Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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One real question is how much of this is actually being driven by the child's desire to do it versus how much is the parent's wish for them to do it. In the case of Zac Sunderland, where he owned his own boat, and has been sailing by himself for a number of years, IMHO, it was pretty clear that he was doing it for his own reasons.
In the case of Mike Perham, that isn't so clear. After all, he didn't own the boat he made the voyage in—his father chartered it; he wasn't sailing on his own for years before doing this—his only passage of significant note prior to his circumnavigation was crossing the Atlantic buddy boating with his father in two identical Tide 28 sailboats; he was "tutored" by a french professional sailor and she and two others did most of the boat prep for him IIRC.
I don't think it should be considered "abuse" if the kid is injured—if it was the kid's own idea to make the voyage... however, if the voyage was pushed on the kid by his parents, then they should clearly be held responsible. Just remember, it wasn't all that long ago that a 16 year old was considered old enough to marry, raise a family, be recruited for the local militia, etc. It has only been in the last 100 years or so where the age of adulthood has slowly been raised to 21.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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