle the 'gnarly' weather.
    Perhaps Charlie should try the dreadlocks first. Just a thought. Hey by the way who is Doggie and how did he get on board? I hope Charlie doesn't get jealous.
    Be safe and know that each day there are many, many well-wishers praying for you.
    God Bless you Abby.

  43. I just found your blog a couple of days ago, but I've enjoyed reading it. I haven't seen a map of your current position--do you have GPS tracking your position so we can follow you visually? That would be fun. My 19-year-old son is feeling wistful. He would love to be doing something like this! Best Wishes from Utah!


    Featherbrush, handy, lost or stolen on March 3rd, onboard Wild Eyes, capt. Sunderland.
    Some dawg hanging around might be suspect. He is thought to have a blonde accomplice, possibly with dreadlocks.


    Charlie The Pel'

  45. Bud and Charla Winnett, Wheeling, Mo.March 5, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Now this is a nice way to start the day... A blog from my favorite young Lady. Glad you found your comb, but, you looked very nice with the wind blown look, as well.
    We had our 50th Wedding Anniversary, yesterday and tomorrow a big party. Would have sent you an invitation, but the mail people said they have no boats/ships. Oh well.... You're invited anyway :)

    Happy you are getting some wind. Hopefully you will have more to your liking, soon

    Best wishes, God Bless, Blue Skies and Friendly Winds, We all love you.

    Stay Safe

    Bud and Charla Winnett

  46. Abby - When you say 'dreadlocks,' I think of Bill Mann.....ha ha ha and his scissors. ;)

    You sound wonderful! Remain poised and vigilant. Am so happy to be part of the crew/team!

    Sail on, Abby-girl!

    Melanie in Torrance

  47. :) I love hearing about your trip! I love sailing. Keep going strong! :)

  48. Glad you found your brush but you can always use a "dinglehopper" in a pinch! :) Keep the posts coming. We love hearing from you every day!

  49. When I lived up in Lake Tahoe.. people would ask me what the skiing would be like tomorrow. And I would always say.. well.. it depends on the weather.

    WHY are you sailing the direction you are sailing.... IT depends on the weather.... ( wind actually) but I think that is a good answer as any.

    Up in RENO at the moment... its 20 degrees.... wish I were on a boat somehwere warm right now...

    Sail safe... post often... have FUN...

    Richard Rumble
    Dana Point, CA

  50. Till recently I am to your following. I am from Asom, India. My eldest daughter is just 02 years younger then you. In Indian epics we have respected and given high esteem to ladies I salute your courage and pray you full fill your dream.

  51. Abby ... Great interactive post. I also, as did Anonymous(11:38pm), immediately thought "She has to port again" when you started with "good news, bad news". Whew, what a relief it was something less significant. Remember Abby, not all of our hearts are 16 years old, lol. But as he said, "we still luv you!"

    Your south track mirrors Jesse's after she rounded Kiritimati island. I was wondering at the time why she didn't head straight for Cape Horn and the reason was because of the same wind conditions as you are describing.

    Gees teacher, I just mastered "reef" and now without a minute's rest I have "outer track for the staysail sheet" to research. I live within 5 miles of two marinas and I will have to go there this summer and put my thumb out or whatever you do and get my feet wet for the first time. Thanks for the push.

  52. are you eating freeze dried foods then? are you planning to stop and pick up supplies if so where? does the boat have an adequet freezer. BTW i love your blog and what you are jouney to you

  53. @Bebe
    If you go to there is a map with a where is abby feature.

  54. looks like you're having a blast!! stay safe!

  55. Buenos vientos para ti, sigue adelante y navega disfrutándolo, nada te detendrá.

    Quito- Ecuador

  56. Hi Abby and all bloggers!
    I have since Jessica was in the Pacific Ocean recorded her positions and made forecasts for passage of important waypoint using Excel with formulas ( These forecasts have not been perfect, but not differed too much.

    I have also recorded them for you and now I am ready to publish a forecast for the rest of the journey. It is based on the assumption that the remaining straight distance to next waypoint gets 130 nm shorter per day. For Jessica is is now 105 nm per day.

    23 jan ― Los Angeles (MdR) ― 33°58N 118°26W 0 nm
    06 feb ― Cabo San Lucas ― 22°52N 109°54W 1100 nm
    19 feb ― Equator ― 0°00S 120°00W 2800 nm
    04 mar ― Latest position ― 27°34S 122°36W 4500 nm
    26 mar ― Cape Horn ― 55°58S 67°16W 7300 nm
    29 mar ― Falklands (Stanley) ― 51°40S 57°50W 7800 nm
    17 apr ― Longitude zero ― 40°00S 0°00W 10400 nm
    24 apr ― Cape Good Hope ― 34°21S 18°28E 11500 nm
    20 may ― Longitude ninety ― 40°00S 90°00E 15100 nm
    30 may ― Cape Leeuwin ― 34°22S 115°08E 16400 nm
    11 jun ― SE Tasmania ― 43°42S 147°48E 18200 nm
    24 jun ― Longitude 180 ― 30°00S 180°00E 20000 nm
    03 aug ― Cabo San Lucas ― 22°52N 109°54W 25600 nm
    11 aug ― Marina del Rey ― 33°58N 118°26W 26500 nm

    The distances in the list are estimated real distances from Marina del Rey. It has been hard to estimate the boat speed, although there is a better guess now. It has been 130 nm real distance per day since Cabo San Lucas, but should be more to fulfil my forecast. Wild Eyes showed impressive speed with 173 nm per day from Feb 23 to March 2. Still the list is a guess.
    26500 nm is more than Jessicas 22000 nm, but starting from Los Angeles creates a longer distance and going via Cabo San Lucas adds more.

    Good Luck all these miles. You need it. It looks good so far.

    Ben Larsson, Gothenburg, Sweden

  57. Abby, are you using your engine just for charging purposes, or are you allowed to run the engine when neccesary? There are many of us at Kennedy Space Center who are following your journey? Godspeed Abby! We are all praying for you!

  58. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  59. @ Scott & Team Abby: Can you give us an address where we can send checks to support the web link costs?

    @RLBirchBay: Just show up with a six-pack of good beer and the crew of most any boat I've ever sailed on will be glad to give you a tour, terminology and all. There's a bunch to chose from...jib track cars, snatch blocks, line stoppers, boom vangs, chutes and kites...

    Steve in California

  60. Hello, Abby...I've been away from your blogs for several days but kept in touch through FB as I hastily go through that for work. Your blogs, your photos, your descriptions of your activities, your challenges, and your days and nights are phenomenal.
    Thank you for the frequency and the photos. As others have said, we know you won't be able to do it as regularly always, but you know how much we all love hearing from you and about you.

    You are one terrific gal and your writing is great! Inclusive, descriptive and I know those who undersatand your sailing lingo love it especially.

    Know that you continue to be in our prayers and hearts. Almost a month since you left Cabo. Wow!

    We will continue to keep track of you, Abby. May God bless you and Wild Eyes 24/7. Yes, you're looking good! :-)

    Thanks again

  61. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Think you can beat @bengt estimated route time ( and your estimated time too )? :-)

    Take care, Be safe.

    @bengt: thanks.

  62. That was very resourceful of you to use a fork in time of desperation. I can just see a very frustrated Zac, with his longer hair, if he had to do that en route to Mauritius. LOL

  63. Abby...
    we check to see how you are doing each morning and evening. The pictures are beautiful and you keep us informed. The moon is so bright that it must be great watching the moonbeams bounce off the water. What do you eat for breakfast and for snacks? What foods do you miss the most? Take care and be safe. L&J from snowy Minnesota :)

  64. Hey Abby, The video was nice. It works great. Its nice to be able to see that you are in great spirits. Hang in there , cause you are Amazing, and we know you can do this. I hope that you dont lose your clothes overboard. You better bring them in Have a wonderful night. Try and get some sleep. TTYL

  65. Abby, Thank you for taking the time to answer all those questions. I think you answered mine about paper charts first. I will tell my Dad who asked me to ask you that. I just inherited his life long collection of about 20 pounds of paper charts. You are doing what I have only dreamt of doing my whole life. My Father single handed a 25 footer to Alaska as soon as he retired back in 1992. No GPS back then. Wonderful to see your video! Great pics as well. Good luck with the frontal system you are heading into.

    Here's one of my favorite quotes that relates to your adventure. Although it is a bit long.

    "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." "What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone."

    -Sterling Hayden

    Beam Winds Abby!

    -Skipper Jeff

  66. It sounds like you're so ready for stronger winds! It's good to know that you and the boat are ready for it. Like I've heard someone say there's calm before the storm. May God be with you (I know He is) through the front. John

  67. Cheryl in San DiegoMarch 5, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    @anonymous at 10:22AM
    Enough already indeed, we enjoy Richie's comments.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. That's so cool! could totally tell from the video that you are gently rocking back 'n forth with no wind in the middle of the ocean. Way to go more!

  70. Hey Abby!

    Just joined your page. I think you are so amazingly brave to be facing such an awesome adventure on your own. I hope you have heaps of fun. God bless,


  71. Lord God, watch over Abby, keep her from danger, befriend her in loneliness and bring her safely home to those that love her. Amen.

  72. Hi Abby
    Glad to see you have found the hair brush as I said before a hat disguises bad hair days.
    Good sailing and remain diligent to the weather and clipped on fast.
    Fair weather and safe sailing
    Evie from Bendigo

  73. hey abby u finally found ur hair brush good 4 u!!!!!!!!!!! 8)

  74. gommie- over the hill in VenturaMarch 6, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Hi Abby- Thanks for the video!! Great new pictures as well- I guess just enjoy the ease and the quiet while you can - store up lots of energy for future days ahead- the ocean must be looking SO BIG these days.....
    As always you are in my prayers-

  75. Abby, two questions:

    1. How do you spend your days so that you don't go stir-crazy with boredom and loneliness?

    2. How will you ever return home to a world where excitement and adventure for people your age is going to a party or the mall?

    You're never alone, you know. There are thousands of us thinking of you every day. You go, girl!

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. @45°31'... : OMG, this time, I'm not in you car. What do you mean? I feel it must me medieval, but I there's some piece missing in my data base.. Help!

  78. Good luck and keep safe! Amazed at what drive you have. Keep enjoying the adventure! :)

  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. I've gotta say, i thik it's amazing what you're doing!
    : ) Liz

  81. Abby do u have the book, "Adrift" aboard? The book is a great, sea-going, non-fiction written by a solo-sailing novelist about repair/improvising and survival at sea. An invaluable spirit-lifting aid and companion to have when/if the chips are ever down. Maybe someone can afford you a copy on one of your stops. God speed, girl!

  82. I just joined this blog, but I have been reading about you and your feat. I applaud you Abby. My pic on this profile is me and my family. This is my almost 7 mo son, and I can honestly say that if he asked to do what you are doing, I would have some reservations. I don't really know what my feelings would be. i can imagine, however, how concerned your family is, but I can also see how proud they must be. You are a courageous young lady, and I wish you the best. Please keep us posted on your progress and godspeed to you on your safe return home.

  83. Abby,
    My prayers are with you in this long journey. I admire you for what you are doing. It must be overwhelming being alone in such a vast ocean but at the same time exciting. Have a safe journey and safe return home. We'll be following your journey.