At just sixteen years old, Abby Sunderland made the decision to attempt to get the record for the youngest to ever sail around the world. Unsinkable tells the story from 2 points of view for the majority of the book – hers and the narrators. After her boat was de-masted in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a third point of view comes in to play: Those who helped rescue her from her boat Wild Eyes and take her back to safety.
More people have flown into outer space than have sailed solo around the globe. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit. In Unsinkable, readers follow Abby Sunderland into those depths. This biography delivers a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest corner of the Indian Ocean, and the media explosion that happened upon her safe return to dry land.
Unsinakable is interesting in that it has 3 different people telling the story. There are icons before new passages which alert the readers to who is telling that particular part of the story. The boat icon represents Abby’s voice, the anchor represents the narrator’s voice and the flag represents those who took place in the rescue efforts to save Abby from the Indian Ocean.
From a very young age, Abby and her family had gone sailing. Her brother, Zac, had said solo around the world as a teen. Abby had decided that she also wanted to sail solo, and if she succeeded would be the youngest person to ever do so. Her mother at first was hesitant, but said that if she could find a sponsor (something her brother Zac struggled with at first) then she could go. Abby was quickly able to find a sponsor and then the hunt for the perfect boat was on.
Many critics were around saying that this was all orchestrated by her father. It was not. It was Abby’s dream to do this and her father simply encouraged her to follow her dreams. All the decisions she made were her own – whether it was to stop at a port to get her boat fixed or ultimately to send out a distress signal when her boat rolled in the middle of the Indian Ocean – which would end her trip.
I admire Abby for her strength to make it through several months out in he middle of the ocean all alone and because she followed her dreams. I found her story to be very encouraging and I hope that if Abby does decide to try and sail around the world again, that she is successful in her next attempt.
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