Abby Sunderland’s Quest

Abby Sunderland’s Quest

A 16-year-old California girl sets out to complete a solo nonstop sailing trip around the world ... and to break her brother's record. (LAT)

You’d have to be a sailor to understand the romantic pull of the ocean, according to 16-year-old Abby Sunderland. Since she was 13, Sunderland has dreamed of becoming the youngest person to sail solo around the globe.

On Jan. 23, 2010, Sunderland sailed her boat “Wild Eyes” from Marina del Rey, CA, in an effort to do her personal best and set a world record. Last summer her brother Zac made history when he became the first 17-year-old to complete a similar trip.

Abby will attempt to sail nonstop across the southern oceans of the planet – traveling down the Pacific, around the tip of South America, easterly above Antarctica and eventually back up and across the Pacific.

She comes from a family of sailors and her father Laurence Sunderland says he’s confident his daughter is prepared for the difficult trip. The family has received ample criticism. Sleep deprivation and fatigue are constant dangers on a solo trip as well as powerful storms, icebergs and even the chance of colliding with a larger ship.

Abby admits, “It’s a very real possibility that I could die,” but she says she is much more focused on getting through the tough situations and fulfilling her dream. A junior in high school, she’ll bring school books along with her so as not to get behind and she looks forward to getting her driver’s license when she returns home.

CHANNEL: Los Angeles Times

Length: 9:45

Video by Sachi Cunningham