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Old 11-06-2010, 08:32   #61
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Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
How, exactly, can you be confident in you child's ability to handle the Southern Ocean in June? I would love ANYONE on this forum to answer this question.
The latitudes down there have names...

- The roaring forties
- The furious fifties
- The shrieking sixties

I wonder why they picked those names for that nice docile piece of water? Errr........
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:45   #62
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Atta girl

I'm glad she's packing it in and I'm sorry she didn't manage to succeed.

I hope it was her dream and not someone elses. We do live in the internet age where Jackass becomes a successful movie instead of an epitath. Stunting and capturing your stupidity for the world can make you famous, not that I see Abby in this light but the fame thing is interesting. I have no reason to think that was her motivation.

When my son was growing up all his friends were skateboarding and doing stunts on bikes. He was and is a surfer. These things have an element of danger to them but, head injuries and drowning not withstanding, broken bones heal.

My mother always says I was adventurous. I grew canoeing and when I turned twelve I went on a two week canoe trip with a friend in northern Ontario. Some risk involved but certainly not southern ocean. At 18 I began hitchhiking and continued for about 5 years, just wandering around north america. I've never felt adventurous. I don't want to circumnavigate, don't have a desire to climb mountains but, as you know, there are many who would see buying a boat and moving aboard in that light. In someways it is a context that we as individuals choose to live in. My viewpoint and interests are different then yours prehaps.

I've read all your comments with interest. Agreed with arguments from both sides. I don't have a judgement. I wonder if Abby was able to imagine how bad it can get before she went? I wonder why she wanted to make the trip?

I don't think you can you make it illegal for children to put themselves at risk though. A young man visiting a canyon park in Vancouver recently climbed over a four foot railing and fell to his death. Some children seem to seek out attention and thrills just like adults. As adults we often model behaviour that is risky as well. Do as I say not as I do doesn't work very well in my experience.

I'm glad it worked out well.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:46   #63
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What's odd is that Abby's older brother succesfully made the trip round the world at age 17 as well, yet we never heard anything about it. Could it be because he's a guy?

Let's turn a blind eye to age for a moment. I can't even count the posts of middle-aged CF members with zero sailing experience who say, "I've decided I want to circumnavigate when I retire in three years, what kind of boat should I buy?"

Abby's been sailing with her family constantly since infancy. If she's 17 years old, you could say she has at least 10 years of extremely solid sailing experience. I'd rather be on a boat with her than most of the posters in this forum.

I'm sure her parents thought long and hard about this, were confident in Abby's abilities, and made the decision to support their child's dreams.
True. Knowledge and experience are irrespective of age. Wisdom comes with knowledge and experience, NOT age.

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Our children? I would like to know how many forum members would do the Southern Ocean in June! Not me!!! There is a reason there wasn't a ship within 400 miles of Wild Eyes when she got in trouble.
As you can tell by the father's or the planners choice of route, sometimes wisdom is lacking even with knowledge and experience (and age). But the question is had either her planner or father (or whoever) ever been to or realized how the Southern Ocean is this time of year? Evidently, something was lacking somewhere.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:56   #64
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I am very glad to hear she is OK and awaiting rescue.
As for the risk, I don't think it was wise for her to go alone, but I would say the same of an adult. Ultimately it was a decision that had to be made by the people involved - herself and her family.
The boy who recently summited Everest is not really the best analogy - he has had a team with him on all of his climbs, one member of which is his father, a certified EMT. That's not quite the same as doing it all alone. (His mother, although they are divorced and she's not climbing with the team, seems to be supportive of his endeavors.) Should they be prohibited from allowing their son to do this, even though he is accompanied by his parent and other experienced climbers the whole way?
What does that say about people who sail away with their kids? Someday that may be us - should be be stopped? Or at least told not to take them anywhere deemed "too dangerous" - Southern Ocean, anywhere near Somalia? Surely most here don't think we should be legally prevented from that life choice (but many out of the population overall probably do).
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:00   #65
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Abby's been sailing with her family constantly since infancy. If she's 17 years old, you could say she has at least 10 years of extremely solid sailing experience. I'd rather be on a boat with her than most of the posters in this forum.
I agree with the above quote (assuming most posters have less experience than Abby). However, If Abby had 10 solid years of looking after babies, I still wouldn't want her to become a mother at 16 even though she may (I said "may" - don't jump down my throat on this) be better at it than most posters. There are some things where that magic mix of age/experience/wisdom gives you the upper hand. Would I sail with Abby - sure - Southern Ocean in June - no way. I wouldn't even send my kids with her! I do accept that there are some remarkable children who are exceptionally/gifted, mature (what-have-you). I accept that this experience is remarkable. But couldn't it wait? I think the real point (apart from male/female) is the age. Any parent is free to screw up their kids in whatever way they want to (and we all do - its a matter of degree). I hope the glory/money/fame is worth it. If your kid dies would any parent still say "well she died doing what she loves" or "it was worth it" (or words to that effect)? Not at 16...Cheers,
Bill
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:05   #66
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I tend to agree with Jetexas. However, I also agree that, in general, parents who help their teenage children undertake this kind of voyage display questionable judgment - well worthy of debate in places like CF. I also agree that the newly fashionable interest in being the "youngest" to do this is profoundly perilous. Sooner or later someone will help a totally unqualified teenager set off on a reckless solo, nonstop, unassisted circumnavigation. However, and ironically, Abby and Jessica are, if anything, the exceptions which prove the rule. They are both highly skilled, experienced, and as well or better qualified than most sailors who attempt this kind of circumnavigation.

In my view, Abby’s parents made two mistakes:

1. They let her 17 year old brother do it.

After that they were doomed. No parent can long withstand the "Well, you let my brother do it" argument. So, they mounted a now fashionable kind of "campaign" to provide her the best possible equipment. I have no problem with the profit motive. This has always been part of solo circumnavigating. Joshua Slocom lined up his book deal before he left.

2. They chose the wrong boat and/or inadequately prepared it.

Yes, Wild Eyes is a proven open ocean racer which has already circumnavigated in "legs." However, it is a high tech, complex, racing machine and probably quite different from the boats Abby usually sailed. More importantly, they had problems with this boat from the first day they sailed her in Rhode Island. Despite the refit by a small army of experts in California, the whole thing was a rush job, and they never got it completely right.

In contrast, Jessica sailed a 26 old example of a cruising boat with a proven solo circumnavigation history. The refit was prolonged and thorough. Eg. The boat was originally built with the extra strong mast version. Nevertheless, the mast was replaced with a custom spar and rigging. Through 7 knockdowns including a complete capsize, the mast/rig proved to be unbreakable.

We still don’t know the circumstances of Abby’s dismasting. We don’t have her account, and hers is the only account we will ever have. Unlike many here I do not consider knockdowns to be a automatic sign of poor seamanship. Despite modern weather routing, if you spend months solo sailing some of the most remote and dangerous seas in the world, you may well encounter overwhelming conditions in which a knockdown/capsize is inevitable. In his various solo voyages Bernard Moitessier was knocked down several times and his boat was wrecked off Cabo San Lucas.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:06   #67
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Abby's been sailing with her family constantly since infancy. If she's 17 years old, you could say she has at least 10 years of extremely solid sailing experience. I'd rather be on a boat with her than most of the posters in this forum.
I agree with the above quote (assuming most posters have less experience than Abby). However, If Abby had 10 solid years of looking after babies, I still wouldn't want her to become a mother at 16 even though she may (I said "may" - don't jump down my throat on this) be better at it than most posters. There are some things where that magic mix of age/experience/wisdom gives you the upper hand. Would I sail with Abby - sure - Southern Ocean in June - no way. I wouldn't even send my kids with her! I do accept that there are some remarkable children who are exceptionally/gifted, mature (what-have-you). I accept that this experience is remarkable. But couldn't it wait? I think the real point (apart from male/female) is the age. Any parent is free to screw up their kids in whatever way they want to (and we all do - its a matter of degree). I hope the glory/money/fame is worth it. If your kid dies would any parent still say "well she died doing what she loves" or "it was worth it" (or words to that effect)? Not at 16... I'm glad she's 'ok' and I hope there's never any more reason to be worried about children having their lives placed in such high peril. Cheers,
Bill
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:16   #68
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Words in another less mannerly forum than this one sent me checking to see if the young lady was okay. I did not plan to log in, or comment.

I fought in the ring. It has a cost, but it also has a benefit. Those that have not been there do not, and never will, understand why men try to beat each other to death for several rounds, and then run to embrace each other when it is over.
I taught my son's to fight as they would allow, and one of them went to nationals, in a sport where the main idea was to kick each other in the head, at least if you are looking from the outside in. Many do not understand that either.
Luckily, she is okay, as are my son's. She has some more mileage to use in the wisdom generator, and hopefully she returns, undiminished, and continues on with becoming who she will be.
I doubt this experience will hold her back in life.
As for the morality/wisdom/rightness question. I leave such to powers greater than me.
And yet, I will pose a statement of fact as my last offering.
When I was running a large hunting farm, with lots of visitors, one thing became very clear over time. Every year, fewer and fewer young American's are willing or able to climb a 15 foot ladder and sit in a stand 15 feet above the ground at all. They are incapable of climbing the ladder because of fear.
Have a beautiful day.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:43   #69
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Every year, fewer and fewer young American's are willing or able to climb a 15 foot ladder and sit in a stand 15 feet above the ground at all. They are incapable of climbing the ladder because of fear.
Have a beautiful day.
This part made me smile.
I love the water, the wilderness, and I will climb almost anything. Trees, mountains, hanging off the side of a cliff supported by less-than-an-inch-thick rope - no problem. But I am basically terrified of ladders!
I can get up and down them well enough if I decide I have to, and if they are bolted on so they can't move then no problem. But if there is any other option, often even if it might actually be harder, I'll take it.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:08   #70
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.
The age of consent is 16 in all states and in Queensland consent for anal sex is 18.

I have a lot of friends from Queensland so the temptation for comment would be irresistable were it not for the nagging suspicion that California would have a similar law.

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:19   #71
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The age of consent is 16 in all states and in Queensland consent for anal sex is 18.
I guess folks celebrate surviving an event like this in different ways..........
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:26   #72
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I looked up the specs on her Open 40

7407 lb displacement

In other words just a bit more than a Triton 28 or a bit less than half a Cal 40.

I understand that composite construction will give you a significant weight advantage, but that is taking it to the extreme for offshore sailing and especially for southern ocean sailing.

The issue here is not just strength of construction but more importantly the effect of lighter constuction on roll moment of inertia and capsize resistance.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:27   #73
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I have a lot of friends from Queensland so the temptation for comment would be irresistable were it not for the nagging suspicion that California would have a similar law.

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16 'll getcha 20 in California...
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:34   #74
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I don't recall reading a similar thread when Abby's brother — who was the same age at the time — did his record-breaking circumnavigation. Could it be that because this child's a girl that there's now concern of sending children to sea? Just wondering.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:50   #75
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I don't recall reading a similar thread when Abby's brother — who was the same age at the time — did his record-breaking circumnavigation. Could it be that because this child's a girl that there's now concern of sending children to sea? Just wondering.
I suspect that if HE had pressed the button then we would be talking about him instead of Abby. As long as these things go well it is hard to get any traction in discussing them because people say "Of course it's safe - they all make round safely". It is only when somebody doesn't make it that the discussion starts.

Abby's "crime" was not being female. It was being unlucky enough to be the one who had to press the button. I do not doubt that she did the right thing.
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