Ladies and Gentlemen,
No, the 16 year old girl Abby Sunderland is not from Singapore.
She is from Thousand Oaks Southern California presently on her 40 foot sailboat "Wild Eyes" an Open 40, fiberglass monohull fin keeled sloop presently off Cape Horn, after having just rounded it, heading towards Falkland Islands, now 70 days at sea, after having left Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, in her quest to be the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe without ever touching land, all alone.
And saying that she is remarkable a human being is an understatement.
She is an extraordinary young woman, the type you sometimes see in America, in Europe, in Australia and in the freerer part of the globe.
In Singapore you will never ever come across a girl or even any human being like her.
Singaporean girls her age or for that matter any age, are afraid to cross the street and live in fear of Lee Kuan Yew, afraid not only to act but also to speak, lest Lee Kuan Yew sues you for defamation or throws you in jail for speaking in public, or even cane you if he so pleases; let alone crossing the ocean non stop, alone, in a 40foot sloop!
And I have always considered the title that Singapore gives itself "Lion City" an insult to lions. Had lions the ability to know this I am sure they would run all the way from Serengeti National Park in East Africa, come to Singapore and eat up Lee Kuan Yew before anyone else for having insulted them.
"Sheep City" is a better name for Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
In fact I know of a Singapore blog by that very name by a friend of mine Aidil Omar.
Singaporeans are a cowardly lot. Weak in spirit and body.
Unlike the New Zealanders, a country even with a smaller population than Singapore, they have never had any real sportsmen let alone a single Olympic medal unlike the hundreds of New Zealand.
I always have said that if the Singapore rugby team ever played the New Zealand All Blacks, all they (New Zealanders) have to do is to sing their terrifying "Haka" and stick their tongues out at the Singaporeans. That should be the end of their game.
You see, democracies produce great men and women, great athletes, great adventurers and great people. Dictatorships like Singapore never produced nothing.
Please check out Abby Sunderland's official blog www.abbysunderland.com/ and tell me what you think of this extraordinary young woman for whom one can only have the greatest admiration.
This 16 year old girl has been at sea for the last 70 days, all alone having sailed down from Southern California all the way, the entire length, to the Southern tip of South America and has just rounded it and crossed into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific.
That alone was the most perilous part of her sailing as rounding the Horn means 40 foot waves in blustering westerly gale force winds. This was a great achievement for such a young girl.
Harry Miller, the oldest yachtsman at 70, to take part in the BOC Round the World of 1994/ 1995 died attempting to round the Horn.
He was washed overboard after his safety harness snapped while on deck in 40 foot waves. He was lost at sea.
His body was never found. He was going westwards which meant sailing against gale force westerly winds at that point.
I guess Miller would have preferred to die that way, doing what he loved. It is good to remember Harry Miller's words "Life should be one long adventure or it is nothing".
From now Abby Sunderland has another 4 long months alone at sea, without ever touching land, heading towards Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, then south towards Kerguelan Islands, then towards Fremantle Australia, then south of Australia and passing through between New Zealand and Australia or South of New Zealand, east towards French Polynesia (Tahiti), then up the Great Circle towards Hawaii, crossing the Equator, and then east to Cabo San Lucas Mexico, from where she started.
She drinks desalinated water from her watermaker, eats prepacked food with just hot desalinated water thrown into it, and has a shower once in 2 weeks so as not to waste fuel for the watermaker.
She has the latest equipment including of course autohelm, which steers by itself, an alarm system which will wake her up periodically and when any object coming within a certain distance of her boat since she has to sleep, and the latest in satellite navigation and tracking system.
All running lines run aft which means she can raise, lower, reef or raise the sails all from her cockpit without having to move physically forward either to tend to the jib or the mainsail.
The jib is hydraulic roller furling obviating the need to do it manually.
With wind speeds constantly changing there is the need to constantly raise the sails in calm winds or reef them in strong winds.
In very very strong winds, perhaps lower the mainsail completely and sail on the jib alone or even reef it.
She also has a home team to alert her to the latest weather forecasts and of course she can speak to her parents anytime on her international telephone.
But despite all this, in the event if something breaks, there is no one there but herself and she alone has to sail her boat. Surely this is a monumental achievement so far.
There is the other possible danger of wintry weather as she sails close to the Antarctic when it is winter there in the coming months.
Moreover she has to be careful not to sail too far South for fear of floating icebergs this time of year.
I have to admit, 16 year old Abby Sunderland is a great inspiration to me. I am sure she is to you too. I follow her log every day and hoping the best for her.
And as for life in Singapore, let me say this. It is bad for you and bad for your children. It produces cowards, not brave men and women.
If you can, stand and fight the system for your sakes and for the sakes of your children. Otherwise pack your bags and get out of that stupid island of Lee Kuan Yew.
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Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
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