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Thread: Would You?

  1. #1
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    Would You?

    Don't know if you've been following the story about Abby Sunderland, but she's a local 16-year-old who just had her attempted solo circumnavigation of the globe cut short due to a bad storm. There's been a lot of discussion around the media about whether or not parents should let a 16-year-old girl sail a 40" boat around the world by herself. Some are calling it child endangerment. Others are saying "good for her", and bemoaning the fact that there aren't more kids like her these days.

    Personally, I'm with her parents on this one. I think if a kid that age has the skill, experience, maturity, and determination to take on something like this, all power to them. Yep, the kid could die. And the same fate could happen walking to school or driving to the mall. She's grown up on and around boats. She's probably a better sailor than most of her peers are drivers, yet millions of kids that age drive every day. (I was driving solo across the state of New Mexico at her age, and with my parents' blessing.) She had state of the art equipment, and she did all the right things when her boat became crippled. She handled the crisis like a well-experience sailor would. My hat's off to her.

    What's your take?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    I agree with you Vaughn!

    My great grandmother was married at 13, she had four kids by the time she was 16 and her and her husband were growing wheat out in Saskatchewan living in a sod house they build themselves.

    It really depends on the kid, some kids are ready and willing for that kind of challenge at 16, some people are never ever ready for that kind of challenge. Lets also be clear they did not exactly leave her unprepared, from the sounds of it they have a lot of technology and planing on their side.

    I'm in the "Good for her" camp!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Nice new picture picture, Vaughn.

    I wish we had more boys/girls, men/women who had the true adventure spirit in them. I know it had to be a very hard decision for her parents and applaud them for having the courage to let her do something that most of us can only read about in books that are over 100 years old.

    Think about it...she was raised to have the wits about her to survive something that most of us would have never survived. And, I bet the family won't sue the boat manufacturer for not having fail-safe equipment.

    God bless her and I hope she achieves her dream.

  4. #4
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    The problem I see is that she left too late, which put her in the southern ocean with winter coming, and bad storm season. Her parents should have insisted she wait another year, when she could leave earlier and avoid the worse weather.

    But what they all wanted was the record as the youngest person to make the circumnavigation. But once she pulled into South Africa, the record was gone. She should have stopped at that point. One aspect of maturity is knowing when not to take a chance. Her parents should have exercised the mature judgement that she may not have been able to.

    She could have easily died. She was lucky.

    Mike

    [Plus, her rescue is going to cost a fortune.]
    [When I was in the army, a very wise Sargent told me, "Good soldiers don't win medals." What he meant by that was that if you do everything you should - intelligence about the enemy, sufficient forces, proper deployment, etc., you don't have to perform Medal of Honor heroics.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 06-12-2010 at 05:26 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I would like to say yes, but I don't know.

    In this family's case I think they made a bad call because they wanted her to get in the record books. According to knowledgeable people her delay in getting to sea forced her (as any other sailor) into riskier weather through her voyage than was warranted. She could have waited another year if it was just for the adventure.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  6. #6
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    I was not aware of the weather issue or the late start, I have to admit, that may have changed my mind, but that has nothing to do with her age restricting her.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    I don't have a thing against it, if SHE wanted to do it. Now if she wanted to do it for the hype that's a different story.When i was 16 I wanted to go to calf. As we didn't have much money what's a poor boy to do ? Well my dad droped me off on the interstate in NY and i stuck my thumb out and away i went.Thumbed my way a round this country off and on for 3 years. Always wanted to get to europe and do the same. Was it worth it? To me it was. What a great way to meet some really good folks, and live ones dreams.
    Steve

  8. #8
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    i am from the camp more power to her for the adventure, but i also thought the timing should have been adjusted to allow for weather, in the whole course
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  9. #9
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    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-29-2010 at 02:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    The problem I see is that she left too late, which put her in the southern ocean with winter coming, and bad storm season. Her parents should have insisted she wait another year, when she could leave earlier and avoid the worse weather...
    Interesting point, and one I wasn't aware of. I do suspect there was a certain amount of limelight (attention whoring) she and/or her parents were after, and it looks like they may have let that desire trump prudent thinking.

    The rescue costs are another interesting aspect of the whole thing, and I'm undecided on how I think that should play out. Aside from fuel costs to the rescuers, what other costs will be incurred? The rescue personnel get paid whether they're in action or on standby. Other than the departure date issue you mentioned, is she more in the wrong than any other sailor whose boat has been disabled in a storm? There are rescues at sea every week. This was her week. On the other hand, I get the impression that the parents aren't hurting for money, so perhaps they should offer to pay the costs of the rescue.

    All interesting grist for the debate mill.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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