The story of Abby Sunderland, the 16 year-old girl who was striving to become the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator, jumped into headlines this weekend when she encountered a storm in the Indian Ocean that damaged her sailboat, Wild Eyes, and put a quick end to her historic dream. Abby had sailed more than half way around the world before this unfortunate turn of events. Luckily, French and Australian authorities were able to locate her boat and a French fishing vessel facilitated her rescue.
According to her website, Abby has had her sights set on making history as the youngest person, male or female, to circumnavigate the world, since she was 13 years old. Not only did she plan to accomplish this feat alone and unassisted, she planned to do it without once taking refuge on land.
Of her dream Abby writes: “I had begun to think that dreams are meant to be no more than dreams and that in reality dreams don’t come true. Then my brother (Zac) left on his trip. It was amazing to see all the support that he got from around the world and to see how everyone worked together to help make his dream reality. Watching him do this really made me believe that I could too.”
Abby’s story reminds us that chasing a dream is not an easy endeavor and no matter how much you prepare, you’re never guaranteed success. It means taking chances, facing risks and encountering unexpected “storms” that will challenge you to your very core.
Though Abby’s voyage has ended for the moment, this young sailor’s spirit and determination make me believe that she’ll back at the helm and making history in no time.
To read more Abby Sunderland and her adventures on the high sea, visit: www.abbysunderland.com.