13-year-old Laura Dekker around the world - Page 10 - SailNet Community
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post #91 of 231 Old 10-13-2009
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Sometimes you need to be a parent

Honestly I don't think it's about her ability to home school herself. I think that is the least of the argument. And I wonder if this is really about the father trying to be the "cool dad" in a divorce. Something we've all seen.

But when dealing with a 13 year old sometimes you need to be a parent. You could still encourage her independence on week long sailing trips -- let her take the lead, make the decisions, but be there as a safety net when she makes mistakes.

As for 13 year olds going to sea in the Royal Navy it was a different time. Life was shorter and on land or sea there were many ways to die. Many of those young officers were buried at sea. It was a time when it was understood many children would not see adulthood. It was a fact of life.

Look, every year experienced adult sailors leave port and are never heard from again. The sea has no care for the fact she is thirteen. Nor do the scum who would do unspeakable things to her. Is there a double standard for girls and boys. You bet there is -- because they are different.

The real question is are you willing to let your 13 yr old daughter die at sea?

Regardless of the logic I think most societies today would question the fitness of a parent who says yes.

Just my 2 cents,
Jim

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #92 of 231 Old 10-13-2009
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Jim, I wouldn't even let my 15 YO out of the slip.

I would imagine that the parents and everyone in her immediate family would be aware of the risks. If they all think she's competent and they are willing to let her risk her life than God Speed to them. As long as this action doesn't unreasonably put others in danger I have no problem with it.

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~Stephanos~
Bayview Marina,
Lake Ray Hubbard
Dallas, TX


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post #94 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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Life is inherently dangerous, no doubt about that.

But the responsible parent lets a kid ride a skatebord in a skate park and when very brave, along the pavement. This girl is effectively skateboarding down the highway.

Why is she not doing a local 1000 mile test voyage? Because she has to go now before someone else does it and before she'e a year older.

It's been said many times on this board - a sailing boat is no place for a schedule. Laura Dekker is a schedule of the worst possible kind.

Anyway, I've already expressed my opinions on these voyages - nufsed.


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post #95 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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Bugger all this safety crap! Safety is stupid. If she wants to do it, and her dad says go, then it is none of anyone else's business, including governments!
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post #96 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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The only record I expect either to set is the yougest, most foolhardy "sailor" to die on a single handed circumnavigation effort. There it is in the raw. Maybe this will upset some but it doesn't matter as the odds are stacked against both, and it is their respective faults for it.

The constant "first to do something" just to get the aura and $$$ of being that one has gone to unreasonable extremes. The parents in both cases are clearly too caught up with the hype and projections of $$$ and fame. It's disgusting as a parent.

The ocean is a heartless place and it can wear on you under the best of times. Sending out your own children alone into this is inexplicable. I hope both make it home safely but when and if they don't I'll say it now, any of the apologists who will say "they died doing what they loved" are full of crap!
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post #97 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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When you are the skipper and your families life is dependant on your decisions, it does weigh on your mind when as Oma says., "it turns to custard" So, as we all, or maybe only some of us know, the decisions made on passage can be very hard to digest and are difficult to materialise. Only some of us can appreciate then, the thoughts which will go through this child's mind as she sees white water on a lee shore or a howling, breaking swell in a gale or listening to the sounds of the boat in a gale when down below.

As the father of a young teenager (who may be as able or more so, than this Laura) to cope with a solo passage, I feel the fear of every parent for this child.

Some people sail with the luck of the Gods. I hope she does.


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post #98 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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I do find it difficult to say that the parent has an absolute right to make decisions for their child. Surely there is some boundary at which the society has the right to step in and override the parent. Personally I find the idea of sending a 13 year old to sea by hereself, well over that boundary. BTW, the Royal Navy did not send a ship of children off, much less solo. They sent them on ships with experienced sailors to gain experience.
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post #99 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lporcano View Post
Not to nitpick, but when you are dealing with a 13 year old, you always have to be a parent. The government has no business taking that role, you assumed it when you decided to have children.
Unfortunately there is no competency test to be a parent. Cockroaches can figure out how to reproduce, it doesn't make them fit parents.

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Originally Posted by lporcano View Post
Life is inherently dangerous. The question is not whether you should allow your kids do something that puts their lives at risk, we all do that every day. Driving cars, sending them to school, and even feeding them carries some degree of risk. The question is not whether or not parents should allow kids to be exposed to risk, since that is unavoidable. The question is what degree of risk is acceptable. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of some government board deciding the answer to that question. They do not have any skin in the game, and their motives are not the motives of a real parent.
Look I don't want some safety nazi telling me what to do either, but then I'm an adult. I say let adults take whatever risk they want. Everybody out of the shallow end of the gene pool !!!!

If a five year old was wandering into traffic would you stand on the sidewalk or would grab the child and pull them to safety? What rational person would say they don't want to interfere with a parent's right to let the child wander into traffic?

Take whatever risk you want with your own life. But societies have a responsibility to intervene when someone's irresponsibility, for whatever reason, threatens the life of another. In this case it's hard to argue the girl's life wouldn't be at risk. Exactly where those lines are drawn is determined over time on a case-by-case basis by the courts.

Why not wait a few years? She will be older, more experienced, and able to make an informed decision on her own. The only reason to go now is to try and break a record.

Just my two cents,
Jim

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #100 of 231 Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
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Bugger all this safety crap! Safety is stupid. If she wants to do it, and her dad says go, then it is none of anyone else's business, including governments!
I am not mocking you just trying to understand where you stand.

If here dream was to be the youngest girl to have a hard core porn site and the government intervened would you say. "none of anyone else's business, including governments"

where is your line where the government or state should back of and where is you line where they should step in?
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