NYPost: Here's a dose of reality.
The father of teen sailor Abby Sunderland told The Post yesterday that he's broke and had signed a contract to do a reality show, "Adventures in Sunderland," about his family of daredevil kids weeks after she set off on her doomed and dangerous solo sail around the globe.
"The show might be about family, it might be about Abigail's trip. It's something that was shopped around," he said.
Abby, 16, set sail last January, but got stranded in the Indian Ocean last week after storms smashed the mast of her sailboat, Wild Eyes, knocking out satellite-phone reception. The near-disaster triggered a frantic international rescue effort.
The solo voyage ran into heavy criticism for its high risk and the allegedly poor planning that put Abby in the treacherous Indian Ocean right in the middle of storm season.
Yesterday, she remained aboard the French vessel that rescued her, according to the ship's captain, and was making her slow voyage home.
The boat, Ile de la Reunion, is scheduled to transfer the teen to another ship tonight. It will take her about a week to get to land, the captain said.
Standing in the driveway outside his home, Sunderland explained the theme he envisioned for the show.
"We thought it might be a good idea if it was encouraging to kids to get out there and do things," he said. Sunderland said he didn't initially get many bites.
The studio didn't reply to e-mails and calls for comment yesterday.
Sunderland insists Abby's trip wasn't just a stunt.
The reality show was, he said, "the last thing on my mind.
"The wheels in motion for this trip had actually started when Abigail was 13 years old," he added.
Sunderland also defended his decision to let his daughter take the risky journey.
"I love my daughter dearly," he said. "I love the passion of sailing dearly, and this was about Abigail following her dream. She followed the criteria that I had set out, and met all the requirements to embark on this trip."
Yesterday, Abby blogged that she was undaunted by her misadventure, and was considering writing a book.
She called her wild ride on Wild Eyes "the best thing I have ever done or been through and I don't ever want to forget all the great times . . . or the bad ones for that matter."
The large family has long been a curiosity in the community, neighbors said. All seven children are home-schooled.
"They rarely leave their house, and they rarely talk to neighbors," local resident Brian Gonzales said.
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