Jeff Casher, technical support staff member for the Sunderland family, shows frustration in the face of unrelenting media pressure outside team HQ in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Abby Sunderland. Abby too shows some frustration in her latest update, writing "There are plenty of things people can think of to blame for my situation; my age, the time of year and many more. The truth is, I was in a storm and you don’t sail through the Indian Ocean without getting in at least one storm."
Abby conveniently fails to mention that these kinds of storms happen roughly every 3-4 days in the Southern Ocean at this time of year, and that they are simply a part of the landscape at 41 degrees South. She seems either genuinely ignorant or just disdainful for the intelligence of her admittedly ignorant fan base when she next writes, "It wasn’t the time of year it was just a Southern Ocean storm." Yet every single competent sailor that has passed through these parts would say just the opposite: This is a place you stay away from at this time of year – period – because even the most experienced is going to get the snot beaten out of them – at the minimum.
Sunderland is beginning to show the attitude that is going to force her transition from curious spectacle to genuine freak; she’s defensive, inaccurate, and blaming the media instead of taking the responsibility on herself for what was undeniably her problem and no one else’s. Abby was simply dismasted, not in peril of death. She had multiple EPIRBs, plenty of food and water, hell – she had a working engine and the rig still behind her, but made no effort to rescue herself, as any competent RTW sailor would. GRIBs indicate that she didn’t even face anything like the kind of true Southern Ocean storms that have destroyed major ocean racing fleets – merely a nasty gale with an ugly cross sea – something that Abby clearly didn’t know how to handle despite knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’d face exactly these conditions.
So she took her sails down, hunkered down below, and waited for the inevitable. And once it came, she pulled the ripcord, hunkered down below, and waited for rescue.
And now she hunkers down on a fishing boat, waits for her delivery to safety, while her parents wait for the book deals and the talk shows.
Get in on the forum topic right over here and let the Anarchists know what you think.
(photo courtsey AP)