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  #111  
Old 10-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
I have worked on the Ocean all of my adult life. Never have considered it to be a life threatening vocation. Going solo these days around the world with the quality of the boats and the on board equipage today isn't very life threatening. Now if it was in the days of the nineteenth century then I would worry for her.
The problem with today's society is that they want to wrap you in cotton wool and bubble wrap and not allow you to do anything that the cowardly worrywarts consider dangerous. Those government officals have and will not ever do anything that might cause them to break a finger nail let alone skateboard in the park.
Boasun, dude, you skate?!?! Righteous!!

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  #112  
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On the topic of government involvement in people's lives, I totally agree that the government is overly involved in people's lives and that people should just be left alone. But in my opinion, a 13 year old kid sailing alone around the world is not the right poster child to choose if you want to argue for liberty, because it is patently absurd. I guess it wouldn't be the first time that people who favor liberty would choose an absurd situation to make a point, they did take the rights of a pornographer to the supreme court, and they took the rights of nazi's to protest in a jewish neighborhood to court too, both of which were distasteful to the public. I admit, I'm on the side of thinking that its all non-sense and that the girl's life is being put in jeopardy, but that doesn't mean I think the government should stop her - I think her parents should!
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  #113  
Old 10-15-2009
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Danger is a POV thing after i finish typing this i have to go down and keep fixing leaking high pressure steam pipes and while the section being repaired is locked OUT

It is seriously more dangerous than anything i have ever done on a boat


I tell you another funny thing when i was 40 i had a freak mountain bike accident that jacked me up for a year +

After that happened all my sons friends who we use to take were NOT allowed to go to the mountain bike area AGAIN
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  #114  
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hypocracy??

when i was eight i used to hunt water moccasins with a rock or stick, becuase i didn't have a b-b gun. Was i safer without a gun? When i was in the seventh grade the coaches wanted me join the football team. I didn't. But the first game I went to i watched a friend become paralyzed for life. Did any of you warn your children what could happen to them? Did you not warn them for thier glory or for your own? do all of you refuse to text while driving, or do you just risk the lives of the children on public streets. Have you ever let somebody who was drunk drive? Another way to throw a childs life to the fates. A glorious life is a dangerous one, and the safest people in America are deathrow inmates. So yes she may die.....whether she goes or not!
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  #115  
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"It's all relative" (relativism) argues that a 13 year old is in danger no matter what the situation so she might as well be allowed to sail around the world alone. After all, none of us is ever truly safe, there is risk whenever you walk out the front door, playing sports, driving a car, being exposed to the flu, and in any number of other circumstances, even playing with poisonous snakes! This point of view is very common in the United States and around the English speaking world, that one thing is true relative to another thing, that there really isn't any absolute truth at all, because there is nothing that can be said or thought by a human being that something cannot be said to refute it. Why bother being safe at all, we are all going to die anyway, "Nobody makes it out alive" says the bumper sticker.

Yet when you take it to extremes the tension builds, We might as well all just jump off a cliff, right ? No, something in the mind says, "no, not really", despite the "fact" that it really doesn't matter one way or the other. If you allow that the tension might be an intuitive indicator that points you towards an absolute truth you start to think - hmm, maybe jumping off a cliff isn't the same as dying of old age, and maybe taking necessary chances like driving a car to work to avoid starving to death isn't the same thing as the totally unnecessary risk of crossing a glacier alone. And maybe sailing around the world at the age of 13 isn't anything like the risks associated with riding a bicycle down the sidewalk. Maybe Guatemala is more dangerous than Texas, maybe statistics on crime and murder rates actually mean something ? No, of course not, if we accepted that then there might actually be some absolute truth out there, and we can't have that! If there is absolute truth then people wouldn't be able to justify whatever bull&%^ they wanted to say by just making up some absurd counter-argument, we might actually have to incorporate reality into our discussions!
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  #116  
Old 10-15-2009
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I don't know much about the background of the parents or the girl so I looked it up:

Quote:
Laura Dekker


13 year old Laura Dekker is!
Laura Dekker is a Dutch teen who aspires to sail around the world alone in the 26-foot boat.

The voyage however was blocked by a Dutch court on August 28, 2009, over concerns on how the trip would affect her emotionally and psychologically. The court threatened to remove her from her father's custody if he allows her to begin the voyage, which was scheduled for September 1, 2009.

Fast Facts
1. Born: ca. 1996 [
2. Birthplace: New Zealand
3. Born while her parents were sailing
4. Spent her first four years sailing
5. Began sailing solo at the age of six
6. Parents divorced
7. Resides with her father Dick Dekker
8. Aspires to sail around the world alone
9. Been planning the round-the-world trip for three years
10. Set to being her voyage on September 1, 2009
11. Trip blocked by a Dutch court
12. Court claims the trip would be too much physically and emotionally for the teen
13. Court also questions how she would complete school work at sea
14. Father could lose custody if he allows her to set sail
15. Previously detained for sailing alone
16. She sailed alone to England when she was 10.
So, it looks she has quite a bit of sailing experience. If you were going to have a young sailor embark on a trip like this, she probably makes a good choice Looks like Dad has a lot to lose to make this happen. Interesting that his ex, Laura's mom, has agreed to the trip as well. Single handing at 6? Wow! Sailing to England singlehanded at 10?


Who are we, or any government, to judge her capability and chances of surviving? I think her and her family is the best judge.
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  #117  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
I have worked on the Ocean all of my adult life. Never have considered it to be a life threatening vocation. Going solo these days around the world with the quality of the boats and the on board equipage today isn't very life threatening. Now if it was in the days of the nineteenth century then I would worry for her.
The problem with today's society is that they want to wrap you in cotton wool and bubble wrap and not allow you to do anything that the cowardly worrywarts consider dangerous. Those government officals have and will not ever do anything that might cause them to break a finger nail let alone skateboard in the park.
On a 34 footer? I don't consider myself a coward, nor a worrywart, but hey, maybe I don't fit your rule of a sailor. I've been on the water since I was 10 - that's 25 years ago and in conditions where I've been uncomfortable for my own well being, and moreso for the well-being of my shipmates. I don't really care about the idealogical arguments of the pro or anti "state" crowd here. It all comes down to a very young girl setting out to do something that no-one in the right mind would agree was of her doing - you do not see 10 year olds, no matter how mature, deciding to start planning for a solo, round the world, southern sea passage with limited experience and perspective. And NO, a Dutch / UK single handed passage does NOT equate to the Southern Seas - gimme a friggen break on that one.

The arguments of relativism that the many kids around the world that are impoverished and have no chance to succeed somehow justifies the paush of a lucky child into the wolfs den is preposterous. That's akin to saying that you can buy a hit in Sao Paolo for 1$ so why not do it anywhere else in the world and feel good about it. Again, those that espouse this "world" would piss their pants if they had to live in it but it is somehow "sexy" to espouse nonetheless because it makes you fit into the "rage against he machine" mold....

My argument is really simple. You take your own child at the age of 10 and start exchanging ideas about being the youngest to circumnavigate ALONE, non-stop - does anyone in their right mind find this normal??? Then at 13 you set them up with a boat that they never had to "earn" and some training "that they were conditioned to go on" and send them off into the wild blue yonder with sponsors and PR "which a 13 year old is going to feel compelled to comply to", and hope for the best... good luck to those that want to give it a shot but it's assinine.
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  #118  
Old 10-15-2009
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Hmm, at 13 she has been planning her solo circumnavigation for three years.

Well at 13 I was pretty well convinced that I would be playing in the NHL in a few years, and I'd been planning out my career for at least that long. This wasn't because I was an unusually unrealistic kid -- IT'S BECAUSE I WAS A KID. Kids do not have the decision capabilities of adults.

I've taken some pretty wild risks in my life. My justification has always been "what doesn't kill you will make a good bar story."

I've never suggested coddling children, actually just the opposite. Ask my son (now in his 30's).

"Anti-government" is a popular sentiment in the US right now, though no society without a strong central government has ever survived. But I'll leave that debate for another thread as I really don't think that's what this is about anyway.

This thread has wandered.

In my opinion, as an adult you should be able to take any crazy, foolish, wild risk you want -- right up to the point where it endangers someone else. At that point society in one form or another steps in to, at minimum, take a look at what you're doing. That includes cases where the person you're endangering is your child. And that is exactly what happened here. Someone said this is way outside normal boundries, so maybe we should take a look at it.

My two cents,
Jim
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  #119  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
I have worked on the Ocean all of my adult life. Never have considered it to be a life threatening vocation. Going solo these days around the world with the quality of the boats and the on board equipage today isn't very life threatening. Now if it was in the days of the nineteenth century then I would worry for her.
The problem with today's society is that they want to wrap you in cotton wool and bubble wrap and not allow you to do anything that the cowardly worrywarts consider dangerous. Those government officals have and will not ever do anything that might cause them to break a finger nail let alone skateboard in the park.
I am more than a little dissapointed that such a distinguished sailer would utter such a comment. Since offshore sailing is no longer dangerous, maybe you can explain the following:

=====================================
The decision of whether to abandon a boat that is in peril but not sinking is one of the most gut-wrenching a sailor can face—not because he or she loves their boat, though that can be a factor, but because the wrong choice can be fatal.

You won’t find a more compelling insight into the pain of making that choice than the story of a man who last August abandoned the boat he had built himself, had owned for more than 30 years and had just sailed to victory in the Singlehanded Transpac Race.

The man was Skip Allen, at 60 years old an elite offshore sailor who earned that distinction with tens of thousands of miles of ocean passaging, much of it in races, crewed and singlehanded. That’s important to the story because a number of abandon-ship dramas have involved sailors whose inexperience contributed to their plight. Skip, who is, in fact, a survivor of the tragic 1979 Fastnet race, was as well-prepared as anyone to deal with life-threatening ocean conditions. He knew exactly what he was doing when he stepped off of his boat 250 miles west of San Francisco.

Skip was returning from Hawaii following the Singlehanded Transpac alone on Wildflower, the modified Wylie 27 he built in 1975. If you think a 27-footer is a small boat to sail 2,500 miles to Hawaii, well, it is, but it’s an even smaller boat to sail back to the mainland in conditions that are nothing like the downwind sleigh ride to the islands. Wildflower had made the trip five times before.

The gale strengthened. Under bare poles, Wildflower was assaulted by ever building seas. During the third night of the gale, Skip stayed below as “breaking crests would poop the boat about every five minutes, filling the cockpit and surging against the companionway hatch board. Even though I had gone to lengths for many years to ensure firehose watertight integrity of the companionway hatch, I found the power of the breaking wave crests slamming the boat would cause water to forcefully spray around the edges of the hatchboards and into the cabin.”

His biggest fear was that the exposed autopilot steering the boat with the tiller, “buffeted and drenched by every boarding wave,” would fail or be washed off its mount. The electronic tiller pilot had so far worked flawlessly. (Traditionalists take note: He found his backup wind vane autopilot to be utterly useless.) But anyone who has seen the demands on an electronic pilot steering in storm conditions, going through motions so extreme it would seem the machine has to wear out at some point, should be able to understand Skip’s fears.

“There was no doubt that if Wildflower’s tiller pilot was lost we would round up and be at the mercy of these breaking waves, some of which I estimated to be in the vicinity of 25 to 35 feet, as big as I had seen since the ‘79 Fastnet race storm on Imp.”

The confident mariner who had seen just about everything in sailing adventures that began in childhood (he sailed his first Transpac at 16) started to wonder if he would survive. “The anxiety and stress of this night with the whine of the wind in the rigging, the wave crests slamming into the hatch boards and the 70-degree knockdowns that would launch me across the cabin created serious doubts that we could continue this for another night, much less the three to four days the conditions were expected to continue.”

He spent the next hour debating with himself about whether to leave the boat he described as “my home, consort and magic carpet that I had built 34 years ago. I cried, pounded my fist, looked out through the hatch numerous times at the wave mountains, remembered all the good times I had shared with Wildflower, and came to a decision.”

Joe Buck had learned that no Coast Guard or military ships or helicopters were within range of Wildflower, but a freighter was heading in the general direction of the boat. At Skip’s request, Joe asked San Francisco Coast Guard Search and Rescue to arrange for assistance from the 1,065-foot containership Toronto.

Six or seven hours later, in a display of sterling seamanship, the Toronto, in waves so extreme her massive bow bulb rose 20 feet out of the sea, maneuvered alongside of Wildflower, creating a lee that allowed Skip to jump from the deck of his boat to a jacob’s ladder hanging down the ship’s hull. Safe on board, Skip watched Wildflower “bang and scrape her way down the aft quarter of the ship and disappear under the stern. I watched, but could barely see through my tears.”

The tears are understandable, but this is not a sad story. A boat was lost, but a sailor survived. And unlike so many rescues of yachtsmen in distress, this one put no rescuers’ lives at risk and spent no taxpayers’ money. Nor will Wildflower exact any costs as a derelict menace to shipping. As his final act before leaving her, Skip disconnected the hose from the engine seawater intake, allowing the boat to sink.

If there is such a thing as a class act in abandoning ship, this was it.
======================================

Would a 13 year old or a 15 year old know when to make such a decision? Would you allow your 13 year old out in such a situation? Or was Skip Allen such a poor sailor that he simply misunderstood that the ocean wasn't dangerous?

Eric Read

Sailing Magazine | Abandoning ship: gut-wrenching, perilous, sometimes right

Last edited by ericread; 10-15-2009 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Added Sailing Magazine story link.
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  #120  
Old 10-15-2009
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Okay - here's what needs to happen. Let Laura and Jessica race each other. Head to head, full contact sailing. Kind of like a global catfight. The first one back to the slip gets all the glory and makeup they want. The other gets tossed aside on the trash heap of history. That's life.

Eric - the Skip Allan story was one of the first BFS stories I posted. I admire the dude. It was definitely a tough call.
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