Abby Sunderland

Team Abby

Abby Sunderland On Board - cruising reality

    Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland was probably relieved to finally get started on her non-stop solo circumnavigation. After all, she had been thinking about and preparing for the voyage since she was thirteen. Lately, she had endured public criticism of her dream and her parents' decision to support it. She left that on the dock when she departed Marina del Rey (California) Saturday, January 23.

Jessica Rounds Cape Horn, Visits With Parents

      A sixteen-year-old Australian solo circumnavigator rounded Cape Horn this morning, surfing down high seas before 35-knot gusts and waving to the folks back home cheering her on.


                         Cape Horn by Jessica Watson


 New Year's Eve:
     Avery's final college application turned in. check.
     Writing group reading done. check.

The Teen Sailor Debate

    Before Jessica Watson set off on her round-the-world sail, she and her family faced growing criticism and calls for the state to prevent her departure. Now the American public is engaging in a similar debate around the upcoming departure of Abby Sunderland on a similar expedition out of Southern California. 

On Barbie Dolls and Adventuring

      In the Los Angeles Times, blogger Pete Thomas reported Abby Sunderland's imminent departure on her nonstop solo circumnavigation.

Update: Jessica and Abby

     When we left Jessica, she had just crossed the equator and officially become a shellback. After a couple of washing-machine days, she has rounded Kirimati (Christmas) Island and re-crossed the equator. She reports that she finally caught a fish -- yellowfin tuna -- and saw fishing boats. Now that she's back in the Southern Hemisphere, she's making for Cape Horn. She says she's counting down the 5,420 miles. She should arrive around the time of the summer solstice, the calmest time of year for the roughest cape in the world.

Those awesome teenage girls

     It's dramatic. Courageous. Suspenseful. True. We are approaching a remarkable moment in sailing history, when the three current contenders for youngest solo circumnavigator are all teenage girls.

     In order to claim the title, they each will sail 24,000 miles -- crossing all 360 degrees of longitude and the equator at least once  -- unassisted.