Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rogue waves according to Abby

According to this Reuters article today, by Lucien Libert,
Teenage U.S. sailor Abigail Sunderland returned to dry land on Saturday after her rescue in the southern Indian Ocean this month, and defended herself from charges of being naive.
This 16 year old fully experienced sailor is clearly more mature for her age with a brilliant mind than many "grown-up" media and political types alike who's been criticizing her and her family for her adventure since her rescue. With her cool and calm and her super capability in coping with those devastating storms out in the South Indian Ocean, I would rather to see her be in charge of our country than a guy who can't even tell you where he was born.

At any rate, in talking to the reporters Abby said this:
" Rogue waves can happen at any time, any place, any age."
I put special emphasize on these words because that pretty much embodied our complete knowledge on freaque waves today! How many grown ups able to understand and utter such a simple fact?

I am also impressed with these comments:
"I would like to thank my family. They have put up with tons of stuff, helped me follow my dream. There has been a lot of extremely unfair and offensive criticism toward them," she said.

"They have been my greatest supporters. They've always supported me and they've helped me to follow my dream and encouraged me to think big all my life. And the criticism is ungrounded, it’s from people that don't know the facts."

That just reflects a wonderfully loving and strong family bound. Somehow I feel those people who overly critical of Abby and her family could just be out of envy. In our society today, there are those who considered themselves the elitist but could not accept the fact that happy families do exist in our world with or without their recognition.

We wish Abby God speed if she and her family choose to have her circumnavigate the globe alone nonstop once again at some point in time. Go for it!


Here's another Abby's quote from her talking to the reporters which I think should be important as an eyewitness account for the understanding freaque waves:
The storm I was in did not roll my boat. I was hit by a rouge wave once the storm was already dying down.
Note that may be she can't tell us what exactly constitutes a freaque wave, but she had the keen observation that the freaque wave that ended her sailing had occurred not during the height of the storm but after the storm has been subsided! That was one case she encountered. No one can generalize from this. Her earlier statement that freaque waves can happen "any time, any place, any age!" still stands firmly. No amount of theoretical conjectures can alter that yet!

Monday, June 14, 2010

RMS Queen Mary encountered freaque wave

I noticed this story of RMS Queen Mary during WWII in Wikipedia:
In December 1942, the Queen Mary was carrying 16,082 American troops from New York to Great Britain, a standing record for the most passengers ever transported on one vessel. While 700 miles from Scotland during a gale, she was suddenly hit broadside by a rogue wave that may have reached a height of 28 metres (92 ft). An account of this crossing can be found in Walter Ford Carter's book, No Greater Sacrifice, No Greater Love. Carter's father, Dr. Norval Carter, part of the 110th Station Hospital on board at the time, wrote that at one point the Queen Mary"damned near capsized... One moment the top deck was at its usual height and then, swoom! Down, over, and forward she would pitch." It was calculated later that the ship tilted 52 degrees, and would have capsized had she rolled another 3 degrees.
So Queen Mary was "damned near capsized" but she did not! No large ship had ever really been capsized. I maintain that the Hollywood horror movie "Poseidon", which was known to have inspired by the Queen Mary case, unnecessarily scaring people with fictional non-facts. I would not recommend any one to see either versions of that movie.

Queen Mary is now a hotel somewhere. Here' an old picture of her:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's a wonderful world after all!

Some update and reflection on the rescue of the young American sailor Abby Sunderland. I guess normal people will all share the exhilaration demonstrated by the balloons and the poster that says "Thank God, Abby's alive" outside the Sunderland home.

Here are the first words Abby sent out on her blog:
Hey everyone,
Sorry I haven't written in so long as you probably already know I had a pretty rough couple of days. I can't write much now as I am typing on a french key pad as well as trying to stay seated in a bouncy fishing boat.

The long and the short of it is, well, one long wave, and one short mast (short meaning two inch stub.) I'll write a more detailed blog later, just wanted to let every one know I am safe and sound on a great big fishing boat headed I am not exactly sure where.
What a remarkable young lady, what a great sailor! After her ordeal which we can all imagine what she might have went through, no hysteria, no complain, not angry or blaming anyone, she even maintain her wonderful sense of humor: the long and short of it is one long wave and one short mast! Yes indeed,thank God for allow us to be able to admire such a well ground young sailor. How many so-called "grownups" can truly behave like her?

Now here's a thank you note from Abby's parents and family:
We would like to give our immeasurable thanks to all of those involved in Abby's successful rescue. Especially to the authorities, both national and international, that have worked together to successfully conduct this rescue. These include MAMSA RCC Australia, Maritime RCC La Reunion, Qantas, WA Police, Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, Defence and the three ships which are responding. Their professionalism and the great value that they placed on Abby's life has been a gift to us that we can never repay. Thank you for caring for our daughter as if she were your own, for answering all of our many questions cheerfully and completely and for going above and beyond our wildest expectations to keep Abby safe. Thanks also to Congressman Elton Gallegly! Congressman Gallegly had offered his help to us some time ago. Thursday, when things looked bleak, a call to Congressman Gallegly resulted in his staff engaging three agencies in minutes. In less than 5 minutes the State Department, with location coordinates in hand, was in full swing with our country’s friends. Thank you Mr. Gallegly! Your concern for Abby is greatly appreciated.
We'll never hear the drive-by media-types tell us the details of this thank you note. No UN was involved, but all different countries cooperate so nice and smoothly to carry out this rescue so successfully. I have never heard of Congressman Elton Gallegly before. I an certain you will not either. The drive by media operative will make damn sure that congressman's name will never be mentioned with this successful, heart-warming rescue. You know why, of course! But despite all these cynicism, we are glad to recognize that this of our world is a wonderful world after all!


There are still excessive noises in the media as this CSMonitor article asks whether "quests like hers wise?" mostly regards her young age. I think her father gave the most thoughtful answer to the critics:
“I don’t think age should be a criterion in this,” he said. “It should be the experience of the person and their level of expertise to undertake this.”

He added: “Abigail is a very competent sailor. She’s proven herself over and over again through this trip. This wasn’t the first time she had adverse conditions. She’d experienced over 50 knots of wind off the Falklands, rounding Cape Horn, and rounding Cape Good Hope. She’s been through trials and tribulations on the ocean and has overcome them.”

“This was one that was unfortunate that took the mast of the vessel,” he said. “And that’s got nothing to do with her sailing ability. It was an unfortunate thing that happened.”
I think whether the critics are out of good will or of jealousy, they should all shut up now and just enjoy this wonderful story of happy ending!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sixteen year old Abby Sunderland's adventure

This is an en-heartening story no one is blaming it on freaque waves yet. Details remain to be unfolded. But what a difference in headlines a few hours in human time made. The news headline last night was depressing: for instance this, "Abby Sunderland feared lost at sea: Teenage solo circumnavigator lost in Indian Ocean":
Abby Sunderland, 16, is feared lost at sea today in her attempt to become the youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the globe.

A support crew lost contact with Abby, who was in heavy seas in the Southern Indian Ocean, early this morning.

Sunderland's brother, Zac Sunderland, said his sister's boat was clearly in trouble.

That was pretty grim to read. But this morning comes this delightful one: "Breaking News: Abby Sunderland Found Alive and Safe at Sea!" Alleluia!
The AP is reporting that 16 year old Abby Sunderland has been found safe at sea and will be picked up by a nearby fishing vessel within hours and hopefully returned safely to land.
And here's the latest from Abby's parents on her blog:
We spoke with Abby early this morning and learned that she had had a very rough day with winds up to 60 knots and seas 20-25 feet. She had been knocked down several times but was handling things well. The wind had subsided to around 35 knots which she and Wild Eyes are quite comfortable with.
Thank God that all is well that ends well, the only drawback is that the 16 year old will probably not going to become any record holder. There are plenty of bickering regarding whether or not her parents should allow her do this in the first place. I for one would applaud their decision. Whatever outcomes may be, Abby will be a much stronger person than forever under parents' protection.

We can always imagine as a lonely sailor out there in the real ocean world, but I was particularly interested in reading the following 20/20's interview with Abby:

We asked what it was like to go for so long and not see any sign of civilization.

"I think it actually might be more fun if there was somebody else on board," Abby said. "But -- I'm happy to do it alone too."

We also asked her what was the toughest hit her boat had taken, and whether she got scared.

"I got hit by a rogue wave," she said. "I did get knocked down. ... I'd be happy if that didn't happen again."

I flipped through Abby's blog, but did not find the part that she encountered a freaque wave. I would be thrilled to hear more about the freaque wave Abby encountered. But I do think she's probably not able to tell us much more than that just happened! That's just the state of freaque waves today -- they just happened nothing much else is known!

Here's a picture of Abby in her boat Wild Eye outside Table Bay by Scott Lurie from Abby's blog.

And here's an Abby's picture on her boat. Can't you tell that she is a proudly American girl?

Here's the picture Abby took on June 5 which she calls it "The calm before the storm."

And here's her dis-masted Wild Eyes still in the South Indian Ocean as seen by the rescuers.

God's blessing be with Abby always and God speed in whatever she choose to do!