Skip to comments.Reporter who sailed with Abby Sunderland shares perspective
Posted on 06/17/2010 7:18:48 PM PDT by GatorGirl
I don't know Abby Sunderland as well as those close to her, but I think I know her better than other reporters and columnists know her.
I've interviewed the Thousand Oaks teenager several times, and before she set out to chase a dream and try to circle the planet on a 40-foot yacht, I sailed with her through the night aboard that yacht, Wild Eyes, which by now probably rests at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
Same goes for Abby's older brother, Zac. While working for the Los Angeles Times, I followed his 13-month around-the-world odyssey from the beginning, providing frequent blog posts and newspaper updates.
And yes, I've met the parents, and the brothers and sisters. I never became close to the family; my interactions were all during story assignments. But I gained some insight that other reporters and columnists do not have as they digest and regurgitate information regarding Abby's recent rescue, after Wild Eyes was slammed in heavy seas between Africa and Australia.
Thus, because Abby and her family have become such a curiosity and so glaring a target, here are a few observations, quotes and anecdotes that might provide a better understanding of Abby, 16, and the sailing Sunderlands:
(Excerpt) Read more at petethomasoutdoors.com ...
I don’t know which “camp” is correct in the argument of youngsters doing dangerous things like sailing. But it did call to my mind the Jessica Dubroff tragedy where the 7 year old was trying to fly around the globe and died.
I find it astonishing that you think people are envious and jealous because they clearly see that this trip was not well planned and Abby not experienced enough to do this.
Did you know that Jessica Watson collided with another boat and was dismasted? She got her boat back into harbor. What did Abby do? Nothing. She hit emergency beacons and left her deck littered. Can you not see the difference between the 2 sailors?
Likewise, using your “logic” I must be awful tired of the airline pilots who simply cannot land a distressed jet on the Hudson river with no loss of life.
Address what I said. Can you not see the difference between the 2 sailors?
Look up “90 day wonder”. Get some historical perspective, please!
Again you dance around it. Jessica was dismasted and dealt with it. Abby didn’t know what to do and quit. Can you not see the difference between the 2 sailors?
Ma’am, each made the decision they determined was the best in their circumstance.
Nah. What's a symptom of America these days is to sit and gripe from the couch when other people do more interesting things with their lives than we do.
Abby didn’t either know enough or couldn’t cut away her mast. Nor did she clean her deck as she left “foot traps” all over. That is not a knowledgeable sailor. What if she had caught her foot in that mess and gone overboard while waiting for rescue? This young girl may know how to sail but not well enough to attempt this trip.
I hope the rest of your day is productive too. :-)
You think you know more then she did. You do not. I suggest that you revoke your membership in the Monday Morning Quarterbacks, Nitpickers, and Second Guessers Association.
You can insult all that you want. It’s childish and doesn’t change facts. When faced with the same challenges as Watson, Abby couldn’t do it.
My grandad used to have his walls covered with pictures like this, ships in distress at sea. The other theme of reproduction prints he had where pastorals, like:
The sea ...
Very nice. It has nothing to do with Abby’s lack of skill but the paintings are very nice.
Watson's yacht Ella's Pink Lady was dismasted as a result of the collision, but Watson was able to cut the headsail free, retrieve the mast, the mainsail and the rigging on board and motor the damaged yacht to Southport on the Gold Coast.
Abby left hers dangle.
Watson, now 17, arrived in Sydney last month after circumnavigating the globe, alone and unassisted, in seven months.
Once Abby's sat phone was done, so was she. Abby didn't have enough experience to do this.
Watson also had wild winds, large swells and several knockdowns but she had experience.
Abby is a very skilled sailor from a family of skilled sailors. She sailed more than halfway around the world. That is the evidence to her skill.
Oh. I remember a point I would like to make.
The sea is harsh. Abbey learned that lesson more than the Ozzie girl, imo.
Who will be better the better sailor now? My understanding of human nature says — Abbey. The Ozzie girl is being force fed hubris fro what I gather per your postings. Hubris and the Sea do not get along.
Abbey was humbled by the Sea, a proper lesson!
And Daddy had to come and help her twice. She had to stop twice because of equipment failure and she couldn't deal with it.
Abbey learned that lesson more than the Ozzie girl, imo.
Abby learned that tech toys won't get you around the world but actual training will.
The Ozzie girl is being force fed hubris fro what I gather per your postings.
Watson reads my posts?
2. She herself says that she saw winds greater than 40 knots just once. Once. And what happened?
1. A leisurely family cruise from California to Baja California does not a "family of skilled sailors" make.
Then there is the question of understanding what she would face. Just how many Round the World sailors did she talk to before she set out? How many did RTW below the Great Capes?
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