Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Girl Around the World

Have you heard of Abby Sunderland?  You may have read about her brother, Zac, who broke the record for being the youngest person to ever sail around the world by himself.  He just returned to the U.S. this past July after sailing for 13 months.

Well, his sixteen-year-old sister has decided to do it in seven months, unassisted and without stopping on land.  I heard her interviewed on KFI 640 AM on the John and Ken Show today and found her attitude so interesting.

When asked if she wanted to break her brother’s record, she answered yes, but not with a feeling of competition, but out of just wanting to do something special.  I got the sense that everyone in her family supports each other in their endeavors.  And when she was questioned on what would happen if she needed assistance or had to make a stop on land for some reason, she said it wouldn’t bother her.  Her goal is to break some records, but she’s going to enjoy the trip either way and she's certainly not going to risk her life for a record.

She described how she plans to sleep in twenty minute spurts throughout her voyage, both day and night, and how her 40 foot sailboat, "Wild Eyes," has an auto-pilot, radar and some other sensor which will tell her if she’s going off course or nearing any other vessels in the open ocean.

It made me think about myself at age sixteen.  I just could not and would not have wanted to do this.  I would have been scared of feeling alone and afraid of the unknown.  Yet, when asked if she is nervous about her trip, which is to commence at the end of December, she said that she is indeed nervous, but that it’s part of the adventure.

She grew up (or shall I saw, is growing up) in Thousand Oaks, California.  And there seems to be something in her family about going out and just doing things, extending one's experiences, and not limiting oneself.  It sounds like a very healthy environment to come from.

I wish her the best on her adventure.