14-year-old Laura Dekker free to leave - Page 6 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #51  
Old 07-29-2010
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Ughh...

We have all been over this several times before. Laura Dekker, Abby Sunderland, Jessica Watson, Zak Sunderland, etc.

THE main issue here is that the "youngest sailor circumnavigations" are being undertaken as a shortcut to Fame and Fortune. ALL of them have publicity and sponsorship machines pushing them on.

IIRC, in Laura's case, there is the complicating factor that her mother did not approve of this undertaking either. Again, IIRC, the court initially intervened when the mother raised the issue. After being prevented from leaving, she somehow managed to run away to St Martin/Marteen (all by herself).

As tomandchris pointed out, if there were no reality show hype, no "team Laura Dekker," no BS, and she simply set out and sailed, I would have no issue. However all of the hype, commercialization, and all that that entails, before she has done the trip, make the inevitable SAR seem like a subsidy to this commercial undertaking.
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  #52  
Old 07-29-2010
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Ughh...

Obviously, I'm as much a debate whore as you are herli.

Look, you're missing the point. Since each of these babes is a unique case in terms of life experience and maturity - we have to have this same debate every time one of them finishes their Gerber applesauce and casts off their lines.

Surely you can see that.
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  #53  
Old 07-29-2010
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Hey, we can use the exact same arguments in a debate about the age of sexual consent. How 'bout that to switch it up for a few pages?
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  #54  
Old 07-29-2010
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....

Last edited by chrisncate; 05-20-2011 at 12:53 AM.
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  #55  
Old 07-30-2010
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[idiocy format=sarcasm; dry]

In this post, I'll wax on about the legal age of consent for kittens. Please move on if this subject offends you.

First, it's important to note that - as we all know - the cat is one of natures early adopters. They are quite independent, and other than the bizarre need to cover their poo in sand, they are pretty clean. On the other hand, who hasn't wanted to bury a lawyer on a beach a time or twelve? So maybe we have that poo-burying desire in common...

But I digress. Furthermore, the kitten is clearly in a unique position to know what is right for the kitten. Who are we to question it? Until you walk a mile in it's paws (which is doubly difficult, with the four paws rather than two) who gets to tell it what to do?

And finally, lets be honest, most of us are just jealous of all that hot kitten-on-kitten nooky. How many of the kitten-haters are really just wanna-be kittens, desperately wishing they hadn't spent their own kitten years doing 'normal' things?

But I'll say this, and I'll say it with spittle hitting the monitor.. if a kitten engages in sexual congress, it must then accept the consequences of said congress! And lets be face it.. if there's one thing that gets in the way of a good sexual event, it's congress. Those rats are always mucking up the works. You wouldn't believe what's illegal in the state I live in...

And so, my fellow sailors, join me in standing firmly on both sides of the kitten consent issue by wishing no evil on the kitten, but also firmly stating that I think it's wrong!

[/idiocy]
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  #56  
Old 07-30-2010
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Lunacy?

I personally think that this project is insanity. Does a 14 year-old have the judgment needed for good decisions when things go wrong? Perhaps, but I have my doubts.

That said, if she and her family are willing to agree that SAR efforts should not be undertaken, I guess she has the right to risk her own life if her guardian and/or family agree.
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  #57  
Old 07-30-2010
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You guys, come on. For the overwhelming majority of human history the boundary between childhood and adulthood has been puberty, 12 for girls and 14 boys.

Argue all you like, but please everyone try to stop making statements that imply your personal cultural bias is somehow the true natural order of things.
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  #58  
Old 07-30-2010
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Well, first, I think that Laura has significantly more experience than Abby did.

Second, she's also choosing a boat that will be far more seakindly and easier to handle than Abby's Open 40. A ketch rigged Gin Fizz 38 should be far easier to balance the sailplan on and has smaller sails than an Open 40—because it is not a racing boat, it is a smaller boat overall, and it is a split rig design.

Third, she has owned, and presumably, used the boat for longer than Abby had Wild Eyes prior to leaving. The Sunderlands only got Wild Eyes in October, and Abby was supposed to leave in November and actually left in January. That is far less than the six months or so that Laura has had Guppy, the Gin Fizz 38.

Fourth, she's not trying for a NON-STOP SOUTHERN OCEAN route, but a much more reasonable route via the Panama Canal. Of course, the Panama canal requires that you have four line handlers aboard the boat and her route probably brings her in to closer proximity with known pirate problems areas. Both of these could present problems for Laura.

However, that all said, I still think that Laura going for it is a bad idea. Not as bad as Abby's version of going for the record, but still not a good idea.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-30-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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  #59  
Old 07-30-2010
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smacky: I think we're talking past each other. You're coming from a philosophical "is it right" or "should she go" perspective. I'm coming from a rule-of-law "does she have the right to do it" perspective. Incidentally, I think we're both right.

SD: I agree that this trip is probably a more realistic voyage that Sunderland's.

And to the both of you, it probably isn't the best idea that anyone has ever had to let a 14-year-old sail around the world. We're almost certainly all in agreement there. It's probably not something I'd let my kid do at 14. Then again, by the time it's all said and done, I'm certain that my kid will do all kinds of things that other people may not think were great ideas.

The point is that as long as it isn't illegal, they have a right to do it. And it is a legitimate voyage -- book deals and sponsorships being totally irrelevant to that determination -- so it would be wrong to try to withhold aid if she needs it simply on the basis of her age. There's no fraud going on, she's not going out there with the intention of getting into trouble, so if she needs help, she deserves it as much as anyone else.

[As a side note, if one has a problem funding the rescue of someone at sea who is being "reckless" or "idiotic" or "stupid," one should move to a landlocked country.]

lydanynom: You're absolutely right. Try to find a sailing warship during the Age of Sail that didn't have 13 - 17-year-olds as junior officers.
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  #60  
Old 07-30-2010
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OK again I read this thread and again as B-4 there are sailors pro & con and I think by myself who gives a d#$m. Are you related to her, do you have a stake in her well being, do you know her family, etc. I'm sure the answers are NO. So again who gives a D#@m.
Let her and her family be maybe she'll get pregnant (she's old enough for that)
What a waste of our time, I should not have read this thread, I should have been sailing, as a matter of fact it is Friday afternoon and I'll close shop and go to the boat to do some sailing and hope you all will do the same.

Lets talk about sail/boats.
Maybe somebody can teach me how to get in a 11ft wide slip with a 10' beam sail boat in a river that flows at 10 plus knots. Just so you know I have no problem doing this with a twin screw motor-boat just with a single screw inboard 13,000 lbs sailboat.

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Last edited by EJO; 07-30-2010 at 01:48 PM.
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