Rogue Wave

In the last few years I have cruised to many interesting ports such as San Pedro, Encenada, Cabo San Lucas, Ushuaia and seen places like Cape Horn and Marina Del Rey. I mention these places because they are mentioned in the story of Abby Sunderland.

This week’s story is not my story. Tuesday night I found the story about an inspiring young woman named Abby Sunderland. At the age of 13 she developed a passion to sail around the world. Her intention was to do this solo and nonstop and to be the youngest person to do it. Two years later her older brother, Zak, actually accomplish this in 2009. Abby began her expedition in 2010 from Marina Del Rey, California.



Seen in Auckland New Zealand 2014

The story of her adventure is described in a book called “Unsinkable” written by Abby and co-author Lynn Vincent. I have just listened to the audible version of this book narrated by Jamie Draper. It is an inspiring story of faith and keeping fear under control.

A documentary video called “Wild Eyes” (the name of her sail boat) has been produced by Wild Wind Productions and is available on Amazon. There have been many different points of view presented on this event, some applauding her courage others condemning her father for letting her do it and accusing him of doing it for monetary means.

Her trip began in California at the port Marina Del Ray. Although she hoped to make a nonstop trip around the world, due to electrical equipment problems,she had to stop in at Cabo San Lucas. Abby sailed down the Pacific coast of South America went around the southern tip, south of Cape Horn and then across the Atlantic and around the southern tip of Africa. Again electronic equipment failure required her to dock in Cape Town, South Africa for replacements.


Cabo San Lucas 2011 Southern tip of Baha Penninsula


After leaving Africa she sailed into the Indian Ocean where she was overturned by a rogue wave. This wave rolled her boat over completely, breaking the mast and knocking out all communication equipment. She had to send out an emergency signal to be rescued. Although she was in the middle of the Indian Ocean thousands of miles from land she was quickly located due to the signals from her emergency electronic devices.



Seen in Auckland New Zealand 2014

Some of the lessons Abby learned from her trip have added to her initial strength of having a positive attitude. Being aware of when fear was starting to arise she was able to push it down before it spiraled out-of-control. Something she referred to as avoiding “stinking thinking”. After the trip, she said she was 12,000 miles wiser. She said the trip changed her. She now has a new take on life. She started out as an introvert, preferring the company of animals and the solace of the sea to communication with people. After so many days alone at sea she began to appreciate communicating with people.

not succeeding is not the same as failing

One of her “aah haa” learning moments is that not succeeding is not the same as failing. In fact in this case due to her quick rescue her situation was a success for NASA’s new procedure for rescuing people at sea and for those involved in the rescue mission.

Most worthwhile things require some risk.  Rouge waves occur in life as well as on the ocean. How will you handle yours?

Where will you go when you sail off into the sunset?IMG_0058 Sunset (1024x395)

 This photo was taken in 2011 near the Santa Monica pier, only 4 miles from Marina Del Rey.


Abby is a very inspiring young woman you can see her interview on Ted TV.

just follow these links.


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