Wild Eyes: documentary about a 16-year-old girl sailing around the world

As a complement to seeing Hollywood’s All is Lost (previous post), I watched Wild Eyes streaming from Netflix. This is a made-by-the-proud-father documentary about Abby Sunderland‘s attempt to be the youngest person to sail non-stop solo around the world. If your impression of 16-year-olds is that they spend most of their time texting friends, this is an inspiring story of a teenager who learned all of the systems of a 40’ oceangoing yacht and pushed it through (most of) the Southern Ocean.

Even if you don’t like sailing, the documentary is well worth it for a single scene in which the 7 existing siblings of the Sunderland family learn that their mother will soon be giving birth (at home, of course) to an 8th child. The lack of enthusiasm is all too real!

[Separately, the Wikipedia story is interesting for the story of how the Australian government, instead of using a military plane, charters an airliner from Qantas to go looking for Sunderland. (TIME reports that the cost of a USAF Boeing 757 (C-32A) is about $43,000 per hour to the taxpayers; Conklin & De Decker says that $12,000 per hour is about what an airline would spend to fly one extra hour; a source of mine at a U.S. company that charters out 757s says that the cost is about $4500 per hour not including fuel (roughly another 1000 gallons per hour times about $3/gallon at the refinery (source)).]


2 thoughts on “Wild Eyes: documentary about a 16-year-old girl sailing around the world

  1. Australia has a fairly hefty chunk of ocean to cover with their search and rescue services so it’s not surprising they look to be cost efficient where possible. http://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-rescue/

    Another example was this Air Canada flight used, not so much because of a remote location, mostly due to being in the area at the time the emergency beacon went off.


    But once found there always needs to be follow-up from either merchant shipping, the Australian Navy or both.

    Finding them in upside yachts: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/9/newsid_2518000/2518229.stm

    With broken legs: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/sailing/3885365/Australian-navy-saved-life-of-French-sailor-Yann-Elies-says-first-doctor-on-board-yacht-Sailing.html

    Some don’t take the hint and end up being rescued multiple times: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabelle_Autissier

    And it seems every time there has to be some media discussion about the cost of these rescues: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/11/world/australia-rescues-sailors-but-is-wincing-at-the-costs.html

Comments are closed.