Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have some big news today. It's not necessarily good news, but the way I look at it, it's not bad either. I am going to be pulling into Cape Town for repairs thus ending my non-stop attempt. My whole team and I have been discussing whether or not I need to stop ever since my main auto pilot died. It's one thing to sail across an ocean with one well-working auto pilot, it's another to keep going with one that is not at all reliable.

It would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well. I'm about 10-14 days from Cape Town right now and though my auto pilot is working for now, we're all holding our breath and hoping it will last.

I gave it my best shot and made it almost half way around the world. I will definitely keep going, and whether or not I will make any more stops after this I don't know yet. I admit I was pretty upset at first, but there is no point in getting upset. Whats done is done and there is nothing I can do about it.

I know that some people will look on my trip as a failure because of this, and there really isn't anything that I can do about that. When you're surrounded by critics it can be hard to remember your own goals and expectations, you start to judge yourself by what other people are saying.

This is the experience of a life time. It's hard and sometimes down right terrifying, but I love it out here. My boat, my team, my sponsors, and you guys, my faithful followers are all great, and I am lucky to have you all on board. This whole trip came from a dream, a dream to sail around the world, and that is what I am doing - youngest or not, non-stop or stopping.



  1. Abby, failure? naw... Let me say you are one mature, smart woman... You know when to figure out the pros and cons of a situation and make the best decision for you! and that is what is important.. If anything you have shown everyone what it takes to do this... There is always tomorrow... You can attempt this goal again..

  2. that kind of decision shows maturity, good for safe

  3. Hey Abby

    You can still be the youngest person to sail around the world solo and now you get to stop off at some of the beautiful places you go past. Enjoy the experience to the full, we will always be watching your blog Cheers GT & Cyndy

  4. I think stopping in Cape Town is a wise choice. You will meet fantastic people and get to experience a different culture. It takes maturity to make such a big decision. You're doing a great job adapting to the changes necessary to complete your circumnavigation!

  5. "I sailed around the world when I was 16..." Whether or not you did it non-stop, who cares? One in a billion, two billion people can say that? You are amazing and awesome and SMART. Good on ya!

  6. Abby...You're an amazing and smart young lady. You have made a very smart decision to stop and get the auto pilot fixed. Try your best not to listen to the critics. I'm keeping you in my prayers and enjoy following your journey immensely.

  7. Hola, Abby~
    Didn't I say it? You simply shine the brightest when faced with a challenge! Good for you! And the critics can all go take a long walk off a short pier!

    After Cape Town, the world awaits! You're amazing and I am proud of you.

    Stay safe, Godspeed and I hope the AP and the weather holds good till you put in.

  8. Abby - the word failure should not be in your vocabulary. You have not failed at anything. You are a brave girl and have succeeded at things that most kids your age can't even imagine. Your last blog statement says it all - you are sailing around the world, youngest or not, stopping or not. What an accomplishment. WOW! God speed to Cape Town.

  9. I can't imagine how your name and this trip could possibly be paired with 'failure.' What it shows is that your sense of responsibility and maturity is even more impressive than many thought in the beginning. As a believer that the 'blips' in life happen for a reason, I am one of MANY eager to see just what awaits you before, in, and after Cape Town.


  10. You've made a very difficult but wise decision, I think, Abby. Putting aside part of a great and hard fought ambition when the risk meter starts pegging too far. And what a great sign of maturity. No one who knows you or has followed this blog will have anything but the highest regard and admiration for your courage and wisdom. God bless and be with you.
    P.S. You'll love Capetown!

  11. Don't worry about the critics. Fact is there are no real records anymore as it is. The fact also remains that you're the youngest to have rounded Cape Horn. And as "those" critics loved to insist way too late in the season. But you did it anyway. :-)

    Stock up with Biltong when in CT. Ostrich, Kudu, Springbok and beef. At least try it before frowning :-) you brother became addicted to it!

    Hope to get a detailed report on what exactly went wrong with two coursemaster autopilots. Too smallfor the power of this type boat, bad production batch that are only now seeing recals for the same thing etc.

  12. Abby,

    God gave you and your team wisdom. Doing the wise thing may sometimes appear week or even foolish to the world, but it always the right thing to do. I applaud your wisdom. Great decision!

    Jim in Texas

  13. Hey there - good on ya Abby. stopping in Cape Town and records or not, I'm following you with great interest for what you are doing and will continue to do so with fascination and best wishes.

    Take care,

    James Pillsbury
    Western Australia

  14. Hell I can't even get my kids off the couch so don't worry bout what other people say.

  15. Abby your on a trip of a life time don't worry about stoping. Life is tuff enough enjoy the rest of the trip and please keep updating. We out here still want to follow your trip. God bless!

  16. Definitely put in to Capetown. You have way too far to go without an autopilot. Hoping to go around the world without a major equipment failure is a BIG crap shoot. Enjoy the trip around and do it safely.

  17. You're still so brave and awesome for doing what you're doing. You have to stay safe and if stopping can ensure that, then so be it! No worries. Think of it this way-now you can make any stops to explore if you wanted to, and won't feel guilty.

  18. What a are going with the flow and making wise choices along the way. i have enjoyed following your journey, and sending you positive thoughts. i continue to follow you, and support you on your journey. Lynn

  19. Abby,
    Wow, the incredible responsibility that you have shown yet again. I agree with the person that said you can say "I sailed around the world". When I was about 20 I fell out of a canoe, and NEVER got back in one. I could have never had the courage or maturity to do what you are doing. This decision shows your strength and I am very very proud of you for making what I am sure was a tough decision. IF anyone sees this as a failure - lets see - I don't see them attempting what you are doing - just sitting back in their easy chair criticizing your efforts. You have tremendous faith and a family that is behind you 110%. I can't stop saying how proud I am of you for making this decision. I look at it - not as a failure, but as a giant leap of faith and showing a sense of responsibility that is beyond anything I have ever shown! You always have said that safety comes first! Thank you for making this decision - Kay - Ohio

  20. I've been following you since day 1. Your maturity and good decision making skills amaze me.

  21. Don't listen to the critics! What you're doing is amazing, whether you make a stop to two or not!

  22. in no way are you a failure you have acomplished something that only a few would even try you have given it you all and are not resopsible for the problem that has made you stop i for one would not like to see you put yourself in harms way are one brave and responsible young lady that all your family and friend can and are very proud of you i wish you all the best in your future ...john

  23. You are definitely NOT a failure! You are brave and amazing, and your attitude in accepting unexpected challenges is awesome.

    God bless & stay safe!

  24. Dear Abby
    Chin Up
    You have already achieved so much and have shown yourself to be determined, resourceful and focused. You are also young, and no doubt this experience will prove wisedom for your future endeavours.

    Well done Abby, you have made a most mature decision, I salute you.

    Abigail Sunderland, God Bless
    and best wishes from Ireland
    I look forward to your next adventure
    johnnaughton x

  25. Good going Abby. You've made a wise choice. Get the autopilots fixed and go on your journey.Go Abby!

  26. Dear Abby
    What you have done is fabulous! You are a winner in my book. Having done alot of blue water sailing and having had some depression experience........I could tell from your recent posting you were in a bad place. You, Capt. Abby made the right call and now deserve some pampering and some future planning. Go with the wind forever!
    GOD BLESS! A Real Believer

  27. Abby,

    It's evident to me that you're learning at a much earlier age than me that there are always critics. The more successful you are, the more critics you have. So these critics are really just a sign of your huge success.

    It's a little bit of a joke to me that you're there sailing around the world at your age while people sitting comfortably in their living room are passing judgement on whether or not you make stops. I am willing to bet that all those critics put together couldn't accomplish 10% of what you're accomplishing.

    Keep at it and keep accumulating critics. Wear the criticisms as a badge of courage as you complete this and future challenges. My 2 year old daughter is also named Abby, and I can't wait until she's old enough so I can tell her your story.


  28. Abby - I am enjoying your blog and your adventures. You have just made a mature and responsible decision. Enjoy the rest of your adventure and keep posting.

  29. Well Ms Abby so be it. Remember that in life, things happen for a reason. Sometimes we don't see the reason for months or even years but it is as it is.

    You are doing great just keep at it, all the way home, regardless of how many stops. You will do just fine.

    best always.

    Al P

  30. Sorry to hear that, Abby. It's definitely a disappointment, but far better that you make intelligent, safe choices for yourself than foolishly pursue the non-stop goal.

    Sure there will be critics, but anyone who criticizes you for this is not worth listening to. Enjoy your stop! I have thought while reading this that it would be difficult to avoid stopping in all of the wonderful places that are so close to hand. :)

  31. Hi Abby!
    A circumnavigation with stops is also a circumnavigation. The youngest so far (for one more week), Mike Perham did several stops, even if he planned to go non-stop.

    You are really tough and should be given full credit to have gone halfway around the world non-stop in a race boat with severe equipment trouble.

    Don't care so much what other people say. It is your adventure, not theirs. I will read your blog all the way to California.

    And buy two new cameras, one used and one stored watertight as spare...

    Ben, Sweden

  32. Abby, while it may not be your initial goal, what kind of adventure would it be without some trials? Making wise decisions is never a bad thing, and you're still making wonderful memories!

    Keep up the great work, I'm enjoying journeying with you via the blog.

  33. Abby, while it may not be your initial goal, what kind of adventure would it be without some trials? Making wise decisions is never a bad thing, and you're still making wonderful memories!

    Keep up the great work, I'm enjoying journeying with you via the blog.

  34. Hi Abby, It is in no way failure you are still sailing on after Cape Town and you will still be the youngest to sail around the world and think about this you will get to take a long hot shower and when your done with that you can take another long hot shower and the different cultures and maybe get to see some of your family. I do believe that you and your team are making by far the absolute BEST decision available to you and you get your feet back on Terra Firma rather than sailing over her. Totally forget what any of those naysayers have to talk about they are not doing what you are and that in of itself is Incredible. Stay Safe and when up on deck Tethered...38'43"N/122'67"W

  35. It's cooler to stop a few places anyway. Especially if you're only going for an age record instead of a speed record.

  36. Abby you didn't fail!!! A piece of equipment did!! Now just rename this adventure .... Abby and Wild Eyes Visit the World and finish your trip on your own terms!! Either way......YOU WIN!! Keep sailing Abby!!

  37. Hi Abby.
    I smiled and felt like a proud mama when i read your blog. So wise and mature, putting safety first. You are making your dream a reality and that is all that matters. A quick stop in Cape town and you will still make it as the youngest to sail solo around the world, unassisted, who cares, you are doing it and thats all that matters. I am sure Eric Bjerring and the folks at Wiltel Marine Capetown will take good care of you. Hope Dad will fly out to see you and mom will send a little TLC in a box
    Stay Safe. We are all still in awe of you.

    Stay safe

  38. Hey Abby!

    Failure? Nothing of the kind! The auto-pilot gave out and that's that. As 'Ptolemy' said above, at the end of the day who cares about the non-stop part of the challenge? Yeah, it was a tough decision to make, but I'm just glad you can get some sleep once in a while after Cape Town. ;) Go sail the globe, girl, and show us all that dreams and reality can coexist!

    Sunny skies and fair winds to you! This Ventura native is cheering you all the way.

  39. Dear Abby,

    I have been watching your progress with great interest and admiration. Having raced around the world on a fully crewed yacht, gives me a great appreciation of the challenges you have to face by yourself every hour of every day. You have already achieved much more than than the ordinary individual ever dreams of, and your decision to repair your auto pilot at Cape Town shows maturity way beyond your years. Congratulations on all you have achieved.
    J.D. in Oz

  40. Hey Abby - Once again - You're an amazing young lady. This whole adventure has been such an incredible journey for us siting back reading it from the internet. It breaks our hearts every time you tell us of some difficulties along the way, yet so proud of how well you have been solving them. Now you've made the choice to make a pit stop - I'm so thrilled you will be able to fix your auto pilot and be able continue on your journey. I want to see those little google map points reach all the way around the world :O)

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!

    Take Care,
    Donna Haines
    Trenton, Ontario Canada

  41. What??? No comments or pearls of wisdom from Grant!!

  42. Hi Abby,

    My folks circumnavigated the world in a custom-built Hans Christian 41' ... it took a decade. No one I know has ever disqualified their accomplishment because they made many (many!) stops along the way. The fact that they fulfilled a lifelong dream and came back home to us is all that matters.

    What you're doing is spectacular, and you are terrific; now pull into Cape Town and effect those repairs so you, too, can fulfill your dream and then return safely to your loved ones.

    Good luck and stay safe!

  43. Abbey,

    What failure? The only failure here were two autopilots. You are already a towering success. Here, sail this boat to Cape Town, SA and be back in six months. . .uh, all by yourself. Sleep when you can. Take your own measure of yourself, Abbey. Your yardstick is a lot longer than most.

    Smart decision.

    Nick Mueller
    Woodbridge, VA

    It takes great courage to make such a difficult decision, and you have shown you have what it takes. Enjoy your trip and f*** the critics!
    Go Abby

  45. When one door closes, another opens. Now you can complete your circumnavigation without needing to return to Cabo San Lucas.

    A wise decision to stop for repairs; there was no offical record to be had, and you can still be the youngest circumnavigator.

    Neil, Qld Australia.

  46. Any chance of having someone from Capetown bring you two new working autopilots so you don't have to stop? Or maybe a US military plane drop you one? Hate to see you lose your dream. We are with you anyway you have to go.

    Billy in Mississippi

  47. Discretion is the better part of valor, Abby. You can't control the failure of electronics, and you've made a wise and mature decision to stop for repairs. You're an inspiration to all of us who are following you on your journey. Thanks for giving us something to look forward to every day. God bless you.

  48. Sweetheart, when I was your age I don't think I'd even taken a long road trip!! We all love you so much and you're doing SO much more than any of us even DREAM of... You keep going and dreaming. You'll ALWAYS be a sucess!

  49. Abby,
    With only 2 weeks to go Jessica's boat just had its 6th knockdown.It's never over till it's over. Your both out there taking huge risks but showing amazing courage. I wish youboth well.

  50. good call, the sea is no place for bad decisions. The southern ocean is not a place to venture with gear you can't trust.

  51. Abby,
    You've already accomplished more than most people do in life time. Life is like a blank book in which you write a page every day. Your's is already more interesting than most.

    Carl, USA

  52. Abby:
    I know that this was a very difficult decision to make. I know that it means a little piece of the dream is lost. But it also means that a new beginning with a healthy boat and a new dream. I have great faith that you evaluated everything and that you made the correct decision. The naysayers are the very ones that never dreamed of what you are actually doing, they also have many regrets about how they lived the life that they have, and they see everything as a problem. You had a dream and you lived the dream up to the point where it because a risky trip, you then evaluated and corrected course.

    I salute your attempt and you are a success. My prayers are with you.

    GO GIRL, GO, John R Willis

  53. Discretion is the better part of valor. Bravo Zulu!

  54. is going to look on your trip as a failure. Strike that word forever from your lips. At 16, nearly everyone is still living with mom & dad and getting their first taste of driving a car and getting away from home usually at the most a few hundred miles. Look at you, alone on a boat nearly at the antipodal point from where you started. Youngest around with stops is still very impressive and an accomplishment you'll be proud of for the rest of your life. You and your team gave it the best shot but the auto pilots were always the weak link and sometimes the weakest link decides to break. I remember they were both quickly rewired after the sea trial off of MDR to get you going because you were already behind schedule. Then the Cabo stop added a non-wanted week to your trip. (Hey, Abby, you won't have to pull into Cabo now on the home stretch; just head straight for MDR.) And now you'll have to mull over the extra week at Cape Town and see where you are weather-wise for the next potentially dangerous leg before heading North into the Pacific.

    Still big decisions ahead for you. You are a brave wonderful girl, doing what you love and it's all going to work out.

  55. Dearest Abby,

    I got very emotional FOR YOU when I read your entry today BUT given what has been transpiring this tough decision is the right decision when it comes to your safety. Your "dream to sail around the world" is alive and I know we will all be here to support you whatever you decide to do.

    I will NEVER view your fantastic adventure as a failure....I can't say enough good things about what a super person and sailor you are.

    My thoughts tonight are with you and your team and Marianne and Laurence....everyone who has contributed to your SUCCESS so far...AND I wish you all continued SUCCESS "around the world".

    Thanks again for the opportunity to be onboard Abs. I am wishing you safe sailing to Cape Town.

    We love you Abby,
    john, Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

  56. Never sticking your neck out is failing to live life to the fullest.

  57. Abby, this is definitely not a failure! Your decision to stop is a direct reflection on your maturity and love for life. I undertook a trip of my own only on a much smaller scale. Too make a very long story short, I was going to backpack, alone, from point A to point B for about 8 days. Because I was going alone I took a satellite tracker with me so that others would know where to find me and so I could signal for help. One rule of backpacking is never go alone - that tracker was my second person! Anyway, I lost the tracker shortly after my start and had to make a tough decision just as you just did. I had been planning the trip for a year and the temptation to continue anyway was HUGE! I ended up not doing the full trip, but still stayed out in the wilderness for the full 8 days. I just stayed in one area and enjoyed myself! Although I did not finish my goal I still had the time of my life!

    Your decision is prudent and wise. Don't listen to the nay-sayers and just enjoy yourself! The pressure is off now - it'll be that much more fun!

  58. You have done something very remarkable - don't ever let anyone discount what you have done or make you feel inferior for any reason. There are so many people that are so very proud of you and those are the ones that matter, as well as how you feel about yourself.
    Congratulations on making it as far as you have, in my eyes you are a winner and always will be!

    Beverly in Oklahoma

  59. Hi Abby

    I am glad you are not quiting but instead continuing to do the journey. It is remarkable that you have gotten this far on your own and able to even make your own repairs despite the frustration you have had to put up with. But that is the nature of the world to test our resolve and I am glad you are strong enough to carry on. Keep up the good spirits Abby. It is a great thing you do and not many can say they are able to do it. So yes complete the journey and fullfill your dream. That is what is important. Not what everyone else says.


  60. Actually you must return to Cabo. Any circumnavigation dictates starting and stopping at the same port, regardless non-stop, unassisted, solo or not. You have to complete the great circle. Not leave it open :-)

  61. Hey Abby . . . no way it is a failure! So Jess gets youngest around non-stop . . . you can still be youngest around. But guess what? The more important thing is your safety and that of Wild Eyes. You are having the experience of a lifetime . . . one many, perhaps most of us, will never get a chance to have. The memories of this trip will stick with you the rest of your life and they will be fond memories.

    We all love ya grrrl and we want you to be safe . . . and we want you to have the time of your life. We're with you however you do it. Records are for books . . . experiences like this are for smart, realistic, brave, young women like you.

    Hang in there grrrl! Lotsa love and positive vibes winging your way through cyberspace to ya!

    ~ Cynthia (Half Moon Bay, California USA)

    P.s. to any critics out there . . . you go do what Abby has done so far and then just maybe you'll have earned the right to be a critic.

  62. Abbey, stopping in no way dimminishes your accomplishment. Being able to complete such a journey at all is beyond the scope and ability of most sailors. Making a stop to repair equipment is the responsible way to continue the dream. It is the journey and what you learn about yourself and world around you that is important. Records are nice but they don't mean that much in the long run. Cheers and best wishes. John

    John Harman
    Kingston ON Canada

  63. Oh and you can get some more reading material or fix the kindle too! *laugh*

    ~ Cynthia (Half Moon Bay, California USA)

  64. Abby...your journey won't be any less interesting because you've stopped for repairs. You are sailing around the world! Enjoy the matter how long it takes, how many times you stop. You're amazing.

  65. Abby,

    How anyone could call your trip a failure is beyond me. What an accomplishment already, and for those of us fortunate enough to have followed your voyage (and will continue to by the way!) we, I, stand in awe of the courage, planning and determination have been inspiring! I remember when I was 17 and thought driving from southwest Ohio to Lexington Kentucky was an adventure!! lol :) I am quite certain your family and team are extremely proud of your accomplishment to date and that they are still looking for the day that your journey is complete as you and Wild Eyes drift back into your slip safely home.

    Keep your powder dry,

  66. Bad luck Abby, but your safety is the most important thing. You have already achieved more than most people including me with 30 years of sailing behind me. You are young enough to have another try.

  67. Hey Abby.. Sounds like a good, prudent decision, to me. I've been worried about that pilot right along. It seemed like quite a gamble, even tho you were putting on the happy face. So, I'm proud of you. Besides, I'm assuming you're only stopping in Cape Town for repairs and then continuing on. Right? So, you still will sail around the world. And, additionally, get to meet and greet some new people and their culture. Doesn't sound nor seem like any failure to me. Just keep on keeping on.. as someone once sang.
    I'll be staying with you, so "let's go"!
    39°50’N, 86°9’W

  68. I think you have made the correct decision
    though it must be heartbreaking. It's hard
    enough to repair things on dry land much
    less in the middle of the South Atlantic
    Ocean but you need your instruments and
    mechanicals to be working properly. Wherever
    you are on the ocean please continue to be
    very careful and be safe. Have someone in
    your group read the book "No Shortcuts To
    The Top" by Ed Viesturs about sailing away
    from conditions that are intuitively not
    safe. I been very impressed so far about
    how technology has changed the way we
    interact. I continually zoom in on those
    mid-ocean islands that you pass and look
    them up in Wikipedia.

  69. That's just responsible seamanship - a credit to you and your team, and certainly not a failure. Get fixed up and get going again ... who knows - you may decide to do a non-stop using Cape Town as your start-finish ;-)

  70. Your trip is the furthest thing from a failure. Pardon me, but SCREW your critics! Bravissimo girl!

    With any luck you will complete your solo circumnavigation when your auto-pilot is fixed, and still be one of a very few to do that. You will be a member of a elite club one way or another. You have chosen the most mature and intelligent solution.
    I look forward to following you onward after your repairs are completed.
    You Go Girl!

  72. Abby, you are an incredibly brave and sensible young woman; I will follow your journey all the way. I am an Aussie sailor and (although a little biased at the moment) the Southern Ocean is no place to be in June/July at all, let alone with dodgy self steering.

    I would be more critical of you and your team if you continued your journey as is.

    Don't listen to the critics, they are the one's sitting on their arse watching shit on TV instead of getting out there. Stay focused and follow your dreams. Go get'em girl.

  73. Well, I can see how you might be disappointed. However, you don't seem disillusioned. Doing the prudent thing is usually tough but trust me you won't regret it. It's heartening to hear that you'll continue and have in mind that you may have to stop again. After all, you are only sixteen and have all the opportunities imaginable in front of you. Good luck over the next couple of weeks getting to Cape Town and, of course, for the voyage beyond. Remember there are many of us old salts still pulling for you!

  74. Abby. Don't let this get you down. Continue on with your dream. You are the only person who can say if you did your best!

  75. Way to go, Abby! It would be dumb to needlessly put yourself at risk just to win a "trophy", and you are obviously smart. Besides, you have the real prize in the adventure itself, which you already know. I'm pretty sure none of us following your adventure gives a darn about the "non-stop" part--it's too much fun reading about the trip! And now it'll be that much more fun, because we will never know for sure what your next move will be--it'll be up to you (well, and Mother Nature too). Relax and enjoy yourself!

  76. You can have a good rest in Capetown. Get some real food and figure out whether or not you need to go any further with this crazy voyage!

  77. It's been fun reading about your journey. Thank you for sharing. Best of luck in your future voyages!

  78. It's equipment failure and definitely not a personal one. Your strength of character shines through. Vipafrom Thailand

  79. Very wise and smart decision... Good team work..Sailing should be fun and the equipment should be in tip top condition..
    It is all about what you prove for yourself and not what the world thinks..
    God Bless

  80. Abby, you are making adult decisions that most adults will never be able to undertake. There's no criticism here; always take the safe course of action. You are in an adventure only a handful of youths will ever undertake.

  81. Hi Abby,
    Thanks for sharing your news. Obviously, you (and Team) know what you are doing and have therefore made the right decision. We are so excited that you are going to continue with your circumnavigation, and we are looking forward to reading more of your postings about this incredible adventure!
    God Bless!
    Keith and Kathy Wargo, Lynchburg VA

  82. Barbara in MelbourneApril 24, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Hi Abby,
    Never let the critique of others impact upon your thoughts & dreams - things might not be how you dreamed them BUT no-ways are you a failure ... indeed,it's time you replace that failure word with a much nicer sounding "f" word like: FANTABULOUS!!

    How fortunate to have the option to stop at the Cape - a hot shower, a good sleep AND then, once the boat repairs are done make sure the powers that be allow you some time to hop aboard the cable car that takes one to the top of Table Mountain - FANTASTIC VIEWS will allow you to look far into the bay, sit a while & reflect on all you've achieved, dream some more dreams! Beg a drive out to Cape Agulhas & stand at Africa's most southern tip ... make sure to take a photo ... many have sailed the oceans BUT few have got the opportunity to view the point from both land & sea?

    So, with just 10days to go before you enjoy your first visit to the Cape you can start smiling. You're being afforded the luxury of stopping off in a part of the world where the name says it all.

    I wish you & Wild Eyes good fortune in the CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

  83. Abby, As a father of a twenty year old girl that climbs very tall mountains who has had to make similar decisions it is with emmense relef to hear of your very difficult desicion. This shows a maturity that some "grown ups" don't always show. It is far better to be on the dock wishing you were out in the ocean than being out in the ocean wishing you were on the dock!!
    Good luck with your repairs and the very best for you on the rest of your journey. Please continue to be safe!!

    A Father in Denver

  84. Abby, I sense your deep disappointment that the goal of around the world non-stop is not going to be achieved, but think, there are many silver linings to this cloud. For a start, you get to stop in the very welcoming city of Cape Town. Dilip Donde and Jeanne Socrates both stopped for repairs there and enjoyed themselves immensely. Also, there is no pressure now for you to stick to the original route. If you wanted to head north of Australia, members of your team could meet you at various points, as they did with Zac, and give you moral support. And when you do arrive home, you'll still be one up on Zac, having the achievement of YOUNGEST around Cape Horn. I think you will be far more relaxed from now on, knowing the decision has been made, and you can start to REALLY enjoy this voyage. Good luck, Abby.
    Jules from Gold Coast Australia

  85. One stop, two stop, three stop..four... sounds like a dance :-) All nonsense! WSSRC is an old boys club for profit. Yes, they register *speed* records. The "other" which included youngest circumnavigations, was just that, an "other" which cost a lot of money at the time to "get into their books". Likewise, Guiness Book of World Records. Another profiteer and now also no longer recording for their books. All you get is a nice shiny plaque to hang on your wall. Big deal :-) Then you have the Joshua Slocum Society a non-profit who has their own record list. Includes, legless, armless, right handed, left handed, Westward, Eastward, Upside down, Right sideup, one stop, two stop, three stop or more :-) Take you pick, at the end of the day nothing more than a cheap glossy not even embossed certificate to hang on your wall.

    What I find is the awesomest and super cool is the Wiki entry. Under Cape Horn:

    "On March 31st, 2010, Abby Sunderland became the youngest person to single-handedly sail around Cape-Horn at the age of 16 in her attempt to circumnavigate the globe."

    That to me is cooler for as long as it lasts, to have your name included in the Cape Horn entry than the entire going around non-stop. After all it's the pinnacle achievement of sailing as it is considered the Everest of it all. Doesn't matter if on a circumnavigation or not. To solo around the almight Horn and make it is a job well done. Do you know how many, crewed solo or otherwise do not. LOTS!


    Now go and put on your bikini and hit Clifton 4. It's still beach weather there and I'm pretty damn sure you'll be the hit of the town when you glide on in.

  86. Critics? Blah Blah Blah who gives a crap about the critics. It takes no effort to criticize somebody.
    But what you are doing is a whole other deal.

    I have followed all the young sailors blogs over the last couple of years and I still have a hard time comprehending the magnitude of what you Abby are doing. To think that you are the youngest around the horn ever and probably will be the youngest around the world solo ever is insane!

    EVER! Think about that, EVER!!! not just counting the billions in the world today (about 6.8) but EVER. The number is well over 100 billion.

    Failure? Are you kidding me?

    That's it, I've got to go do something to take my mind off of this. It's just too mind boggling to begin to understand how amazing you are.

  87. Abby,
    Don't listen to anyone who says you are a failure - you have done beyond 99% of the population and your trip is what it is. I congratulate you on having the wisdom to stop and not press on in the face of the difficulties you are having with equipment. You are doing awesome Abby, you hang in there and hold your head up high.

  88. Dear Abby

    Cape Town will embrace you --- you will be well looked after in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Royal Cape Yacht Club will rally round you.

    You have done YOUR best!

    Stay safe and focused for the rest of your trip and I pray you get enough rest.

    Fay, from the Gold Coast

  89. Dear Abby.Smart girl.When you stop to get the auto fixed restock,shower,have a nice meal,all that.As far as stopping you are the captain not the critics.You don't have to answer to anyone.Remember you have millions of fan's.Joshua.

  90. Abby, Youngest solo around Cape Horn on an Open 40......WOW. You Rock! The record would have been forgotten shortly, it's your experience and the memories that are the true prize. Now please slooooooow down when you get into Cape Town, eat some cheeseburgers, sleep in a warm bed, meet some interesting people, and have some laughs with some other teen sailors. Please don't rush back out into a passage to Australia with winter chasing you. Wait for the right time of the year to leave SA, and hop from one interesting place to another, and enjoy every moment. The middle of the ocean is empty and lonely. It's the places you stop and the people you meet that make sailing around the world worthwhile. Sail safe.

  91. Abby, you are not a failure. You have done something very few people will ever do. I admire you so much and hope my little girl will be as strong and determined as you. So you have to stop -- Cape Town is not a bad place to stop. You are amazing, strong, and still completing your adventure. You go girl!

    Jennifer from Texas

  92. Abby, you did the best you could. Stick with your
    dream. No reason to be upset or discouraged. You have an unique chance to do something most people
    could not ( or not even want to ) do!! Go for it!

  93. Hey Abby, we've got the whole Norfolk Naval Sailing Association following you, and no one has the right to dare question the captain of a vessel at sea making a decision for the safety of life and property. Only wimps "Monday morning quarterback" Heads Up and Sail ROCK!!!!

  94. No no! There is no failure in anything you have done. You had an equipment failure and you and your team made the correct decision to stop for repairs. Don't ever feel you failed any part of the journey. You can continue after the repairs in Cape Town and we'll all be with you all the way around the world. I've never been prouder of you than now Abby. Sail safe girl. Love from Florida

  95. LIke everyone else Abby, I am very proud of you and you don't need to hang your head. You are doing things that 99% of sailers only dream about. You really are living your dream and you have a lot of folks praying for you and following you on your journey. Just because you have to go to Cape Town -- which IS the right thing to do -- only gives you another really cool opportunity. We are all still going to follow you and stay with you until you get home. Way to go Girl! Grace and peace to you, your family and your Team

  96. I think stopping is mature of you. Plus, you've still accomplished more at such a young age than most of the people who read this blog have done in our entire lives. Myself included. Keep going!

  97. Failure? Naw. Now you can be sucessful in really enjoying your trip.

  98. So you're stopping, no big deal. You're still doing something most of us can only ever dream about!!! Enjoy the stopover and enjoy your dream!
    Hervey Bay

  99. Dear Abby, To think you have sailed half-way around the world while troubleshooting your auto-pilot!
    Incredible! Consider Capetown your half-way reward and how fortuitous that it is there!
    I look forward to tracking your journey everyday...It is a highlight of my day! Now a little poetry in case you aren't already familiar with this classic!
    Sea Fever
    I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and
    the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

    And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white
    sail's shaking,
    And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the
    running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the
    sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy
    To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's
    like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's

    John Masefield

  100. Sailing around the world is about as far from failure as a person can get at any age, let alone yours. When I was your age I was so uninspired I barely made it around the block. You are amazing :o) and the rest of your trip will be amazing too.

  101. Abby, this is what it is all about:
    "This whole trip came from a dream, a dream to sail around the world, and that is what I am doing". Keep up the great work, and just keep focus on the dream, you will succeed.

  102. Hey, tough luck,just remember that it was not you but your gear that let you down (typical electrics-why can't they make them reliable!). You've done a great job getting this far & now you can pull up at a lovely pacific atoll if you like!!.
    Cheers & best luck.

  103. Abby,

    Again sorry to hear of all the troubles.

    Smart move on you and your team to stop at Cape Town for repairs.

    Been praying for you and you team; and this is the right answer.

    All the best.

  104. My guess is that you made this trip for find out something about yourself or to confirm what you already knew. Whether or not you stop is of little consequence. What you're learning is the value of the journey. Don't second guess yourself based on what someone else expects. Just try to live up to your own expectations - that's a big enough job. We're still all out here, reading your notes and living vicariously through you. Thank you for that. You are the closest I will ever get to that type of adventure. Rock on, babe.

  105. Whāia e koe i te kahurangi; Ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei.
    Seek the treasure you value most dearly; if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain. -- Maori proverb
    All the best for the rest of your amazing journey, Abby. Kia Kaha!
    Jan, Waitara, Aotearoa-NZ

  106. Abby, Failure only comes to those who do not try! Don't think of this as a setback, but rather as another adventure within your big adventure. Gus

  107. Amazing Abby Sunderland, we've been following your trip and praying for you here in Knoxville, Tennessee, and thinking about you and your decision just reaffirms that you're the most mature, responsible person of your age that we've ever heard of. What you've done is incredible. What you're doing is incredible. What you're going to do is incredible. Good decision. Keep on being amazing.

  108. When I was flying for a living, there was a saying, "There are old pilots and bold pilots but few if any old, bold pilots". It is often the case in life that the difficult course is the right one to steer. Your maturity in accepting the recommendation of your team, while difficult I'm sure, is most commendable and absolutely the correct thing to do. The Southern Ocean is no place to be without backup or equipment that is not 100%. Sail safe! Jack - St. Pete, FL

  109. Abby, as an old U.S. Navy veteran, I thought I would pass this on to you. It is known as the Navy hymn. I'm sure you have heard it, or heard of it. I believe it to be one of the most beautiful hymns ever written. Gus

    Eternal Father, Strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    O hear us when we cry to thee,
    for those in peril on the sea.

    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at Thy word,
    Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
    and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
    Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Trinity of love and power!
    Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
    From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
    Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
    Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
    Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

  110. I was going to post some Rah! Rah! Atta girl! comments but everything has been said. You sure have a lot of people pulling for you no matter what!

  111. Failure? I don't see any failure! You're facing circumstances that would put any prudent mariner into port for repairs. It's a smart move and even with a stop you're still making a trip of your life so far. You're doing lot's of learning and growing from the experience as any one would.

    Not a failure by far!

  112. I'd be more irritated than disappointed. After all that and 2 x POS product failed was the only reason. :-(

  113. Good for you for making the right (and very hard) decision. You definitely don't want to be asking the "what if" question about the navigator. Best to ensure a safe voyage.

    Sounds like you've learned a lot about your auto- pilot.

  114. PS: Abby, my husband and I hand steered (after our autohelm packed in) for more than two weeks across the Pacific to the Marquesas and believe me it was NOT fun, utterly exhausting and there were TWO of us! You are definitely doing the right thing. Good for you girl!
    Fay, from the Gold Coast

  115. Abby:

    Skeptic here, so please take special note of my words...

    You are most definitely NOT a failure. You ARE a success. You will CONTINUE TO BE a success. Your journey WILL continue...and now it will continue unencumbered by a wind driven desire to be the youngest, or the fastest, or unassisted, or it can progress on the steady breeze of your simple joy in being out on the ocean, by yourself, in a vessel captained with only your dreams and the vastness of possibility before you.

    I actually think that you may discover in retrospect, that the journey became a bit more fun and a bit more soul awakening once you were no longer sailing an agenda driven route around the world. And let us not forget young lady, that you are still sailing around the world on your own at the tender age of 16...NO SMALL FEAT in that by anyone's estimation!

    I may still be a skeptic in terms of your journey's launch and the way in which it was handled, but you are by no means a failure. Not even to this skeptic's way of thinking, could such a claim be made.

    Sail strong, young lady!

  116. Hi Abby,

    How anyone could consider you decision to stop for repairs a failure is beyond me!!. You have my utmost respect for the journey you have undertaken so far. As has been pointed out by other bloggers you now have the opportunity to make this adventure whatever you want it to be. Just remember you will have quite a weight to drag along behind you as all your blog family will be there every part of the journey with you.

    Thank you Abby for allowing us all to share this adventure with you.

    Enjoy your time in Cape Town. I've never been but have heard from friends who have, that it is a truly beautiful city.

    Praying for you.

    Mary from Sydney.

  117. No, no Abby, being a failure would have been giving up at Cabo, or not finishing after stopping at Cape Town. Just do it and ignore what anyone thinks.

  118. Hi Abby, you are NOT a failure, your equipment is. I hope that you have a warranty or guarantee on that thing and get your money back. You are amazing and incredible and to make such a decision shows maturity way beyond your years. If anyone critises you, tell them to get a life. Have a great time in South Africa and enjoy the rest of your trip. If you keep the blog going I will be delighted to follow you until you return home. Thank you for sharing three months of your precious life with us. Regards, Jeanp, Australia.

  119. Hope all goes well in Cape Town :D I hear it's beautiful, enjoy!

    This whole trip is incredible. I'm 17 and everytime I read your blog I find it hard to believe you're the younger one. Haha you're doing so well; keep it up. The fact that you have the maturity to stop when needed makes this trip all the more successful.

    Cheers from Ohio. :]

  120. Hi Abby

    Congrats on making the tough decision. A very sensible decision too. You said "When you're surrounded by critics it can be hard to remember your own goals and expectations, you start to judge yourself by what other people are saying". In some ways that is true Abby. But this can be one of the most important learning experiences in your life. Often in life when people criticise you for doing something in a particular way they are actually saying more about themselves (ie their own fears or prejudices or biases or whatever) than about you - they may be just having a bad hair day! What you can do, if you wish, is to listen to people who are being negative or trying to be constructive with their criticism, reflect on their feedback and then decide whether you want to do anything about that feedback. In other words, you stay in control, feel empowered and stay focused on your dreams, goals and expectations (allowing some slight changes to your expectations and plans only if you decide to make those changes).

    Your faithful supporters will hope you continue on your journey and enjoy your regular blogs. Many of us will now be interested to hear what you think of the one or more places you stop on the way. If you decide to pull in to a port around Australia you will find that you will be most welcome and we will show you some good Aussie spirit. Drop into Sydney Harbour instead of sailing south of New Zealand and call into Toronga Zoo and meet the miracle birth elephant. Maybe catch up with Jessica in sunny Queensland (actually it has been a wet Queensland this year).

    Take care young lady and enjoy the rest of your journey. I for one definitely hope you can sail on and achieve your most important dream of sailing solo around the world at such a very young age.

    You are a very, very special young lady Ms Sunderland!


  121. Equipment failure and your age/maturity level are two very different things. Pulling in to make re[airs should show all the critics that they are wrong about you being mature enough to make this journey. Once you have all your equipment fixed, you still have half a world to sail to get home.

    It's very sad that you are not going to accomplish that which you set out to do, but that doesn't take anything away from all the you have accomplished.

    Please continue to keep us up to date on the remainder of your journey.

    - Doug

  122. Hi Abby
    Now that the non stop has been taken out of your goals.

    You can now stop and experience some of the places you would only have past.

    As a sailor you could stop at Sydney arguably tha sailing capital of the world.

    Where you will be treated as a hero.

    I am sure Jessica Watson and a big proportion of all the sailing comunity of Australia will be there to meet you.

    See you in Sydney


  123. The only failure is in not trying.

    South Texas is proud of you and your efforts, and proud to be following you as you follow your dreams.

    Wise decision to get it fixed. Stay safe.

  124. Just think Abby now you can enjoy the rest of the trip. I'm a 60 year old grandfather and would love to be 16 again and try what you are doing. Relax and enjoy the moment. The memories you are creating now will be with you forever!!

  125. My apologies if this was already inferred.....but this is a blessing in disguise! Now you get to "smell the roses!" I suggest you stop a few more places and experience the world a bit. You won't regret it! Up until now, I was worried about you. Now I'm not. Good luck and what an achievement this will be.


  126. I don't think you failed. Hope the last half of your trip around the world is beautiful :). Critics...argh! Don't listen to them. You are doing great.

  127. Good thinking, it is not a good idea to take any unnecessary risks. Stop in sydney it is a great city.

  128. Very good surely would not want the auto pilot giving out in the middle of the south pacific.
    Peter from New Hampshire

  129. "look at this as a failure"? There must be some pretty shallow "supporters" on your blog. You are amazing, resilient, resourceful, smart, and above all, looking out for your own best interests. It seems to me that auto-pilots on boats seem to be the weak link. Any inventors or innovators out there who want a challenge? Build one that works, period, like aircraft AP works, and you'd be rich!

    Keep going, Abby! And look at the unplanned stop as a way to expand your horizons. South Africa is beautiful, and its people are awesome!

    Tray M.

  130. Not a failure, just a readjustment of priorities and goals. Safety is the highest priority and always has been whether it was talked about or not. The secondary goal was to be able to do it non-stop. You didn't fail, you did what all prudent people would do, simply re-evaluated your secondary goal and decided it was not to be reached. Sailing around the world alone and happy... some of us wish we could make something like that happen. Good for you. Please don't stop updating us on your journey. We're in this with you til the end.

  131. Abey this is absolutley the right thing to do and only further shows what a mature sailor you are. That was a hard decision to make but it is the right one. Going around the world at 16 with or without stops is just mind just keep listening to yourself.

  132. Abby-
    Congratulations on being smart and brave enough to change your plans- you're still having the adventure of a lifetime! I hope you keep this site (and Wild Eyes) going on beyond Capetown- we're all proud of you & we'll all stay tuned. Allow yourself to enjoy the relief of making the right choice and accepting the new plans. Well done. Sail safe, and remember to have fun!!
    Newport, RI

  133. You are not a failure! Don't even think such thoughts. I would never have even wanted to attempt what you are doing at 16. You are amazing and very brave. So what, you have to pull into Cape Town. You are wise and mature to know this is what you must do. Life is so short. Don't be to hard on yourself. Enjoy this time and realize in so many ways, you have accomplished what you have set out to do.

  134. Failure? That word never came to my mind. Amazing explorer? Yes. Incredible adventurer? Yup. Intelligent, brave, confident, mature sailor? Check.

    Stay safe. Do the right thing. Get your equipment fixed. You have a couple more oceans to cross.

    La Canada, CA

  135. Greg From New Hampshire.

    Your are on an amazing adventure that shape the rest of your life. Enjoy!!!!

    good sailing

  136. Absolutely, in no way is your voyage a failure! Don't even think about anybody thinking you failed. Those people don't count.

    I agree with your decision wholeheartedly, Abby. Your safety is job #1, and sailing on with only one auto pilot that is unreliable would not be the wise thing to do.

    While you're in Cape Town, do take the time to enjoy the area. It's a beautiful place. Oh...and get some well deserved rest, and some Cape Town food.

    Please keep up on the blogs while you're there. We've all come to depend on them. We will be with you all the way to Cabo and MDR. We love you like our own.

    God be with you Abby.


  137. Dear Abby
    I would be interested in the model of your Flowmaster autopilot, and the options you are using, I designed my own autopilot, using a compass that had two carbon needles dipping in a small mercury pool, that controlled hermetically sealed relays to control WWII autopilot servo motor, the draw was 1 ampere.
    It worked for many years in my Venture 24 sail boat, it even had remote push button stearing.
    I don't understand why you are having so much difficulty with a commercial unit.
    PS maybe your dad could fly out a replacement via helicopter and lower it with a rope.

  138. Please don't be dissapointed too're doing what no other girl your age is...sailing around the world, your dream of dreams! Look at it as now you can enjoy the sights you see in the places you stop, and what memories and stories you have to last you a lifetime...keep up the good work, i will continue to read your posts!!

  139. Abby, you may be your own worst critic. In the 100 plus comments above, there is no criticism. You are simply doing what must be done. The trip is not worth your life, and a short stop in Cape Town does not end the circumnavigation and is not a failure.

    I knew after your last post that if you could not get that hydraulic leak fixed, that you would most likely be headed for Capetown. Enjoy the break, get your boat dry, take a long hot shower, and get some good sleep. I suppose maybe your folks will be flying out to meet you too. Maybe now that stopping will not be an issue, you could stop for a day in Australia and have a short visit with Jesse. I bet she would love to see you.

    Will you be replacing those two units with the same model, or getting rid of that junk entirely and going with something from another manufacturer? Also dont forget to pick up some more cameras.

    You are an incredible young lady and are performing spectacularly. Godspeed

    Steve L form Modesto

  140. Joyce NZ 74yrs.
    Abby you can only give things your very best! You've tried the non-stop bit, tough that didn't work out but hey that is not a failure in my book! It is adapting your goal to suit the circumstances, - all through our lives we have to do that for we frequently aim for perfection and it becomes unachievable!!!
    Your endeavour to sail solo round the world is a HUGE ask at 16? You will achieve that I am sure. JUST keep your chin up when the going gets tough and recall that you ARE where you want to be, doing what you want to do!! Most 16 year olds would love to be WHERE they want to be, doing WHAT they want to do and are in fact some place else;( many filled with resentment at that fact?) YOU are doing just as you wanted. Enjoy every facet of it to the maximum. Go Abby Go and have fun in the doing! Happiness comes from within oneself.
    Your journey is a wonderful experience and test of endurance.
    God give you journeying mercies, on land and sea.

  141. Very wise choice. I have been concerned about this CourseMaster piece of junk since the primary failed on you ever so long ago. You did what you could do to fix it while underway and it couldn't be fixed. No doubt, you taught Mr Doggie some new words in the process.

    Many years of flying have taught me that you can't argue your way out of a component failure. If the component is essential to your trip, you have no choice.

    Now, bloggers, get on CourseMaster's website and give them a few choice words. It was TWO Coursemaster autopilots that failed.

  142. hmmm...Australian product eh...sabotage anyone? :-)



    "Coursemaster Autopilots Pty Ltd has been designing and manufacturing quality autopilots in Sydney Australia for 35 years and exporting to Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America"

  143. Abby dear ..........
    I live by the following:

    We are never a failure because we don't succeed.
    We are a success because we tried.

    You dared, Abby, that in itself is success!
    Stand tall and proud and continue to pursue your dream of sailing around the world!

    Continued safe travels and just ENJOY!

    Cheers from Australia!

  144. Abby,
    I have been following (with a lot of others) your trip. I applaud your wisdom in putting in for repairs. My sincere wish is that our politicians could show the same maturity when they approach their work! Such ability to change plans according to what is the wise move is not so common!
    Berkeley, CA

  145. What defines you as a person is the way you react to adversity and hardship. A winner may be a winner, but can never be a champion without having had to endure bitter disappointment with grace and honour. I salute you.
    Melbourne, Australia

  146. Abby, I have been only reading your posts until now and watching to be sure you were save. Having children of my own I have seen beyond 16 at this point, I am only imagining what your family is feeling - pride and worry for your safety - watching you do this. Don't EVER think yourself a failure for following a dream and what is in your heart. So what? You may have to stop for repairs to stay safe - that is a responsible and grown up decision to make - and you still are making the trip of a lifetime that you will never forget.

    Keep going and hold your head high! You ROCK girl!

  147. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! On being a most mature and wise young lady. I said you are my HERO, and once again you have proven that to be true. Such wisdom! The only thing that failed in this trip was a piece of equipment! Your wisdom is intact and well. All I can say is GOD BLESS YOU ABBY, and continue to keep us updated!! and, Thank you for making the RIGHT decision!

    Prov 3:5-6!

    Ron in Colorado

  148. No matter what you do in life, there are always going to be critics. What is thus more important is staying true to yourself and those who love you best!

  149. Abby,
    Good for you to make the decision you made. I know that I will feel better knowing that your equipment is in good shape and you are safer. A very mature and realistic decision. As for critics, don't give them a thought. Best wishes for the rest of your journey.
    John & Darlene
    Kerrville, TX

  150. You can still fulfil your dream of sailing around the world. Whether you have stops or not is incidental. But I think you have shown maturity by realising that it is way too risky to continue with equipment that isn't working or isn't working properly. You've had a try at fixing it and that didn't work so you've done everything in your power that is the right way to tackle things. And from a parents point of will be a huge relief to your parents to know that you will have things that all lend to your safety. I bet your parents are worried sick that should this auto pilot give in then you will put yourself up as a safety risk. Good luck and I'll continue to follow your progress. Your dream and goals WILL come true, just not quite how you planned it originally. Keep your chin up, keep smiling and stay safe.

  151. Proud of you for making the right decision. Your journey is amazing stops or not, I will continue to follow your trip around the world.

  152. There is no failure, only an amazing adventure, with many more ahead of you. You still rock Abbey!
    And although you did not make your goal ( this time) you should still keep your head up and your sails high as you continue!
    stay safe and upbeat

  153. You're right, dearest Abby, non-stop or stopping,
    you are still living your dream.
    Just being out there on the ocean and sailing around the world, no matter how many times you have to stop, is one of the greatest accomplishments a sixteen year old girl can have in her lifetime.
    It's still a beautiful journey taken on a beautiful boat! Enjoy!
    Sail on, Abby and Wild Eyes, sail on

    Love and prayers from North Carolina

  154. Hers it is, folks, this is CourseMaster tech support's email:

    Feel free to teach them some of Mr Doggie's new words.

    Abby-didn't Zac stop during his trip? My guess is that he was stopping to chase girls. You have a much better reason.

  155. Haven't seen any posts on this blog criticizing your decision to stop.

    In fact some of us were hoping you would do this in the Falklands.

    Makes good sense to have an autopilot plus a backup (or more) before continuing onward -- especially with the Indian Ocean in Fall awaiting, and then the big long climb out of the Pacific.

    Wish you all the Best and a Safe Journey.

    - Grant, Fjermedal

  156. Remember the space shuttle Challenger and the suspect O rings,thats what can happen when those responsible dont make courageous and correct decisions me thinks.Thanks Abby and Team Abby for the wisdom and courage you display in your management of this potential crisis.Equipment failure is a risk ever present,and must be recognised as such.Congratulations Abby on your right thinking and continued determination to carry to a successful Circumnavigation.Safe Sailing,Home Alive is your final destination.cheers stevep

  157. Definitely the right call, Abs. Proud of you.

  158. Abby,

    You are one corageous girl. Making repairs to your autopilots in Capetown demonstrates a high level of maturity and risk management. I look forward to reading your blog every day.
    Robert Moody
    Fruitland park, FL USA

  159. Abby
    With your decision to call into Capetown after weighing the risks, you have fully earned the position, "Master Mariner."

    Best wishes for the continuation of your voyage.

    Warwick Williams
    Adelaide, South Australia

  160. Abby,
    Think of it this one blames the NASCAR driver when they have to pit for mechanical failures! Repair,relax and enjoy the rest of the adventure (as much as possible). I am sorry for the disappointment that you and your team may be feeling that's too bad. You can go out again some other time (hopefully with a different autopilot). No matter what you do in life, you'll be better for this experience.
    Hugs. Take care,
    L.G., Seattle, USA

  161. The way I see it young'un is that you're still sailing around the world solo even if you stop at ports. I don't recall anything saying that you were going non-stop. Even if you do make stops, you're still the youngest to sail around the world solo.

    As far as I'm concerned, the day you pull back into L.A., or Santa Barbara, or wherever you started, you've succeeded at solo circumnavigation.

    Take care

  162. Congratulations Abby- making wise and responsible decisions in the face of disappointment is a greater challenge and accomplishment than taking a gamble. If you can do this now, just imagine what amazing adventures lie ahead for you in the future. I agree with fellow bloggers that your stop over and wise decisions may enrich your journey in ways you couldn't have forseen. My family is rooting for you. You are an inspiration. The Pedersen Family

  163. Stupid and naive to install two Australian made Coursemaster autopilots on the boat whilst an Australian is in the middle of an attempt at the same voyage. Who knows what an overly-patriotic worker on the assembly line is capable of doing. :-(

  164. Abby, You will never be a failure. There must be something or someone very special in Cape Town for you to visit there. Remember, God is your auto-pilot.

  165. Abbey, good call! By no means its a failure. You have already inspired so many with your courage and perseverance that it is already a huge success. Now that the pressure will be off, you can actually enjoy the trip even more. Your followers are with you. You are a one brave girl, darling! Keep it up.

  166. Never consider this trip a failure. The equipment itself failed... you didn't...and by making the wise decision in pulling in Cape Town for repairs shows your maturity. You've got more maturity and sensibleness than my 20 year old daughter (sad... but it's true!!)
    Only a fool would continue on without repairing broken equipment and risk the trip hand steering.

    Abby, records can be broken, but personal experiences are kept forever in your heart.
    You're making a journey that people have only dreamed about... keep pushing and keep being amazing. Shannon, Chesapeake, VA

  167. Keep sailing Abby, around the world, for you and for all of us! I never thought once about you doing it non-stop. The goal is to sail around the world, the objective is to be safe, the heart is all yes matters, and you have the heart of a lion.

    Be safe and get the mission, the only mission, of sailing around the world completed on your terms.

    We are so with you!

    All the best,

    The McGarey Family

  168. You are a smart young woman on the adventure of a lifetime. I hope you can see your stop as adding to the adventure. "Nonstop" vs. "with stops" is insignificant when compared to this wonderful journey you are on.
    Lynn from Thousand Oaks

  169. HI Abby,
    How could anyone think that the word failure could be applied to your courageous journey. You have and are doing an amazing job and your safety has to be the number one consideration. I hope you make it into Cape Town without too much trouble. Sometimes when plans get changed, other and better adventures happen in their place. We'll be looking forward to seeing what wonderful things those are. My best to you.
    San Diego

  170. Let's be clear: the critics don't sail around the world.

    Sailing non-stop is an overachieving aspiration, in my opinion. In other words, sailing around the world should afford every opportunity to meet the people and cultures of our world

  171. Abbey
    I have been watching and reading since you started your trip. I have been absolutely amazed at you level of maturity,determination and bravery. And again you show your maturity by listening to your team and doing the right thing. God Bless you girl. Do it. Finish the trip if not for anyone but yourself. May the good Lord keep you safe.

  172. Sorry to hear about the stop :\ Still, your trip is not a failure! I don't see how you could fail at all with such an amazing, adventure filled trip! I see your overall success as the bravery and effort you've put into your trip (which has been a lot, and by this system, amazingly successful). Good luck on the rest of your journey!

    Connor Goodwin

  173. Abby,
    Don't worry about your critics. The important thing is your safety. What you are doing is an inspiration to many, for that we are thankful.

  174. Jest think this as a Pit Stop, just stay on the boat

  175. Dear Sweet Abby, I have been reading your comments and they have brought me to tears. You are so loved and so supported by this wonderful community of faithful friends. You are a champion in all of our books. You are wise, smart, wonderful, amazing and oh so brave. I pray that you feel what I felt as I read through all of your proud to be who you are, so proud of your accommplishments, so proud to have the love and support of so many. You are a CHAMPION and you deserve all the love and praise that has been offered up to you from your friends and family. Enjoy it, bask in the glory of your journey and know that we will all be watching as you continue your journey around the world. I will continue to lift you up in prayer !! Enjoy Cape Town, I hear it is amazing !! Many Blessings !! Elizabeth

  176. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes and Team Abby,

    It's a mechanical failure most certainly not a personal one.

    Abby you are showing great decision making, leadership and communication skills. Kudos!

    Of course you know what having to stop on your voyage means:

    1) you can put off doing your schoolwork for longer, and...

    2) You will be stuck with us bloggers for longer.


    With you all the way, come rain or shine!

    Take care, Be safe.

  177. Hey Abby, We have been watching your voyage since the start and have admired everything that you have achieved. Please don't be upset about stopping; it is better to finish what you start than not finish at all. Enjoy the rest of your voyage. Emilie and Luke oo :)

  178. You are amazing and my hero!
    I will continue to pray for you and know that God will bless you abundantly.
    Grace to you

  179. Abby, you are so amazing!

  180. My devotion to following your journey faithfully won't change either way and my admiration for your accomplishment will not diminish in the slightest. You are an inspiration to those of us who sit at our computers and dream, rather than DO. So don't worry it. Do what you have to do and ignore the critics. Those who love you do.

  181. I am relieved you are stopping--after reading your last blog I have to admit being nervous for you. It's better to be safe and rested!!!
    Been following you from the beginning--loved the prayer from Gus! Praying the autopilot holds up to Cape Town.
    Following your adventure from sunny Florida!

  182. Hi Abby. You never cease to amaze me! What a remarkable individual you are! You made a VERY mature "decision under fire", after first exhausting all other options. I know it must have been a hard call, but it's the right one. My motto is "Safety above all else". You have already set records, and now, after getting Wild Eyes repaired, you can go on to finish your dream! By any measurable way, that is a SUCCESS! I heard a line in a movie once that always stuck with me. It was about living life to the fullest, and it was about regret. How many people look back on their lives and wish they had done something they truly dreamed of? Like driving a convertible just once in the rain with the top down? "One day with the top down is better than a lifetime in a box". You are truly an inspiration Abby Sunderland!
    Kevin, Aiken, SC

  183. This is a tremendous account of a stupendous adventure. Congratulations. This is terrific.

  184. Smart girl! smart team! Safety 1st ! Safety always! It's still an AMAZING adventure you are on, thanks again for sharing with us all......pHiL, Platform Ellen, Long Beach, CA

  185. Abby.
    You are so strong and courageous.
    I will continue to follow your journey,
    all the way.
    You can do it. God has brought you this
    far. He won't let you down. (joshua 1 )
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  186. Hi Abby:

    I think the stop at Cape Town is an awesome decision and I fully support you with this difficult decision. Safety first, we all want you back to write the book and to have fully enjoyed your awesome experience.

    Failure? What? Ish! You can drop that word from your lexicon. You and your adventure are 100% plus SUCCESSFUL. Enjoy it all.

    Now, at Cape Town you and have two new auto pilots installed and unite with the family. You can take Charlie for a tour. Be sure to take lots of pics. I would love to see them.

    I bet when you get to Cape Town you will be staggering around for a while since you have been in constant motion of 3.5 months.

    Keep the faith. Luvya!


  187. Hi Abby,
    IT IS GREAT YOU CAN STOP IN CAPE TOWN. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN THE WHOLE WORLD . my neighbour has just come back from there and he has been to 72 countries and says south Africa is the most beautiful, esp. Cape Town. If you have a nice calm clear day there, DROP what you are doing and get someone to take you up the mountain in the cable must not miss it! you will go 3000ft up in the air and near verticle mountain side plummetting down into the sea and the city below. Get someone to drive you around some of the lovely 350 year old Cape Dutch farms and the Cape PEninsula. You will have an absolute ball there! Cape Town started back in the 1600s as a victualling station for ships for fresh supplies, which you will no doubt get too!!
    Good on you for being sensible. What about getting a wind steering vane fitted while you are in harbour so you do not need the electric things?
    cheers and HAVE FUN in Cape Town!!!!!
    caroline johnson

  188. I've been watching your progress but haven't ever commented until now.

    Failure? Hardly! It takes a lot of guts to do what you've done. One stop for repairs is hardly a failure.

  189. Dang high tech junk! The resolve and resourcefulness you've shown in keeping that autopilot going this long will serve you well in life no matter what. And remember, this is not your fault, just cards you were dealt.

  190. Failure? I should definitely think not! Pay no heed to the Naysayers and Armchair Critics. You're doing something they haven't even the courage to imagine doing. Don't ever think of yourself that way. Good for you for refusing to judge yourself by what others are saying.

    You said it best yourself "it would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well". You chose the safe and responsible course of action when the temptation to continue on would have been easy to follow.

    Enjoy Cape Town. The people you meet and the experiences you have are part of the journey too. Enjoy something beside freeze dried food for a change, a long hot shower, a walk, sleeping a full night in a warm bed. Get both autopilots fixed before heading out again. Maybe you can pick up a new Kindle too?

    Stay safe until you reach Cape Town. Godspeed and God Bless.

    Nick from CT

  191. No way does one stop make you a failure, failure is giving up and not looking back. To make a pit stop in life to fix an engine is only a impase. I will be following to urge you on, see you at the finish line. Happy sailing.

  192. Stopping or not stopping, you are my hero! I am so proud of you!

  193. Whether non-stop or with stops, I am in awe of anyone brave and skilled enough to do a solo circumnavigation, let alone someone your age!
    Guts and brains are a great combination - you seem to have both, evident from your current position and your latest decision, and they're going to carry you well beyond just this voyage ... which has been, and even with stops will still be, amazing!!

    Ottawa, Canada

  194. No Abby..this is not a failure. A failure would be you losing your life because of faulty equiptment. You are the most brave 16 year old. You're doing an amazing job! Nonstop doesnt make what youre doing special. Its special no matter what. Youve proven yourself a great circumnavigator already.

    Chin up! No good person can critisize you. Anyone who does, isnt worth your time.

    <3 kiddo!

    Ashley Marie

  195. OMG Abby, this is such a blessing for you! Now you can load up with real food, meet people, fix your Kindle and stop anywhere you want! We've heard Jesse lament for months that she wished she could stop over at some of the cool places she's had to skirt around. You can go anywhere now. Tons of your followers are Ozzies and would get a huge welcome in Sydney! And wouldn't it be awesome to see the "Shire" in New Zealand and all the cute Hobbit houses! Stop by and visit French Polynesia (Bora Bora!), Christmas Island, and/or The Galápagos Islands!!!! People would know you were coming and give you a rousing welcome!
    To Everything
    There is a season
    And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
    Love and Prayers,

  196. Aloha Abby:

    Every day and every moment you are connecting with thousands of people and a complete please your case "failure is not an option". Whatever choices you make are all ones made by a loving, caring and wise group of people and yourself and you should have nothing but pride in all that you do.

    We would love you to stop in Hawaii...if other stops are possible or necessary....I'm in PR and i know someone in advertising who is dying to get you sailing on camera.

    You have opened many doors. Yes there will be others that criticize, but as long as you are at peace with your decisions that is all that matters.

    We are all out here still excited for what you are doing and following you all the way.
    Warm aloha,

  197. Well Abby, you can only do your best and if you have to stop in order to be smart(which it is)then so be it. Of course it's not part of the original plan but that's life. There is sometimes going to be things to throw you off track and it's up to you to deal with it in the best possible way. I still can wait for you to finish this trip and hear about it all along the way!

  198. Heres an idea, why not put in Sydney and say hi to Jess.

  199. Abby my view is, it would be criminal not to put safety first!
    Your accomplishments are truly amazing at any age.
    I wish you all the best, thank you for letting us live vicariously through your adventures.

    God Bless

  200. @Sherna T - that was pretty cheap!
    Abby, I think those concerned with your safety have always been completely on your side. Sometimes there were differences of view, but the goals were the same - the safe and successful attainment of your dreams. Yeah, equipment failure stinks, but your team outfitted you with stuff second to none...nothing shoddy here! And Wild Eye's Captain...who could have done more with what she had thrown at her? Hold your head high and consider this an even better adventure! Add to your list a plethora of ports you could pull into. Definitely stop by and have tea with Jessica's family!
    Tanner Morgan