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!



  1. I didn't get my driver license until I was 18 because I was afraid of is scary! I sure you are very cautious and will do fine.
    Good to read your post again.

  2. Driving in California is a challenge I'm sure! Good luck and hopefully you'll soon feel as at home behind the wheel as you do at the tiller!

  3. Congratulations Abby. I'll try to remember to stay out of California for awhile.......*8-}

  4. Gabby,on this new posting I thought I would get an answer to my question,but no such luck.My last comment was,is it at all possible for some rich benefactor to locate Wild Eyes,tow it to the nearest port for repairs and complete your trip around the world.
    I think Oprah would be a good candidate.
    What is your thinking on this idea?
    Libby Di Bernardo
    San Pedro,Ca.

  5. Congratulations on the permit Abby! Just a helpful hint as you are learning, respect the big trucks: avoid our blind spots, don't tailgate, and in general, give us plenty of space...but enough of that, have fun learning to drive and be safe. And as always, keep on truckin' girl...Gus

  6. Gratz on your permit! Are you going to do any speaking in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? My wife and I would love to come listen and meet you!

  7. Hi Abby,
    Remember that the best protection on the road is God's hand. It's the same on the road as on the water.

  8. ABBY, So good to hear from you again. I knew with all your public appearances that you'd eventually get back to us. Thanks for updating us. Good for you on that license permit. With all things, taking step at a time. Good luck.
    Anxious to hear about your next public speaking.
    Dee Thompson, Santa Clarita, Ca.

  9. Abbey, you're awesome!I am doing an oral(Speech) about your adventure in my home language class, Afrikaans.I'm 12 years old, live in a small town near Cape Town and sometimes sail with my dad on his Dart called Nosy. Keep up you blog, i'm following.It's great to be in the care of God.

  10. Yeah, boats are totally safer than cars! Congrats on your driving permit... have fun!

  11. Hi Ho Abby and followers,

    I guess it is funny to think some how people feel safer with out white lines to guide us. Driving is just a different way to transport ones self, as flying is. If you ever saw the movie "Starman" please remember he was WRONG, green means go, Red means stop, and yellow mean "get ready to stop", NOT GO VERY FAST.

    Travel Safe
    for around the South Bay (Redondo Beach)

  12. Congrats on getting your permit! you'll get used to it soon enough. Driving in heavy traffic can be scary - I've driven in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Seoul and there are still times I'm scared out of my wits.

  13. Bonjour Abby,

    As busy as always with public speeches and engagements! And yes, practice is all it takes since you have a great story to tell!

    Well, snowman making is a lot more fun to do than driving in the snow and much safer!

    Congratulations on getting your driving permit...Pretty soon you will be tired of hearing: "Abbyyyy!Abbyyy!I need a drive to..."

    Waiting for your pictures!

    Take care, Be safe :-D

  14. U can sleep a moment while sailing but u can't do that while driving.

    Congrats and safe drive!

    Blessing from India

  15. How's that book coming? I have cash in my hot little fist.... You are once again demonstarting what an exceptional person you are...
    John in Kerrville, Tx

  16. I'm sure driving a car is easier than driving a boat.

  17. It happens to us all, i always tell my daughter that a car is a lethal weapon and respect it as such.........

  18. Abby:
    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!

    Congratulations on the permit, Abby! Just stay alert and expect that no driver will obey the common sense rules. It is a good exercise to always expect one, or more, drivers to just "sail" into your lane (or car) without any warning whatsoever. Thinking in this manner will allow you to develop plans to deal with the mindless co-drivers on the great freeways. You will be successful in driving just as you are in the rest of your life. This is just another chapter in the book of life.

    It was great to hear from you and it will be great to see the pictures.

    GO GIRL GO!!!!!!!!!

    John R Willis

  19. I am so glad you got your permit. It is a big milestone in a teenager's life. Most of our snow is melting away. Come back and see us!
    Nancy M.
    Wildwood, Mo.

  20. Haha, you can feel the chill in the weather lately even in sunny, warm California the last few days! And congratulations on getting your permit! :) Though I know what you mean when you say a steering wheel feels very different from a tiller; I was sailing for the first time last month and boy it's fun! My second time out on the water I had the (mis)fortune fighting winds pushing 30 knots! I got to find out what happens when a boat capsizes too, because of that. xD Lucky it's not hard to right a small sailboat on your own. I'm trying to work my way up in sailing and try to get a basic keelboat certification before we get out for spring break! Anyways, stay safe on the roads okay?? Don't speed, the traffic lights will get in your way anyways. No use getting a ticket before you get your license. :D

  21. Congratulations on the driving.Be careful. I'm still learning (at 50 something!) Almost made a huge mistake just yesterday cause I know my car has a blind spot and so I use my mirrors to make lane changes, but also 'look,' but the car I nearly hit was white and against the white snow beyond it, I barely saw it in time to miss it! Scary! When I drove a white mustang years ago, seems like people were always almost running over me too! I'll never have another white car. And, most important...make your car a no=phone zone. Driving is a full time job! That's what my Dad always told me. Of course, we didn't have cell phones when I was growing up. :-)

  22. Hey Abby congrats on receiving your learning permit !Agree with Becky cell phones are a definite no no and sometimes the people riding with you [friends&family] can be also be a a harmfull distraction anything that causes you too lose your concentration in traffic can be dangerous ! Wish you many safe enjoyable driving experiences!

    Now you can navigate on land! Probably not as easy though.
    Abby be careful with texting and driving. DON'T DO IT. Nothing can be so urgent that it can't wait until you safely pull over and text.
    Thankyou for the update

  24. I think I waited till I was 17 to get my permit and a few days after my 18th birthday to get my license. I was no where ready to get my permit at 15 and 7 months. No way I liked just riding then. Anyways congrats on your permit it will get easier and more comfortable down the road. It took me along time to get used to the car and not speeding!

  25. Hello Abigail,

    Well here I am again back down on the west coast of Mexico like YOU escaping the winter weather. And I recall that it was just a year ago almost to the day that you had just left Cabo San Lucas after your initial shakedown. Like many people I was cheering you on your way to achieving your dream. Great memories.
    I want to congratulate you on getting your driver's permit. I am sure the confidence you have displayed in sailing will follow you in time to your driving and public speaking. Keep up the good work Abs.
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario

  26. Congrats Dear for the permit. You have a wonderful blog. Keep writing!

  27. Hey Abbey,
    Here's a crazy idea to get you back on the water and share your sailing skills with others. Did you know that there is a Sea Scout Ship in Marina Del Rey? There main focus has been operating an air rescue boat, similar to a PT boat which is great, but they could sure use someone like you to help with a sailing program. They sometimes get a sailboat donated to them, but don't really know what to do with it. Imagine the fun of obtaining a boat and building a crew to sail her! Sea Scouts is open to young people from 16 to 21 years old. What do you think?

  28. i will buy your book and hope then to come to book signing i would like to meet you in person
    so i hoping you will have a lot of book signing events

  29. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY ...? Captain♥
    At (33º11'30.82", -117º24'31.85") awaits a rainbow 4U, 2 which 1 end is anchored my thoughts/prayers 4U and the other...?
    my heart:-) Touché
    Adios!? Ahoy?! no—!
    Better yet: Aloha and fair winds 2U

  30. Be my Valentine!?!?

  31. Ahoyyyyyyyyyyyy! Captain.
    Whilest sailing the high-seas with the Google Earth I discovered another rainbow 4U. It is located @ (55º54'21.75"S, -67º19'50.39") I hope U like it as much as the first rainbow!
    Aloha & Fairwinds 2U (♥)Abigail(♥)

  32. Great experience driving at California.. Hope I'm also there to make a snowman..

  33. Hallo Abby, we are a dealer of nautical charts are from Germany, we observe your interesting blog.

  34. Congratulations on the permit, Abby.

  35. Take care Miss Abby. And extend my regards to ya.. :-)

  36. Remembering when I got my pilot solo certificate before I got a driving permit. It was a great time in life. Congradulations and enjoy! =)

  37. To think that a year ago you were on the equator. Nice to see that all in well in your life abby!

  38. Hi--

    Very happy about your driving news.. Just be careful..

    Very sorry about the MDR couple that was murdered by Somalian pirates!! If you know their family, pass on our condolences.

    Makes your voyage and that of Zac even more remarkable, but at such a high loss. Very sorry..

  39. Abby,
    I'm glad to hear you're driving. Another "Rite of Passage" in your young life although after sailing it must seem a little trivial. Good advice on giving trucks a wide berth.

    I'm glad you got to make a snowman. If you had come to CT you could have had all the snow you wanted; although you might have gotten stuck here too. We had almost 2' in one storm. There's still so much snow in my backyard I don't think I'll be mowing the lawn until Memorial Day.

    Good to hear from you

    Nick - Waterbury CT

  40. "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!"

    No kidding! Most longer sails, once I'm away from the marina, I can go hours or days without seeing another boat. Sailing has its own hazards, but even when you're away from traffic driving a car is *considerably* more dangerous.

    Not to scare you off of driving or anything... ;)

  41. Absolutely amazing blog & story. Good luck in everything you do.

    I circumnavigated in 2006. I did it on a 41' ketch. I was fortunate enough to take a much easier route and at a slower pace.

  42. You are definitely much safer on a boat! Great to see that you are doing well. Keep up with your dreams you are an inspiration to us all! As a fourty something talented musician who never made his trip to LA, I can tell you that if you dont go after your dreams in youth, the "better moment" to do it will never come. Cant wait to read your book!

  43. I can really empathize with your comments regarding near death experiences driving.

    When I earned my private pilot's license, my cousin suggested that we fly to New York City. During that flight, there were approximately five near death experiences. There were some rather tall buildings at the south end of the Flushing runway. I was flying an Aircoupe which does not have flaps resulting in a shallower approach. The TV antennas on top of the buildings looked verrry close.

    With more experience in any endeavor including public speaking, we get smarter and safer. The hard part is surviving that first few hours.