Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Drastic Change

It's amazing what a drastic change has taken place in such a short time out here. By night time the same day I posted all the pictures of flat seas and sun, I had 20 knots and was racing along. By the next morning I had 25-30 knots and some pretty big seas. By last night I had 35 knots gusting up to 45knots, some pretty gnarly squalls, and 25 foot seas.

It's been a great ride out here, though not all fun and easy. Last night I had quite a bit of sail up (triple reefed main and full genoa), the auto pilot was handling it very well and I was pretty happy with how things were going. Wild Eyes was heeled over pretty far but the wind seemed steady and so I finished up my work and went to bed. I could feel the wind building a little, but as the auto pilot was still doing very well I didn't get overly worried about it.

Well, I got into my first squall of the night not long after I went to bed. The pilot went into standby and I went to jump out the companionway, but right as I was at the door I heard rushing water. Not water rushing along the hull but water rushing into the boat. I had water pouring into the back compartment and I had no idea where it was coming from. I grabbed a flash light and dived into the back getting soaked in the icy water. It was pouring in from the cock pit, but I still couldn't tell where exactly.

I climbed over to where it seemed the main stream was coming from and got a closer look. It was coming through at the throttle mounting - the throttle that is mounted on the wall of the cockpit was under water because of how heeled over I was when I gybed. Having found the leak, I shut off the hatches to the back compartment. I was extremely relieved to have found that the leak was above the water line and as long as I could get the boat back under control I could sort it out.

I think when things like this happen you go into mild shock. After the initial horror of seeing water pouring into your boat, your mind just goes into a survival mode and you don't give fear or any new problems a thought. It's so important to be focused on dealing with the problem at hand that fear becomes dangerous, it makes you hesitant to deal with things and knocks your confidence.

Back outside, it was pouring buckets of rain. I hadn't bothered to get my foul weather gear on. I didn't have time to. I didn't notice the cold. Wild Eyes was nearly flat on her side and the running back stay was stuck the wrong side of the boom. I clipped onto the boom and climbed onto the end. I would rather not have done that, but under the circumstances there was no other choice. I just hoped that things would stay stable enough while I was out there. At the end of the boom I was holding on as the big swells rolled the boat all over the place. It was steady for a minute and I let go and grabbed the back stay and worked it loose. I got off the boom as quickly as possible and hurried to get things sorted out.

Once I was back on track with less sail up, things seemed to be going better. I had the boat under control and didn't hear the water in the back any more. I was still dreading going back there to see what damage had been done, but extremely glad to have it stopped temporarily.

There was quite a bit of water back there and in a hurry to get it all out before it reached any electronics higher up I got back there with a bucket to give my little bilge pump a hand. My diesel heater was soaked, the water had been spraying almost directly on it. Luckily nothing else seemed to be damaged and I have plenty of warm clothes!

I must say I wasn't the happiest person in the world at that moment. I was soaked and beginning to really feel cold, in fact, I couldn't stop shivering. I made my way up front and pulled out some dry clothes. Still shivering pretty badly I came back out and gave everything a good look over. Pretty much every thing down below is wet. I was thinking of going back to bed, but the sun was just beginning to come up and I was able to get my first glimpse of the swells that had been building over night - they were amazing!

Forgetting about the cold, I went back outside with my foul weather gear on this time. It's really an amazing sight these walls of water that look like they're just going to dump on you and then all of a sudden you pick up some speed and you go racing down at thrilling speeds.

Well that just about made up for the trouble during the night. Later when I was talking to my mom, I was told I did 237 miles is one day! Okay, so I am shooting for 250 miles but 237 is close enough for now and I can safely say that after hearing that, my day went from ranking pretty low with some of the least pleasant times I have had at sea, to one of the better times of my trip!


  1. What a thrill ride!!!!!! Very proud of your level-headedness. Way to go Abby! Keep on going!

    Kevin McGinnis
    Fort Worth, TX

  2. Hi Abby
    You're beginning to worry me!
    How about targeting less mileage every day for a little less heeled over?
    Best wishes

  3. You are an amazing kid, cool as a cucumber when you are staring into the eyes of danger, water pouring into your boat, and you just do what needs to be done. I can't wait to see you talk about your journey on David Letterman.

  4. Glad things turned out okay in the end. Good lesson about not going to bed while running what turned out to be too much sail. Despite the goal of making 250 miles a day perhaps it's best to err a bit more on the side of caution? Hope you are well and that things "dry out" a little for you (tough when it's cold and damp outside and in!). Really enjoy all your photos.

  5. Wow, never a dull moment... Glad u kept your wits about you and everything is going well.

  6. Abby:
    GO GIRL GO!!!!

    What a ride, I was stationed on Guam (Pacific Ocean - warm) and went out several times at night and found big seas. There is nothing like big seas but big seas at night are a real thrill.

    I am glad that you were able to experience the ride and even more glad that Wild Eyes did so well. I believe that you (and your team) made a good pick on the boat.

    Go for the 250 mile day and keep smiling.

    GO GIRL GO!!!!

    John R Willis

  7. Maybe some of that shivering was a delayed reaction to the crisis.

    You are one mature young lady and an extremely competent sailor, Abby. These adventures are thrilling to read about ... but I'm glad to know you're safe!

    Lori in MN

  8. Abby, I don't think you realize how much you are learning about life.
    Go Get em Girl!!!

  9. Your blogs put me on the edge of my seat. I am in awe of your determination but concerned about your safety as well. I read iceblink sail and have dreamed about buying a sailboat and trekking out to Hawaii from so calif, but after reading your story, I think I'll take some sailing lessons first. Please be careful. We want you back in one piece.

  10. Abby, such a brave young lady, now I know why I keep praying for your safety. God truly has blessed you with a smart mind, "when times get tough, the tough get going", that is you. Continue to use your wisdom and give God thanks for bringing you through. I know I thank Him for doing just that. I love reading your adventure.

  11. Phew!!!
    What a way to wake up, middle of a storm, watering pouring into your boat. Only a Sea Captain could handle that situation with the coolness you displayed.

    Your absolutely right, deal with the problem at hand, get it under control. You can be afraid later when things calm down.

    You are an amazing young lady. Sail On Skipper your in control.

  12. Great adventure! Fear is an interesting thing. It starts the adrenaline pumps going and causes the brain to start looking into its index box of solutions. Like a well trained combat vet it is the time you have spent training and the quality of that training that fills your index box with solutions. If your index box is empty, then panic sets in. Not a good thing. Your account of your rather exciting night show just how well you were trained for this trip. Way to go kid. Oh, and the shivering…dollars gets you donuts it was due to the adrenaline levels dropping as much as the cold.

    While it is pretty unlikely to happen, I would like to shake your hand one day.

  13. oh wow - after your last post i was hoping you'd have at least a couple days of smooth sailing. once again, you amaze us all with your ingenuity, your steadfastness and your courage. just take good care of yourself dear - i get nervous when i see a post like this!!

    and anonymous is right - can't wait to see you talking about your journey on letterman, leno - all of them. xo

  14. Dear Abby, You must type every fast because when did your heart slow down enough to fill us in on all of what just happen to you . Your poor mom must of had kittens when you talked to her. Stuff like that you can put in your book and give your mom some time to adjust.You did great, I felt like I was there. I hope your heater is still working. It really stinks when your cold and wet and the shivers won't go away. Or is the heater for your engine, my mistake. Those swells would have being something to see....hint hint. Nice going on all the miles you covered in one day ,your journey will be over before you know it and then what will you do . To be continued. Well the next slow day you get check out that main sail, it's nothing but headache's .You did good Abby get some rest, Bye

  15. Abby,I don't know what to say,I read your blog and it makes me crazy to think that a little 16 year girl is taking on the fierce storms of mother nature.
    You got more guts than I ever had.You are an amazing,courageous and talanted young girl.
    May God Bless you and keep you safe.

    Libby Di Bernardo
    San Pedro Ca.

    ps.I will sure be happy when your back in Marina Del Rey safe
    and sound.

  16. Hey skipper, material for yet another exciting chapter in the book, eh?. Thank God you were able to get it all under control without serious damage. I expect Charlie was a big help to you. I hope things calm down for a while so you can get the aft compartment dried out. Sounds like maybe the main cabin stayed a little dry? Maybe you should consider reducing sail at night while in the 40s. Maybe a working jib or even storm jib instead of the Genoa. From your description you may not have been completely knocked down, but if not, it sure was close.

    Best wishes for you continuing voyage. Stay safe.

    Steve L in Modesto

  17. I guess it's just another reminder you can never get to complacent out there! Good job getting back in control, Stay safe.....pHiL

  18. Abby-Girl...'What-a-Post" WHEW!!!!
    you had me on the edge of my seat, and then some... you're doing incredibly fantastic... resourceful, clear thinking and prepared for the unexpected... best tool you have in the bucket is a 'cool head'...
    it's as your venturing into these untested waters... that your fiber is gonna be tested , and it was and you "DID" fantastic...
    having to clean up the mess, all that extras water, just be whistling and praising and thanking The LORD for the best possible outcome, that's maturity...seasonedness as it were, keeping the emotional highs and lows in check... and attacking the task at hand... as you so excellently did. "DO the Hard Things" a zac sunderland saying...
    upon reflection you need to have some warm, tucked away dry clothes for such emergencies.
    and even an alternative way to get your body temperature up, even if it's just massaging your arms and legs, hands n feet 'hot soup/ cocoa...hopefully you have some kind of ointment on board like ben'gay or tiger balm, for the bumps, lumps n bruises you encounter...
    TWO_HUNDRED and THIRTY SEVEN MILES.. W~O~W, way to go Captain Abby... only 18 days to go till you hit the shortest day of the year..'s "father's day" too and you have one fantastic dad, that you make proud "everyday"... BTW Marianne how you doin with numero ocho? have we got a name yet? won't be long now ;-)...
    always in our thoughts n prayers
    mark n adino, Vicksburg, Mississippi USA

  19. Calm, Cool, and Collected! Well done Abs! JIBE HO!!!!

  20. There are old sailors and bold sailors, but not old bold sailors! The lesson you got kneeds to be remembered, please do it, forget your aim of 250 miles in one day, be on the safe side!

  21. Don't push the gear so hard Abby ... don't want to see you damaging Wild Eyes or worse. Be satisfied with less speed and more safety. Enjoy.

  22. I had goose bumps reading todays post!!! Youa are truely amazing. As a mom I can't imagine how your mom handles this, she must be amazing too.Loving your adventure, Stay safe! You are always in my thoughts and prayers, GO ABBY!!!

  23. Hi Abby,

    you handled things quite well. Congratulations, but wouldn't you agree that in hindsight that you should have reduced the Genoa, too. From my little experience on the SF Bay only, you don't reduce your speed by reducing the sail area, but only the heel. That may be different for a plaining boat, but I also think that Wild Eyes planes better with less heel. So go for 250miles a day, but with less heel which should actually help.

    All the best,

  24. Great Blog Update

    Thanks for the update!!

    All the Best!!

  25. Glad to hear all worked out well Abby and that you and Wild Eyes are ok. Haven't said much in a while - but have continued to follow your progress. Keep it up! and may God continue to keep you safe and continue to pour His Blessings over you!

    Jax Beach, FL

  26. I do worry about you, girl, but you always seem to be in control! You are amazing!

  27. I'm beginning to understand why your parents thought you could handle sailing solo around the world...

  28. Abby
    As I read about the night and the seas I visualize where you are and what you are doing and feel your emotion. . . . . .
    You are amazing. . . . . . .
    JR Walnut Creek, CA

  29. Bonjour Abby & Wild Eyes,

    Or should I write Wild Abby & Drastic Eyes? :-)

    237 nm in a day... You really are drinking those miles in :-)

    Dry things up, will you?

    Take care, Be safe!

  30. I don't know how you do it Abby. That takes some serious focus, and you're absolutely right, fear and panic are dangerous thoughts. You are amazingly brave to be able to keep your head on straight in a moment of sheer INSANITY!

    I wish I could have seen those swells with you, I'm torn between jealousy and relief that I'm not on that boat with you.

    I know that things may not warm up soon, but think sunshine thoughts and maybe more will come your way!


    XOXo - ALANA

  31. Abby, Great discription of some wild and scary moments. You kept your head and took care of business though. Please stay warm, when you get too cold you lose your effectiveness real quickly. Cheers Brian, Santa Cruz, CA.

  32. Abby,
    Good job on handling the problem. However, your starting to get a bit sloppy before you decide to sleep. Be careful! Always check the weather and how much sail you have out before you sleep. This is twice now you have had issues with too much sails and a squall hits. I know you know much more than me when it comes to sailing, but I do know you have to be careful.
    You have a bunch of folks pulling for you, including me. I know you can do it, and so does a bunch of other folks. Just be careful!
    I'll get off my parent soapbox now...

  33. Your doing great Abby! Remember that every ordeal is a learning oportunity. Maybe caution should be used with less sail when you go into a possibility of heavier weather. Think the best and prepare for the worst. Sleep on the open sea is intoxicating and it is never satisfied. Your mind is what seperates you from folly. Keep it sharpe and learn from your mastakes. Almost everything you experienced this post was due to not only feeling that the best would happen, but preparing for the best. Heavy weather came on you and you were not prepared. Remember to Plan ahead for 'the worst', as people do not plan to fail, they fail to plan.

    Your doing great! And, I can see that you are applying the lessons learned, as you tackle each trial. Most people could not say as much.

    The Lord Bless,

  34. You are totally an amazing person! Amazing job out there! You are definitely one of the bravest people around... take care and we will continue to read your blog with fascination! :)

  35. Great to hear that everything worked out so well, and that it turned into one of your best times! I love reading about your adventures, because it's certainly something that I can't do!

  36. Abby, I will be so pleased when you are safely back on land.... please stay safe !!
    Robert from Melbourne

  37. from my aviation and seafaring background...its never the first thing that breaks that gets you...its the second thing....the backup thing... that is the bad one.. Abby I am so impressed by your sangfroid in the face of a knockdown in a squall...from a sound sleep.. I dont know how to express myself.... Well done young lady... Well done..!!! fair winds and some following seas for a change.....

  38. you go girl! what an adventure you are having!

  39. Hi Abby,
    I was sitting here in the office just wrapping up a quiet day, and, as I do often, I thought I'd check in on my buddy on the Indian Ocean to see how things were going. Oh my goodness - that got my attention! Great job in going into "survival" mode; you say it as if it is the easiest thing in the world to do. Your calmness is very impressive!
    Glad things have settled down a bit and hope they stay that way!
    Praying for you daily...
    Keith and Kathy Wargo, Lynchburg VA

  40. Abby I didn't know what to think, as I read your blog I began to get really worried. As I kept reading I actually saw everything happening like in a movie. What an experience!
    Knowing now that you and Wild Eyes are O.k. is just great news!

  41. Wow!!! Abby, that's insane!!!

    Good thing you didn't become a boom-erang clipped on like that, lol. You handled things better than a professional! Just don't push Wild Eye’s too hard ;-)

    Stay Safe!

  42. Courageous Captain Abigail,

    My last comment ended with wishes for you Abs to "be safe and warm". Sounds like you just put those wishes to good use.

    Abby....that's an incredible story of bravery. Sounds to me that if you had not still been INSIDE that you might not have picked up on the water coming in as early as you did....and it could have been different scenario. And clipping onto the do what you gotta do. Fantastic recovery super sailor!

    I am sorry to hear that you got wet and cold but when I read the other day that The Prince Edward Islands get over 300 days of moisture a year....the chances to stay out of it were slim. You've got me shivering just thinking about it! I hope you will still have a heater.

    On the other hand you are getting the wind, boat speed and excitement you I am happy for you.

    Big hug super sailor....enjoy the surfing,
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  43. Abby- Praise God for your safety. Wow, what can anyone say? Keep the news coming... and I agree John N: How about targeting less mileage and a little more safety?
    Praying for you daily!

    Ron in Colorado

  44. What an incredible post! My heart is still racing (can only imagine what your adrenaline was feeling like). Any chance of posting some pix of those big seas?

    dsj in sf

  45. Maybe you should sleep in the day and stay awake at night.

    Everything bad seems to happen in the dark!

  46. Abby, You just never fail to amaze me and all your followers world wide, now that sounded like the old ticket system they used to have at Disneyland "E-Ticket" ride and that was before your time but for the most part it meant the most thrilling and insane rides they had to offer, and You Abby rode those waves along with "Wild Eyes". she seems like a wonderful choice for round the world sailing and she has been there once before so she know the ropes. Get some much needed rest and may the sunshine down on you even down there in the 40's. So Once Again Stay Safe & Have Fun & When Up On Deck TETHERED..Peace & Aloha..38'43"N/122'67"W

  47. I was holding my breath and praying for you as I read..Wow..what a way is right...It was bad enough that the water was rushing in but to be racing into the chop must have caused you a few moments pause. Brave Abby..but shrewed and confident..Thankfully you were listening when you were supposed to. Glad to hear you stopped the water inflow, and got the sails sorted out, and sorry to hear everything was wet but glad your electronics weren't damaged..

    Hopefully you will get some much needed rest.

    Praying for you...

    Do take care of yourself..and keep a cool head..whew..Wow..I was heeled over myself inside for pleased you're back on surf and calm..or at least calmer...

    Blessed Abby

    Gary & Jan

  48. Hello Abby,

    What an adventure! This might take up two chapters of your book! It is a relief that your experience and wisdom (and maybe a prayer or two?) allowed you to know what to do and when.

    You are a courageous young lady and may God continue watch over and guide you as you continue to amaze and astound all of us who are rooting for you!

    J Hatfield, Columbus OH

  49. OMG Abby, that was a scary tale. Anonymous June 2, 2:02pm (please, please, people, a first name doesn't take long to type!) has hit the nail on the head. Err on the side of caution, especially when you're about to go to sleep. I'm no sailor, I don't even like boats, but all that sail, in that heavy weather, in the dark, and you're heading for a nap! Gives me the shivers.
    But kudos to you for getting back control, you are some courageous girl. As Jessica Watson also said, there's no time for fear, you just have to deal with it.
    Keep safe, Abby.
    Jules on the Gold Coast, Australia

  50. Michael from New JerseyJune 2, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    Hi Abby.

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself. Good to know that you're doing okay despite an eventful night, so to speak.

    Stay safe!

    New Jersey

  51. Hey, Cap,

    Something to keep in mind: The temperature does NOT have to be anywhere near freezing for you to get hypothermia. The experience you describe is a great way to get it, and you started to show prime symptoms -- uncontrollable shivering. Merely being cold and wet will do it, and once it sets in your judgment starts to go downhill fast.

    Please talk with your medical team about this.

    Fairwinds, Cap'n,

    Bill Smith

  52. Another "holy cow", Abby. Quite a gal...
    * detect abnormal situation
    * zero in on problem
    * cut through extraneous information
    * define immediate actions required
    * initiate immediate actions
    * continue to gather information
    * re-evaluate action plan and modify as required
    * evaluate results
    * Clean up the mess....
    How old did you say you were?

  53. Wow Abby, quite a story. Your courage and level head out at sea alone and under trying circumstances is nothing short of amazing. Best story of your trip, very compelling. You go girl.


  54. Dear Abby,

    I feel so lucky to have the chance to follow along with your adventure. It makes my ordinary life seem so exciting...... Thank you for sharing your adventures with us, I am so happy that you are safe and sound after such a nightmare!

    I agree with everyone else who suggests that you go for less distance/speed and more safety!!!!!

    I know that you are capable, but it is impossible to know what dangers are out there with you, so be careful please! I too want to see your interview on Letterman!

    Be safe and I am praying for you!

    Warm wishes from Kansas!

  55. Abby,
    What an adventure!
    I see the angels are there helping you and I'm glad for that. :)

    For some reason your experience brings to mind "the Spirit of St. Louis" that I read as a boy. Charles Lindbergh inspired our nation with his solo non-stop 33 hour flight from New York to Paris in 1925. He was 25 at the time.

    In my book, you are on a similar tack at a younger age. I pray you are just as successful in your adventure. You may not get the same attention as Lindbergh, but your adventure is just as significant and far more difficult.

    Your team, training and skills are showing you what needs to be done.
    I urge you to continue to stay focused, be safe and use good judgement.

    Thank you for sharing your adventure through the wonder of the internet.
    It is a thrill and a privilege to accompany you in spirit through your blog.

    Stay healthy and safe as you sail.
    Wishing you the best!

  56. Abby
    Geting your reports in almost 'live' time is almost as incredible as your descriptions of same.
    Amazing ... or as another blogger has stated "AMAZED-BY-YOU"
    please stay dry and warm and clipped on ... now isnt that easy to say from this landlubber ... I trust you will do your best and we hope that will always keep you safe!


  57. 06-02-10 @ 19:17
    Hi Abby,
    My compliments, you do write a very descriptive post, scared the hell out of me. Yowza, that was one hell-uv-a night. You mentioned about going into a mild shock, but you amaze me by how you’re able to think clearly, and attack the problems knowing exactly what to do. You’ve definitely got your stuff together, knowing the dangers of fear and conquering it. I just hope that the heater can be dried out and you’ll be able to use it. Glad that you have plenty of warm clothes, but are they dry????
    I had to laugh at you, even after the hellacious night you could still take the time to enjoy the rising seas around you very open-mindedly, I would venture to say that you really have sailing in your blood…lol…
    Well Abby, I’m glad to see that you left all that behind you on a happy note, no sense being disgruntled over something that you met and conquered. You never fail to amaze me with your ‘can do’ attitude and how you immediately take control of a bad situation and end up enjoying the grand finally, a great positive attitude. God Bless You Abby, you’ve got it all together. Hope the dry clothes felt good and you were able to stop shivering. Now you’ve got me worrying about the heater….lol…I just hope you’ll be able to get it going before you hit any cold weather.
    You’ve really had a couple of exciting encounters here lately, I thought after the last one things would settle down for awhile. That ole’ King is really keeping you on your toes, but you showed him.
    Keep up the good work and take good care of yourself, other than the heater was anything else damaged???

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

  58. Aside from your obvious expertise as a seasoned sailor, you are a remarkable writer. You are able to convey exactly what is happening. Your writing is descriptive, quietly dramatic and you have the ability to place your readers in the boat with you. This last post read like a wild adventure story from Hemingway. By the time you return home, you will have your book 75% completed.

    Question: Zac reported seeing (and avoiding) lots of ships of various sizes. Thus far you have not mentioned passing very many ships. Is that still true?

  59. Be careful Abby. It's better to take a week longer, than to put yourself into a dangerous situation.

  60. Like everyone else, I'm so very happy you are safe, Abby! I know you are learning so much from this adventure... "life lessons" that will help shape all decisions you make in the future.

    I hope you do write a book about the adventure... as I'd LOVE to read about the details of it all! Could start with an embellishment of the blogs you've done... and throw in other meaningful happenings.

    All the best... we all love you, Abby!

    Russ in CT

  61. Yo Abby! Sounds exciting to me. Big seas, plenty of wind, cold, and a big leak! Yeow! Some girls just know how to have fun. haha...
    I can imagine your morning too. What a sight. The ocean is awesome! Enjoy, and be safe...
    39*50'N, 86*9'W

  62. Holy Macaroni!!!! What a are amazing Abby. I know what you mean about being scared and just doing what needs to be done. I was out in the Molokai Channel in a Cal-20 sailing to Maui when the forestay came loose. We were going to weather and turned around and headed back to Oahu. It was about 2:00 am and a pretty good storm came up with winds and swells taller than telephone poles. I was 19 years old at the time and the most experienced sailor on the boat. I was worried about "pitch polling" down the swells so I would quarter the big ones.
    This was back in 1969 when we didn't have satelites and Nexrad Radar. Learned alot that night.

    You are an amazing sailor Abby and nothing can compare with the experiences you are undertaking

    Be safe and keep up the good work.

    Dave Del Rosario
    Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

  63. Sorry abby but while I admire your adventurous spirit you seem to be a little immature at times. It's not like you can pull over and park out of the weather . Please be more careful. You have all the equiptment to check wind and weather ahead so first priority before bed is the boat.

  64. OMG!!! What a night you had! Your recounting of it fully conveys the seriousness of the situation but at the same time your complete competence in dealing with the problem. I know what you mean about shutting fear out in crisis situations . . . I've been there too and when you look back it is the most amazing thing and you think "how did I do that without losing it?!"

    I am so glad you came through it all without too much damage to clean up.

    There's nothing like the sun to lift one's mood and give a renewed burst of energy to get the job done.

    As I said . . . you're simply amazing . . . and dare I say it – awesome!

    Mālama pono (take very good care in Hawaiian) . . .

    ~ Cynthia (on the road in Hot Springs, South Dakota USA)

  65. Thank God for Prayer Warriors and answered prayer.Every time I read your blogs, I know that God has answered our prayers, and that you are okay. God said, "I will never leave you or forsake you". You can trust God's word, Abby, as He cannot lie. He is watching over you and protecting you on your amazing adventure.He is your Creator, and He loves you so very much, and so do I. your sister in Christ,

  66. Gee, you make it look so easy. ;) Just teasing, but you have made it easy to imagine what it might be like in your shoes, facing those challenges (big and small). And these last few entries...very compelling, I'm hooked.

  67. Abby,
    You're just awesome!!!
    I look forward to your blogs and photos daily. See you at MDR when you get back.


  68. I love the way you say about fear making you true, so necessary to understand that, out there alone.
    What a night !
    I feel quite exhausted now having read your words and allowed myself to really imagine it all...whewf !
    Thanks so much for sharing the rawness of that experience.
    Enjoy that acuatic rollercoaster of yours ha ha ha
    What fun.
    Bet you've got some good music going for that ride ! As always, hugs.

  69. Hi Abby,
    Have been reading your blogs since day one,but
    this one scared the living daylights out of me.
    However you and your nerves of steel pulled through just like any "Old Salt" would.Amazing!
    Heres to smoother sailin. GO ABBY GIRL GO!!!
    Holly,Vero Beach FL.

  70. I love all of your details. They are amazing to me because I dont sail, but canoe only! Stay safe, be blessed, enjoy the creation of your Creator!

  71. Abby,

    I'm glad you got it all under control. Hopefully you'e all dried off now and past the danger of hypothermia. You have quite a level head when faced with an emergency; something you should be proud of. Today's post and you one from a few days ago - "A Tale From The Sea" - read like a Stephen King novel. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I really believe God has been watching out for you, something we all pray for while you're sailing.

    At the risk of sounding like everyone else I'm going to suggest maybe a little less heel and a little safer sleep? We all want you back safe.

    Thanks also for the pics from the Indidan Ocean, they were awesome.

    Stay safe and God Bless.

    Nick - Waterbury CT

  72. Well, so much for the nice soft, calm blogs Abbs. I must say that I am certain that you will be the best person to have around in any crisis when this trip is done Abby! You are one Tough Cookie Abby Sunderland!
    Kevin, Aiken, SC

  73. Wake up call! As you progress east, wave height will become greater as storms become stronger. Mother nature in all her glory. I'd say start reducing sail to a bit more than you would otherwise as you head off to bed. You do need speed because of the coming winter weather, but you need to be there to experience it, so safe rather than sorry.

    Here's a video of some rough sailing, which Abby will be experiencing in the coming month:

  74. Abby--
    What a crazy night!! Congratulations for keeping your cool and negotiating a tough situation. When things get rough--I want you on my side!! Stay safe and good luck for the rest of your trip! We are all pulling for are amazing!!

  75. Abby,

    You are known for you sailing expertise but you also have a powerful gift for expressing yourself. Your recent blog posts give off a feeling of renewed commitment and a new level of maturity. South Africa seems to have been a sort of epiphany for you.

    Von Bear

  76. Hi Abby:

    eeeeyow!! that was a real e-ticket ride (the old disneyland reference). You are amazing and such a good problem solver, what a skill you have developed. Boy, I don't think I could handle that situation, I would have been scared silly.

    And you are such a speedster. Watch out you might get a ticket. :) Plus, It sounds like you are just plain having fun and are in your element.

    Hugs, seattlesid

  77. Hi Abby - OMG, what a night - scared the 'pants off' me - you did 'good' to rectify the problems - now to get everything dry - keep safe precious girl - stay warm and take special care - God Bless - Judy G.- Surfer's Paradise - Qld - Aus.

  78. HAY! ABBY!



    GO! ABBY! GO!

  79. Abby;

    You are an excellent writer, and I hope you pursue that one day. You literally put us in Wild eyes and your adventure with your words.

    Good job.

  80. INCREDIBLE..... Well done Abby. Congratulations and for heaven's sake STAY SAFE. I am so glad I am not your mother!!!! I would be completely gray.

  81. Good going Ab. Your experience and level headed reactions are truly paying high dividends. Its stories like this that make it clear your endeavor is certainly not for the inexperienced or for those with nerves any less than steel. I am glad to hear your morning was a fresh start with more amenable circumstances. And btw, you haven't 'caught' a fish until you have landed it, so throw that line back out there! Ha. Take care impressive lady, Gary from Folsom, Ca.

  82. WOW...what a ride...what a did great. I know you want to make the per day milage goal but dont forget about your SAFETY...
    good luck with your heater...I hope you get enough sunshine to help dry did great..
    I wish you the best of luck on your journey and STAY SAFE...THANKS for all of the details.

    Joe Springfield VA USA

  83. Abby,

    You sure know how to keep us in suspense. I know what it's like to see large amounts of water inside a boat, and it's a pretty uncomfortable feeling until you find the source. Well done in handling the situation, Abby. And 237 miles. That is very impressive. You're doing great but be safe and take good care of yourself and Wild Eyes.

    From Seattle, WA, USA

  84. Wow Abby, that sounds pretty close to a knockdown to us. You're quite right about adrenalin, and keeping fear at bay. There's time enough for that once the crisis is passed. Well done!!

    We hope that you'll get into warmer waters soon, and can get things dried out and shipshape again.
    ~Brian & Phillippa
    Vancouver, Canada

  85. This is not the movie make by Hollywood , this is the real , it is happening in India ocean . Abby pretty girl and Wild Eyes ride up and down like small leaf floating in middle the walls of water , but your spirit is strong and biger than oceans
    Orlando Fl

  86. that is so scary. my heart was so scared for you with this expereince.

    i live in the part of the world (nearest the pacific ocean in the north pacific area) which gets the most, the worst and strongest typhoons in the planet and i am traumatized by strong winds and rain...and i am on land.

    you try to be safe all the time. you are doing great - remarkable for a 16 yr old, with an auto-pilot level headedness survival mode but still, you have to be very careful.

    stay strong and brave and be safe always.

    my prayers are always with you.


  87. oh, it's horrible...

  88. Wow...what a night. That ride would have cost you a fortune at the state fair. :D

    Hopefully, in the future we can make serious headway without so much drama. Unfortunately you can't pick and choose. Gotta take the bad with the good whether you like it or not.

    Stay safe out there Abby, and try not to ride the boom anymore, `kay?

    You're in our prayers always.
    God bless you


  89. All under control.
    Stay dry and warm.
    Keep having fun
    Luv ♥
    Richard (QLD) Aus

  90. I agree with Anonymous June 2 at 5.04 pm. You will face challenging possibly life threatening situations soon enough, especially as you sail beneath Australia during winter rather than almost create these situations yourself by not acting prudent. Please be careful and focus on safety over speed. You have proven yourself to be a brave, courageous and skillful captain. Prudent sailing may not create exciting book chapters but we want you home safe and sound.

  91. Abby - I am 3-times your age, with less than one-third of your courage. You are amazing!!!

    Please - be careful out there. I can tell from your posts that you are taking great care.....but it's like reading a great suspense novel, except it's real.

    I've been faithfully following your progress, and I think the thing I've found most interesting is your writing style. Your accounts are well writen and tight, keeping your readers glued to their screens. It is a skill my 15 year old does not yet have, and I didn't develope until I was in my 20's. It will serve you well in life.

    Keep up the good work and good words.

  92. Eek! Abby you're going to scare the daylights out of me... not to mention your poor mom. I agree with the others - those shivers were mainly the result of the adrenaline leaving your system after the emergency. I was a little concerned when you said the boat was heeled over when you went to bed - a little foreshadowing there? Hindsight is perfect, but let's learn from it ok? I haven't decided if this was a "little" emergency and fairly easily dealt with or if you weren't telling the whole tale and the whole business out on the boom wasn't as simple as you make it sound. More reason to read the book, right? Safety over speed every time hon, but kudos to you for your levelheadedness in dealing with the sticky situations!

    @Julian Jinjur - Zac's route was equatorial and he moved from island to island on his trip. Obviously, there is going to be a lot more boat traffic in populated areas. Abby is taking the polar route and avoiding (most of) the continents. I don't think she'll see much traffic unless she's forced to port again or possibly in the waters around Australia/New Zealand/Tasmania.

  93. Yeah! This was it! and the vivid retelling continues. Dripping delicious imagery. Moby Abby with a view inside the wall of wave. Balancing toward the good. Hope the wet cold mess is dim and faded.
    God love ya.

  94. Dear Abby, I am glad that you are safe, but caution would be a little appropriate, in Australia we have a campaign that says " Speed Kills" referring to the roads, please apply this to the water as well, too much speed, auto pilot stops, boat heels, water come in....etc. does it really matter is you take a little longer to get from A to B? slow down and be a little kinder on the boat and yourself, remember that Wild Eyes is not a fortress. Safe boating... Viv

  95. 06-03-10 @ 01:42
    Hi Abby,
    I really enjoyed reading all the posts on this latest post of yours. You really had everyone pumped up with fascination, excitement, amazement and pure admiration for your handling of the situation. I am not a sailor, so when you start talking in ‘sailoreze’ I can only follow you for so long, and then I do get lost….lol…
    But what I’m getting at is that Mr./Ms. Anonymous (a critic) from June 2, 2010 5:04 PM said: “You have all the equipment to check wind and weather ahead so first priority before bed is the boat”. Whereas you had said: “Wild Eyes was heeled over pretty far but the wind seemed steady and so I finished up my work and went to bed. I could feel the wind building a little, but as the auto pilot was still doing very well I didn't get overly worried about it”.
    Now, what more could you have done, I felt that you had everything under control and knew what you were doing (of course I’m very confident of your abilities in any sailing situation) and wouldn‘t take any unnecessary chances. I just happen to dislike people who snip and snap and then hide behind “Anonymous”. I don’t mean to make a Mountain out of a molehill, but where is the danger, error or complacency here???? I thought you did a magnificent job, so sail-on Cap’n…lol…
    You just keep up the good work and enjoy yourself to the max. Looking forward to your next blog, maybe a little more laid-back…lol…

    May God hold you in the palm of His hand, 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

  96. Hi Abby, What a wild are really a brave young lady. My heart was just pounding as I read your blog, your Mom and Dad have taught you well and I know that they are very proud of you. I do have to say that I too will be glad when you are back in Marina Del Rey. My prayers and thoughts will be with you. God is watching over you. Gail/Ventura P.S. I will be looking forward to seeing you on Letterman too.

  97. Hi Abby
    My heart was in my mouth reading your blog. Try to keep warm. Keep safe.

  98. Today's Inspirational Quote:

    "The marvelous richness of human experience would lose
    something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to
    overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if
    there were no dark valleys to traverse."

    -- Helen Keller

  99. Quote: "Wild Eyes was nearly flat…… I clipped onto the boom and climbed onto the end…… there was no other choice…… At the end of the boom I was holding on as the big swells rolled the boat all over the place.".

    You certainly have what it takes to do such an adventure. It's my impression you are more like 26 or more, not 16 based on your courage, experience and skill.

    Just be careful out there, I thought I told you that. Don't have too much sail up, it is not a race.
    /Ben, Sweden.

  100. Peter Gold Coast AusJune 3, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    Stay with it Abby, but please think about how much sale you have on before you go to bed.
    @volly and others, I agree wholeheartedly I have sailed blue water and if we weren't racing, standard procedure was to reduce sail before retiring, even though we had someone on watch.
    Abby a good and safe procedure is to storm rig before sleeping and then no matter what hits you are relatively safe. Forget about the 250 miles per day, that is racing speed and you are about 3 crew short to do that.
    Sorry to come on so strongly but I am genuinely concerned for your safety, You are heading into waters which are almost diabolically treacherous and there is absolutely no room for error.
    After all that, I wish you fair winds and please sail safe

    Peter Gold Coast Aus

  101. Abby, Great work under pressure. It was uplifting to hear how well you dealt with fear. Even the bravest of men have cowered where you have overcome.
    Stay motivated

  102. Hang in there Abby. You are incredibly courageous.
    The graphic details of the problems you experienced have brought your blog readers on board with you. Amazing reading. Keep it up Abby. If you decide to drop into Melbourne for a quick visit, you'll have a lot of followers come to greet you with some dry warm clothes(ha ha)
    Any how, continue your journey with the world watching. God bless ya. John Blades, Mount Martha, Victoria, Australia.

  103. that was about coming to malaysia..and by the you have a bf..just

  104. Ab - you're fab! Great descriptions of your experiences and I hope you're feeling ok through this. It's such a disconnect for us on warm, dry shores from you and your stalwart yacht on the big wet. Take care out there - we're all thinking of you.

  105. G'Day Abby,
    Remember the fable about the Tortise and the Hare. Nobody keeping tabs on your blog gives a stuff if you do one mile or many during the day.

    It would be prudent to shorten sail when sleeping just in case you do get a squall - as you did.

    Water and electronics don'y mix and you are totally relient on the latter. in my humble opinion a bad move.

    So young Lady ere on the side of caution, and give the Hare side a miss

    Sail safe
    with maturity,
    also ENJOY!!!
    Captain Poppa Bear
    from Down Under.

  106. Scary! Awesome job! I hope you get warmed up! Goodness!


  107. Abby you are doing pretty good, quite a survivor. That was a pretty awful night.
    Not pretty fun for you, your team or us, got my adrenalin going just reading your account.

    Can the aft hatch be secured when you are not using it or especially when weather is pretty bad but especially when you head for your hammock?
    And is that cabin pretty well water tight when secured?

    Hope your heater gets to work again.

    You'll go far, Jack Tar.

  108. Hola, Abby~
    Brush Your Teeth, Change Your Underwear, and Make Lots of Memories :)

    Stay safe and Godspeed,
    ps: Hope you read all the bloggers...great words of caution, encouragement and praise.

  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Hi Abby, Your yacht has a planning type hull. They perform best with less than 15 degrees of heel. Wild eyes has a very wide beam and flat bottom. Once you go past 15 degrees the hull starts to go nose down and also starts to spill the wind from the the sails and your speed drops off. Ease your sails off and watch the speedo. Let them off until the trailing edge of the sail starts to flap, then pull back in a bit. The sails will then be deflecting the wind driving Wild Eyes forward rather than simply trapping the wind and pushing her over and so loosing speed. Dont be afraid to experiment and find what makes your yacht perform best. It will make your life a lot more confortable. If your using water ballast, the further Wild Eyes heels over the less affective it becomes.
    I love your choice of yacht and I admire you for giving it a go. You be the boss and let Wide Eyes work for you, not you work for her. Just remember safety first, your on your own out there and we all here want to see you home safe.

    Best wishes from us all here. Laweance.

  111. Good luck Abby. Please be careful and look after your own safety that is far more important than any speed. @Stacie, please note that Tasmania is part of Australia.

  112. I feel like I just watched an action movie!!! Great job kid!!! WOW!!
    Go Abby - you're in our prayers daily girl!

    The Rigdon Family - Fenton, Missouri

  113. Abby,

    Although you did a great job getting out of that situation, what I'm not finding in your posting is any reflection on how you could have / should have avoided getting into this situation in the first place and how to avoid this sort of situation in the future. The best sailing skills in the world can't help you when you're asleep. It's a good sign that you're honest enough with yourself to tell it like it is, but this is a warning sign that you need to be more conservative and careful with the boat when you're going to bed.

  114. Abby hope you learn something helpfull from this experience and make proper responses in the future based on recent past experience the stakes could be high ! Take care continue to do your best enjoy your Voyage ! Best Wishes!

  115. WOW!!! You have an amazing inner strength. Great job.

  116. Great blog entry today! I was getting cold just reading it- very vivid descriptions. Glad you were able to think clearly and get everyting taken care of! Hope you get a break today!

  117. Here's a link to an interesting article on "Ocean Sailing Basics" from

  118. Your Oklahoma Well-WisherJune 3, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    Wow, what a crazy night! Sounds like you stayed focused and got the job done. I absolutely loved your ending description of the swells -- I actually felt like I was rising up to one and then sliding down swiftly the other side on that thrill ride... Keep it up out there and take very good care! Peace, Your Oklahoma Well-Wisher

  119. Dear Abby,
    What a DRAMA! I'm very impressedhow you coped and solved things as for me sounded like an inferno. Keep up the high spirit and sail on safe young brave girl.
    Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

  120. Good to see that you and Wild Eyes came through the night in good condition. You have what it takes and we are all proud of you.

  121. Great adventure for the reader. Thanks!

  122. I can tell the days adventure was pretty thrilling. You'll make a great fictional writer someday....

  123. Writing style:

    I notice whenever you REALLY have something to talk about rather than blogging being a required routine, your sentences flow together much better. It's like your mind becomes fully engaged in the moment. NOW living! Try reading Eckhart Tolle when you get back. Eastern thought from a Western perspective. I'd think you'd like what he has to say.

  124. Abby,

    Way to keep your composure!! You go girl! You definitely have learned to make level headed decisions in a split second! Please sail safe and hopefuly it will be quiet for awhile! Way to make up some miles though!

    Denise and family
    South Dakota

  125. Abby ... Congratulations! Dusting off my old globe again and using a tape measure, you have sailed half way around the world!

    Go Abby !!!

  126. Candace from SimiJune 3, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Candace from Simi... Good job keeping your cool Abby. You're an inspiration.

  127. Hello Abby, good going last night.

    As alot of the fellow blogers have given advice on what you should have done before going to bed, I would like to say learn from the experence. If you learned any thing from your experence last night use it in the furture. We all learn from our experences weither they are good experences or bad ones, this young lady has proven she is a capable sailer and does not need everyone telling what she should have done. She will learn from what she does, we can give advise but she needs positive praise from everyone one NOT I Told You So's.

    Be safe dear one, and keep learning from your adventure.

    Also I love the way your writting draws us in and keeps us on the edge of our seats.

    God speed, keep safe
    Lori from Laguna Woods, CA

  128. Pardon my language, but holy crap, Abby!

  129. Wow. You're going to have one heckuva novel at the end of this trip!

    I wish I had a handful of execs with your courage, quick-thinking, and level-headedness...I could really do some incredible things in business! If one day you ever decide to give up all that fresh air, beauty, and excitement for an office full of computer geeks, let me know!! ;)

    All the best, and Godspeed!

    Curtis from Atlanta, Georgia

  130. @Anonymous; Laweance ... Appreciated your "less than 15 degrees of heel" comment. Experts welcome.

    Not quite half way! (from a globe perspective, rather than a sailing distance perspective)

    The antipodal coordinates of MDR are 33 57' 42" S ; 61 32' 16" E, which is about 800 nm NE of your last reported position. You have about 450 nm to go on your current course to reach half way, so in another 2-3 days you'll be there. At that point, you'll only be about 360 nm S of your antipodal point.

  131. Hi Abby,
    I agree with Lori from Laguna Woods, CA.
    Abby does not need all this 'I told you so' stuff. She done a wonderful job of handling the situation and I am sure she will not do anything to experience that again. So lighten up folks.
    Sail On Abby, I'm proud of you

  132. hi abby.WE followed Zac every day from day one.Now u got me hooked. u go girl. good luck.

  133. What an incredible night you had! Praying for you always... You are amazing and you are loved.

    Marie, WA St.

  134. Whoa Abby! Take it easy out there..... Your last blog was way too scary! Please don't take any unnecessary risks and watch out for overstressing Wild Eyes, yourself, family & team.....and us! :) You have managed the tough stuff well, but I still have to say 'be cautious, sweet girl'!

    Stay alert, sail smart, sail safe!

    Janell in OK

  135. Wow - way to go Abby. Keep that level head. I won't try to give you advice, it seems that you are learning things all the time.
    I really enjoy reading about your experiences - keep it coming and know that we are pulling for you.

    Tim in Seattle

  136. Hi Abby,after what you went through yesterday,I hate to see you take another beating,don't you think it would be wiser to pass between north Australia and New Guinea,it would be warmer and much better weather.
    I know that team Abby knows best,but just think about it.
    I just want you to be safe and get home in one piece.
    God bless you,
    Libby Di Bernardo
    San Pedro,Ca.

  137. You will probably encounter a few more of these squalls before you safely arrive back in MDR. They will hit quick and hard without too much warnings and you will not have enough time to dodge them even with the help of your passage routers. Let’s then review what we have learned from this one and be more prepared for the next one when it hits.

  138. Okay, I'm a sailor, a cruiser. And I frankly DON'T agree with all these bloggers who say how amazing you are. It'd be a lot more amazing and inspiring if you were to avoid such problems by doing what prudent mariners do -- reduce sail before nightfall. I'd be a lot more impressed with your preparation, decision-making and maturity if you didn't have all these problems -- first in how much power you needed, second with your autopilots in general and additionally not having a display at the helm and now in taking on water because of poor sail selection. All of these are preventable. Learn from your mistakes and be honest about them. I don't want to be a naysayer, but you have to think things out AHEAD of time.

  139. What an amazing adventure you are having. Keep safe and enjoy your trip. You are telling quite a story with your blog.

  140. congratulations
    no one's there to fix it and you are surviving
    I salute you

  141. Have to agree with Carolyn above. Be safe!!

  142. Abby!,Just a short note on remarks of other bloggers on your last blog.
    There are some who are patting you on the back for your efforts in resolving the problem you had at night which in reality was of you own making. You are coming across as a young person who feels the need for speed - big mistake.
    As I mentioned in my previous blog nobody gives a stuff as to how many miles you do, be it one or many. What all want to see is someone who eres on the side of caution and forsees problems ahead of time with mature decisions.

    Some bloggers are upset at constructive criticsm from people who have some considerable experience behind them.

    I respectfully suggest that Abby take note of what criticism comes her way as it is not meant in a derogetry way but more to make sure she finishes what she has set out to do.

    So young lady, back off from the 'need for speed' and concentrate on keeping the problems to zero and getting home safely.

    I admire your spunk in what you are doing, but you need to keep your priorities in order - SAFETY FIRST, then home.

    Sail safe,

    Captain Poppa Bear

  143. @jeanp I wasn't trying to imply that it's not - my apologies if it came off that way. My intent was that there would be more ships when Abby reaches that part of the world - whether she's going around Aust. and Taz.; between them; and between/around NZ. I was simply looking at a map for the populated areas she will be sailing around. :D

  144. hi abby, we live in the aussie bush and at night the stars are magnificent, i bet from your window seat at night they are doubly magnificent.enjoy the moment and keep your eye out for the whales as they are now in aussie waters doing their thing.

  145. Hey Abby: Change course, go to Australia, follow Zac's route in reverse. The only "pirates" on that run were Indonesian fishing boats. You'll still be the youngest. Make landfall, have Laurence and Zac come out. I read your blog all the time and I must say it is a very painful process. You don't need my advice; I just had to say it.


  146. 06-03-10 @ 21:00
    Hi Abby,
    Well, I just finished reading all the pro and con posts of your last episode, not being a sailor I wouldn’t dare offer any advice in regards to sailing, hindsight is fantastic, so I can only say that you had to make all the necessary decisions, which I thought you did very well, and then live with them. I really hope you cover this in your next post…I’m really curious. Bottom line is you’re uninjured and still here and greatly admired!!!!
    Keep up the good work and take good care of yourself. I’m very proud of you and all your accomplishments. Loads of love and hugs.
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand, 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

  147. Hello again Abby,
    Not sure if some of our comments are getting through as we do not seem to fit any of the profiles!
    Any way we are very pleased to hear that you are overcoming all of the challenges that the boat and weather are throwing at you.
    Please be very carefull as you cross The Great Southern Ocean as it is the most unforgiving and dangerous waters in the world. Much rather that you slowed down and came out safely than to keep striving for your 250 nm's a day.
    Our prayers are with you on your great adventure.
    Tony and Magpie, Gympie, Queensland, Australia

  148. Carolyn,
    You are expressing the thoughts of many actual sailors. Thank you for your honesty. I have asked similar questions but they were never published.

  149. Oh Abby, yet another fearsome adventure on the high seas! It was great reading and I am totally in awe of your ability to cope with the difficulties you have encountered recently. Please stay safe. Jana F, Auckland, NZ

  150. Dear Captain Abigail,

    CONGRATULATIONS ABBY....another good day out there for you....178 miles further on your SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION....currently half way around the world.

    While there have been many kind and constructive comments today I guess some people just don't get the big picture. You are AMAZING Abs.

    Thinking of you....100% behind you.
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  151. A quick comment in response to those suggesting Abby go N of Australia. From what I've gathered, being a follower of this trip from day one, is this route is sailed from east to west, NOT the direction Abby is going. The current, prevailing winds, and the numerous reefs make this a bad choice for Abby. Plus there are pirates!

    I was thinking awhile back that if Zac took off from Darwin in a rented boat and escorted sis, this route might work. But no one commented on the suggestion, so it died a fast death.

    It appears Abby is going to continue heading towards her intended route of sailing S of Australia.

    I'll be watching and hoping she does fine.

  152. Dear Abby,

    Whatever it takes to keep you safe, Abby. Whatever it takes.

    May the Good Lord bless you and bring you home safely.

    Clare, Spokane, WA, USA

  153. Dear Abby,
    my heart began to race reading your account of your enormous challenge.
    I am so glad you are safe. 237 miles that's amazing!
    You definitely don't buy into fear. You keep your wits about you and you will stay safe!
    Enjoy the ride,
    Trudy, Austria/Australia

  154. A haiku (apologies to the Japanese):

    I don't doubt your ability at handling wild seas,
    But how can you do that while catching some zzzs?

    A Genoa fully unfurled at bedtime? Your call, Cap'n. You handled the situation masterfully and this is some friendly kidding.

  155. Hi Abby

    When Jess Watson set out on her journey around the globe, I did not realize how many global sailors there are, who have already completed this great feat, and without even leaving their house. LOL. Bit of humour there Abb!
    Like Jess you are bound to get your share of knockers and advisers,etc. Take it all with a grain of salt Abby. We all mean well and wish we had the guts,determination and abilities you and young Jess Watson have shown, as well as a few other young folks. You are a living example of showing a better way for the youth of the world, just like Jess does.
    So glad you are not out doing drugs,etc, but showing all persons that "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE"! May The Lord keep you safe and may you have good weather all the way.

    Ernie (Aus).

  156. Hi Abby, sounds like you're learning to get to grips with Wild Eyes again now your autopilot issues are resolved. You seem to be getting better miles per day out of her - just be sensible about sail setting.
    I'm wondering what's happened to the list of repairs/improvements that you and your team carried out in Cape Town. Didn't you say your team would give us a report on this?

  157. That 's no haiku.
    I don't get what people are so amazed off?
    This is what you do when you are out there.

  158. All I can say are amazing young lady. I was a firefighter for a long time, and you girl tend to handle adversity the same way...go right at it..and do what you need to, to better your situation...your amazing..GO GIRL!! (happy your safe)

    Bob from Boston

  159. Nice to hear your epic story Abby and good to see that you've come through it smiling. We'd love to see you drop in to Hobart to dry out a bit when you get into this part of the world.
    John, Hobart Tasmania.

  160. Good morning Abby from Vermont. Well, Im going to assume you have managed to get things under control, I would say pushing too hard got you a wet and damp cabin to sleep in, not much fun. Please take the advice of some of the posts. Slow it up a few days do an evaluation and then get back into a steady pace. The adventure is only half over.

  161. hi abby how are you today me i'm fine,i was reading your last blog and it sounds like you had a extreamly wild ride. you had me worried you be careful abby i don't want you to get hurt ok, sorry i didn't wright sooner i was busy with work. i'm getting ready for work as i'm wrighting this rate now, i hope your boat is holding out, i found out yesterday that i'm going to be working out of town a place called three rivers, we are renovating a guy's house and he told me that i'm getting a raise to i'm excited but i have to work 14 hours a day i'm up for the challenge. by the way i love your pictures the one where you are sitting at your nav station that's my favorite. it's 6:47 am off to work i go i would rather do what your doing rate now though. well i must go talk to you later abby you take care sweetheart.

    oxoxox by for now

  162. Abby,

    With stories like this, you won't have to come up with much to fill up your book!!!

    I would have to agree with another poster who said "you keep my on the edge of my seat"!

    I love to be on the water now, but as a young kid (pre-teen to about my 20's) I did not. Now we have several types of boats in our family and love to be on the water. I am not sure how I would be still at this point riding those swells! lol

    You are amazing, and I know you are being watched over by the Master of the Seas.

    Be safe,

  163. Abby: Loss of control of the boat; heeled over to taking on water; placing yourself at grave risk out on the boom in that weather at night; charging out topside without wearing your heavy weather gear that is there for just such an event; experiencing what appears to be the onset of hypothermia; risk of pneumonia; etc. etc.. I have no doubt that you have had a real talking to yourself about how you got yourself into that mess and what you will do to make sure that never happens again or I would certainly hope so. There are some excellent, well meaning and professionaly written comments above. Please read and heed!

  164. Capt. Thomas PetersonJune 4, 2010 at 6:24 AM

    I have to say that I am pleased that for the first time in a long while, posts that are "other than" totally supportive are being allowed.

    Listening to what experienced sailors have to say should definitely be part of your education in sailing since you've chosen to take the class of hard knocks. Your safety should trump praise.

    1. Even considering going up a mast at night in 30 kt winds in a boatswains chair - was crazy!
    2. Even considering climbing out on the boom in 45 knt gusts and 25 ft seas - was crazy!
    3. Carrying a triple reefed main and full Genoa in 45 knt gusts and 25 ft seas - while you slept(????) - was crazy!

    That said Abby, you have the opportunity of a life time to learn extreme sailing first-hand.
    Slow down, get up on deck, and take advantage of this rare chance. You can do this, but start planning rather than just reacting.

    Capt. Thomas Peterson

  165. Hey abby,
    go faster and more south, that is the shortest way.
    Also no pirates there,
    K. Jones

  166. well... it is an age old dogma: clean up everything before you go to bed!
    Well, sometimes you have to learn that lesson the hard way...

  167. abby I couldnt agree more with bloggers who have said u need to reduce speed and sail, even though you are an amazing sailor there is only so much luck to be had on your trip, and you could have been in terrible trouble and you will get more of this weather , so please take it slower, you are not in any hurry.

  168. It's been very interesting to read about your journey around the world. It always gives me a chuckle when I read all the well meaning advice that's being sent your way.

    It's very clear that you didn't get halfway around the world by accident, and your brother all the way around for that matter. I'm sure there's enough experience and advice from your family/team to keep you safe until your final destination.

    With some good parenting and a little luck, I hope that I am as successful as your parents in raising children with the confidence and maturity that you possess.

    Best of luck.


  169. Shooting for 250 miles/day? Wild Eyes can easily do 300 miles/day with the wind you have! Push her some! Go Abby!

  170. Just read your last post. Abby SLOW DOWN. We don't want to read about a drowned Abby. A storm jib is quite enough in those conditions, and going to sleep too !

  171. Hi Abby,

    Yeah, I always reef more than apparently necessary at sunset as I don't like playing around on deck in the dark. And, yeah, autopilots don't work too well when standing on their heads. And, yeah, you don't have to be in Antartica to become hypotherimic. Just remember, "Slowly and Majestically" and you will be fine.

    Jon in Oregon

  172. Hi Abby, GO FASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  173. Link to article on crossing Southern Ocean a little earlier in the year than Miss Abby.


  174. You're the greatest. We hope you are having a great time at sea. We hope you continue to be safe and we want you to catch some fish!
    Ms. Oertel's 3rd Grade Class
    Charlottesville, Virginia

  175. I too am looking for the promised report on repairs and equipment changes/mods .

  176. Abby we havent heard from you in a few days please send a message or have someone send one that you are ok.
    Worried in calif.

  177. Isaiah 43:2"When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you,.." His Peace (that passes ALL understanding) is within and upon you every step of the way. Your Trusting the Lord is keeping you 'walking on the waters'. May we all 'go and do likewise' Abby LOL, Susan

  178. it's a shame your school books were all destroyed last night and that now you'll have to spend more time enjoying every single moment of your adventure ;)

  179. Half a world away, in the middle of Missouri non the less, are a two year old and a four year old who make their father read all of your blog postings! This last one really captured their attention. Best of luck and thank you for sharing your journey with some VERY landlocked fans!

  180. Hi Abby,

    I'm glad that you are doing fine after all the things that you went through lately. It is kind of the beggining of the southern ocean's kind of weather. Hopefully you will take all the precautions and keep Wild Eyes in the best shape as possible. Things need to be under control at all times, so be careful.

    I have a questions about your autopilots. Did you change autopilots brand? or model? how much different are these from the previous ones?

    I really hope you have a safe ride home and that you are happy while doing it.

    Best wishes,

    Marina from Italy

  181. OMG, what a story! You did a great job considering the circumstances-bravo!
    Ed in TN

  182. Hey Captain Abbey. I can understand wanting to test Wild Eyes and her autopilots and perhaps yourself.But ,please do so when wide eyed and bushy tailed .Sailors have stories to tell about should have done this -should have done that.We all enjoy following your journey.. Support you at the highest ..Your words this is not a race..understood a race to miss bad seas.. Learning lesson number 2 don't get caught with too much sail. Sandi on the bay.. with no wind

  183. To defend you Abby, I must say that such things happen to almost every round-the world sailor. A similar thing also happen to Jessica (her blog april 24). A sudden unexcpected storm gust tipped her boat over and water poured in through an open ventilation valve.

    You handled your problem well, credit to you! It is fun to read about you and Jessica, some of the toughest people of them all!

    Just be careful.

    Ben, Sweden

  184. Abby,

    I'm not sure my emotions can take following another teenager around the world after following Jessica Watson all the way to the end. You girls remind me too much of my own daughters. But, like my oldest, who is 15, you are more mature at your age than we give you credit for.

    Anyway, I just want you to know as a unofficial additional parent that I'm praying for your safe return home.

    - Bobby

  185. YAY!!! Abby's on TV tonight!
    She's on 20/20 on ABC Friday 6/4/2010 at 10 EST

  186. Ahoy Captain Abigail,

    @ Marie...thanks for the heads-up re 20/20.

    I hope you are well and warm.

    I checked out the preamble to tonight's ABC 20/20 news item (10 pm east feed) featuring Abby (and I believe other young adventurers).
    Titled: "TOO YOUNG? Teen Attempts Solo Sail Around World" and states "Detractors call 16-year old Abby Sunderland's goal foolhardy, parents say she is prepared"...AND...ABC writes "To all parents who wish their plugged-in kids would get off the couch: Be careful what you wish for.
    Abby Sunderland, 16, shows off craft she plans to sail around the world. (see my note later on)
    There's a new breed of teen . Take Abby Sunderland, 16, of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
    Last year, Abby set her sights on the world record for being the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.
    "I am definitely nervous," Abby told "20/20." "People say you shouldn't be nervous if you are really ready to do this. But I understand [the] ocean, and I understand how dangerous what I am doing actually is, and I understand how careful I need to be out there."
    Late last year, Abby began talking publicly about her plan to circumnavigate the globe by herself in a 40-foot boat. It would be, she said, the fulfillment of a dream she sprang on her parents when she was 13.
    "When any of my kids come to me with an ambition, I don't laugh at it," said Abby's father, Laurence Sunderland. "I like to listen to my kids. There was a part of me that was even excited, because she's jumped into an arena where I know a little bit about it."
    Sunderland schooled Abby in seamanship, testing her, he said, with tougher and tougher solo scenarios through her teens.
    "When things went wrong, I'd bring [it to] her attention," Sunderland said. "It was a particularly rough day and her boat was rocking from gunnel to gunnel. ... I knew she was freezing cold, tired and hungry, and we'd been at it for, you know, 20 hours at that stage. I said, 'So Abby, are you ready to sail around the world now?' To which she replied, 'Where is my boat?'"
    MaryAnne Sunderland, Abby's mom, joined the story.
    "She ended up getting a sponsor," she said. "All she needed was approval, you know, from us."
    Laurence Sunderland said the easiest thing for them to have said as parents would have been "No." But then he thought of his daughter and all her talents."

    If you go to:
    you will see a video of Abby's cabin tour.

    Controversial or's good to see Abby getting some well deserved international attention.

    Cheering you on Abs,
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  187. Holy moly! I continue to be amazed and impressed with your bravery and maturity. Hang in there girl!

  188. "TAKE TWO"...Captain Abigail,

    As a follow-up...I just watched the ABC TV 2020 broadcast Abby and I think it was a fairly balanced news item. Hopefully this will introduce many new followers to your adventure.
    There were great shots of WILD EYES at sea, mom and dad (looking GOOD!) speaking highly of their daughter, Abby talking to 2020 via Skype 101 days out (do you ever get scared?) as well as on camera and voice-overs of Abby telling her story and....a welcomed clarification by the media that Abby HAS continued on despite a stop in Cape Town. The item ends with Abby having departed Cape Town "a 16 year old alone again on an unforgiving sea".

    I must say Abby's story was quite a contrast to another 2020 item about parents teaching hate to their children...yikes!!

    The world's your stage Abby...and the spotlight is now shining on YOU. Take care young lady,
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario, Canada

  189. Praying all is okay.

  190. May God be with you Abby.My prayers are with you everyday

  191. Hi Abby! I am so sorry that you are in trouble with your boat! I hope everything will be fine soon. I also hope that you really look at these things. Not just like a secretary. Here's what it says on foxnews. Right now.


    Rescuers are searching for California girl who is trying to sail solo around the world after communication with her was lost while she was in the Indian Ocean."

    Is it true???
    You are SOOOOOOOOOOOO rediculously brave to be doing this. And at your age, not to mention! :) But I have confidence in you, Abby!
    I have heard about you not only on Foxnews' Breaking News story but also it was a debate in the magazine that I get, if young teens should be able to sail solo.
    So yes, when I saw that Foxnews had a link to a movie of you when you video-chatted I watched it. I was so interested that I came to your site and saw what you are seeing and doing! It's terrific!
    OMG I can't tell you how proud I am of you for battling it out in the seas. YOU GO GIRL!

    Stay tough, and don't loose your ballance now.
    Hannah Geller
    7th grade (comin' to the end... soon-to-be 8th)
    12 years old
    Pennsylvania USA

  192. Our prayers are with you Abby. May the Lord protect you wherever you are and I am rebuking anything bad about these lost communications. We love you girl!

  193. Good luck im rooting for you!!!

  194. First read of your blog. Sounds like a pretty good piece of seamanship to recover from these problems. Clipping onto and climbing out on a boom under these conditions is high risk. You were there though, and it was your call. A leaky skin fitting though: very poor. I would have checked all skin fittings on a new boat, above and below waterline, before setting off, but only experience can teach that.

  195. Your ability to stay cool through this gives me hope that you will survive whatever situation caused you to set your EPIRB off. Praying for you.

  196. Forget the fools who are trying to encourage you to push the limits, safety first! You have nothing left to prove!!!

  197. I pray for your safe return. What a brave person you are. God Bless!
    Soong, Malaysia

  198. God Speed young lady

  199. WOOT! Congrats Abby on making it through the crisis, hope you can get back under way. No matter what happens, you're the man! Well, you know what I mean.