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Two 16-year-old sailors on quests to solo sail the globe

January 22, 2010 | 12:54 pm

16-year-old Abby Sunderland adjusts rigging on her 40-foot sailboat

Local teenager Abby Sunderland, 16, is preparing to depart Saturday on her 40-foot sailboat "Wild Eyes" in her attempt to solo circumnavigate the world, nonstop and unassisted, says Pete Thomas on his blog.

The adventurer from Thousand Oaks had planned to leave last weekend, but small issues with her vessel delayed her and then this week's spate of Southern California storms changed her plans again.

Meanwhile, another teenager, Australia's 16-year-old Jessica Watson, is nearing her 100th day at sea, and shares on her blog some of the things she misses most:

"Family and friends pretty obviously come first. Particularly my brother and sisters. Second is being able to sleep and relax without the constant feeling of needing to be ready for anything. Third would be sleep -- long, uninterrupted sleep with no alarms and nothing to wake me! (That's how I intend on spending my first few weeks back home, so please don't make any plans for me!).

"A long hot bath goes without saying and I can't say how much I'd appreciate someone else taking a turn at washing the dishes for a change!

"Oh, and chocolate that hasn't been melted and re-set, I certainly miss that. It just doesn't taste the same!"

Sort of makes one ponder things taken for granted, and perhaps appreciate the small things in life -- like chocolate -- a little more.

Best of luck to both young ladies on their journeys. Hopefully they'll stay safe on their adventures and have lots of exciting memories to share.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Abby Sunderland adjusts rigging on her 40-foot sailboat "Wild Eyes" during a sea trial last week in Marina Del Rey. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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