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  #21  
Old 09-11-2009
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The adventure she is going to attempt has and will be subject to many views and comments as are all things in their infancy, and once the adventure is done and completed all negatives will be long gone and pushed to the side. I myself went through such a situation with the Sailing Vessel Precipice - NEW trip of this family. They were going to attempt to sail through the North West Passage, and I was wondering how the parents of two young girls so young could put their girls in so much danger. As they were going to leave Canadian waters to go to Greenland first then re-enter Canada I thought for sure that the officals in the north would see these two young girls and think this is too dangerous and for sure their adventure would be over. I was not the only one with these views at the time. Now that they are nearing the finish all the negative comments and thougths are being pushed to the side. All I can say is that they were very fortunate that things went well. This has left me wondering was I being an out of step individual and a regualor stick in the mud.
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  #22  
Old 09-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theartfuldodger View Post
Now that they are nearing the finish all the negative comments and thoughts are being pushed to the side. All I can say is that they were very fortunate that things went well. This has left me wondering was I being an out of step individual and a regular stick in the mud.
Like everything else on a boat, and life, it's all a judgment call.
I hope would all agree that at one extreme if we put our six year old in a optimist after a summers instruction and dropped her off at Catalina island, programmed her Colorado for her and told her she would win a pony if she sailed to Santa Barbara that would be criminal.
On the other extreme we have 25 year olds at the peak of their physical strength after intensive training that man coast guard cutters. Less than 10 years older than Jessica.

Would our 6 year old make it. Maybe. Should it be done, absolutely not. Will someone try it, sadly, probably unless a law is passed.
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  #23  
Old 09-11-2009
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This whole thing got me thinking about what happened last weekend. I was on a boat that rafted up with another boat, a stranger with a teak decked 47' $450,000 boat. Among the three boats in the raft-up there were at lest 5 little girls from about 4 to 10 years old. The big boat had three hatches on the forward deck. They all opened so that they layed flat on the deck exposing three two foot square holes. One of the hatches was over the master bedroom bed and the girls would drop themselves the 5 feet to the bed. They had a great time, it was like a jungle gym. The other two hatches were over the teak and holly sole about 8 feet down. The kids were playing around all three hatches, jumping pushing, being kids.
Franky I was terrified. A tumble down any of the two hatches over the floor could have been fatal.
Sadly I did nothing, I was probably one the the least experienced guys on the flotilla. The father of the girls had been sailing for over 20 years and had held professional jobs in the industry since he was a teenager.
I had also never met the man before. I'm thinking I should have at least said something. Thankfully no one got hurt. If one of the girls fell and was brain-damaged I can't imagine how I would feel let alone the parents.
Where does our responsibility end? I was only crew on one of the other boats. But still!!

Last edited by davidpm; 09-11-2009 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
"If we get into trouble that we can't handle ourselves we don't want to risk the life of some 25 year old coasty to save our wrinkled old butts."
A very sensible and responsible attitude. More cruisers should adopt it.

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Laws will eventually have to be passed.
Unfortunately. Restricting all of us because too many would be cruisers want adventure but they want it safe and comfortable and they want to be able to call someone to come and take them home when they get in over their heads.

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Old 10-13-2009
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Oops, I originally dropped this in the wrong thread - the OTHER punk kid trying to circ. Fixed.

Now here's a guy that even I'd listen to:

Whitbread/Volvo veteran Andrew Cape has urged teenage sailor Jessica Watson to reconsider her solo round the world attempt.
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  #26  
Old 10-13-2009
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To be honest I havn't been giving this a lot of thought so its only just filtered through that she is going for a non stopper. Now neither of the two young boys who have gone round recently tried to do it non stop and if I'm correct they both went through Panama and not round the Horn.

Kind of adds another level of concern really. At least Sunderland and Perham had the advantage of being able to wait out the weather and could take a break every now and then.

I'm still up in the air over this. On the one hand, good on her for having a go but on the other I wonder about the motives of her parents and sponsors.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all pans out....but at least she has all those fab skin care preparations to keep her complexion in tip top shape.....oh, my god......what if she gets a cold sore or heaven forfend acne ? Now that really would be a tragedy.
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  #27  
Old 10-13-2009
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I don't understand how this can be up in the air at all. She clearly lacks the skill to approach this challenge and because she is a minor, her parents are responsible for making sure their daughter doesn't recklessly venture into danger.

There was a 7-year old girl who died while trying to break the world record for the youngest to “fly an airplane across the United States”. Read: Jessica Dubroff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Another foolish parent, irresponsible flight instructor and a complacent legal system in the United States that allowed that to continue. In the end, she was killed along with her father and flight instructor when she tried to push on (trying to meet a schedule for media coverage and publicity) and took off overloaded, at high altitude and in inclement weather.

Now with this 16-year old girl and the latest world buzz around young “kids” trying to circumnavigate the world, I see this as a repeat of events–this time with sailboats instead of airplanes. I think the MSQ is sending the right message and I think the Australian government has an obligation to take action against the parents if they continue this course of action.

If one’s child is a prodigy then a parent should foster and encourage those talents, but not at the risk of either depriving a child of their childhood or putting them in danger. This act seems purely motivated by selfishness and greed. Taking a child cruising to learn to sail, hone their talents and explore the world is one thing, placing them on a boat at 16 and waving good luck while pandering to the media is dangerous and stupid. I could not imagine embarking on a world-wide solo circumnavigation at 16–even if I had the cognitive skill to do so. Emotionally it’s extremely difficult and physically challenging even for adults.

Excerpts from a posting on my web site:

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) assessed young Watson’s skills after performing an investigation of the incident and in a letter addressed to the family said that their official opinion is that Watson is too young and inexperienced to attempt a circumnavigation. According to the inspectors, Watson noted the approach of the carrier on radar at 2am and then went below to take a nap. At 2:10am, Watson’s sailboat collided with the carrier. MSQ also noted that Watson failed to set the proximity alarm on her radar.

Watson’s family is determined to send their young daughter out into the open sea and remarked on their website that “Jessica Watson and her team wish to advise all of her supporters that she remains on track to achieve her goal of being the youngest to sail solo around the world.” The Watsons go on to bemoan the leaking of the MSQ letter but say they “respect all of the maritime authorities and the important role they play in ensuring safety on the sea.”
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Old 10-13-2009
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I guess I live in a different world. In my world the only waya ship would be at fault would be if it intentionally turned to run me down. All the rest of the time it would be my fault!

GPS, chart plotters, it all looks like a video game, except you don't get to do it over in real life!

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  #29  
Old 10-13-2009
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OK OK OK.....look, I'd really like to come down on the poor girl and on her parents and on her sponsors but the trouble is I have this sneaking regard for people who want to do stuff everyone says they shouldn't.

Seriously....she is not seven years old she is sixteen. Yep that is young but its not THAT young. I really really wish she was not trying to go non stop cos then it would be hard to condemn her as vehemently though I guess if she kept pulling into port she might need Ansell as an extra sponsor or she might not end the voyage quite so alone.

Should the Oz government step in ? No they damn well should not. But I still wish she was not going non stop. Moral danger or no moral danger.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Now neither of the two young boys who have gone round recently tried to do it non stop and if I'm correct they both went through Panama and not round the Horn. Kind of adds another level of concern really
I'm struggling a little to conceptualise this. I guess my view remains that the traditional "solo dash around the world" was always the Southern Ocean, i.e. west to east around the Capes.

If we're talking Panama it must be a east/west because no sane person would try a circumnavigation against the prevailing weather. OK some may say that the whole exercise is outside of the realm of "sane" but you know what I mean.

So Panama. That means not non-stop, not unaided (rope handlers required in the locks)and probably not solo (the Panama officials require a pilot on board to cross the lake from lock to lock).

Still, there are plenty of ocean crossings and if one is not taking a purist view, it is in essence still a solo circumnav - I just wonder how it can be inducted into the record books given that they are a purist institution.

Maybe my facts about rope handlers and pilots in Panama are incorrect but I don't think so.
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