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Sailors Abby Sunderland, 16, crosses the equator; Jessica Watson, also 16, nears southern point of Africa

Abby Sailor Abby Sunderland, 16, reached and crossed the equator Friday afternoon and happily blogged about it.

The Thousand Oaks teen has also posted some recent pics she took, the first she's taken onboard since departing Marina del Rey in January for her attempt to sail around the world alone.

Here's is an excerpt from Sunderland's blog post on Saturday:

I crossed the equator at about 3 yesterday!!

It's really exciting to have finished the first leg of my trip, even if it is a small one... on to the Horn!! 

I was a little worried that I would end up crossing the equator twice in one day! I had hardly any wind getting across. About a mile over the equator the wind died completely and all I had was a current pushing me backwards!

The wind has picked up a little now. I'm not racing along or anything but I'm moving and the wind should be picking up more soon.

It looks like its going to be another warm day today. At 7 this morning and it was already 90 degrees out!!

Sunderland seems to be experiencing a drop in wind, but also warm weather, as is another 16-year-old sailor, Australia's Jessica Watson, who is nearing her own milestone -- Cape Agulhas, at the most southern point of Africa.

Jessica Watson appears to be in equally good spirits and shares her thoughts on her blog about her attempt to solo-sail around the globe:

The wind dropped off a little today and with it Ella's Pink Lady's great pace too. But we are moving nicely still and for the first time in over a week it was warm and sunny. After misty drizzle and grey skies for so long, sunshine feels particularly lovely!

While sitting out in the sunshine and hand steering today, I did a bit of thinking. Seeing as we're now over half way around the world, I thought it might be a good time to have a bit of a re-think about exactly what I am doing out here and whether or not my expectations have changed at all.

When I first dreamt of sailing around the world, the first thing that caught my attention, was curiosity about whether or not it was even something that was achievable.

I wanted to challenge myself and achieve something to be proud of. And yes, I wanted to inspire people.

I hated being judged by my appearance and other people's expectations of what a 'little girl' was capable of.

It's no longer just my dream or voyage. Every milestone out here isn't just my achievement, but an achievement for everyone who has put so much time and effort into helping getting me here.

It's nice that both young ladies have been keeping followers aware of their goings-on aboard their sailboats -- Outposts will continue to try to keep readers updated as well.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photos: Top: Abby Sunderland sitting in the cockpit at sunset. Credit: Abby Sunderland. Bottom: Jessica Watson hand-steering and enjoying some sunshine. Credit: Jessica Watson

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Comments (4)

Melanie hit the nail on the head with her comment. I would like to wish both young women nothing but the best on their respective journeys.

All the money in the world wouldn't enable them to accomplish these feats if they weren't capable sailors and didn't have the stuff in them to do it. When they're facing heavy seas and rough weather, money can't help them, only skill and determination and endurance, and yes, a bit of luck. Solo circumnavigations have always been news, and these are no less because the sailors are young women.

You don't have to read it if you don't like it Lou. Bitter people like you spend so much time complaining you never get to enjoy the brighter side of life. Go take a walk on the beach and soak up some sun. If that doesn't work, bury your head in the sand.

This is not news. The only reason this is in the Times is because Sunderland's daddy, who builds boats for rich people, knows someone at the Times.


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.