Friday, May 7, 2010

Cape Town Update

From Team Abby:

Work is progressing nicely in Cape Town. A diver inspected Wild Eyes' hull today and found a large clump of seaweed on the prop. Everyone hoping that that is the cause of the engine trouble on Abby's arrival as the engine runs fine out of gear.

Everyone had an incredible night at the Cape Grace Hotel there at the V&A Waterfront. They are being hosted by a local family now who have been great company and a super support.

Abby was going to visit an all-girls school today and perhaps speak.

Rigging was inspected and besides a few tweeks and line changes - everything looks great.

Another video from Jeff Ayliffe - Primedia Broadcasting:


  1. I know how cool it is to stay in a hotel with such a view. Nice to know that you guys had a incredible time.

  2. I'll bet those girls will be fascinated to hear her tales. I know I would be, and I'm an old girl!

  3. Bonjour Abby (& Wild Eyes), and Team Abby,

    Thanks for the update. Waiting for more. :-)

    Take care.

  4. "Everything looks great" that's because EVERYTHING IS GREAT. congrats to all...especially abby.

  5. Great to hear from you Abby. Those South Africans are surely nice people A. (Except when we have to play them in rugby)Ha Ha

    Hope you get back out soon and get your journey underway again.

    Chris from Canberra AUS

  6. Abby, so glad you made it into Cape Town safely and here's to an incident-free voyage the rest of the way out. Is there a lot of action there in Cape Town with the World Cup set to start there soon?

  7. Glad to hear that it looks like the engine might be ok. Sounds like you are enjoying a little breather.

  8. I can hear Laurence is quickly taking on an SA accent. Rrrrrrrrrrrolling is his rrrrrrrrrr's already! :-)

  9. Thank you, Team Abby, for a great report. The videos that you’ve posted give us a nice feel for what preparation is taking place and also gives us a glimpse of Cape Town. Very interesting. I think that Abby will feel recharged to resume her voyage with a new confidence knowing that Wild Eyes is well-found to complete her trip. I’m really looking forward to your next Cape Town update.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  10. How wonderful to be able to bless others as you share your journey with them, Abby. I guess the Lord had more than repairs in mind when He steered you to Cape Town! Just gotta love how He works.

    Lori in MN

  11. Just watched the latest video ... very cool to see Wild Eyes up close after hearing so much about her. Does your dad always call you Abigail? Very sweet.

    I'm glad to see the sun does shine sometimes in Cape Town!

    Lori in MN

  12. Hi Abby - nice pix AND super video of your sail into C.T. - HOW NICE FOR THE SCHOOL KIDS TO HEAR OF YOUR ADVENTURE FIRST HAND - WOW !!!!!!!!! - WHAT A THRILL FOR THEM - happy stopover - God bless - Judy G - Surfer's Pdse - AUS.

  13. Tie Wild Eyes off and turn the engine in gear.See how it all feels and sounds.

  14. Evie from BendigoMay 7, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Abby enjoy your stay in South Africa
    Have a great time while you can

  15. Comparing this video of yours posted on this blog to the videos taken from you back in January definitely proves that “you have come a long way”.

    You have a very dedicated father (and mother of course) who very much cares about you. Lucky you! (You knew that already)

    s.n. El Cerrito, Ca

  16. Welcome to CT Abby! Try to have a little fun while there cause it may be awhile before you have a chance again. Love the pictures especially the one holding the french fry. We look forward to more pictures. Thank you for keeping us informed. God Speed. Don & MaryLou Huff, North Bend, Washington, USA

  17. Oh Abbey - What an inspiration you will be to those girls. You're such a super positive role model. Truly excellent.

  18. Thank You Abby for keeping us updated with your progress in SA.
    Alyssa from California

  19. Thanks for the update team Abby. Glad Abby is doing good and having a little fun, she deserves it. Gail/Ventura

  20. Great job Abby! Being a sailor myself, and following the around the world sailors and racers, I really hope you aren't too disapointed. It certainly was a noble attempt that by no means should be considered a disapointment. Since you really seemed to enjoy being out there, are you considering doing an around the world alone race?

  21. It sounds like stopping is turning out to be a wonderful experience for Abby. And considering no one will offically recognize Jessica Watson and her record there is no record to beat. Might as well stop and enjoy every moment. Abby you sound much happier than you have in a while. Well done and have fun. This is a once in a lifetime experience.

  22. Abby and Team
    Thanks for the video, nice to see what is going on in CT to get you ready. Did you really have all the stuff on board. You talked about corrosion on the kindle. All those cans do show what the salinity in the boat does to your 'stuff"
    Just a few hours ago I was out with my husband who was frustrated because we were lost. The Navi-system was not functioning properly and was giving us wrong directions. I told him " a 16 year old girl just sailed from California to South Africa through some of the most treacherous sea conditions ever. She didnt have a gas station to stop and ask directions, she used her knowledge and skill to get there. Please stop complaining, we are on land.. figure it out... He stopped talking and then a few minutes later replied...."and a 16 year old girl just shup me up because of her drive and determination... pretty inspiring!"
    I smiled and said yep guess that's what happened.
    Thanks for inspiring us all.
    Love and warm regards
    Sherna T

  23. Captain Abigail and Team,

    Thanks for the update and video.

    It was good to see all the gear drying out, the diver at work with the good news about the engine/prop and Dad and Scott hard at work. I was curious about the gentleman in uniform with the book and something ? special in the bag. You were being welcomed to CT?

    Lightning, rain and high winds to start off Mother's Day weekend here....I hope the good weather there holds for your repairs.

    john, Bay of Qunite on Lake Ontario, Canada

  24. Abby,

    As a South African, I welcome to Capetown! Sorry to see that you had to abandon your solo unassisted trip. I followed Zac's RTW trip in minute detail, as I am doing yours.

    I am therefore astonished to discover that according to the WSSRC you (and Zac and Mike Perham and in particular Jessica Watson),and any records you collectively might have set, don't exist! Since you are under 18 years old you are, according to them, a figment of the imagination; an abberation not to be taken seriously, rather dismissed out of hand.

    According to the patronising and condescending Rob Kothe, Publisher of the Sail-World Blog, Jessica Watson (and you by implication) are merely "brave little girls". As if you were just crossing the street on your own - not the Oceans of the world. How sexist is that.

    Keep sailing Abby - the only people you have to answer to are yourself, your family and your friends.

    Please know that there are allways going to be nay sayers out there who look forward to denigrating any outstanding achievement.

    Hope the next leg, from Capetown to Marina del Ray is all you hoped it would be.

  25. Thanks so much for the update. I'm happy that things are progressing well.

    The pics and video are a real treat. Please keep them coming.

    Enjoy your stay (the whole gang)in Cape Town.


  26. Hi Abby! You, Your ship, and especially the sails look just Mob-a-lus! I think I said this before, but we are all learning all the time,so please participate as much as possible in the repairs, nobody can provide more valuable input to the team than the one who has just spent 5 months living in the boat. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I can testify that Yanmar engines are the best thing to happen to production boats since fiberglass. ALL engines have unique personalities; U are getting to know yours. The kelp (or whatever it was) on the wheel may have been there for awhile, it just means that U really Haven't put it in gear till now; so cool.
    Seems like any visit to a foreign port usually includes catching the local cold thats going around so I wouldn't be in a big rush to leave.You will know when it's time better than any of us.
    If U aren't able to get a "Q" flag just remember that even a lifejacket, as long as it's yellow, flown from any halyard will tell everyone at a glance that You are running a healthy ship.
    You are so impressive! Peace, Marty in Santa Barbara

  27. We let you stop at CT to rest and refresh. Now you are changing your mind and deciding to go to school??

  28. Woo...hooo....hooray! Abby is the best!

  29. Great video Abby. Your comment about getting up in the middle of the night to check your course, only to find you were in the hotel room, that was funny, and learning to walk in a straight line again, we are all creatures of habit.

  30. Team Abby, thank you for the update. It's good to hear that everything's going to plan. Enjoyed the video ... seems a bit of "Spring cleaning" to be done.

    It's great your dad and brother could be with you for a little while. Enjoy the break Abby. Looking forward to your next blog. Take care little lady.
    Sunshine Coast. Qld. Aus.

  31. Dear Captain Abby & Your Beloved Family:

    My family send to you our CONGRATULATIONS! for sailing solo and bravely coming to port safe and sound!

    It was the Lord's plan to have you sail to port at Cape Town so you can have a reunion with your great and very loving family. Enjoy your stay and strengthen your bodily reserves and spirit before setting out for the longer journey ahead. Smell the flowers, visit the FIFA World Cup, enjoy the time with your younger brothers and sisters. Compare notes with Zac and of course relax in the loving arms of your Mom and Dad.

    Team Abby can have the time and all the logistics to refit your boat and gear. Fill it with needed stocks and food. It will be great to have some time with the press so that more people (especially those ordinary folks who do not have internet access) will learn about your adventure and be part of it. Its a very inspiring voyage for us ordinary mortals who do not have the guts and the resources to go solo.

    God bless you and your family.

    Jacky O

    May 8, 2010 / 7:34 PM
    San Fernando, Cam Sur, PHILIPPINES

    p.s. I posted this comment in the comfort of our home. My posts have been irregular these past two weeks due to my travel to various parts of Luzon, Philippines.

  32. Did we determine what the full and complete problems are with both autopilots? Quite a few of us are quite interested in the total gory details on that when you get a chance.

  33. looking forward to following the rest of your trip now that Jessica is almost home. I hope you two meet up somewhere to excange stories the rest of us will never experience. Hope the repairs are quick and permanent and the rest of your jouney is safe and trouble free.
    From Brisbane Australia.

  34. 05-08-10 @09:42
    Hi Team Abby and Abby,
    Saw the diver on your video and was glad that it was nothing more than some seaweed, hope it didn’t do any unseen damage. Could Abby have just picked that up on her way in? I’m sure you’ll be checking out the shaft, as well as any supports that may have been loosened, if the prop stopped abruptly. I say these things and yet I know that you are a top shelf crew working on “Wild Eyes”. I’m just an old worry wart…lol…yes???…yes, for sure!!!!
    Good luck on all your repairs.
    Well Abby, it looks like you’re getting settled in to your new, temporary surroundings, and I thought that was very commendable of you to have a little chat with the schoolchildren. That would be a great incentive for them, straight from the lady herself…yes indeed.
    It sounds like Cape Town, if you have to have a break-down is a very hospitable place to do so.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the video’s and definitely watch them again, and again.
    Take care of yourself and enjoy the scenery and the people, eat well and get plenty of rest. Loads of love and hugs.

    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

  35. @ DAN

    You understanding is incorrect. For ease of explanation, this current news article pretty much sums up what has occurred.

  36. Hey Abby! Great job. You're doing great. Enjoy your rest time and get the best of it. We're proud of you. Good luck and stay safe and be careful out there! Thanks for the wonderful pictures and videos you posted. GO Abby GO!!

  37. Lisa Gustafson Costa Mesa, CAMay 8, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Congratulations on your arrival. Enjoy your visit to Cape Town, It will go by very quickly. Happy sailing.

  38. And for all those planning their life around the 15th of May:
    Program Guide for HD Channel012 ONE Digital
    11:00 - 13:00* LIVE: Jessica Watson: The Homecoming
    Experience a moment in history with Exclusive Access to Jessica Watson's Homecoming. With cameras scattered around Sydney Harbour,Bill Woods and Sandra Sully bring you Jessica's first interview.[Program info Ten]
    *11.00AM - 01.00PM AEST = +10h UTC
    -->01.00AM - 03.00AM UTC
    Victor C.Pankouken

  39. @ Anon May 08 9:07am

    I read the rules and all the articles in sail world and on the WSSRC website and most of the press articles, when the controversy began and prior to my post above.

    Your (SMH) argument is essentially redundant and irrelevant, as, since the WSSRC no longer recognises any achievement by an under 18 sailor; Jessica's (or Abby's) adherence to them or otherwise is moot.

    The main point of my post, which you wilfully ignore, is the unbelievable dismissive arrogance of bodies like the WSSRC, Sail-World Cruising Editor - Nancy Knudsen (in her case it sounds like a terminal case of sour grapes), and other mainstream publications.

    Regarding the " brave little girl" quote of Rob Kothe:_

    I sent a strongly worded e-mail to him regarding this statement of his. He replied as follows:

    From: Rob Kothe To: DAN....@....

    Re: General request from Australia Racing


    Thanks for your email. You are right about the little girl comment. I have five daughters and my littlest one is 22.

    It was not mean badly but I wont say it again and have already penned an apology.

    Trust you might find these interesting.,-Damn-Lies,-and-PR-Spin/69252

    Rob Kothe


    As you can see, he had the grace to man up, and apologise - which is a great deal more than anyone else who delights in denigrating the achievements of the "invisible non existent" under 18y.o. sailor has done.

    On a different note, since Zac is in Capetown, and Sydney is a short hop across the Indian Ocean (about 12 hours direct), hopefully he can also see his way clear to greet Jessica next Saturday.

  40. Well Abby it seems that you and your Dad and Zac and Team Abby are getting Wild Eyes's problems sorted out and you are getting some well deserved shore time and even doing a bit of socializing and going to that girl's school is like I've said before is very inspirational and you really are having an experience of a lifetime, what an incredible Young Woman you are and it seems it is really getting better. Once again have fun and stay safe. Peace & Aloha...38'43"N/122'67"W

  41. Hi Abby Well at this time you should be asleep but I just found a site from Cape Town with a live webcam at and go to the CapeTown cam, sorry folks I tried to post the link and it would not work but this does and it is at Victoria & Alfred (V & A ) Waterfront. it is in real time and so at this point its dark and I can't tell if this cam shows "Wild Eyes" but at daylight I'm looking. hope everyone enjoys this feed. Peace & Aloha. 38'43"N/122'67"W

  42. @ Dan.

    Moenie kak praat :-)

    The issue is simpler than you think it is.

    1. The "project" was sold as a record breaking attempt adhering to the WSSRC rules.

    2. In order to break the record one has to follow the exact same rules and route (or distance) as the record holder. It just so happens that those rules are the WSSRC's which as in 1. above the "project" agreed to adhere to in its record breaking attempt.

    3. That didn't (hasn't) happened. Therefore the record is not broken and one cannot claim title to it.

    Has nothing to do with being under 18 or WSSRC not recognizing it. This is neither arrogance nor bitterness on anyone's part. It's the rules. The rules are the rules. Dating back to Magellan who effectively benchmarked this rule. That rule being doing what is known as a "true circumnavigation". I suspect this is what you are not aware of or if you are are missing in your excitement for that projects conclusion next weekend. Herewith are "the rules":

    That's an equally enterprising idea, Zac should abandon Abby to go and welcome her friendly so-called "competition".

    Let me check the rule book on that one and see if it is permissible. I'll get back to right away. ;-)

  43. From Trina and Marvin, Ventura, Ca.

    Nice video and keep us inform what's going on. Take Care and have fun.

  44. this whole thing about the "rules" on this endeavour is just simply getting ridiciulous these young women are spending 4-7 months out on the world's oceans going around the world and some silly group say that these women don't derserve recognition STINKS they have earned a place in the history books inasmuch as I for one will not try this and neither would most of the people that post here and especially these sour and saracastic and uptight writers and pundits that think they are above the rest of us and they probably couldn't sail a rubber ducky in the bathtub klet alone on the worlds oceans
    Peace & Aloha... 38'43"N/122'67"W

  45. Capt. Abby, wow some folks sure do have a lot to say --- but when you use the Yanmar for propulsion or just do this periodically anyhow to avoid that "drag" of the weed on your wheel- back her down for 15 -20 seconds or so at 20% throttle & then back to idle & go ahead the same % and period of time. You might should "rock it" -Scott will know what I refer need to make this an SOP...surely a weekly check off... Now At my house we're watching NASCAR @ Darlington = We could not be more proud of you and your Wild Eyes & You are making yo'mama so very proud on this her special Day. I'll keep quiet for several watches now to make up for my verbosity...who said that? Sleep 'ye tight!

  46. Abby's not involved in this imbroglio. Unless she decides to restart and recompete for the what is now "elusive" record.

    Right now she's stopped, receiving assitance, enjoying a cheeseburger and sleeping in a bed and minding her own business.

    Not clear to me why someone had to drag someone else's mess into her realm.

  47. seaweed on the prop. Oh, no!
    Abs, you look happy in the pix

  48. I love the photos. Thanks for continuing to post your great adventure with us.

  49. Keeping the record straight: Almost nobody sailed around the world

    Score so far:

    1. Jesse Martin [youngest]: 21.514 nm (no circumnavigation: 86 nm short - took St Miguel as turning point)
    2. Kay Cottee [first female]: 18.005 nm (no circumnavigation: 3.595 nm short - took St Peter and St Paul Rocks as turning point)
    3. Jon Sanders [first double and first triple]: 18.220 nm x 3 = 54.660 nm (no circumnavigation x 3: 10.140 nm short - took St Peter and St Paul rocks as turning points and passed all meredians more then once, which does not count)
    4. Ken Gourlay [fastest australian]: 19.275 nm (no circumnavigation: 1.125 nm short - took the route: south tasmania, south NZ, Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, Ascension, Peter and Paul Rocks, Tristan da Cunha, home.

    Sail world extensively reported of Ken Gourlays circumnavigation, not once mentioning it was no circumnavigation at all. (according to their own standards)

    If Sanders took the same route as with his double circumnavigation in 1981, that record goes down the drain too.


  50. Great job Abby, followed your trip from day one ( 1st time commenting). What happened to your American flag and the right eye on the port side?
    Good luck and take your time.


  51. if you are going to quote people denigrating Jessica on Abby's site and quoting an article, perhaps you should be reading this also very valid article

    A reflection on Jessica, will be a reflection on Abigail, what method will they invent when she also finish her tour around the world?
    I feel sorry for people who only have to offer condescending comments on either gils, they should learn to shut up, and not wait the last minutes to air their sour grapes.Viv

    Abigail, please dont listen to them, only your managment and your parents and enjoy your time at sea....



    XOXO - Alana

  53. Happy Mother’s Day, Marianne. I hope your day is filled with all of the happiness that is so well deserved. Best wishes to you and to all of the Mothers who have been supporting Abby.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  54. Keep posting videos and pictures. Great job.

  55. The hamburger looked good. Ask Abby how her cold drink, fries, and hamburger tasted. It made me hunger and I just woke up after 8 hours.

  56. Hi Abby:

    I was happy to see the Cape Town pics and videos. Looking forward to seeing many more.

    Also, happy to see that Wild Eyes is being well cared for which will make the next part of your sail much more comfortable.

    By the way, Happy Mother's Day to your mom, which I am sure it is since she is able to give you a hug.

    Enjoy your time in Cape Town!!

    Hugs, seattlesid

  57. Abby I am 32 years old live in FL. Me and my wife have been following you since you were going around the horn I check your site that last 2-3 times a day.Good luck your parents sholud be very proud. I love your updates. I hope this time the eletcrinics stay working. I was wondering if you have a Captins lic. Or how much training you have? I know you how grown up of a boat I would love to know what other training you have. I am a diver if I was in your shoes when I got to AUS they might not get me to leave. Again GOOD Luck We will be praying for you.

  58. Abby,

    Wishing you the very best on your round the world adventure.

    Loved the pictures.

    God bless.

    Clare, Spokane, Wash. USA

  59. I think we want a new blog entry by Abby right about now.

    What she been doing
    Did she at least see Table Mountain with all the bad weather yet?

    Did you have a braai yet?

    Did she eat some biltong for the first time?

    Is she laffing at the crazy seth effrican eksents?

    Was her school talk in Gugs?

    Did she go to Hout Bay for lunch?

    you know those sorts of interesting things..... :-)

  60. Dear Abby
    I'm so delighted that you are safely docked in Cape Town and repairs are going full-steam ahead with your Team on Wild Eyes.
    Please Abby, while you are in Cape Town, if you are willing and able, take the time to talk to girls your age in local schools about your experiences, ups and downs, goals and setbacks.
    YOU can inspire
    Some need inspiration
    Best wishes

  61. Hello Miss Abby,
    Thank you for the news and the pictures. I hope you are enjoying Cape Town, watch the repairs closely and get some lessons about the autopilots and their bad tempers, in case they (or their younger brothers) would mess up again in your next leg. Obviously you won't forget to eat fesh food and compensate the dry diet that has been yours since Cabo.
    About the records subject, the WSSRC stopped recognizing "officially" the records for under-18 navigators, to avoid a rush from youngers and youngers, until the day some unexperienced one will have an accident, and the WSSRC might be sued. That's all.
    If you set a record, it doesn't need to be "official" for the WSSRC. In our world of global information, everyone will know what you have achieved, and the media will continuously reminding it! Same for Jessica, whose achievement has been provoking some controversy in Australia about the distance: the bureaucrats can say she didn't sail long enough, the FACT is she will have sailed more than the 21,600 nm required. The rest is just words, words, from useless bureaucrats. For everyone, she will have sailed around the world, a true blue circumnavigation, and if the WSSRC doesn't write her name on their dusty books, it won't change anything to the fact she will have made it.
    You sailing girls are just wonderful! Let the greybeards have their naps in their offices, surrounded by their old bookshelves... The World is yours! This is the 21st Century, not the 19th!

  62. Hi Abby,

    Perhaps I missed it but did Amazon replace the Kindle?

    All the best to you!

  63. WooHoo Abby. Have you left Cape Town yet? I think its brilliant sailing around the world. I was wondering what you think about when you are on the boat, on your own and miles from anywhere. What are your feelings? Love Corinne xxxxx

  64. Hi, this is absolutely amazing! Welcome to South Africa, I live in Port Elizabeth, bout 800 km east of Cape Town. I do not think you will stop over here, but I would like to wish you everything of the best, and may God be with you.

    Have a safe journey and hopefully the problem with the engine is sorted out by now.


  65. Abby and Team,
    I was watching one of your videos and noted that you said "yes, sad that I won't have the record as youngest solo, unassisted around the world sailor, but I thought no-one under the age of 18 would be recognised which leaves Jesse Martin and Michael Perham as the youngest that will achieve this record???or until someone at the age of 18 will come in maybe on their 18th birthday, who knows

  66. You look great Abby! Truly happy and on a mission. Keep at it! You are an inspiration to all you meet and stopping in to inspire young lives is no compromise to a record classification. Go girl!

    Tyler & Terry Woods, Texas

  67. Hi Abby,

    Just been looking at your videos and reading the blogs from the last few days.

    You're looking a little tired, but well and with a few nights of uninterrupted sleep you'll soon be feeling like a million dollars.

    I guess it will be nice to eat some fresh fruit and vegies while you're on dry land.

    All your helpers seem to be doing a great job doing everything to make the next leg of your exciting journey comfortable and safe. It was amazing when they were showing photos of everything that they had emptied onto the wharf, how things looked so damp and there were containers that looked quite rusty. Just as well the salty air doesn't rust us humans :-).

    Well my dear I know that you will most probably be too busy to read any blogs for a little bit, but I just want you to know that I'm still thinking of you and hope that you're having a lovely time in Cape Town. The people all seem very friendly.

    Take care, big hugs and warmest wishes from Jan Pace (Auckland, New Zealand)

  68. Hi Abby
    Hope all is progressing well.
    I would like to know at some point what failed on this first leg and why,from your experts . This would be helpful in the future. Also i like your hard Dodger on the boat . Does it work well?
    Your Boom Vang is all the way aft ,the way the older sailboats used to do it, the same as mine. This makes me want to keep it that way and not move it on the deck. Although a little hard on an unexpected Jibe. Do you have a loose Main sheet? What are the rails on each side of the boom ? They dont look like lazy jacks.
    Thanks Cptn Uwe

  69. Abby & Team! I am totally loving the videos. I love every bit about this blog. Keep it up Ms. Abigail and I know you can't wait to get back out on that open water. Psalm 91!

    Lisa from Mt. Juliet, TN

  70. To Abby and her team,
    Record or no record all of you know what you have accomplished.
    I think the all girls school will be thrilled to here what you have to say and will bombard you with ?s. No matter what a persons age is an adventure is always fascinating.
    We'll be looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.

  71. Abby, buy a new Kindle or some books!!!

  72. Tous avec toi , fille du futur , Bravo tu nous fais réver même si tu reduis un peu notre terre à un terrain de jeu . La France te salut et moi je te fais une grosse bise

  73. dear abby, your doing great evean thow you stoped its ok! your still awsome! have a safe trip along and i hope you have enogh clohing!!