Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Luck Laura

Hey everyone,
I've got a ton of great photos from the past few days! Been to the beach a few times, had a small party for the guys on my team, and got to fly down to San Diego to check out some repairs on a friend of a friend's boat! It's been a lot of fun but, I'm sorry to say I don't have the pictures ready yet, but I will do soon!!

The main reason for this blog today is Laura Dekker. Most of you have probably heard about the young 14 year old Dutch girl that wanted to sail around the world alone. She's been through a lot lately with the Dutch courts keeping her from going. I heard this morning that they are now allowing her to go.

I admire Laura's spirit - it would be hard not to for anyone who has followed her story. I'd just like to wish Laura the best of luck and a word of advice from a sixteen year old sailor(though I doubt she needs it) have fun! Live life the best you can. There's no time like now so take all the opportunities you get.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Congrats Allesandro di Benedetto

I just heard this morning that Alessandro di Benedetto has finished his circumnavigation! He and I emailed back and forth a little bit while I was out on the water. I'd like to send a BIG congratulations to him. He has set the record for the smallest boat to sail non-stop around the world. More than once I was surfing down waves bigger than his whole boat and wondering how he managed in his tiny 21ft boat. I can only imagine how great it must be for him to have completed his goal and I'm very happy for him!

Well, on to everything back home. Things have been going well over here. We're having a BBQ at the house for my support team which will be great. I went from talking to them most days to not speaking to them at all and I miss them all quite a bit. I'm really looking forward to seeing them tonight. I'll post some pictures of it later.

I'm working on getting my permit and occasionally thinking about school. So nothing too exciting is going on - just normal life.


Friday, July 16, 2010

More News from Home

I went down to the marina today with my dad and Zac. It felt good to be up early and to be by the water all day. It's been hard at times for me to be home. I need some sort of goal. While things like writing a book and speaking here and there are great it's so different from what I have been doing for so long. I'm sure I'll come up with some new project. I have been taking a look at some of the classes that I need to graduate and believe it or not I've even been thinking a bit about college. It pretty exciting to think about, but a little daunting as well. High school and college are a far cry from sailing.

Zac took his boat up to Channel Islands Harbor today. There is a boat show there this weekend and it happens to be right around the one year anniversary of Zac's trip. It is called the Ventura County Boat Show. So, we're all pretty excited about that.

The collaborator for my book is here to meet the family and me and to discuss some things about the book so we can get started soon. They are planning to have us finish the book quickly. I may even be able to get it done before school starts which will be nice because I am going to have to take a few extra classes to catch up.

My friend and team member, Bill Bennett, flew my little brother, Toby, and I up to Monterey a few days ago. A lot of people say that flying is like sailing. I don't really see much of a similarity. I did get some good pictures and have a fun time.

We had lunch, checked out the Monterey Bay Aquarium before heading home. It was a nice flight, but of course my camera memory card was full right as the sun started to go down. All in all it was a very fun day.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Settling In

It's been a little while since I last wrote. It feels a like there isn't much to write about - no weather to report, no new sail plans or big course changes, no auto pilot problems either. There are some things coming up that I am really looking forward to. I had been planning to talk at a local mall and am still going to be doing that. I don't have all of the details yet, but I have to say that I'm even more excited about a new project that has come up. There were two ladies that came by yesterday from our church. They work in a jail ministry with young women, girls even younger then me, all the way up to 20 or so. They mentioned that it might be a good place for me to talk. I guess I'm so excited about it because I feel like I could really help. None of the details have been ironed out yet, but I really can't wait and hope I'm able to do some good there.

Now, I thought every body knew, but it seems a few of you haven't heard. My new brother, little Paul-Louis Charles Sunderland, was named after the captain of the Ile de la Reunion, the French fishing vessel that picked me up off of Wild Eyes. It was getting close to his due date and still no name had been decided on. Everybody called him Charlie - my family always comes up with some sort of interesting nickname for everyone. That is the story behind little Paul's name. My parents really liked the name, and under the circumstances it didn't seem a bad idea at all. So, to Paul-Louis La Moigne of the Ile de la Reunion, thanks for giving us a hand naming our newest edition!

A lot of people have been asking about Wild Eyes. She was still afloat when I boarded the Ile de la Reunion. She could end up on a beach in Western Australia at some point, but it's just a guess, we don't know for sure. She would have to be very lucky to wash up on a beach, and not get smashed on the rocks or something like that. While I do wish that she would be found and fixed up, its not all that likely she will be found.

Well, I think that's all for today, thank you all for your continued support, and a very, very late happy 4th of July to you all!



Abby's father, Laurence Sunderland, told the Today show on Monday June 28th that the recent Newport Bermuda Race had lost a boat, he was relying on an erroneous USCG report. The USCG has now issued a retraction at

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee has asked Laurence to correct his statement.

From the the Journal of US Coast Guard Search & Rescue:

08 July 2010
The Newport Bermuda Race 2010 commenced on June 18, 2010 and On Scene is happy to report that all race participants successfully completed the race without incident. The On Scene Weekly SARSAT Rescue Report dated Wednesday June 23, 2010 incorrectly stated that the sailing vessel associated with the June 15th SARSAT Rescue was participating in the Newport Bermuda Race 2010 when high winds caused the vessel to lose its mast. Many thanks to the On Scene subscribers who pointed out this inaccuracy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home is the Sailor

Hi guys,

Sorry I haven't written in so long. As you can imagine, things have been pretty crazy over the past week or two. I would have posted more but on the second boat I was on, the Osiris, I was having some trouble with the email. This blog is going to be like a short novel, but I figured you guys wouldn't mind.

I'm back home now with no more plans to go anywhere too soon. Before I get going with all the happenings of the past weeks, I want to just let you all know how grateful I, and my whole family are for your support. It has really helped us recently. It's tough to be in the spot light of the media. While not all the media support me there have been a lot that have been kind and done a great job and I would just like to thank them for that. Things have already begun to calm down and before long there will be a new story for everyone to start following.

It feels weird to be sitting at home in the office writing a blog. It feels like years since I've been here, and only days since I was wedging myself into my chart desk seat with my lap top writing in about weather conditions, getting excited over big blows and complaining about calm weather and the cold.

Well, I'm not sure how long ago my last blog was

so Ill just go over it all. I spent about three days on the French fishing boat, Ile de la Reunion. It was a nice boat and there were a few people that spoke English pretty well. There wasn't much to do on board for an English speaking young girl, but all the crew were nice and I enjoyed my time while I was on board. We got to Kerguelen Island around 4 in the morning. It was still dark so I couldn't see the island but the Osiris was right by us. They lowered their dinghy into the water and came over to pick me up. Almost everyone spoke a little English, but no one quite as good as on board the Ile de la Reunion.

The first few days on board the weather wasn't all that great. We pounded along making painfully slow speed, but I didn't feel in a rush to get to land. Everybody on board was great. At first it was pretty cold and rough so pretty much everybody stayed down below. After awhile it started to get warmer out. We had a couple of BBQs on deck and brought out a bunch of lines and started playing around tying a bunch of knots and splicing lines, it was a lot of fun. The last few days were a lot like being back on the equator, plus 13 French men and a BBQ.

The rough weather didn't last long and soon it was dead calm out and we were racing along making up for lost time. All too soon, there was land out the window. I was excited to see it but at the same time not sure of what to expect. It wasn't as bad as I had thought it might be. There was a bit of media waiting at the dock when we pulled in. I was glad to have Zac and a few other members of my team there because even with the help of the police, it was hard to walk down the dock! We held a press conference there and it went really well. I hadn't spoken a long stream of English in so long that by the end of my statement I wasn't sure I wanted to stop talking! After that was all over we headed back to the hotel.

The next day we were going to try and go Hobie sailing, but almost everything is closed on the weekends in La Reunion. We did find one open place, and went jet skiing instead of sailing. It was fun, but a far cry from saili

ng. We got on a plane that night and got to Paris the next day. We had about a 4-6 hour layover there and decided that we should make the most of our time and go see the Eiffel Tower. We took a few trains to get there and got to spend about half an hour there and then took a few different trains to get back. It wasn't exactly leisurely site seeing, but it was fun, and now I have really been to Paris, not just through the airport.

We got back in time to hop on our next plane which would take us all back to LA. It felt strange to think that in 12 hours I would be home. It had taken me months to get where I was and only hours to get back. When we arrived in LA we learned that our flight details had been posted on the internet. Because there was so much media waiting and there were concerns about security, the authorities helped us avoid the main entrance. While I would have been happy to talk to the press, we were all relieved we wouldn't have to fight our way through a bunch of

cameras after such a tiring few days and long trip.

Back home there were a few people over; my team, a few friends and some of our neighbors. It was a nice homecoming - small, but nice. Eventually people started to leave, and I went to bed in my old bed. After a couple hours sleep Zac and I were up and on our way to the LA press conference. My mom had gone into labor earlier that morning and so she and my dad had to stay home.

The press conference there went just as well as in La Reunion, though when I was asked about the movie, Twilight, I was a little puzzled.... After the press conference there, we gave home a call to see

if we had a new brother yet. We did! Paul-Louis Charles Sunderland - big name for a little guy.

From the press conference there Zac and I went to the airport where we hopped on a plane to head to New York for the Today Show. We got there pretty late, got to sleep a few hours and then went in for the show. It was a lot of fun and we met lots of interesting people. All the people at NBC were really nice. Zac and I spent the day walking around New York which was quite a bit of fun, but by the end of the day I had a pretty bad cold and was ready to go back home.

The plane ride was somewhat miserable but at least it was short. We got home late but little Paul was awake. It was the first time Zac or I had seen the little guy. I couldnt touch him because I was sick, but I was able to view from a distance.

So, we're all back here now with no plans to go anywhere soon. Every time I leave the house Katherine gets a little worried and asks when I'll be home. Well, that's all for now. I'll be back soon with some pictures and more news.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hi everyone - I'm back!

It's Abby here. So much has happened over the past few weeks. From tomorrow I'll be updating my blog more often as I settle back in and plan the future. I really appreciate your support and all the emails and comments have really helped my family and I. Check back soon - I'll have a new blog up with the latest news.