Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nice and Sunny

Today has been nice and sunny. Not the normal sort of sunny day which is more like bright fog, it was real blue sky and the sun! It was a very nice change. My auto pilot is working pretty well. Now that I am able to leave the chart desk for more then ten minutes at a time, I've been doing some house work. Cleaning things up, trying to get my bed and boots to dry out, even doing some laundry.

I have to just ask that people please not send nasty emails to Coursemaster. They have recevied a few very rude emails and I just would like to make it clear that Coursemaster has been extremely helpful spending hours on the phone in the middle of the night and during holidays to help my support team and me troubleshoot. They have offered to help me get whatever spare parts I need once I am in Cape Town. It may not look like a good idea to use the same brand of autopilot but after all the electrical work and troubleshooting I have done with my current pilots I am very familiar (more familiar than I would like to be actually) with the whole system. I have had problems with the pilots but it is not clear the cause of all of the problems. My support team does not believe there is anything wrong with the design or the way they were built. Some things just break. Saltwater may have been the cause of a few of the problems.

Even though one of my Coursemaster autopilots is working well, sailing from South Africa to Cape Leeuwin across the Indian Ocean without a backup would be too risky, so I will stop in Capetown. I would have liked to stop in Sydney and congratulate Jessica but Capetown is a more sensible decision all things considered.

I am a little nervous about getting into port. As I get closer to land I have to be very careful of ships and other boats, and then once I am there I have shallow water, kelp and other such things to worry about. It is not nearly as stressful to be in the middle of the ocean!

But it won't be long till I am back out here. Offshore, I mostly use my AIS WatchMate to warn me about the ships. As I get close to shore, I use my radar a lot more and my Watch Commander makes me check things often. Ships and smaller traffic are a constant concern as I get closer to shore. They scare me a lot more than 40-50 knots of wind and 15-20 foot seas.



  1. I just wanted to be the first to post. Good luck with your hold-over and I support you 100%, I think you are doing a great job. Please let me know if you see any interesting marine life, such as the South Atlantic Right Whale, and take pics of them.

  2. Hi Abby,
    Just a quick note to say hi and to tell you how much I am enjoying your voyage. I know stopping in Capetown wasn't the original plan, but i applaud you for putting your safetly first. You just strike me as such a mature, grounded young lady.
    Sailing along with you in spirit,

  3. I'm sure you'll do great getting into Capetown. Best of luck!

  4. YAY!! Someone's in a better mood!! :-)

    Nothing like a bit of sunshine to cheer you up.

    I take it the boots are rubber? Swap them out for decent leather sailing boots in Cape Town which can at least breathe. You need to get air circulating inside the boot to dry it out. Do you have any kind of vacuum machine size hose? Stick it in their and fashion something to fit around the diesel heater (does it have a fan?) to blow air into the boot. Or even a fan without hot hair, should help it. Put them somewhere where air can be forced into them. may as well get some moisture absorbing goodies in Cape Town as well, someone mentioned rice, whatever else natural or man made for the next leg.

    I saw Mike Perham's mom posted a very nice comment the other day, he took his open 50 into Cape Town, Duncan Basin, not sure the V&A waterfront where Zac landed is deep enough for your Keel. While i'm sure there are enough sailors in Cape Town to guide, you maybe borrow Mike's plot into the harbour since his entry and docking was trouble free :-)

  5. Good Evening Abigail,

    Great post again. It's quite clear you love to just SAIL Abs. I am hoping your stop will be as short as possible for proper resolution of your problem because I sense the urge to get back out there. "But it won't be long till I am back out there".

    I understand you're a little nervous about getting into port but your experience will shine on through the situation brave one.

    Stay safe....have a good night. C U later super sailor girl.
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  6. Just started reading about your journey yesterday, absolutely amazing. I don't think I could hack circumnavigating the world by myself at 16 much less at 22 now. Keep up the good work.

  7. It seems that the Auto-Pilot is now behaving exactly as it should, as often happens. I am sure you are tempted to continue...think about it.

  8. Hi Abby!

    Good point: autopilots are pretty much every distance sailor's number one concern ... the system's are fairly delicate, considering the wear & tear of how and where they're put to use. Your team sounds dedicated, which makes them pretty fantastic in my book.

    Stay Safe and drink it all in!

  9. hard to believe that people would be so crass as to make rude remarls to ANYone.... you and your team are the only ones that can make the call!

  10. While we're stocking up in Cape Town, also get a yacht dehumidifier. No doubt you'll be in the cold again and have to contend with condensation again. No need to endure that again if you can take care of it this time around. Get two of them in case it breaks down. Always get two of everything!! And lots of filters and whatever else it requires!! Also don't forget to install the Kindle for PC once you land in case the new one also breaks down. Get 3 of them if you have to!! What else? A crate of hairbrushes? maybe a mini factory making pens as well? Paper. Lots of notepads. Get a divers underwater writing board and waterproof markers. Different fishing lures?

    Panasonics got a couple of small handheld tablet toughbooks. Get one of those instead of the kindle. Smaller and lighter and easier to handle than the toughbook, which i assume is bolted down on the desk. Waterproof beanie? Patagonia should be dry with a twist if that is what you got wet.

    Jeeze, I'm so excited for you!! Can I come shopping with you? :-))

  11. Abby,

    Just wanted to say we love you and we appreciate you! Stay smart and pretty.

    Abby's Mom, Team Abby and Wild Eyes....thanks for helping Abby stay safe.

    Sending Love & Light,

    Your Friends at Prophetic Faith Ministries
    Irving, TX (Dallas)

  12. Don't do it! Your auto pilot is working fine. Don't listen to the people telling you to go to port. You only have one shot at this, if you mess it up you will regret it for the rest of your life. If the autopilot breaks, you can just fix it again, or if you have to you can hand steer the rest of the way, it's not like you have to have the auto pilot. I think you are crazy to give up the unassisted record when it's only the back up that's not working, that's just foolish. So grab that tiller and point it back out to sea. Then call your peeps and tell them this is your adventure and you're going to do it your way. You only live once, and you certainly don't want to start life being known as a quitter. I know you can do it, and so do you. Now go for it!

  13. Good wishes to you as you navigate the busy waters around Cape Town. And I bet it feels good to clean things up in anticipation of making a land visit. I am sure you are looking forward to having your favorite thing to eat!! It is so nice that you keep us updated, I really appreciate checking in to see you have written to us. Good wishes and fair winds, Judy in Minnesota

  14. All computers should be rebooted once in a whole regardless of the OS. From the sounds of it rebooting the autopilot isn't a simple push the reset button affair? More like a once a season while on the hard only affair? Does it wipe out everything? Does it have to relearn your sailing pattern? Was this the first time it has been done? Puzzled if so, wouldn't that have been one of the first suggestions even before Cape Horn? Or as already said, is it an absolute last resort which shouldn't even be done kind of thing? Meantime how's the leak doing?

  15. Right on Abby!!! You sound great! Very concise, and to the point. Much like your sailing. I am curious though: are you considering stopping in Sydney to congratulate Jessica even after you get things squared away in Cape Town? I'm sure she would be thrilled to see you, as would all of Sydney! I imagine they would give you quite a welcome! Any way, food for thought. It's great to see you in such good spirits these days Abby! It helps us all out here when you are up! Take care of you and Wild Eyes!
    Kevin, Aiken, SC

  16. Please double check everything one more time before you decide to land.

  17. Cloud has silver lining.So don't worry on the other side the sun is peeping.

  18. Good idea to stop in Cape Town just to get your auto pilot systems looked at. I grew up sailing with my dad and I understand how difficult it is to work your way back into shore. My dad, even being in the Navy got a little nervous when there were tons of other boats around. You always have to stay alert and on top of where everyone is and is going. You have the experience though Abby and I know you will get in just fine.
    You mentioned not going to Sydney to see Jessica. I don't see why you couldn't still do that too since you are stopping in Cape Town. That would mean going into shore again but it does sound very cool!!
    You sound great and I am so proud of you!!
    Kindly, Alyssa from CA

  19. Hi Abby, It's unfortunate that some people feel it is their responsibility to do things like that. Very Rude. While I am truly sorry you have had auto pilot problems to the extent that you must stop, I applaud you for making that choice. I think it is the best one. I am sure Jessica, would like you to stop in Sidney but Cape Town is the proper choice. Stay Safe and may the Good Lord watch over you.

    Luv Ya much
    Bud & Charla Winnett

  20. Marine electronic grease. And lots of it. Grease that kindle USB connection. And any and all other electronics in site. Be disappointed if the coursemaster electronics are being degraded by moisture. And what's the problem with the cameras? Aren't they waterproof??? Get a simple point and click digital like the Olympus STYLUS TOUGH-8000, water proof, shock proof, cold proof, heat proof, dust proof, you name it proof. No need for fancy cameras, just a simple point and click you can keep in your pocket.

    Sounds like the only electronics that are holding up are the Panasonic Toughbooks :-)

  21. Sorry you have to stop but it sounds like the best thing for you! The main thing is to stay safe and to keep your journey going. I bet it will be nice to see your dad, too. How many days are you from Cape Town? I've been keeping track of your journey from the start. It sure has been an adventure! Can't wait for the rest of it.

  22. Dear Abby,

    Good to hear about the sunshine and free time.

    I'm glad that you and Mr. Otto Pilot are getting along better. I was thinking you should get rid of him in Cape Town and look for a better companion but I think since you are familiar with him and his idiosyncrasies, maybe reconciliation is the best alternative. Give him a second chance. If he still acts up after you leave Cape Town, throw him overboard. Don't worry, there will be no witnesses in the middle of the ocean.

    All the best to you,
    Wayne Wild I. Moraga, CA

  23. To anonymous April 27 8.54pm. Could you send us a photo of yourself please - I want to see if you have your tongue in your cheek or your foot in your mouth!

    Glad you are the sensible one Abby and I admire your spirit and courage.

    Take care,

  24. I think you should try and make it. I wouldn't give up on it. I think your autopilot will pull through. you are in gods hands, it has too. don't pull in to shore, stay out there and do what you are suppose to do.

  25. Don't know about a cat on board. Doesn't their fur reek when wet? :-) More fitting maybe would be a goldfish or some other. Question then is are there any bowls or little aquariums that have sealable tops which also allow air in?

    A pit stop in Australia to meet Jessic would be super cool. Plus you can hand deliver the broken autopilots to Coursemaster at the same time :-)

  26. Abby! wise decision, too risky indeed!
    Have a safe trip as always and God bless!
    John 15:5
    I am nothing with out Christ!

  27. You're doing a great job, Abby. We've told all our Thai students about your journey, in hopes of inspiring them to live their dreams as well.

    It's disappointing that people are sending rude comments to Coursemaster. Things break, it's a fact of life. And it sounds like they're doing all they can to fix it, given your situation and location.

    Good luck on the rest of your voyage.

  28. According to the daily position log on "Where's Abby" you sailed some 336 miles from day 94 to day 95. Is this a typo?
    Stay safe and best of luck to you in your quest.

  29. Hi Abby; For the Anonmous who recommends you "continue...and do it your way", my answer is simple. Be the true sailor you are and stay safe; your life is more important than satisfying a few (non sailor) egos. He has no idea what the oceans are like. You can't afford to solo without a working Coursemaster...and another working Coursemaster behind it. You've already proved you can deal with the wildest weather and seas. And really, you are not quitting; you're pressing on even if the "record" is out of reach. So what!! You're a true credit to your sex and age. You know thousands of us are so very proud of you for what you have done. Oh, have fun in Capetown. Much love and hugs
    John and Louise in Redding

  30. WOW! That itself must have been the toughest task todate.

    A strong Australian accent versus a SoCal lazy mumble over an echoing satellite phone.

    I wonder how many minutes were used up which each side having to repeat themselves.


  31. Hey, Abby-- We just heard about your decision to stop at Cape Town for repairs and to replenish your stores--and from what we've been reading of your ongoing problems with the autopilots, we're with you on your decision. We have a good friend who's a singlehander of some repute out of San Francisco Bay--and she regularly curses autopilots. She's tried them all, she says, and they've all failed her at one time or another.

    In your case, as you obviously realize, the biggest part of being smart is reducing risk to as close to zero as you can--and stopping in Cape Town should do that for you. The ocean to the east of Cape Town, after all, is one immense stretch of challenging water and weather--so it's smart to be prepared to the nines and at the very top of your game. And feeling completely confident in your equipment is part of that. Accepting the wisdom of making this stop in Cape Town may, in fact, be the most important life lesson you'll learn from this wonderful adventure you're on. We, like so many others writing here, are impressed by your attitude. You're one smart, mature young woman--and we join all of those applauding you and your character.

    Best of luck to you now in the remaining days before you arrive at Cape Town. May that autopilot keep working perfectly for you every nautical mile of the way. And once you get there, we're willing to bet there'll be a small flotilla out to greet you and lead you in. Take good care of yourself, Abby. We're proud of you and we can hardly wait to continue reading your blog as you continue your 'round-the-world adventure. Write a few words from Cape Town too if you get a chance. And, finally, young woman, be sure to stay clipped in until you've tossed that dock line to the folks ashore. And give them one of your big, beautiful smiles while you're at it.
    -- Frank & Martha in Aspen

  32. Hi Abby! Good evening to you! Its good to read that you had a sunny day today. I am glad that I have started to read your blog because you are a very insightful and inspiring young woman!
    I personally do not know anything about sailing. But it sounds like between your team of family and friends you are doing alright out there. I wish you a safe trip into land. I noticed a lot of people are giving you a lot of ideas of things to pick up so if you plan on getting those items it is best to make a list so you dont forget anything.
    I wish I had your bravery!!! Best of Luck! Stay safe!
    Felicia, Florence, MS

  33. Hi Abby -- Glad the sun has been shining for you. It's a real 'feel good' thing and I think your note today reflects that you have been enjoying those sunny, blue skies!

    I hope someone from your Shore Team plans to join you in Cape Town. What a nice reunion that would be! I just know you will make the most of this unexpected delay....like --enjoy a good hot bath, get a good nights sleep, eat some good food, tend to those repairs, --then, you'll be set to sail away again to safely finish your circle! You're a winner, Abby!

    Thanks Shore Team for doing a splendid job of guiding Abby, and Thanks Abby for taking all of us on such a terrific adventure!

    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  34. Abby,

    You definitely deserve the sunny weather and a lot more days just like it. Just pay a little more attention to boat traffic as you get closer to Cape Town and you’ll be fine. I know that it’s not like having the wide open ocean all to yourself, but it will just be for a relatively short stretch. Hopefully, it’s late enough in the year that you’ll miss the pesky Cape Town Doctor that I’ve heard about.

    Take good care of yourself, Abby. You’re getting close.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  35. I have a silly question: I dont know the first thing about sailing, but I also have kept looking at the NM covered each day, and it seams that it is a lot: in your mum's blog Abby, she mentioned that you Abby like speed and surfing the waves... here is the silly question: was the boat pushed too hard for Mr.Otto pilot?
    And as far as sending rude emails, there is no excuses for that sort of behaviour!!!! perhaps Abby's team should have blogged themselves and stop all rumors.... those, unfortunately travel far too far and too quickly. Nobody is in the boat with Abby and only her and her team can deal with the problems, we should be thankful that we are kept informed instead of fixing the problems. These cannot be fixed unless you have all the facts.
    Abby: you and your team have made the right decision and only you and them are in a position to do so: As for the person that suggested that Abby continues her trip without repairs in cape town: my advise is, go and see a psychiatrist, you need it!!!!
    Viv (Abbycan Fan)....

  36. Just dropping a note to say great blog, great sailing, great adventure, great crew and good for you!!!!!!!
    Been following your adventure since long before you set the sails.... Thanks for sharing!
    Langley, Canada

  37. Don't ya just know that darn thing is gunna keep working till you get to CT... and that's just what you want..your putting lots of mechanic's to shame Abby..how many 16 year old girls can fix her own autopilot while sloshing around in the dark with wet boots and cold hands..yeah id say your pretty awesome kiddo.
    Hey good idea about the route Mike took..will that work?
    Keep us informed and have a safe trip into SA!
    Bermuda Dunes

  38. 04-28-10 @ 01:18
    Hi Abby,
    Thank you for the enjoyable up-date, I thought it was well written, (as usual) and was very sensible.
    I agree that rude or nasty e-mails to CourseMaster is not nice and unnecessary. People are just trying to stand up, and show their support for you, and show their displeasure with CourseMaster, no one knows who is at fault or the real answer to the problems yet. You have a lot of faithful followers that don‘t want to see you mistreated, for sure.
    I feel there is something deeper to be found out about the malfunctions. I’m glad that they are going overboard (no pun intended) to help you to resolve this matter. You definitely should have a back-up, and unwritten requirement, better safe than sorry.

    Nice to see that you had some good weather and were able to get some things taken care of, it’s always nice to put on clean clothes, makes you feel better, good for the moral, and sunshine will always put a smile on your face…Yes? I just wish you could get them boots dried out. Put extra newspapers on your ‘to do’ list…..lol…

    Just take your time getting into port, which I’m sure you’ll do, how many times have you entered MDR, and other strange ports? Relax and stay alert, I just had to say that….lol…, you’ll do OK Abby!!!!

    I had to laugh (but thoroughly understand) your statement “It is not nearly as stressful to be in the middle of the ocean!” I’m sure it will be much easier for you when you pull out of port. Do you carry a depth finder, would it do you any good in those depths?
    If Zac is there he can come out with his trusty knife, and clear off any kelp that you may collect, remember, he’s experienced on this maneuver…lol…
    Yeaaahhhhh, for Zac.
    I know that I caution you to stay alert, but you have it all under control watching your radar, and your Watch Commander helps to keep you on your toes. I would imagine the time that you would enter port would be a factor in how much small craft traffic there is. Good luck on your entry and departure of Cape Town. Take care Abby, you can do it!!!! God Bless You.
    That was a nice thought in regards to Jessica and I’m sure she would have appreciated it very much. I still hope that someday you girls (women) can get together, and it very well could happen.

    Take good care of yourself and the crew, and good luck on your repairs.

    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  39. I am an engineer and I also sailed around the world on a sailboat when I was a child. I'd like to emphasize that it's not the company's fault. Expecting an electro-mechanical autopilot to work in salt water conditions for six months straight is far outside the realm of what is possible to guarantee in a device that any normal person could possibly afford. This is why wind vanes, with backups and spare parts, are preferred. Salt water spray conditions are just too rough on electronics to handle long term.

  40. Abby, you are kind of like us truckers, you love the open sea, and we love the open road, and you don't like all the traffic around ports, and we hate all the pesky "4 wheelers" around the cities! But I am confident you will have no problems. Get what you need done and Keep On Truckin'!

  41. Do you see much ocean life while on your journey? Like whales, dolphines, other marine animals?

  42. Hi Abby!

    You know, every time I read your blog you always sound so very wise and mature. I love reading what you write and seeing how the day has gone for you. I'm glad the sun is smiling and the oceans are being kind today.

    As for pulling in to port - what a great idea. Life is so short and better to be safe right now.

    All the best!

  43. Abby,

    I wish you all the best as you continue your journey.

    There are way too may rude and obnoxious anonymous people venting their spleen. Moreover most probably haven't even sat their sorry backside in a canoe let alone an open 40.

    Girl - achieve your dream - sail around the world - all the best. Bloggers - it's Abby's dream - not yours - you go get your own paddle boat and off you go!!


  44. Here's something: You're stopping in Cape Town, South Africa. I've been there, and it's like the coolest place ever. so enjoy it while you're there, and see the sights. The view from the top of table mountain is lovely, and there's history all over the city.

  45. Abby,

    Im sure coursemaster has a lot of pilots that are working just fine! You just happen you got one that decided to have a hickup.

    Wow so much more to learn about now... AIS watchmate / course commander / radar / water maker.. so many systems.. google here I come!!!

    Looking forward to seeing some pics of Cape Town and some more of Wild Eyes. It sounds like your having tons of fun. I envy you.

    Stay safe.

    Chuck D.

  46. Hola, Abby~
    You're doing great!

    Don't worry about those who are behaving foolishly. Their ignorance is certainly not your burden to bear.

    After Cape Town, as you know, you still have a record firmly within your reach -- youngest ever to sail solo around the world!

    A long hot shower and the beauty of Cape Town will do you good. And how brilliant of you to recognize that you and Jesse Watson will each have your own records!

    I am proud of you! Keep in touch, stay safe, and Godspeed,

  47. ps:
    yeah...boating is a lot easier in open water than close to shore -- especially for you, take care not to run over any looky-loo's :)

  48. Dear Abby,
    Good to hear that you had a nice and sunny day out there, and you seems to have got new energy.
    You will make it into Cape Town with no problem.
    Keep on sailing safe with a smile.
    Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

  49. Hey Abb's,

    See you are getting lots of 'good' advice to not pull in, they probably mean well but to continue without knowing the underlining cause/s of the unreliability makes the risk unacceptable to anyone with any idea surely?

    However, food for thought .. if your able to anchor in a quiet spot with some locals employed to make sure your undisturbed, imagine how you would feel with 10 hours sleep and no rock and roll? Use up some precious water to have a long hot shower, dry out everything and make any assessments and decisions at leisure. If nothing else it relieves some pressure and a full diagnosis may be easier given it doesn’t matter if you render it inoperable in the process. (Don’t forget Tom Hanks)
    If you discover something that changes the risk profile who knows?

    If you then decide to go ashore then anyone who matters will respect you for that as they would if you pull straight in having achieved so much anyway.

    Divide and conquer Abby, happy eating !!

  50. Have you considered solo non-stop?

    Arrange a meeting point offshore and don't step foot off the boat.Have your support team hand you what you need.

    Jon Sanders arranged for food and mail drops during his double cicumnavigation way back then.

    Chris from Cairns

  51. In regards to this comment:

    "Don't do it! Your auto pilot is working fine. Don't listen to the people telling you to go to port. You only have one shot at this, if you mess it up you will regret it for the rest of your life".

    I agree with this person and i was a "keep it non stop" hold out for a long time even after spending several long days and nights on the phone with Abby in rough weather eating up many thousands of dollars in satellite time. Working on the Auto Pilots and other problems with Abby.

    There is more to it than just the Auto Pilots. Both Wind Generators have also failed so without the Wind Generators there is no way she can make it non stop there is just not enough solar power and fuel to create the power needed to run the auto pilots on board.

    Unless she wants to mostly hand steer for the rest of the trip. While at the same time conserving power and mostly keeping the boat "Dark" this would include navigation lights at night and the AIS transponder warning other ships of her location. It just would not be a safe way to go and i personally consider an auto pilot a safety item it allows you to do other important things other than just steering.

    The trip would take much longer hand steering during the day and drifting at night and Abby just does not want to hand steer over half way around the world. i do not blame her.......

    There are countless other things involved but this is the short of it.........

    Team Abby

  52. I'll appolgize first... but what does Jesse have? I don't remember her having this same problem.....? again.. appologies for my non-sailing knowlege.

    Also, what did Robin Lee Graham have???? just curious!
    Brian G.

  53. hi abby i was so amazed when i heard about the news that you want to sail all around the world even when your only 16 years old, i hope that you pass all the challenge and trials in your journey , and i pray for your safety and success,,

  54. Hi Abby well you are getting closer to CT and a hot shower,dry clothes, a hot meal or 2 or 3 and oh yeah 2 new auto-pilots. As always Stay Safe and Have Fun and when out on deck Tethered. 38º43"N/122º67"W ps who ever Anonymous April 27 8:54pm get a life and leave Abby and her team completely alone inasmuch as you are not her and you are pretty much clueless so continue to sit on your backside and give your 2cents to someone else. Thank You very much

  55. Hello Abby,
    Have you noticed all the detractors and those exhorting to keep going hide behind the title of "Anonymous"
    If they

    are going to criticize they should have the guts to include their name.Just ignore them,and out there false bravado doesn't count.

    Abby I think you have shown maturity way beyond your years in deciding to stop off in S A. Ahead of you is one huge expanse of water with no refuge and as Jesse is finding out one of the roughest stretches of sea on the planet. That is no place to go with "Iffy" equipment,

    Do what you know you must, and if you decide to stop over in Aus., you can be assured of a tumultuous welcome.

    Peter, Gold Coast Aus

  56. This is so cool. But I couldn't do it. =] I like your blogs!

  57. Hi Abby, been away & just caught up with where you are at. What a shame about the autopilot, that must have been a difficult time for you emotionally, but hey - well done for great decision making to repair & keep going! It takes real courage & maturity to look defeat or a change of goals in the face, make good decisions and get on with it. EVERYONE should look at what you had to decide, how you did it and the fact that 'YOU DID NOT GIVE UP!!!'Many adults would struggle with this situation and be found short of the mark - you are a example!! regards, Graeme Joy

  58. Hey Captain Abby, I am just catching up with your and Jessica (Watson) bloggs. Unfortunately we have been without internet for three weeks.
    Firstly I have just read about your need to stop at Cape Town. Your decision to have to do this would have been heart wrenching to say the least. The fact you made the decision demonstrates incredible strength of character and maturity. YOU ARE A STAR. You mentioned that some may view this as failure. Nothing you are doing could be viewed as failure and any person that did think this need to seriously look at what they had achieved at such a young age, being only 16. We know of no other person at your age that has sailed single handed and non stop to Cape Town from America.

    So as you have indicated, get the boat sorted, set sail again and enjoy the ongoing challenges you will surely face. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and we will be following your blogs every inch of the way.
    Kind regards, James and family – Berowra Heights, Sydney NSW Australia

  59. Thanks Abby.
    Love you.
    You are special.
    Whatever happens, your supporters (us),
    will stand by you. ♥♥♥
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  60. Since you are now making one stop why not come to Sydney as well and visit Jessica.

  61. Hi Abby,

    this is to say that you took a very wise decision. Good seamanship is safety first. Those who recommend to continue without getting the autopilot fixed, should get back to their sand-box asap and ask mom to lend them her cookie molds. I have always been concerned whether a 16-year-old could tackle all this, but you definitely show a very conscientous and responsible attitude. You go, girl! Keeping an eye on you from the northern side with best wshes,

    Horst / Germany

  62. Hi there dear Abby,

    Keep smiling my dear, you are doing everything right, making all the right decisions going to Capetown and I'm so proud of you.

    Just think of all the things you have learnt on this voyage that will give you qualities to last you for the rest of your life - patience, perserverance, sense of humour, problem solving skills, tactfulness (you always write such nice comments when you ask people to think about their comments), good judgment skills as well as many more.

    Keep safe my dear and take care. Big hugs and God bless you from Jan Pace (Auckland, New Zealand)

  63. People, please don't send nasty emails on behalf of Abby. The people sending these emails I'm sure mean well but is not a very mature thing to do. Let Abby and her team handle her equipment suppliers.

    Abby don't listen to anyone that says to just keep on going. Making the stop in Cape Town is the only choice you have if you care about your safety. Obviously this person puts more importance on a record than your life. You and your team know what's best.

    The Kindle is probably not the best device for the conditions you have. Too much moisture. Download the Kindle software to the Toughbook. If you have your iPod you might want to download audiobooks from iTunes. Also if you need to replace your digital camera, there are many nice inexpensive waterproof ones available. I agree that stopping in Cape Town is a better choice than trying to make it to Sydney but there is no reason why you couldn't stop in Sydney too. I'm sure Jesse would love to see you. Your stop in CT and Sydney could be memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Don't pass it by.

  64. Cape Town's a beautiful city and I'm sure you'll get a great welcome. You will still be the youngest person to sail around the world alone whether unassisted or not.
    Good luck!
    Queensland Australia

  65. Dear Abbey,
    I have reviewed the comments I have made re Coursemaster and your autopilots. I must say that I have absolutely no experience whatsoever with autopilots on sailboats. My comments and those of others were made out of total frustration, with the frustration, discomfort and inconvenience you have been suffering with seemingly no remedy in sight. The support that you have now acknowledged, didn’t seem apparent at the time. Abbey, no one is more concerned with your safety and success than I am. If my comments were an embarrassment to you or to Coursemaster, you both have my most sincere apology. For the record, I did not, nor would I have made contact with Coursemaster. That is entirely up to your team. Whether on land sea or air, machinery, particularly when electronics are involved, will fail, no matter who the manufacturer is. I am happy and relieved that in fact, you are receiving 1st class support from Coursemaster and I applaud their efforts. I am hopeful that your current configuration will hold together until you get into Cape Town. Keep Safe dear girl. Hat in hand, Cobrarog.

  66. Dear Abby,

    I just recently started following your blog as a result of following the blog of Emily Richmond. However, I will refrain from making any comparisons.
    Last year I sailed single-handed from Saint Malo, France to the port of Horta on the island of Faial in the Azores in a 23 foot Westerly Pageant. My actual destination was anywhere on the east coast of the U.S.
    Although I had an auto pilot, a Raymarine ST-2000, I refrained from using it because its many corrections while attempting to maintain a magnetic heading are a continuous drain on the battery. I had no auxiliary charging system besides the engine and only seven gallons of diesel total.
    So how did I maintain a heading? Rather than force the boat to follow a set magnetic heading, I set the boat on the most favorable point of sail relative to the prevailing winds and ocean swells relative to my planned destination. I trimmed my sails as best as seemed possible for the existing conditions.
    Normally something that most sailors would consider a problem, for me turned out to be an advantage. My rudder shaft bushings were inadequately lubricated, so whenever I set my tiller in any position, it would remain there regardless of the existing winds or swells. Small changes in wind speed or direction would not require any adjustment of sail trim or rudder setting and essentially the boat sailed itself.
    Obviously, if the wind direction or speed changed significantly, rudder position and sail trim would have to be corrected accordingly. Since I was not participating in a race or attempting to make a record, this system worked excellent for me. This allowed me to have a great deal of freedom away from the tiller! I would check gps and compass headings along with tiller and sail trim whenever I felt it was appropriate.
    Since your vessel's rudder shaft is probably adequately lubricated, you most likely can't set your rudder to point your vessel on a heading and have it stay there. But as you used lines to set it in position to reset your autopilot, so could you use them to hold your rudder in a position for a longer term. This is the system used by Slocum for his transoceanic crossings.
    I am not apprised of whether your vessel has a wheel or a tiller for steering and what type of auto-pilot your vessel employs. You could use your auto-pilot to to set your vessel on the desired heading, trim your sails, then shut off your auto-pilot, and secure the steering with lines or some other other method to lock it in position. You could then disengage the auto-pilot from the tiller or wheel, if that is possible to prevent the auto-pilot from receiving continuous rudder forces. It could be used to hold the rudder in a fixed position if no other means are available to secure the rudder.
    My belief is that your auto-pilot is loosing its magnetic centering as you periodically reach the limits of its range parameters. I also believe that you should reset it every time you have a calm, relatively windless day. The auto-pilot's computer is probably confused by your proximity to the South Pole as well.
    As someone else already commented, your vessel would be better off with wind vane steering primarily and auto-pilot secondarily.
    Regarding the issue of safety, I believe the method of steering I am suggesting is safe and would allow you to continue your original non-stop, unassisted, around the world goal. Obviously you will most likely want to think this over and discuss it with your support advisors. I will make additional comments in my next post.

  67. I agree with some of the other comments, there's got to be a much higher reason for this forced stop. Example, you'll haul Wild Eyes out in Cape Town and find you've been running on one remaining keel bolt, or one close inspection there's a crack in the mast etc.etc.etc.

    Something far more important than any records or even broken autopilots.

    In case your wondering why I didn't continue my voyage on to the U.S., and stopped at the Azores the reasons are as follows. I had a large hole in the mainsail in the top third of the sail where the second batten had beaten through. I had a nine inch rip in the mainsail at the clew along the boom cord. I discovered my number one jib was rotten and the leach strip tore off after three days sailing in the English Channel. The working jib I had purchase in Saint-Malo for 10 Euros (obviously I was sailing on a shoestring!) lasted for 12 days before disintegrating and taking the jib halyard with it. After sailing awhile with no jib, I hoisted the leach stripless #1 jib back up using the spinnaker halyard and continued with it threads streaming. All this time I was sailing with a rudder shaft bent at least six inches off the centerline from striking a submerged object. The final straw was the manual bilge pump springing a leak and I started having to bail 50-60 buckets of water per day. Also, because of the length of time the voyage had already taken, I did not believe I had enough food and water to make it to the east coast of the U.S. or even Bermuda for that matter.
    Because I'm nearly four times older than you, I was willing to take the risks because I was not concerned about dying. I have a daughter though, who is 21 and about to graduate from NYU on May 12, 2010, so six days after passing the island of Corvo in the Azores, I decided to turn back towards Horta, Faial which has a marina. I felt to continue west would be suicidal and my death would be un-verifiable in order for my daughter to receive any inheritance in addition to the stress it might place on her during her last year at NYU if I remained missing at sea. On the way to Faial, I fixed the hand bilge pump diaphragm with a piece of rubber glove and super glue and was able to stop bailing!
    Obviously, you are better equipped and supported than I was! Nevertheless, you should really give serious thought to your plan to give up the record attempt! I say this as an old man and you will never be able to revisit this time in your life with the same opportunities you have today. My recommendation is that you accept the challenge presented by your auto-pilot to demonstrate your sailing ability in the face of adversity!
    If also you have any spirituality and believe in God, I highly recommend that you pray to him for guidance regarding your final decision. I believe very strongly in God and I am praying for your success!
    Best regards!

  69. Abby,

    I've been following your voyage since before you rounded Cape Horn. I must say how impressed I am with your Maturity, Boating Skills and Trouble Shooting. The decisions your making now reflect all of the above and will make you a better person in the long run. I could careless what some of the "other" people have to say, your smart in stopping in Cape Town to get your equipment repaired. I was a soldier for 8 years, I'm a career Fireman now and there is now way I'd do any of my jobs without my equipment in fine working order. I applaud you and wish you the best!!!!! I make it a point daily to check your progress and see what your up to. I've kinda been in the back row so to speak and just observing. I finally needed to post my point of view. You have enough on your plate to have to worry about negative comments and ignorant people. You parents have so much to be proud of!!! I'll continue to watch your progress and pray for you!!!

    Stay Safe.


  70. hope u can get some photos of u coming into port!. it would be nice to see this on the news!.

  71. Dear Abby,

    You are one courageous young lady. Having traveled so far, I am sure it was a difficult decision to pull into port. However, I am happy for you that you are living your dream and continuing your adventure. I so enjoy your daily updates. Stay safe and enjoy the remainder of your trip. I look forward to reading more from you.


  72. Great to hear you are stopping in Cape Town. Stay safe and enjoy the Cape as it is beautiful. It has been great reading how your journey is going every week. Stay strong.

  73. Your posts are refreshing and let me glimpse into your mature mind. To care about the feelings of others (nasty emails to the autopilot company) reveals your character as one filled with compasssion for others.

    I always look forward to your progress and posts.

    Keep well. Warmly, Ferret

  74. Evie from BendigoApril 28, 2010 at 6:16 AM

    Hi Abby
    I am disappointed that there have been emails to coursemaster with rude or nasty content that is uncalled for. It is difficult to say what is the problem at this stage and as you pointed out they have been very supportive during your break down periods.

    I am glad you are having some better weather conditions and with it you sound to have a more effervesent air to you blog.

    Why not consider a brief two day stop in Sydney to catch up with Jessica before embarking on the Pacific Ocean. You have broken your journey in Cape Town one more break wont delay you too much.

    Commander Dilip Donde the Indian solo sailor made a stop in Cape Town for several weeks and enjoyed the highlights of the wonderful town and the friendly people. He had several visits from sea lions visiting his boat while she was tied up to the pier........
    Good luck with the next couple of weeks....
    Evie from Bendigo

  75. Hi Abby

    Jess has one complaint about you.

    That you will get a hot shower before her.


  76. Hello Abby, Can't believe that you have had rude emails. Easy for them to say sitting in their comfortable place in life. Keep the faith and we all know how strong you are..so you go girl:)
    Hugs, NJ Mom

  77. There are so many ways that steering can torpedo a sailors voyage - loss of rudder, broken steering quadrants, failed cables or hydraulics, and of course loss of self-steering. Even if an autopilot were to work flawlessly, you're only one lightening strike away from total system failure. Autopilots are notoriously quirky anyway, and it's scary to put all your eggs in that one basket. Backups, and backups to backup the backup of every component in the system would be prudent but not very practical. The best backup for an ocean sailor is to leave port with no less than three capable (and compatible) helmsmen/crew AND a proven self steering system.

    Hidden dangers and challenges are out there to greet every oceangoing sailor. You do your best to minimize the risk all the while realizing that you can't anticipate everything and you must accept what comes.

    That said, I'm glad you made the manufacturer of your autopilot known. Personally I've had very good success with Autohelm, rarely needing to resort to it's backup.

    You're doing the right thing by heading to Cape Town. *thumbs-up*

  78. Hi Abby,

    Sunny days sure put a smile on your face! I'm praying!


  79. Sorry about the not being able to go non-stop, but saftey first. You are a role model for every one with your upbeat and can do attitude.

    Maybe Jesse can come out to see you when you get to Oz. That would be a great picture, the two of you and your boats.

    Fair Winds Abbey.

  80. Abby,

    Your doing a great job! You follow your heart in YOUR journey! You know the right thing to do and it doesn't matter what people say or think. We think what you and Jessica are doing is so inspirational to many out there, especially the younger generation! You go girl! Please sail safe and keep us posted.

    Denise and family
    South Dakota

  81. Jerry Crosby near Columbus, OhApril 28, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    Capetown was a good decision but who says you cant stop in Sidney to see Jessie. It would be quite a sight seing the two of you together. Your fans would enjoy it too. I dont know if Russell Watson is related to Jessie but the song "Where my heart will take me" the theme of Startrek Enterprise is very appropriate.

  82. People are sending emails to Coursemaster? Lol. Don't worry about the kelp, just eat it instead.

  83. hi abby, I think you are being very generious towards the makers of your autopilots, the failure of these could have put you at great risk and as for salt water well anything on a boat is going to be subject to salt water. Anyway you are doing a great job..................best wishes from someone way down in Tasmania Australia

  84. Atta Girl Abby!!
    Connor and I just wanted to say that although we are sharing your trip with you, we want you to be safe. We really just want you to be safe, and think its a great idea to make sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure you are. The chumps that are being grumps shouldnt be so quick to decide what is or isnt. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtin!!" This is your time Abby! Thanks for letting us share it. You have been and will continue to be truly amazing to us!!
    Kris and Connor Hamilton
    Killeen Texas

  85. Hi Abby,

    Reading your blog everyday is fun and educational including comments from fellow bloggers.

    " You are the captain of your fate and the master of your soul", Abby.

    Thanks for your update and hope you will share some photos of your journey.

    Stay safe captain and look forward to your next blog.

    Trina and Marv
    Ventura, Ca.

  86. I had may Monitor wind vane break on me 2 days past NZ on my solo trip from Brisbane Aus to Frisco. I repaired it but still decided to sail back to the Bay of Islands NZ to get the correct parts. It's a huge ocean and I agree with you 100%. I was about 45 then. Hang in there and enjoy the ride.

  87. Hey Abby

    Dont you worry about all the thing these people say girl,
    They are not there with you to experience what you do and they want to give lip about things Shame on them ...... It is one very BRAVE thing that you are doing and if its not a non stop SO WHAT!!! you are 16 years old and other people can only dream of doing this including me....

    I wish you the best of luck and hope i will be able to see you arrive

    Good Luck
    Be Safe

  88. To Anonymous who says Abby would be known as a quitter, if she stops for repairs. When was the last time you have sailed the oceans? How much experience do you have? Shame on you for making such a statement. When was the last time you have sailed, by hand tilling, a open 40 for two-three months. Obviously NEVER.
    Abby... Don't even listen to such a person. Wouldn't even sign his name. The rest of us are behind you and believe you are making the correct choice. Staying safe is the first concern.
    We all love you and wish you nothing less than your safe return to your home port.

    Bud & Charla Winnett

  89. Can you get a pilot boat to help you?

  90. Well, if you'd really like to stop and congratulate/meet Jessica Watson, since you aren't doing a non-stop trip anymore, you can do a planned stop in Sydney, just to be friendly. Just don't stay too long; I'm sure your family misses you!

    New Orleans

  91. Good Afternoon Abigail and followers,

    @ SCOTT, TEAM ABBY April 27,2010 11:43 PM
    Thanks Scott for your comment regards Abby's decision and your view as a TEAM member. I had actually missed reading your comment and wanted to highlight it here so that other followers who may have missed it will read it too.

    As you said Scott "There are countless other things involved but this is the short of it........." Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your support of Abby. Great work team.

    Abs....hope you are having a great sail today.

    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  92. The team Abby comment from Scott at 11:43 pm April 27th (this link should work) should either be made into an actual blog entry or be REQUIRED READING for everyone on this blog.

    For anyone reading this comment who is questioning Abby's decision to go to Cape Town. There are apparently more issues than autopilots.

    Before I started to read Abby's blog a few days ago, I knew nothing about sailing. Now I know a bit about auto-steering, after doing some research. For those of you who still wonder why she is using autopilots and not a wind vane, the answer is that he boat is too fast for a wind vane.

    Abby/Team Abby: I know that the mileage distances on "Where's Abby" are approximations, but did she really go 336 miles from day 94 to 95? That looks like it was a one day record! Or was it, like a previous commenter wondered, a typo? I would have thought that Abby would have noted amazingly good winds and fast sailing.

    Sail on, Abby. You have more people pulling for you than you even realize!

  93. just a note....i saw where pirates are expanding their area of operation so be very careful while you are in that area.....hope you have a navy vessel you can call on just in case...glad you steering is doing better...tom in indianapolis

  94. 15-20ft waves, OMG... I would be a nervous wreck.. I have tried sailing for fun in N.Cal and have an aweful time getting control over the choppy waters here...LOL!

    Great to hear your coursemaster is doing OK now.

    Mr.K from CA

  95. Keep your chin up and your wild eyes shining :^) Enjoy the journey for what it is.

    I don't know if your family is familiar with The Wilderking series - it's 3 books that retells much of the story of David, in a swampy island nation kind of setting. It's a great series, and it should be part of your homeschooling curriculum if it isn't. But anyway, the prophet tells Aidan (the allegorical David): "Live the life that unfolds before you. Love goodness more than you fear evil." So live the journey that unfolds before you - ignore all the second guessers out there.

  96. Hello again Abby.... So I came to the conclusion after yesterday's blog to you, that if you're blogging you must have internet, and therefore I guess my attempt to get you news is really just redundant. So, Sorry!

    Anyways, poo poo on the people sending nasty emails to Coursemaster. Do they really have nothing better to do? Or could they possibly send those nasty letters to more deserving people?! Hello!! Without Coursemaster, I have a feeling you would have had to stop for repairs much sooner, KUDOS TO COURSEMASTER!

    Hope that Cape Town is at least a nice break from the sea, maybe grab yourself a few hot meals and pack on the snacks!

    Keep up the good work girlie!!


  97. Abby,

    Sorry to hear you are having auto-pilot problems! Interested to know whether your auto-pilot is made by the same company as that used by Mike Perham? His auto pilot also killed his "alone and unassisted" solo attempt as well.


  98. I would like to point out that the theme for Startrek Enterprise is "Faith of the Heart" by Russell Watson. Here's a youtube link.


  99. Dear Skipper Abby:

    Dear God has taken care of you very well. You're almost halfway around earth and you are still in good health and good spirits. Enjoy the rest of a thousand miles from where you are now to Cape Town. Forget those "records" You are the first sixteen year old girl from Thousand Oaks, CA for me and my family.

    We had some problems with our internet connection at home this past week. Hence, we were silent the whole week and we were so anxious to know where you and how you were doing. I am very glad that you are still in the right direction and have picked up great speed.

    We will keep praying to the Lord to keep you safe and healthy so can finish your dream sail around the globe in His own time.

    With hands clapping with joy for what you have done so far,

    Jacky O and Family

    {I posted this comment in a cyber cafe in Manila at 12:42 AM, April 29, 2010.)

  100. My goodness, we're all a bunch of stern seat drivers here. All I know is that I love the ocean, but not enough to be out on it as you are-- you're a better lady than I am! Glad you are listening to your head, your heart, and your team mates-- sounds like a good steering system to me!

  101. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    You are the best!


    Take care, Be safe.

  102. Sweet Dear Abby,
    interesting that all of this should and has taken place some 10 to fourteen days out...
    the verse that comes to mind is found in psalms 30:1-5... especially the part about joy coming in the morning...
    we who know and love you and "The whole Sunderland Team" will be in much prayer...
    when I was a baby Christian ...now some forty years ago, I went on a missionary journery from Big Bear Lake to and through Baja California... delivering food and clothes and christmas gifts and Christian love and teaching all donated from the BBL community to the Christians Churches, Orphanages and a school for the blind in Baja there were about three or four vehicles and a dozen or so people... at times my 64'painted camouflage Econoline van would break down in the middle of no where... literally and ocean of sand... and 'the saints' would prayer and it would 'miraculously run'... being a new believer and follower of Jesus Christ, not only was I shocked but amazed (it cemented me into HIM)... their faith great, their dependence, on The Lord and not themselves...
    I say this not to have you in anyway enter into harms way, or be foolish or even place you in any danger..
    but to give you that peace and solace of you knowing that you are in HIM... things have a way of happening... for HIS purpose
    Proverbs 24:6
    for by wise guidance you will wage war,
    and in abundance of counselors there is victory

    we fortunately don't in our lifetime have to be waging war... but it was at that time that people were most in danger...
    so too, when we find ourselves in any "helpless condition", we need that wise guidence and abundance of counselors
    and bathed in prayer by 'the saints'...

    just a side not i watched a good friend of mine the other day writing a note on his arm, and joked can't lose that piece of paper can you... he said i've been doin it my whole life and it works just fine for me...
    hey Abby remember when you thought you left port without a pen, cause everyone was taking them off the boat... Just consider it 'Sharpie Art' an "abby tatoo', now your a real sailor...
    "inked" in memory of an important event on the open seas...
    Love you Abby, you're doing GREAT...
    seek wise guidence and be in the psalms daily.
    Always in our thoughts and prayers
    Mark n Adino
    Vicksburg,MIssissippi USA
    ps Adino got her first airplane flight,in a Cherokee 140.. not bad for a portuguese waterdog who's gonna be 7 in November.. she did great at 12,000'

  103. Scott's comment concludes the question about should she stop or go for it. Without functioning wind generators, Abby is using her diesel at a rate where she would run out of fuel before the finish. Like he said, no electrical power, no AIS, no running lights at night, and no auto steering. Also no communication with her team. So Abby is now running her Yanmar engine (prop disengaged) as often as she pleases knowing she will add fuel in Cape Town.

    It's unfortunate she has to stop but single handed circumnavigation comes with risks. Equipment failure is only one of many. Abby could have planned a stop voyage from the beginning similar to Laura Dekker who has always stated she plans to go through the Pamama Canal. If successful, Abby will be the youngest person ever to circumnavigate. Non-stop is just a category of the greater challenge.

  104. You are an amazing young woman and your logical thinking and great attitude will carry you across many oceans.

    I'm telling everyone I know about you and how to follow your journey.

    You are a true American hero and adventurer.


    John Gotts

  105. Well, now you can focus on doing this for you and enjoying every minute. No longer working for the record, just having a lifetime of adventure for you. Congratulations. I have always been more of a "I'm doing it because its there and I want to" kind of person than doing something for a record. Record are broken, then broken again. It wouldn't be long before someone else comes along and breaks it, but the memories you are making on this trip will last you a lifetime. And I also hope that this is not THE adventure, but merely one in a long lifetime full of adventure. You Rock!

  106. Steve from California just sent me an e-mail suggesting I check out Jessica's blog (www.jessicawatson.com.au).

    Wow! Another knock-down! This time while riding to a sea anchor in 40-foot seas and 50-knot winds off of Bass Strait. Steve and I had been thinking she would take a dash through Bass Strait (despite the terrible shipping traffic, just to avoid the back-to-back storms of Tasmanis right now), but looks like she's just biding her time waiting for the storm to pass until making her run down around the south end of Tasmania.

    She also has kind words for Abby, and says she's glad that they are now going for their own, slightly different records.

    Readers here might want to give Jessica's blog a look, as this is the kind of weather that Abby is likely to find as she heads into the Indian Ocean deep into Fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

    The writing is beautiful. After surviving a horrid night with a knock-down beyond 90-degrees, meaning that her mast actually went clear over and into the water, here's what she had to say about watching the waves in the morning:

    "But on the up side, these waves are just amazing. I spent years dreaming about what waves like this looked like and they are 10 times more incredible than I'd ever imagined. I just can't believe I sailed the whole way around the world to see them when here they are right in my own backyard!"

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  107. Wow according to your website, you did 336 miles between 4/26 & 4/27. That's 14 knots!! At that speed you could have done the whole 26,000 mile trip in 77 days & been home 2 1/2 weeks ago. That's almost as fast as Ellen MacArthur's 71 days in a 75' trimaran!!
    And not a mention in the blog of such speed. How humble.

  108. Great job Abby! I think it's smart to go into port. Besides, part of sailing around the world is to see new places, so now you will get to experience a new place and meet a few new people! Just enjoy every moment of this amazing trip and don't stress about the record. This accomplishment (sailing solo around the world will remain with you all your life and people will know that you are a person of character and endurance. I sailed from MDR to Ensenada last weekend in my little 23' Coronado and I can't imagine even doing that short trip with no autopilot! Our prayers are with you! - Kip

  109. Thanks for the update.

    Very disappointed that there have been emails to Coursemaster with rude or nasty content.

    All the best to you Abby and your team!!

  110. Abby, I've been gone on my own short cruise and just got back and read where you are pulling into Cape Town. Not a thing wrong with being safe. I do think there is nothing wrong with attempting a circumnavigation without a wind vane and only autopilots. Less chance of success, but with proper planning (such as you have done) it is certainly worth the attempt. You are a wonderful girl and a wonderful sailor. Love your gentle admonition to those blasting Cruisemaster. You just have so much class young lady. Have fun the rest of your trip and enjoy your time as you will be the youngest to circumnavigate solo. Love and prayers.
    Dwight in NC

  111. As Grant Fjermedal pointed out, everyone who hasn't should check out Jessica Watson's blog at (www.jessicawatson.com.au). This will give you a good idea of what Abby will have to go though although I hope not as severe. In reading that particular blog from Jesse about how she couldn't believe she sailed all the way around the Earth to see waves like this and here they were right in her own back yard. I didn't get any feeling of competition, breaking a record or anything else other than the sheer love of the adventure. These girls know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. Both Abby and Jesse have captured my heart and respect and will be remembered for a long, long time. Get your boat fixed Abby and scoot on over to Sydney, AU to visit with Jessica. I'm sure there will be quite a welcome in Sydney and the news cameras will be rolling so it will give you a taste of the media circus that you can expect when you arrive back in California. Hang in there girl.

  112. HAY! ABBY!

    Nice and sunny sounds great. Keep up the good work. Enjoy the ride.

    What an extraordinaey young women...and sailer.

    GO! GO! ABBY!

  113. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherApril 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Abby -- Just chiming in to say again how much I enjoy your blogs... You have my utmost respect! Take care out there, Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

  114. Hi abby, just wanted to let you know your awesome!

    also can you let people to go on my blog, i got some really good stuff but i need traffic views like you do



  115. I just happened across your blog--what an amazing journey! I look forward to reading more...

  116. Hi Abby! I started reading about your journey a few days ago because an article about you popped up on Yahoo news. You are amazing! This journey sounds so awesome. Best of luck getting into Cape Town, you will be great! You've already traveled so far. I'm very impressed. Safe sailing!

  117. Abby;
    It is sad that people interfere. I am certain you are correct about the pilot system..and you will be fine. It is good to read your post and you do sound happier and more confident. All the things you have learned will come back to you as you need it. I'm praying special prayers over you as you drive toward Capetown. I'm sure it can all be unnerving but theres a lot of experince available with your blog mates and you've got a cool head about you..Be strong and courageous!!

    Gary & Jan

  118. Keep up the good work. Anyone who can sail the world at age 16 is an amazing person. Maybe Amazon can get you a new Kindle while in Cape Town?

  119. Captain Abby,
    Excellent safe thinking pulling into port is the right thing to do. You can always pull into port and say hi to Jessica as well in Australia, think it would be good PR. Another good thing about pulling into port is, I'm guessing that you can now finish your circumnavigation back home rather than in Cabo.
    I've wanted to ask you what has been your favorite dehydrated food? Safe voyages!

  120. Abby, Change is the most constant thing. The odds of completing your original goal are astronomical. Live and love every second of your adventure!
    Santa Cruz, Ca.

  121. If you just get a big bag of spare parts and back ups passed to you, you wont need to stop, just drop the 'unassisted'.
    You seem to be able to fix it all yourself any way, then there is always Australia if need be.

  122. Hi Miss Abby,
    Nice blog. You're more and more at ease with this exercise. We are happy to see you can enjoy some holiday weather too, after all that mist and rain. Plus some wind and a working again autopilot, you must feel better on all points.
    You are right about Coursemaster, their well-known and esteemed device is probably not the main culprit. And you are right too, fearing the traffic near Cape Town. You will have to be aware and vigilant, but you can make it. Being conscious of the difficulty is overcoming already one good half of it!
    Nice comments too, Bob and Grant! But it's usual with you! Faithful, wise and always tactful and polite, a pleasure to read.
    And many thanks to Scott (team Abby) for his explanations!

  123. Hey Abby,
    Although I support your decsion to stop in SA, it seems a shame to lose the "non stop" achievement, as you have come such a long way already.
    I agree with the suggestion that you dont actually stop but get passed the hardware necessary... as per anonymous above.
    However , you and your team know whats best, and Im sure we will all keep following, and thinking about you, and be there to congratulate you at journey end.
    best wishes

  124. Jessica and fellow circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates were confused for each other by the customs plane! They are literally almost on top of each other's positions right now. Even though Jeanne has no Internet or email because of dead laptops, Jessica or anyone can contact Jeanne for free by sending text messages using www.iridium.com The Sat phone # to enter is +881631641746 Also her SSB is working! See Jeanne's discussion of Jessica at http://www.svnereida.com

  125. Abby, I must admit I've only recently learned about your adventure, and as a mother son your very same age I was scared for you, out there alone on the big sea! But clearly you are an accomplished sailor and a very special young lady. I'm sorry you may need to pull into Cape Town, but that in no way diminishes your accomplishment! I'll continue to follow your blog and pray for your safe trip! God Speed! Lisa

  126. Your adventure looks exciting, I hope all goes well and you arrive safe and sound. Thanks for sharing your story. Tt is very inspirational.

    Voyage ON

  127. Capt. Abby, I'm quite surprised what with all the experienced nautical advice and otherwise extraordinary guidance (?) ...not a sailor amongst us has cautioned you to exercise great care to avoid the dreaded "channel fever"... as you approach C-Town; wonder if Google has that one? Also, now at my house we have two major posters to anticipate so breathlessly... Abby & Scott ... thanks bigtime!

  128. You are right to stick with Coursemaster. It was just bad luck, that's all. Rest up in Capetown.

  129. Hi Abby:

    Enjoy Cape Town and enjoy getting all your equipment back in order. Then you will be ready for the rest of the journey and adventure.

    I agree with some that I would be cool if you did stop at Sydney. What a welcome you would receive.

    Look forward in you having new cameras so that we can enjoy the pics along the way.

    Hugs, seattlesid

  130. Abby ... I'm not sure if I believe you are nervous about getting into port at Cape Town, South Africa. Are you aware statically speaking of the percentage of 16 year olds worldwide who get to port at all? Let alone porting in a continent different from the one you sailed away from? You are having the time of your life and I think porting in Cape Town will be a wonderful experience for you.

  131. Hi Abby
    I am from Western Australia and have been following jessica during here sea voyage . She had another knock down ,( but is OK ) the seas where she is at this time are huge twelve meters plus, she mentioned you and that you have had some trouble but be encouraged, YOU will complete the voyage I am sure , Mar God be with you both..Phil

  132. Hi Abby,
    I am so enthralled by your journey,courage and maturity. When I was young I read a story in the National Geographic about a young man whom circumnavigated in a 26 foot sloop called the Dove. He started at 16 and finished at 21. I wanted so badly to do the same, but didn't. I will live vicariously through you, if you don't mind. Your a wonderful young lady and your parents, family and friends must be very proud of you (and your brother Zac). My prayers and thoughts are with you on your magnificent journey. Enjoy and take in everything, even the days and nights that might be a little fearful. They make you the woman you will become.

  133. Hey Captain Abbey, I see you. Coming into port is serious.Hell with the rest of the ----.Jess sees you as well. It's ok.All the experts can give the girl sum breathing room. She has a team . Follow and listen Sandi

  134. Oh I am so glad you are having a better time as of late. Sleeping in your bed will do wonders - you will feel like a new person! Maybe there is a reason you are supposed to stop at Cape Town. And you may not even know the reason then - it might be some time before you know. Nonetheless, make the most of it - have a wonderful visit there - and then back out ya go! Whoo hoo!

  135. Abby you are having the adventure of a lifetime. Stay safe. Have fun. Make beautiful memories.

    Tim (Switzerland)

  136. Abby,
    please don't listen to those who would have you risk your life for a technicality (i.e. unassisted, and non-stop). Jessica Watson is having a torrid time in the oceans off the south of Australia.... imagine that without an auto-pilot. You only have one life.
    Robert (Melbourne)

  137. Hi Abby, Don't take any notice of those people telling you not to go into Cape Town. Any real seafarer knows safety comes first and I doubt those people have done any ocean sailing.records are insignificant - a life with so many years ahead in which to do great things is all important. We in Australia applaud you and know you will finish what you set out to do - circumnavigate the globe. Take care and God bless and keep you safe. David (Melbourne, Australia)

  138. Hello Abby,
    I am so glad, that the autopilot is working again! Another skill to add to your many........expert in fixing and maintaining this particular brand of autopilot!

    I can empathize with you, that you would rather be out in the ocean, than to avoid small and large craft near land.
    But even that you will accomplish!

    Sail on, stay well, happy and safe,

    Trudy, Austria/Australia

  139. Hi Abby
    just read a lot of the emails above ... @RichieParis and thereby @Scott and @Grant ... my thanks for more of the information and details.
    ABBY everyone on the Blog is wishing you Safe and Good Speed ... if possible fix up the items and sail on ... no further advice need be given.
    and Wishing You and Your Team the best!

  140. Hi Abby,
    Been following Your progress regularly and am really impressed.
    I've seen just about all the naviguessers say at least once,"Gee, I wonder where the heck are we?". Now we pretty much just look at the GPS and know. But it Was a big deal once.
    There's one thing that still gets me tho, and alot of other sailors feel it too especially when we're heading out into the sticks. What I'm talking about is what seems like a natural aversion to pulling the hook. I mean, why would anyone want to leave a cozy spot and go back to the crazy sometimes sleep-deprived schedule of passagemaking?
    I don't know, I just think that moment can be kind of difficult.
    If You do stop in Capetown, Please remember that we are with U all the way, and hopefully the departure will be a little less overwhelming. Really, it'll be OK just go for it.
    I don't think U really need to be told anything like stay hooked on. I'm sure U are attached when it matters and are like a cat when U aren't. You're Obviously a sailorgirl.
    Anyway when U head out into that wild part of the world; that by itself is more than most of us could ever dream of doing.

  141. 04-29-10 @ 07:23
    Hi Abby and Scott,
    @Scott Team Abby: Thanks for your explanation of the situation as to what it entails. There is so much more behind a decision like this that the average ‘landlubber’ just doesn’t understand. It is so easy to make decisions when you’re sitting at home in comfort and not battling seas and winds. I still feel the right decision was made. Thanks again Scott!!!!!
    Abby, you’re doing a fine job, trust yourself and your ‘Team’. You are the one in the ‘drivers seat’ and the one out in the middle of all that water, so like I have said before “satisfy yourself first”.
    Take good care of yourself and enjoy yourself in Cape Town. Pictures???
    Don’t leave until you are fully satisfied with the repairs. Good luck on your entry into the port, you’ll handle it well.
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  142. Abby,

    Really fantastic you are going on and appreciating the experience for what it is. You have converted me to a follower and I look forward to hearing about the trip and your thoughts etc. Good Luck,


  143. Goodmorning Abby, I just wanted to say Hi and that I will be praying for you, don't be scared,you are going to do just fine. Abby, we are all so proud of you and I cannot beleive that there are still people saying things that aren't very nice.....pay no attention to them. I won't be able to get back to you until monday and I am hoping by then maybe you will be in Cape Town. My prayers and thoughts will be with you. You are doing great. no worries but do be careful. Gail/Ventura

  144. don't worry too much about what the critics say.. all that matters is that you're doing what you love to do & it also should not matter that you have to stop & even if it you have to stop again later too for what ever reason... you're being smart ( an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is the best way to approach any situation in life ) , we all know that you will make it safely around the world & just keep writing that book & then the next time you go around the world take a kitten with you for companionship

  145. Abby ... With the next 10 days or so being somewhat anticlimactic (but you never know for sure in the open ocean) why not give fishing another try. If nothing else, a successful catch would be something to add in the current chapter of your book. Speaking of which, I'll make you a deal. I'll buy your book IF you promise to do a tell-all about the self steering hydraulic fluid leak, where in your blog account, you were a little skimpy on details :-)

    Fair winds, Abby.

  146. Jeff,PennsylvaniaApril 29, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Hope the autopilot works until you get closer to cape town...you will be there in no time and be back out at sea...go get em abby

  147. Now that your goal has changed from non-stop/un-assisted, to youngest solo around the world, you may as well take advantage and make that congratulatory stop in Sidney, Australia. I'm sure Jesse would love it.

  148. Hi Abby,

    Keep moving, Cape Town isn't far off. Go Abby go!

    ~RV Gang

  149. Jessica, Facing More Tough Weather, Thanks Her Blog Community for the Support

    For many of us the journeys of Abby and Jessica are tightly entwined. What a story! ;-)

    As everyone here knows, Jessica has been badly bashed about by the huge waves of the Southern Ocean, and had to deploy a sea anchor to ride out the most recent of a line of storms (and still took a bad knock-down).

    In her latest post (wwww.watson.com.au) she speaks about her apprehension about heading out into still bad seas, even as worse weather is predicted for this weekend. But despite the apprehenshion, she's winched in the sea anchor and is on the move again.

    The one huge obstacle between Jessica and home is the islandd of Tasmania, which is infamous amongst sailors around the world for its terrible weather, especially at this time of the year, and will always be remembered for the deadly storm that tore apart fleet in the Sydney to Hobart Race.

    I thought readers here would enjoy going over to Jessica's site as today she is really speaking from the gut.

    She's banged up and bruised and heading into an even more life-threatening leg of her journey.

    Amidst it all she gives thanks for those who are following her adventures and rooting for her from wherever they might be.

    She concludes her dispatch with:

    "It helps a lot knowing that Ella's Pink Lady was built to take this and having Bob's great weather updates. As long as I keep myself fed and rested, there's no reason that I can't take anything on. Also, for some reason or another, it really does help knowing that's there's tonnes of people thinking of me out here, so thanks guys!"

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  150. See Laura Dekker's full comments about Abby and Jessica at http://tinyurl.com/lauradekkerweb
    (This of course is not a clean translation...but you get the gist!)
    "It is unfortunate that the media do it for pretend abby with it is stopped. Abby goes on with her world, though not non-stop. Now she does the same as me. I now greatly need to proceed to the record even to be get. For now abby a rival of me instead of that of jessica.

  151. Hi Abby!

    I think the most important thing is to be able to say that you sailed around the world by yourself, not that you did it non-stop. As you've said, safety is far more important an issue and I applaud you for your position. Keep going, we are all enjoying your voyage along with you.

    Mark Llewellyn, Oviedo, Florida

  152. Hi Abby, here's hoping your bed and boots are dry again. I hope too, you get the winds you want, and am looking forward to read that everything that needs to be fixed will be so you can be on your way again.

    Take heart, and take care little lady, you'll be ok amongst the traffic.
    Sunshine Coast. Qld. Aus.

  153. Abby,
    Hope you have an awesome adventure! I'm glad to hear that you are having some smooth sailing and somehow, I hope, your autopilot starts miraclulously working! (if it does thank me :)
    Have an awesome adventure!
    Leah in Mr. J's Class
    Kodiak, Alaska

  154. Hey Abby, As Kevin Lynch said, we'd love to see you in Sydney or any convenient port. With Jessica's voyage hopefully, safely concluding soon, you will be the one we'll all focus on. It's wonderful watching both of you succeeding and providing inspiration to all.

  155. Abby,
    My students are still excitedly following your progress and we wish you all the best! You're a Winner with a capital W! Your tenacity, grit, and kind demeanor have taught the kids much about how to be successful in life.
    Keep up the great work and enjoy your visit with your team in South Africa.
    God Bless!
    Mr. J's 5th grade
    Kodiak, AK

  156. Why do the last two map positions show a correction of going East of Cape Town?

    Non-stop vs. stop etc.

    There some ideas to air drop supplies while underway thus retainingg the 'non-stop' portion. The "rules" (official WSSRC) do allow for allow for stopping, but only by anchor and not disembarking. Doesn't mean you have to be physically moving for "non-stop". David Dicks who was the youngest non-stop with assistance just happened to be in the middle of nowhere when he received his part. Abby could anchor in CT and receive the same air drop but couldn't get off the boat to still be conisdered non-stop. Not clear though if doing that and having her team board as well to effect the repairs does somethig to the little "rules" other than the with assitance part. These are the almight assorted racing and record rules of the WSSRC. You can even stop, park your boat and return a year later and continue for it to be considered the same attempt.

    Still think parking by anchor get sleep refreshing and then tackling fixing everything without getting off and in the calm water, is worth it before docking and getting off and invoking non-stop with assistance.

    So what's the idea? If the one pilot now is working fine after a reset what's the status with the other? One's display didn't work but the drive was fine no leak, the other working display but with a leaky drive. Was the combo of those two the one that went haywire and was fixed with the reset? If you put primary back together as before and secondary as before and reset both, are we just left with 1 leaking drive as being the remaining problem amongst them both? Can that be fixed with some anchorage and good nights sleep and the team next door but not onboard? Now the windvanes seem to have caught the disease. Can those be fixed without anyone coming onboard, such ridiculosuly complex pieces of equipment as they are :-)

    Still think there are possiblities to explore before either non-stop or assisted comes in to play. Hot showers for sure can wait if that can be done.

    Also see the lovely Jen Edney left for Cape Town the other day and announced doing so several days before Abby announced pulling into port. Thought that a little suspicious :-)) however on checking Jen's website it's just the bizzarest coincidence, she's been scheduled to go there to do a yacht delivery for May for quite sometime. Maybe she'll even miss Abby or what?

    No watermarks or thumbnail sizes please if not :-))))

  157. Hi Abby,
    You know when I was browsing your site, I was thinking to myself oh gee another 16 year old blogging about her day BORING... but as I read on and read more into your blog I must take my words back.
    Circumnavigating the world is INSANE!!! You certainty don't hear much of this anymore. It is funny I would have never thought that anyone attempt Magellan's route but lo and behold I am wrong. Go abby Go, I am cheering you on!

  158. Hi Abby
    Forecast for Capetown is showing highs of 70, lows of 52 with mix of sunshine and clouds for next 10 days.
    If you have time in CT, may I suggest the following -
    visit Robben Island and take the cable car to the top of Table mountain, but bring a fleece or hoodie, its cold and windy at the top!
    If you haven't seen it, see Avatar.
    If you haven't read it, pick up a copy of
    "Invictus" and "The girl with the dragon tatoo"
    Do a South African braai (bbq) and try, if you like, boerewors (sausage).
    Perhaps Mom and Dad might like to try a nice Reisling from Stellenbosch or a glass of Castle.
    If you visit a safari park, steer clear of the baboons, they are dangerous.
    Abby, enjoy your visit, but don't leave South Africa, if you can, without a lucky gold charm and a Springboks rugby jersey!
    Best wishes

  159. Abby,

    Just wondering if you thought of just having a boat come out and dropping of a new autopilot?

    Keith M

  160. Cape Town is two words.


    Marina Delrey is three.

  161. Abby, you have made an incredibly difficult decision to end your unassisted record attempt. The fact that you made the decision shows maturity & wisdom beyond your years. Jet planes won't fly across the Pacific without backups for their backup navigation systems, and neither should you venture across the Southern Ocean without reliable navigation equipment. It would be diffeent if you had someone to share the watch with you but since you don't, the autopilot is imperative.
    Enjoy your sojourn in Cape Town, and may you be back out to sea in no time at all.
    Love & hugs to a special young woman,
    Brian & Phillippa
    Vancouver, Canada

  162. 04-29-10 @ 23:08
    Hi Abby,
    Well it looks like a couple more days and you’ll be in Cape Town and shortly thereafter you’ll be back on the high seas….Yes??? And how are you doing today, hopefully you’re sailing along nicely with a decent wind at your back. I hope you’re A/P is holding up so you can make it to the Cape. Now might be a good time to do a little preventive maintenance, if you’re not already caught up on it. I know push, push, push…..lol… But you need some kick-back time too, so relax and enjoy. Just wanted to say Hi and wish you some luck and smooth sailing.
    Take good care of yourself and your crew, you’re doing a fine job and I’m very proud of you and of your decisions.

    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  163. Hey Abby,
    i just wanted to give you a tip about drying out you boots--- if you have any extra paper or something that soaks up water (paper works best) just stuff it at the bottom of your shoes from the toes up the ankle and it should do the trick.
    I love reading you blog! Keep up the good work!

  164. Why do a number of blogger's here want Abby to meet Jessica in Sydney?

    Jessica started and will finish her journey in Sydney however her home port is Brisbane - 1,000 kilometres north of Sydney.

    If Abby has time to drop in to visit then perhaps, to avoid the nasty weather in the south, go around the top of Aussie then call in to Brisbane to visit Jessica.


  165. Go Abby, amazing to follow your voyage! Steve

  166. @Grant Fjermedal: Just want to say that I have enjoyed every comment you make. Especially awhile back when you took the time to lay out the scenarios of autopilot failures and what that means. Half of the enjoyment I have of Abby's blog as been learning about sailing (something completely foreign to me) and I have found Grant's comments to be consistently the most educational. The rare combination of supporting Abby while objectively laying out the situation in laymen's terms so the rest of us can understand. Kudos Grant! And go Abby!
    -Nicholas in Seattle

  167. Hey Abby...your getting there,..GO Girl!!

    Bob from Boston

  168. Cape Town is two words. Capetown is one word.I can confirm that I'm a terrible speler. Usually when I post a comment, even if I preview it, there's always something that I would change after I see it posted. But if I get hung up worrying about how someone spells a word (like, say, preparations),it's too easy to miss the much more important message behind the words, or keep an open view of the world. Whats important to me:U Call the Shots, Skipper! Marty

  169. Oops! Sorry, Cape Town is indeed two words and also a great place to visit. Unintentional typo

  170. I agree. Grant is cool as is Steve in California. It's a treat when they post comments and break it down for those non-sailors of us. Keep 'em coming!!

  171. 04-29-10 @ 12:04
    Hi Abby,
    Just dropped in to see if there was any new and good news, nothing yet. I’m kinda rushing things, sorry for my impatience…lol… It does look like you’re making some pretty good time heading for Cape Town, keep it up.
    So I’ll just wish you some more good luck and hope that you enter the port easily and safely. That’s for you, I know that you can do it!!!! Other than that I hope everything else is going well for you. How are you doing, getting rested, eating and drinking lots of liquids??…Good, that’s good.
    Take good care of yourself, “Wild Eyes” and the crew, and stay alert…please……thank you.
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand and may the Angels keep your sails full, and I, I will be praying for you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood, WV

  172. A pit stop in Sydney, now that would so super cool to see our world's newest heroes. Alert the world media too.


  173. abby, please do not get a kitten...you have enough to worry about and focus on without the added concern of health and welfare of a kitten aboard.....while lovey,a potential distraction from the many things that need your attention......also, kinder to the kitten!!!

  174. Maybe someone can sing us a song while we wait?

    I see Zac's off to Cape Town, so no mistake about Abby heading over there. That's a long long haul from LA. 30 hours or so. Not as long as Abby's @ 90 days though. :-)

  175. Hi Abby,

    I thought this last post sounded much more mature than you did when you set off. It gave the impression that you've grown up a lot since leaving Cabo. Rounding Cape Horn solo is mighty impressive. It's already obvious that this trip is giving you inner strength that will be valuable all the rest of your life.

    Dean (66) Newton MA

  176. Dear Abby,

    I am glad to see that you are making progress towards Cape Town. I continue to pray for your safety, and I think of you all day long. Be safe and stay strapped in!

    Warm wishes from Kansas


  177. @Nicholas in Seattle & Anonymous 5:47 a.m. -- Thanks for the VERY kind words.

    Nicholas -- since you're in Seattle, give me a buzz sometime and we can go down to my sailboat at Shilshole Bay Marina. Will give you a better feel for what Abby is working with -- though her boat is 10 feet longer, and far more modern than mine.

    I'll have my boat out this Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., serving as the Race Committee Boat for the homeward leg of the Race To the Straits. You might not want to start off with a 7-hour tour, but if you'd like to come down earlier, I can show you around the boat before we go out to the other side of the breakwater and drop the anchor, and hoist the RC flag as we wait for about 100 boats to complete their race down from Port Townsend.

    Should be fun. I've got one of the few boats left that actually has a cast-iron wood-burning stove onboard, and so we'll stoke a fire all day, and with the other members of the Race Committee, just hang around the settee for hours and hours, talking about sailing, having some ice-cold ones, and listening to the VHF radio for hints about what's happening on the race, as we watch for the first boats to appear.

    Lots of fun. The thing I like best about sailboat racing is the comraderie, the great friends you make over the years. Really looking forward to it.

    - Grant Fjermedal, Seattle

  178. dear abby,

    we happened to be at the channel in january when you left on your historic voyage. stay the course as you are doing an extraordinary thing. ignore those nasty,small-minded people who evidently have nothing better to do than undermine those who undertake such amazing things. stay well,


    john and leslie
    santa monica

  179. Jeez Grant....that sounds so good I'd be tempted to skip out on the grand kids, catch a plane to Seattle and invite myself aboard.

    Thanks also for the kinds words. Even before Abby left MDR, I've been trying to chime in every now and then with some commentary that fleshes out the realities of Abby attempt. I know sometimes that my blog comments may read like I'm not fully supportive of her but, as Dwight, Roski, Grant and a few others know, that's not at all true.

    The pure physical and mental demands on a sailor in the open ocean, especially solo, can readily combine with boat gear and systems failures to turn difficult situations into dangerous problems in short order.

    I'm glad Abby is accepting the obvious need to tend to her auto pilot and charging systems in Cape Town. As she continues east, into ever increasingly shorter days and funkier weather, she'll be tried enough without having to worry (beyond every sailor's natural caution) about her essential boat systems.

    I'd bet serious money that while the gear is being tended to, Abby's shore team will be weighing all the weather and routing factors that will become increasingly important as the weeks roll toward mid year. It's still a very long way back to California.

    Best to all

    Steve in California
    (Grant: hoist one for me)

  180. How could I forget?
    Abby I suggested a couple of books but left out "Long Walk to Freedom". Its been on our bookshelf since you were one or two years old!
    Best wishes

  181. Abby, Last year a small jet with low fuel reserves ditched in the sea at Norfolk Island which was midway to Melbourne.
    This jet passed 2 suitable refueling stops at Fiji and 1 at Tonga.
    It would have been prudent to refuel where there is a cluster of islands rather than the solitary Norfolk Island as bad weather may make it impossible to land and 3 islands give you choices, 1 doesn't.
    Most on this blog agree with me, you made the right choice to stop at Cape Town and as you can see bad decisions have consequences.
    Keep safe.

  182. Over 180 comments as Abby is making her way to a now scheduled stop and almost ZERO comments on the Talisker Bounty Boat expedition which besides being damn interesting is also historically educational. I don't get it. Why is there no interest? It is so cool.


  183. Abby,

    I hope all is going well. You're definitely doing the right thing by pulling in to Cape Town. Don't listen to the Armchair Critics and Monday-Morning Quarterbacks. The ocean is a lonely place to be if a critical piece of equipment fails, and you'd be the one out there, not them.

    Scott from Team Abby - thanks for the earlier explanation of everything else that's wrong also. To a non-sailor like me that was very helpful.

    Abby, we're all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe.


  184. Hung from Hong KongApril 30, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Hi Abby,

    Sorry to steal your platform again. The Jessicans had a debate whether the Waltzing Matilda is an appropriate song to reflect the tough cookie spirit of Jessica. I endorse it in the historical point of view and have composed a contemporary version as follows. Abby, I just want to demonstrate to you how you girls have inspired so many goodness within many ordinary human souls. So, I wish you to see your achievement beyond the bend. You girls are making a new world order and new world culture.
    Another reason I post this in you blog is a technical one. The Jessica blog have gone stalled for a long while withbout any update. So, I just take the liberty to let it posted at the earliest instance in your blog. Many Jessicans are now double bloggers all the time.
    I can promise many more poet will write a suitable Abbigans Anthem for you sooner and later. Keep going Abby

    Hung From Hong Kong


    Dear Jesse and the Jessicans Family,

    While I was Chanting WALTZING MATILDA for Jessica, The True Spirit of Jessican inpsired me to invent a new lyric for her which will be named as the WALTZING JESSICA. I initially want to post it in the next new post, but the urge of the True Spirit just can't let me wait for any more minutes, so here come our WALTZING JESSICA : -

    Once a jolly young girl charmed by a sailing boat, Under the name of Lady Ella Pink .
    And she sang as she watched and waited till her dream comes true,

    You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me. Waltzing Jessica, Waltzing Jessica, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me, And she sang as she watched and waited till her dream comes true, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me.

    Down came the chance to set sail for a journey round the world, stumbled and crashed wound just one day after sail. And the mountain of criticism pounding her and family.

    You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me. Waltzing Jessica, Waltzing Jessica, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me, And she sang as she watched and waited till her dream comes true, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me.

    Up rode the media judgement backed by the government, launched a nasty campaign stopping her to go. Learned your mistakes and geared up your safety skill that you don’t know.

    You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me. Waltzing Jessica, Waltzing Jessica, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me, And she sang as she watched and waited till her dream comes true, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me.

    Up jumped the young girl set sail in the Lady Ella Pink, You’ll never gag or stop me alive said she, Her True Spirit shines through in her voyage of jesstiny.

    You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me. Waltzing Jessica, Waltzing Jessica, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me, And she sang as she watched and made her solo dream comes true, You’ll come a Waltzing Jessica with me.

    Copy right reserved by Hung from Hong Kong for our Ella Pink Lady

    1/5/2010 2:06pm


  185. need more photos and videos. Jessie had alot of videos.

  186. Dear Abby, I have followed your voyage from the start, and you are just as brave, couragous and resourceful as Jessica, and am sure that you will continue to follow your dream and succeed, Go Abby Go!!
    @Hung from Hong Kong: I have also followed Jessica's blog and all the lovely comments to her from you, but I really do feel that your latest blog on Abby's site singing Jessica's praises is a bit "NO GO"!!! This is Abby's voyage and if you feel you need to create a song, then please make sure it's for Abby, not Jessica!! How do you think Abby will feel if she reads this! Hope you understand what I mean, and best regards, SwissKiwi from Switzerland.

  187. Hey you made the right decision, safety first always. Congratulations on the first portion of your round the world trip We are sure when repairs are complete you will continue and have a safe trip the second half. We wish the very best for you, we follow you daily. Ken and Janet. Napa, Ca.

  188. Abby Thanks for you comments in

    You shall go forward and accomplish what you have set before you. May God be with you . Phil