Aug 23, 2011

guest post by Erin - Unsinkable ocean dreams review

Happy Disneyland day Ocean Dreamers! Well, it is for me at least. Today I'm about to venture to the happiest place on earth and then I'll be headed back to UT all in the same day. I know - how can both of those activities coincide?! Well, I was determined to make it work because my pass is going to expire in about a week. So yeah, that's a close call, right?

So while I'm traveling a fabulous book blogger named Erin is going to entertain you with a book she recently read about a young woman's sailing journey on the seas and her review on it! The irony of it all is that I'm also reading a book about a different young woman's {Jessica Watson} attempt to sail around the world, but it's called True Spirit. I certainly admire these woman's strength and perseverance! So enjoy this post - it's all about ocean dreaming!

Unsinkable: A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas was written by Abby Sunderland, the young sailor herself, with additional narration from Lynn Vincent. Vincent is the journalist and U.S. Navy veteran who co-wrote Going Rogue: An American Life with Sarah Palin.
Abby Sunderland was 13 years old when she decided to sail around the world solo, and she was 16 when she actually set out to do so. Those who don’t know anything about Abby may think the idea is ridiculous - how could a 16-year-old girl possibly handle a feat like that? Thinking along those lines wouldn’t be anything unusual; people routinely underestimate the young, especially young women. Joan of Arc was a teenage girl when she led the French army, though. Every teen is different, and most young women care about issues much more pressing than mascara and boyfriends. Abby’s sailing campaign is one more reminder than the era of underestimating the young woman should be long over.

Abigail wasn’t raised in a typical household. She was a sailor from a very young age, when her father took a job as a harbor master. Abby, her older brother Zac (who solo circumnavigated the world when he was 16) and their six younger siblings are home-schooled, and their parents place a strong emphasis on experience learning. Based on voyages she’d been on with her father and brother, and what Zac learned from his solo campaign, Abby knew what she was getting into when she sailed her boat Wild Eyes from her home in Marina del Rey, California.
As Abby got ready to go on her campaign, she faced a lot of media scrutiny. Besides those who said she was too young, there were others who said her parents were pushing her into this for the publicity and the money. Some said her boat was the wrong kind for this campaign, that her equipment was inadequate, that her team didn’t know what they were doing or that it was the wrong time of the year for her to set off. Abby addresses all these criticisms in her own words.

She also talks about how her faith was deepened as a result of her voyage. She wasn’t raised in a particularly religious household, but she did learn that when Zac went on his solo campaign, he came back with a much closer relationship to the divine than he had ever had before. This was Abby’s experience as well. Some of the things she experienced, she feels, were miraculous.
Abby’s campaign, which ended with her being rescued from the middle of the Indian Ocean, was not an easy one. She had problems with several of the boat’s systems, including her engines. At one point, she thought she was going to have to climb the mast to untangle one of her sails, which is one of the most dangerous things a sailor can do on the open ocean. Another night, she woke up to find Wild Eyes had been flipped. She ended up losing her mast, and that was when she knew the voyage was over.

Abby is disappointed she didn’t make it all the way around the world by herself, but she isn’t brokenhearted. She did, after all, manage to travel more than 12,000 miles by herself, proving she is a capable sailor. Perhaps the most inspiring thing about Abby Sunderland is her attitude about the experience. She writes, “In stepping out and trying to achieve great things, the only way I can truly fail is never to try at all.” Abby’s spirit will be a great inspiration to anyone, young or old, who believes in the power to do great things.
About the Reviewer: Erin O’Riordan is an author and the book blogger behind Pagan Spirits, at She received her copy of Unsinkable at no cost through the Amazon Vine program. She receives no other compensation for this review. 

Thanks so much for the review Erin!


  1. She's definitely a tough girl - amazing that she's gone through so much at such a young age and isn't jaded by any of it!

  2. These photos are beautiful!

  3. What a brave little lady!

  4. What a neat story! Very brave of the little girl.

  5. Oh wow, I really enjoyed this review. :D

  6. Hello! Thank you for the welcoming comment!!
    Sometimes books are that much better when an inspiring story is actually true!

  7. I'm glad that people enjoyed this post.


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