Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home-schooler sets sail alone

Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland left Marina Del Rey, CA Saturday morning hoping to be the youngest person ever to sail around the globe alone. Her father Laurence built the 40-foot craft, called Wild Eyes. Her brother Zac had held the record until last August, when it was broken by 17-year-old British Mike Perham.
Responding to naysayers, the British-born Laurence said: “You know, the bottom line is, every kid will learn to drive. Do we stop them from driving because they might have an accident? We’re trying to protect the young so much that we stifle their development. ... This is years in preparation and years of work, and I’m very excited for Abigail.” . . . .

The home-schooled Sunderland is taking along textbooks, as well as an iPod, cameras and a journal (she plans to write a book later), and necessities like six months’ supply of dehydrated food, a water purification machine and 60 gallons of fuel for the sailboat’s small motor.

One hard thing about sailing solo is that you often can sleep for only 10 or 15 minutes at a time, Sunderland said.

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