Real-time Earth and Moon phase

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!

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