Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Film Festivals

It's been a long weekend and unfortunately school doesn't take into consideration my busy life so I'm just now getting around to writing about it. It's been quite exciting really and overall I can say it has been a very good past few days. I think I'm beginning to realize its not just the ocean that has you learning new things everyday. Life seems to be throwing out a lot of unexpected stuff lately.Friday night my dad, Bill and I were at the Silent River Film Festival award ceremony. Wild Eyes was nominated for Best Documentary. My dad won for Best New Director and I got the Silent River Film Festival Achievement award. After that we hopped into Bill's plane and flew up to Big Bear Lake for the Big Bear International FIlm Festival.

Mom, Dad and I at the Silent River Film Festival
Photo courtesy Bill Bennett, ASC

We had a little cabin up there for the whole family and it really was great to get away with everyone for a bit. I think we all needed a break from the craziness of home, and what better a place than quiet, laid back Big Bear.

Riding a wild bear with my brother Toby
Photo courtesy Bill Bennett, ASC

The film festival there was great. It was the first time the second part of Zac's documentary has been screened and it went very well. (For those of you that have already ordered part two of Intrepid, have hope, it's coming soon!! And it is awesome!)

Zac, Jordan Romero and I were part of the Young Adventurers Side Bar at the festival. After our doc's were shown, Zac, Jordan and I were up for questioning. It was good to see Jordan again. You may remember that Jordan is the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. He has actually climbed 6 of the 7 highest peaks in the world. He is hoping to conquer number 7, Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, this winter. Check out his web site and follow his adventures at www.jordanromero.com.

Jordan Romero, me and Zac
Photo courtesy Bill Bennett, ASC

I swear Jordan has grown a foot since the last time we saw him last summer. Later on in the afternoon came the awards. Jordan, Zac, Me, and a few other guys were presenting them and it all was just a lot of fun. We were taking our turns presenting awards and I thought we were finished and was heading out of the room when all of a sudden someone said "Wait Abby you're back up!" So out I was on stage with an award and a microphone in my hand... probably should have been paying closer attention to what they were dong on stage! Lucky for me the guy left his notes on the stand!! So it turned out that Wild Eyes won the Peoples' Choice for Best Documentary!

Life really seemed to be falling back into an actually normal normal. I mean not just my kinda normal, but a typical 17 year olds' normal. Everything that happened on my circumnavigation attempt is so long ago now that I barely even think about it anymore. I'm just a 17 year old girl, going to college, hanging out with friends, doing everything that I should be.

I was sitting out in the lobby and watching as everyone came out of the theater. It seemed like everyone was teary eyed; old guys, young guys, grandmas and moms. Then a little old lady came up to me crying. She hugged me and said that her husband froze to death a year ago. She said that that was her rouge wave and went on to say how my story had inspired her and that she knew that she could make it through this.

At that point I think my eyes started to water a bit, and it takes a lot for that to happen. To me, my story might seem like old news, but to some people it's a story of hope, and courage, and to see how many people were moved by it made me do a double take on me and my normal life. Maybe it shouldn't be normal, because if my story was able to encourage that sweet little old lady then I want to make sure everyone that needs to hear it does.

And as if just to confirm that, back at school on Monday, just sitting outside waiting for my class I ran into a guy waiting for his ride. A perfectly normal guy, you never would have guessed he was a basketball player with 50 scholarships who recently dislocated his shoulder, losing all of them, and moving out here just four weeks ago because of his dad's work.

So that's life; rough times come, rough times go. As long as I'm around I'm going to do my best to give people hope that things will get better because, you know, they always do even if they have to get a little worse first.

Now, back to the math homework!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Recent Travels

Things have been going well over here with the book and documentary. Wild Eyes, The Abby Sunderland Story (the name of my doc) has been accepted into a few different film festivals and was nominated as best documentary in the Silent River Film Festival. We'll find out if it won anything next week. You can watch the trailer for my doc and buy a copy at my web site at www.abbysunderland.com.

We'll also be out in Big Bear at the Big Bear Film Festival this coming weekend. I'm really looking forward to that one because they have a whole side bar of young adventurers, including my brother Zac Sunderland, Jordan Romero and me. Jordan is the guy that climbed Mount Everest when he was 13 and of course my brother sailed around the world the year before me.

You might remember awhile ago Zac, Jordan, Joseph Machado, and I all got together in Big Bear and hung out for the day. It will be good to see them all again. So, if you're out around Big Bear this weekend, stop by and you can see all of our docs, meet some awesome people and have a fun time hanging out in the beautiful mountains there. The Young Adventurers Sidebar Showcase is on Sunday.
Go to http://www.bigbearlakefilmfestival.com/page.php?13 for more info.

My dad, Kalpna, me and mom at the Silent River Film Fest
Photo courtesy of Bill Bennett, ASC

Me, Jordan Romero, Zac and Joey Machado - Big Bear 2010

Tonight I am speaking at the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association in Marina del Rey. It should be a great time taliking to sailors and ones that know a lot about what my trip was about.

Next weekend I will be at the Norwalk Boat Show in Norwalk, Connecticut on Saturday and Sunday. Then it is back to California and back to school. Life has been busy but I am loving it!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Off to School!

It has been quite awhile since my last blog. Quite a lot has happened since then. I've been back to the East Coast to talk at summer camps, been to boat shows, done more speaking, kept up my flying, sailing, and trying to keep finding exciting things to do.

The east coast was great. I headed over there knowing I would be speaking, speaking to kids, but that was about it. When I showed up there and walked into my first room of kids, it was pretty small, and the kids were pretty young, probably around 5 or 6 up to 10. Now, my talking had improved a lot by then, in fact I was getting pretty good at it, but I guess its somewhat like the ocean, right when you think you've got it figured out, you get thrown into a whole new game, and you realize just how far you still have to go.

Now, if you want to perfect your public speaking skills, just try holding the attention of a room full of chatting squirming 5 year olds for more then 5 minutes! My week there went well, with the help of some awesome guys from the Coast Guard who were traveling around with me to help out. We managed to do a pretty good job entertaining just about every school and camp we went to.

Just the day after i got back I was off to speak at the Ventura City Council meeting. Having just gotten off a speaking trip where I had to explain everything, wave my arms around and ask loads of questions to keep the kids listening, I caught myself a few times explaining things like the equator, doldrums, what is an albatross, and other such things! All in all, overlooking a few of my kiddy explanations, it was one heck of a 15 minute speech, even if i do say so myself :)

So, my next big adventure is starting tomorrow, college. Pretty scary thought, huh? Kinda sad, it feels a little like all of a sudden the next four years or so of my life are planned out, and it's all college. There's not much one can do to get around that. I'm hoping there will be room for some adventures and I suppose I'll have the summers to go off and find new dreams to follow and shake up the world a bit.

For those of you following Laura Dekker, it looks like she's dong great! Congrats to her for making it through the Torres Strait in northern Australia!! Laura, keep up the great work, you're doing amazing, and making me insanely jealous with all those pictures of where you've been! Couldn't help smiling at her excitement at making it through the Torres Strait. It reminded me of the feeling of just accomplished something huge to you, crossing another ocean, rounding Cape Horn, that feeling of being on top of the world, like nothing can stop you. They're the best times, the times you live for. :)

Well, I hope you're all doing well. I'll be back again soon, if i survive my first day back at school that is...

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

A year ago today I was standing on the bridge of the french fishing ship Ile de la Reunion staring out into the pitch black night, mind spinning out of control. Everything that had happened...I just couldn't believe it. I wasn't sure where the ship was taking me, but at the time it was the least of my worries.

Earlier in the day I had sent a blog home to my mom to post. It started off with a bad attempt at humor, saying "its been a crazy few days out here, the long and the short of it is, one long wave and one short, meaning a two inch stub of a mast." It wasn't funny, but at the time my choices were pretty limited, cry, or cry, or make a lame joke and pretend its funny. I went with the third option.

On board the ship of scruffy fishermen, I was left to myself mostly. Several of them spoke pretty good English, but I didn't want to talk. My mind was drifting through all the memories of my trip, my team, my boat, my family... standing there in the dark for hours, thinking back to the terror of tying myself onto a broken stanchion with my saw in hand and working on sawing away my mast hoping I didn't fall off the pitching deck.

Thinking about being below deck, I remember all the water inside, it was a wreck. My head was throbbing, a constant reminder of the night Wild Eyes rolled. I couldn't close my eyes at night because everytime I did it took me right back there and all I could feel was myself falling up the side of my boat. All I could see was black, and all I could hear was silence...

When I had been on Wild Eyes, I worked hard to control my thoughts, never let them go too far, but now I didn't care. Zoning out as I stared into the dark, my mind was so far from where I was. I think I was worrying about what the fishermen on board were thinking as they probably weren't quite sure what I was doing just standing and staring. It wasn't just the bad things I kept going back to, in fact, it was almost more so the great times. All those amazing days racing along surfing down giant swells making record speeds. Sitting on deck with Charlie my stuffed pelican, watching the sun set, icy wind hitting you in the face, feet and hands numb from the cold, but an amazing sight that I got to see almost every night.

The worst thing to think about was all those great times, they were all gone now and my trip was over, no more sunsets on Wild Eyes, no more surfing, no more world adventures. It was hard. But then again, just a day before I had sat wondering if I would be rescued... I didn't think I would be. I had come so close to death more than once during my trip.

The fact that I was rescued from the middle of nowhere... it was crazy really. Just last week, I learned about a friend of mine that I met in Rhode Island when we bought Wild Eyes. He left on a solo sail, got into a storm along the way, and no one has heard from him since... ocean sailing is a dangerous thing, but so is life. With all the prayer and expert SAR crews, I have been given something that not everyone gets, a second chance.

I could have easily died out there, just like so many others have, but I didn't. In one of the most remote places on earth I was rescued. Something through all of this that I learned, is that we all get hit by our own rogue waves in life. It's what we do with them that matters. You can take something that looks like a disaster and turn it into something great.

You may support me, you may not, but as long as I live, I know I am going to take every opportunity that comes my way, chase every dream, and do all that I can to help others follow their dreams.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Signing Today in Westlake Village California

Hey everyone,
I just wanted to make sure you all knew that I will be signing my new book Unsinkable today Saturday May 21st at 2:00pm at the Barnes and Noble in Westlake Village, California.

The address is:

160 South Westlake Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

I hope to see you there!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Speaking and Book Signings

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Annapolis

Hey Guys,
I'm over in Annapolis, talking at schools and doinga few book signings. My life has been busy as usual. I'm kinda feeling like I did after being out at sea for a few weeks when all of asudden you realize that there is a new sort of "normal" to life.

Flying around, speaking at schools, signing books, it all used to feel a little odd, but now it's just part of life. And as crazy as it's been, I'm having fun, lots of fun. I mean why not? Well, other then that I'm still terrified of public speaking and sometimes I just wish I could be out in the middle of the ocean alone again... But for the most part I'm just glad to see how well everyone has been responding to my talks.

We got into Philadelphia Sunday night about 12:00am, but of course, being me, I ended up staying up till 4:30 finishing up notes and slides for my presentations the next day. I'm not sure there was much point in actually going to sleep as I woke up just half an hour later at 5... but at least I had everything ready to go.

I spoke at three middle schools today, 6th-8th grade. Then did a book signing at Barnes and Noble. The kids were adorable, super excited about everything, and had tons of great questions afterwards. Kinda funny thing, a lot of the things that these young 12 and 13 year olds were asking were much better questions then I've gotten from big time reporters. What's that show called? Are You Smarter Than a Fith Grader? Well, I had to have a bit of a chuckle to myself thinking about that. All in all it was a great day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

I'll be speaking at two high schools and then having another book signing at Borders in Waldorf, Maryland tonight at 7:00pm.

Talk to you all again soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home at Last!

My new friend. Photo courtesy Bill Bennett ASC

I am finally home from the crazy week of media last week.It feels like I've been gone for more like month than just a week, we covered sooo much in such a short period of time! But it's not over yet! Back home, yes, but also just as busy as before.

Both my little kitties are sitting in my lap all cuddled up and dozing off,
cutest little things ever, and seeing as there is no way I could get up right
now without waking them up, I've got a bit of time to write another blog.

Forgot where I left off in the last blog, but ill just start back with leaving New York.
I've got a bit of ground to cover in this blog here. After four days of whirlwind
media and little sleep, we were all looking forward to having one relatively
uneventful day. We packed our bags and headed over to the ABC Studio,
where we spent three hours doing 17 radio interviews! Pretty impressive, aye?
It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be, although by the last few I was having
trouble keeping track of what I had said in each interview and half way
through telling a story I would start to wonder if I had already talked
about it or if that was one of the other interviews...

Well, we got through all that and headed back to the hotel to get our bags and
head over to the airport. We flew out of NYC in a little puddle jumper plane, with a very talkative bunch of people on board, but managed to doze off for a bit. Woke up with a bit of a sore neck, but Virginia was gorgeous! It was warm and sunny out and we got picked up and driven over to a hotel right by the 700 Club.

Virginia Beach is probably one of the nicest places I have ever seen. Anyways, we spent the day swimming in the indoor pool and wandering around, then slept all night long. Next day we went over to the 700 Club studio. It was incredibly nice, much bigger than I had expected it to be. Everything there went well, and then we
were off to the airport again. We said good bye to Jason from Thomas Nelson there and headed to our separate flights.

We had such a great time working with Jason for the few days we were together.
It's a little weird to think that until I write another book, we'll probably not see him again.

After about an hour or two flight into Phoenix, I said good bye to Lisa Gizara. Lisa was heading home to LAX and I was going on to Houston. Lisa was great to travel with, looking forward to the next trip I get to go on with her!

On the plane heading to Houston, I shut my eyes for a second, and next thing I knew we were landing! Gotta love when flights go like that. Got to the hotel there in the marina pretty late, wandered around looking at the boats for a bit, then headed back to get some sleep. Next morning I headed over to the South West International Boat Show tomeet the people from Texas Coast Yachts who had sponsored me to come out there.

It was a lot of fun, met some great people, and got to see a little bit of Texas.
After about four hours of signing books and meeting people, I was off to the airport again. On to the Stricly Sail Pacific Boat Show in Oakland, California.
Hanging out with my brother Zac! Photo courtesy Bill Bennett ASC.

That was a lot of fun, I was a little dazed from meeting so many people by the end, but it was great to see my brother and a bunch of the guys from my team who had come up to check out some of the gear.

Jeff and his wife Gail are working on getting their boat ready to sail around the world again, so they were up there walking all around and even came to see me speak which was great! I had forgotten that I was going to be speaking there until the night before, so kinda ended up just winging it, but it went better then I thought it would! In fact, it went really well! Funny thing, I do better the less I prepare for these talks, and I even have more fun giving them if I prepare less!

Well, we decided it would be too late to fly home that night, since we were going to fly home in my friend's little plane. So we spent another night there and headed back home the next morning. It was a good flight home, though a bit of a blur. We landed in Burbank and headed off to meet up with my parents and friend who was visiting from Cape Town, South Africa.

From there I was finally headed home. It was a long but fun week. Good times and memories aren't so much created by what you do or where you go, but who you do it with. I'm lucky to have some of the best people ever around me, both helping and watching out for me.

Well, gotta run, going to my prom tonight! Bit of a shocking toss back into life as a teenage girl... but I suppose this is just one of those things that you have to do as a senior in high school.

Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Good Bye New York

Hey Guys!
Well, we survived
New York! The TodayShow, Fox & Friends, CNN, The View, InsideEdition, and three hours straight of radio; 17 interviews in just three hours! I may besuffering a bit of trauma from that, but afterarriving in Virginia Beach this afternoon
and spending a few amazing hours wandering around here, I'm glad to say I'm back happy and normal and not feeling like a robot so much any more.

Meeting all the girls from The View was
great. Back stage after I got off, I got to chat a bit with them all and while of course they didn't all agree with me and my trip, sevral did say that after having me on the show and talking to me they had changed their minds. I had never watched the view before, but it was a really fun show. New York was tons of fun. It was probably my best trip there so far and I definitely want to go back again sometime.
I've got the 700 Club tomorrow morning, and so I should probably get going. Dont want to be up too late again. I'll let you all know how things go tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2011

New York - Day 2

Hey everyone!One show down, five (or so) more to go! This Morning went really well.Of course it was pretty short, only about five minutes long but they did a really good job with the story. I think we're all happy with how things went. Just had breakfast and we're back in our hotel now. We're staying on the 46th floor. You know how you jump up when you're in an elevator sometimes? Well when you do that in these elevators,you've gotta be careful your head doesn'thit the roof!
Okay, not really, but almost. It moves pretty fast, and you have to yawn to unplug your ears at least once on the way up to the top. We have a pretty awesome view and are right next to Times Square. So far we have been having a pretty fun time, we have the rest of the day to mess around, so thinking of going to see a Broadway show.

Well, I'll write again soon, and try and get the link to this mornings show up soon!

Tomorrow morning, I will be on two shows, Fox and Friends and CNN American Morning.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

New York

Hey guys,
So I'm over in New York right now.I was up at three this morning to get to the airport and fly over with good friend and photographer, Lisa Gizara. We had a good flight and a nice evening here with Lisa and Jason, the publicist for Thomas Nelson who is here to get me around town to my different interviews. We went and got dinner and talked over everything that's happening this week.

Jason keeps insisting that I "don't need to worry, its only going to be 20 million or so people watching you over the next few days." Not sure why, but somehow that wasn't the biggest help. Guess it's a good thing I'm not as scared of cameras as I used to be any more!!

The next four days are packed with interviews and shows, but there is an afternoon or two that we'll get to run around and have some fun here. Well, I'll be up around 5 tomorrow and on the today show sometime between 7-8 (local time in New York) so that should be fun, hopefully it all goes well.
Talk to you all again soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lots of News!

Hey Everyone!

Lots has happened recently, and it seems like I haven't had a down moment in awhile now. Well, I have some good news, actually, there is quite a bit of good news, so I'll try and organize it in order of importance. Number one on the list - kittens!

Any of you that followed my trip from the start probably remember that I was contemplating picking up a kitten in Cape Town, South Africa, but in the end decided it would be best for the cat, and myself, if I just waited till I got home. Well, I got home, and still no kitten.... till about two weeks ago. Now this is where the flame thrower fights come in and the story starts to get interesting, no kidding, there was really a flame throwing fight involved in the discovery of the kittens, but maybe I should start from the beginning and try to make it a little more clear.

I actually spent the morning in jail because I was asked to speak to the workers at Lompoc Federal Prison. That went relatively well. I went from the prison on to a film set where I was working as the still photographer. It was amazing! It was one of the first somewhat big sets that I have worked on and it was so much fun! The short story they were filming was for Dolby, for the convention in Las Vegas. The story involved lots of fire, and some pretty crazy stunts, such as the girl dancing with her legs on fire, breathing fire, a fire heart, and yes the very second to last shot, but quite likely the most awesome, was the flame thrower fight.

Now in case your mind is starting to wonder, let me just reassure you that despite the talk floating around the room about if we could find a way to work the little kitties into the story, or set them on fire, they were not set on fire, they were in fact, found at the other end of the large wherehouse that we were shooting, in the corner in the bathroom. Of course, everyone was falling over the kittens the minute they were found. I got lucky and ended up getting to bring them both home. They are really the most adorable little kitties ever, two little girls, both black with white paws and blue eyes. We named them Dolly and Bebe, kinda like Dolby :)

Okay on to number two. Well, this actually kinda clumps a lot of stuff together, books and documentaries, Tennessee and tornadoes. The book is done!! You can buy it on Amazon now, but it will officially be out on April 12th along with the documentary. There has been a lot of hard work put in by so many people, its gonna be great to have it all completely finished.

My websites been updated with more info on both the book and the doc with links to buy both of them. Check that out if you want: www.abbysunderland.com.

Another exciting thing, I got to go to Nashville, Tennessee. Just got back last night. That's where Thomas Nelson, my publisher is, and it was great to finally meet everyone behind getting the book published. So much hard work was put into it by so many people there, it was great to be able to talk to them in person finally! I flew intoNashville Sunday, spent the night in a hotel, then started up with media training the next morning. After six hours of that we headed over to Thomas Nelson. Inside, all the lights were off and everyone was on the way to the basement. Okay, so the weather wasn't the best during my little visit, but I can now say I've been into the basement along with everyone else at Thomas Nelson Not sure that's anything to brag about, but I can also say that I know for a fact that tornadoes do exist.

After signing a hundred or so books I headed back to the airport. Waiting at the gate with the lights flickering on and off while watching as the flight departure time was pushed back further and further was slightly disconcerting. Needless to say, the flight was not canceled nor was it hit by a tornado and I am safely back in California where all we have to watch out for is earthquakes.

Now onto planes! I have decided to learn to fly. I had originally not been all that excited about the idea. I prefer being on a slow boat where when everything starts falling apart you get a good few minutes to try and sort things out, rather than in a plane where you're going 100kts or so, you wouldn't really have much of a chance at sorting anything out. I have to say I am having more and more fun with it. It will never by quite as amazing as sailing, but it does come scarily close. I've only had about two or three lessons, but I have a secret little hope that I might be able to get my pilots license before my driving license - how awesome would that be!

Well, there is so much more I could write about right now, but I'm off to New York in a few days and have so much going on between now and when I leave that I really have to pack today so I'm ready. I'll be in New York Sunday and am going to be a on a bunch of shows, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNN America and The View. If you want to watch, my Facebook page will be updated with the time that I am going to be on. I'll try and get a blog up with the exact times for anyone who doesn't have Facebook.

I've gotta run, I'll try and get another blog up soon!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Busy Week

Hey Everyone,
Been a little while since my last blog but just wait till you hear about my week! I flew to Buffalo, New York on Wednesday, and drove from there to Kitchener in Toronto on Thursday to give a talk at the TEDxWaterloo conference there. The next morning I went into the Crossroads Studio in Burlington to do a few interviews, then drove back to Buffalo where I was staying with my mom's aunt and uncle.
I spent the next day with my cousin Heidi and her hyperactive lab puppy Sophia :) The next day I spent with my other cousin, Gretchen and drove back over to Canada to see Niagara Falls. Next day I hopped on a plane and headed back home, got in that night and the next day headed off to Santa Paula where I was working as the still photographer on a shoot for a Dolby commercial. I went to bed around 1:00am and was back up at 3:00am that morning to get over to the tiny Santa Paula Airport and get started. I was picked up before the end of that though because I had to go to school!

Yep, at the end of it all I still have to do my schoolwork. I'm back home now taking a break from studying for some pretty gnarly tests I've got next week so that I can write a blog :) So I really haven't forgotten about you all! Its taken quite a bit of caffeine to get through the past week, but it has all been really fun.

The TEDxWaterloo conference was pretty much amazing. I've done a few different conferences but this one really didn't sound like anything I had done before so I didn't know what to expect. There were about 900 people there, definitely the largest amount of people I have ever spoken in front of before. For the most part things went well, all the speakers were interesting, I met a lot of neat people and my talk went pretty well. I think my talk could have been better which is bugging me a bit... oh well, practice makes perfect, and I'm definitely getting some good practice in.

The two interviews I did went well. They won't be airing until April 18th though, and just in Canada. Seeing Niagara Falls was pretty cool. Of course it was pouring rain, there was quite a bit of snow around, and it was all of 20 degrees out... but still, it was amazing seeing that. I managed to forget my camera there though, so sorry bout the phone camera pictures.

The morning I left to fly home it started snowing! It snowed a few inches by the time I left for the airport, too bad there wasn't enough to build a snowman... Anyway, my flight ended up getting delayed for about an hour, and it was looking like I might not make it to my connecting flight in Detroit, but luckily they held the plane and so back to sunny, warm California (or so I thought). I got off the plane here and it was raining.

The day after I got home, Monday, I spent most of the day trying to finish up homework, but I started researching for a paper I was writing and it was so interesting I ended up working on that until I got picked up to go to the airport where the commercial was going to be filmed. In general, I dread flying, but I suppose thats because up to this point I've mainly flown in big planes where I'm forced to sit relatively still for the upside of 5 hours, not the most fun thing ever. But the son of the lady who's hanger was being used for the shoot offered to take me up in his little Piper Cub and that was seriously fun. I mean I didn't think there was anything that could ever come close to sailing, but that got scarily close.

We all got to bed pretty late, but call time the next morning was 3:00am so all had to be out there starting on setting things up. It was a fun day, there were a lot of neat people all working on it, and getting to photograph the whole thing was a lot of fun. I've always liked photography, and its pretty cool getting opportunities like this to really work on it.

Around 12:00 my mom came and picked me up, and I headed off to class... I had hoped that I would get to stay through the whole thing, but I guess graduating from high school is pretty important, as painful as it might be right now. I have standardized testing coming up next week, so that should be fun... (note sarcasm) but all in all it has been a very fun and eventful past week, and a half. Now its time to get back into the books.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Progress & Sailing!

Hey Guys,
It's been a fun but busy few weeks here. I've so far survived two months with my permit (I thought that was pretty impressive). Driving isn't so bad anymore, but I still would rather be driving a boat.Remember when I told you about O Canada, the Open 60 inMarina del Rey? I got to go sailing on her twice :) The first day there wasn't a whole lot of wind, but the second day there was 15-20kts and that was fun! Of course these boats don't go well to weather so it was a bit painful on the tack out, but then we headed down wind, we were surfing along at 20kts in just 16kts of wind. Now that was fun! :D
It was great to meet all the crew and get to spend those two days with them. They're really great sailors, and it was neat to see how they worked together. Although, I think I'll stick to single-handing - not sure I could ever get used to sailing with a crew.

The Owner of O Canada produced a really awesome documentary about the 2008-2009 Vendee Globe. I've watched it more than once. I've never seen so much good footage of really any boat race. Its called Racing Around the World Alone. Their website is www.windathletes.ca and is definitely worth checking out, I loved it.
We've also just about finished with writing my book! In fact, its at the printer now which is really exciting. Its nice to finally bedone with all the editing. We were all getting a little tired of it but it will be great to finally get the whole story out there for everyone.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Driving at Last!

Hey guys!
Sorry its been so long since I last wrote, it has been a crazy month. I got home a few days ago from the Educational Policy Conference in St Louis where I spoke twice: once to the adults and once to the kids. It was a fun though cold weekend. The conference there was pretty interesting and I got to meet a lot of great people. I also got to build a snowman while I was there :) just a small one, but still, being from California I was pretty excited with the snow. Luckily, we flew out just before a big storm hit. Had we been there another day we might have gotten stuck there! Snow is fun, but I do like living in sunny, warm Cali.

I have a few more speaking engagements coming up over the next few months. I really like public speaking, up until the point where I'm up on stage... then my mind kinda goes blank! I'm working hard on improving my public speaking skills, and the more and more I do it the easier it gets. Seems to be how most things are in life, something that terrifies you now might be no big deal a year or two down the line. I know that's happened to me so much over the past year.

I don't remember if I wrote about this yet, but its finally happened... I have my permit! Took long enough didn't it? I am not sure I like driving... its a bit frightening and I can't help wishing cars had tillers - it gets too confusing going back and forth between steering with a wheel and a tiller. But I have to say I have had more near death experiences in the past month of having my permit than I have had in my whole entire lifetime of sailing (granted my "life time" hasn't been all that long at this point).

Makes me laugh at the thought that 16 is too young to take on a big sailing trip but not too young to drive... I for one feel much safer on a boat!

Well, I have to run. I'll be back soon with some pictures of the conference!