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Old 11-06-2010, 17:53   #121
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Gord, I don't know who's crazier, the Sunderlands or Gary Jobson, the president of U.S. Sailing, who per the NPR article said:

"it might be time to require rescue insurance for sailors who put themselves in unnecessarily dangerous situations, such as solo circumnavigations."
Wow, Gary really said that? I really respect the guy, so maybe I'm reading it out of context. People need to understand that not everything is insurable - they get this annoying notion that just because they want something, like being financially covered for taking unreasonable risks, that they are entitled to it. Yet surely Gary knows that she's breaking all sorts of Colregs by sailing single-handed? People know about the state laws that set up pools for the high risk automobile drivers [who really should not be on the road, but have to be so they can hold a job] so they think the same thing applies to marine insurance. But luckily it doesn't, since it falls under maritime law. If insurance companies were required to cover single handers, rates would go up and we'd be encouraging more high risk activities. I'm all for girl power and pushing the limits, just not at my and my fellow cruiser's expense.
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Old 11-06-2010, 17:55   #122
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But was a whole lot less likely to happen at another time of year.
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Old 11-06-2010, 18:09   #123
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Have you ever had a blow out on your car?...... Is that blow-out a failure of the driver?? In some cases, the answer would be yes, if the tires were lacking, preparation was poor or the driver was careless..this clearly was not the case here.

Yes.....I live in a world that very few that post on this forum have ever known. Therefore I would expect few to understand what really transpired here.

BTW......how many miles have you logged in the Southern Ocean? My guess would be....none.....

Abby has failed at nothing IMO. A lot of circumstances came together (none of which any of us know about....I have probably a better perspective than most here) to cause the entire trip to fall short of the ultimate goal. However, Abby has done what very few people on this planet have ever done and she did at 16-years-old.....simply amazing. Had her equipment not failed, there is little doubt that her goal would have been complete. An incomplete mission is not always a failure.
Doesn't failue have to be judged by the intended objective? If the objective was to finish without harm AND break a record she failed - plain and simple. No shame in it.

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Old 11-06-2010, 18:31   #124
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AMEN -- and thank you -- Jetexas for the quoted post below. It is by far the best and most sensible post yet in this thread.

For a comparison in thought, here's my story. My son died needlessly and quite unceremoniously from a drug overdose at age 26. For sure, I wish he were still alive, but oh how I wish he had died instead doing something that was challenging, educating, and growing him into a young man who might have passed on his "learned and experienced" wisdom for others to follow - even if he had been "only" 16.

For those of you who insist on the safe side of this issue, where would we be today as a culture if our predecessors had taken the same mindset? I mean, even Christopher Columbus was only 14 when he started working on a boat far far away from his parents!! Instead of denigrating this girl and her parents, we should be applauding them for looking fear in face and putting adversity in its place.

Certainly, we all know grown adults who we scoff at for their place in life because - for the life of them - they can't even figure out top from bottom or forward from aft. This 16-year-old (and her parents) are not the ones we should be scoffing at.

I can't wait to see more young people challenge the world - it is perhaps among the biggest things this society is missing now-a-days.

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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.
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Old 11-06-2010, 18:50   #125
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At least (for the moment?) her father seems to have a good attitude about the end to the voyage?
"It's bittersweet. We've got our Abigail back, but the quest will be over," Laurence Sunderland told ABC Radio from his home in California on Friday just moments after she was found.

"Knowing she's alive and well means far more to me than any sailing record."

See @ http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/7384435/police-believe-sailors-yacht-is-afloat/
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Old 11-06-2010, 19:11   #126
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Was Abby underprepared and too inexperienced? Yes I think so, and there are plenty of articles that have been saying that from the outset, noting the choice of boat, rushed preparation to meet the age deadline etc.

Comparing Jessica's and Abby's blogs, they seemed equally confidant, but Abby's confidence always struck me as gung ho rather than calm experience. Jessica talked a lot about risk management and the importance of meticulous preparation, boasting "I can actually claim to have left the safety of the cockpit in over 35 knots of wind only once" whereas Abby regaled us with tales of having to climb the mast at night, or hanging off the front of the boat to grab the detached bowsprit in rough seas. Abby seemed in search of excitement, Jessica seemed to know it would find her whether she looked for it or not.

Having said all that, I wouldn't deny Abby her solo RTW attempt. But as well as better preparation etc., I think heading for the Southern Ocean at this time of year was a mistake. On the main Abby thread when she was still in Cape Town I said she was in a fix, and that she would probably be forced to go north of Australia. Why did she persevere with the southern route?

Turning to other circumnavigators, a couple of people have said why doesn't she follow Alessandrodi Benedetto's example and sail under a jury rig. Well I am under the impression that he had half a mast left and was able to adapt his sails accordingly. Abby has no mast left standing that I can see from the photo.

Then there is the implications for Laura Dekker and her planned voyage. But Laura Dekker is not planning a Great Capes voyage, she will never have to face the Southern Ocean nor Cape Horn, as she is sensibly going the equatorial route (Portugal - Panama - N.Australia - Suez (or Cape Good Hope if pirates still a problem)), and allowing herself 2 years to do it. Moreover her boat Guppy has two engines and two masts.

Finally what about God? GordMay quotes Abby's parents as saying "It's not really in her hands. It's not really in our hands. It's in the Lord's hands". Elsewhere people have noted that trust in god is no substitute for adequate preparation. It's interesting to note that although many of her commenters frequently quoted the bible and prayed for her, Jessica Watson herself did not once mention god or religion AFAIK, which leads me to suspect she may be an athiest. If so, and if these things really are in God's hands, my conclusion is that God's message in all of this to sailors everywhere is "Stop relying on me you bozos!"
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Old 11-06-2010, 19:45   #127
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My only contention is that what Abby, if what Abby is doing is irresponsible then most of the 100,000 cruising vessels in the world are irresponsible.


In my opinion (which means little)
Kanani, the first part of this quote is simply CRAP. The second part I agree with totally.
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Old 11-06-2010, 19:49   #128
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Finally what about God? GordMay quotes Abby's parents as saying "It's not really in her hands. It's not really in our hands. It's in the Lord's hands". Elsewhere people have noted that trust in god is no substitute for adequate preparation. It's interesting to note that although many of her commenters frequently quoted the bible and prayed for her, Jessica Watson herself did not once mention god or religion AFAIK, which leads me to suspect she may be an athiest. If so, and if these things really are in God's hands, my conclusion is that God's message in all of this to sailors everywhere is "Stop relying on me you bozos!"
I too found Gord's revelation about the Sunderlands disturbing. Then I figured it was just born again Christian rhetoric that you "have to say." However, believing that God is on your side in the pursuit of some frivolously momentous but dangerous adventure, only enhances the danger.

OTOH, I'm not good with God stuff. We all know whose side He was on when the Red Sox came from behind to beat the Yankees and went on to win the World Series in 2004.
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Old 11-06-2010, 19:50   #129
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Finally what about God? GordMay quotes Abby's parents as saying "It's not really in her hands. It's not really in our hands. It's in the Lord's hands".
And the Lord sayeth "I giveth you "World Cruising Routes" by Jimmy Cornell, and it is good.". "He who shall not abide, shall not have a pleasant ride..." Or something like that...
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Old 11-06-2010, 20:27   #130
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Kanani, the first part of this quote is simply CRAP. The second part I agree with totally.
How many miles have you logged in the Southern Ocean?

This young lady has far more experience than most cruisers out there. I have seen rescues from vessels that should never have left shore. New Zealand is so fed up with paying for rescuing cruizing yachts that they have tried for years to figure out a way to tax them or prevent them from sailing in their waters with vessels that aren't safe.

I forgot what a bunch of "arm chair critics" were on this forum. I guess that's why I stopped posting. So many opinions from people that have so little experience.....

Until you've been there or have all the facts, it is unfair to be critical.
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Old 11-06-2010, 20:40   #131
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How many miles have you logged in the Southern Ocean?

This young lady has far more experience than most cruisers out there. I have seen rescues from vessels that should never have left shore. New Zealand is so fed up with paying for rescuing cruizing yachts that they have tried for years to figure out a way to tax them or prevent them from sailing in their waters with vessels that aren't safe.

I forgot what a bunch of "arm chair critics" were on this forum. I guess that's why I stopped posting. So many opinions from people that have so little experience.....

Until you've been there or have all the facts, it is unfair to be critical.
Here's one that agrees with you.
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Old 11-06-2010, 20:48   #132
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My only contention is that what Abby, if what Abby is doing is irresponsible then most of the 100,000 cruising vessels in the world are irresponsible.
In answer to your question, I HAVE NO MILES LOGGED IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN WHAT-SO-EVER. As a matter of fact, I only have around 7000 blue water miles logged at all...all in the Atlantic. None of this has anything to do with the fact that I consider the above quote to be total crap and a dis-service to every cruiser on this forum. My opinion comes from being able to read and understand things like PILOT CHARTS, WORLD CRUISING ROUTES, and OCEAN PASSAGES OF THE WORLD. These publications are all based on statistics and facts gleaned from centuries of ocean travel. The sea has not changed, and the Southern Ocean is not the place for a 16 year old in a race boat in June. Your post contradicts EVERYTHING sensible sailors know of this ocean at this time of year, and insults cruisers everywhere that know how to properly plan a passage. You want to impress me with your superior knowledge? Send your own kid to the Southern Ocean in June! Start saving for the rescue as soon as you can...
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Old 11-06-2010, 21:01   #133
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Kanani, the first part of this quote is simply CRAP. The second part I agree with totally.
You may think its crap, but I'd bet a little research would show a lot more money is spent on rescues of everyday cruisers than on the occasional round the world racer. Just a guess though.
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Old 11-06-2010, 21:03   #134
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In answer to your question, I HAVE NO MILES LOGGED IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN WHAT-SO-EVER. As a matter of fact, I only have around 7000 blue water miles logged at all...all in the Atlantic. None of this has anything to do with the fact that I consider the above quote to be total crap. My opinion comes from being able to read and understand things like PILOT CHARTS, WORLD CRUISING ROUTES, and OCEAN PASSAGES OF THE WORLD. These publications are all based on statistics and facts gleaned from centuries of ocean travel. The sea has not changed, and the Southern Ocean is not the place for a 16 year old in a race boat in June. Your post contradicts EVERYTHING sensible sailors know of this ocean at this time of year, and insults cruisers everywhere that know how to properly plan a passage. You want to impress me with your superior knowledge? Send your own kid to the Southern Ocean in June! Start saving for the rescue as soon as you can...
I will simply state that you fall way into the category of inexperienced pendents..

I will reserve judgment on whether she should have been there or not. That's what experienced people do.

How dare you criticize a prudent sailor that successfully rounded Cape Horn "the wrong way" in the middle of winter without issue. Where is your head?

I have sailed the Southern Ocean many times (logging over 12,000NM and over 100,000 miles total) including a trip to Antarctica. Knowing those waters better than most of the people on Earth, I stand in awe of Abby's accomplishment.

Was she pushing the envelope too far? I don't know but that's what winners do.....losers stay in port. What I just learned about 10 minutes ago was that the storm that took out her mast had sustained winds of 70Kts with higher gusts. I may have liked to have seen her ride that one out on a parachute sea anchor. However, I was not involved in the planning or privy to the strategy or the capabilities of that vessel. It's my understanding (which may be wrong) that the vessel was capable of speeds of 20kts. This allows for options that you and I have never even conceived much less thoroughly analyzed. I'm not second guessing the planners or Skipper of this voyage.
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Old 11-06-2010, 21:07   #135
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I have sailed the Southern Ocean many times (logging over 12,000NM and over 100,000 miles total) including a trip to Antarctica. Knowing those waters better than most of the people on Earth, I stand in awe of Abby's accomplishment.
Dude, there is a fishing boat currently steaming as fast as possible toward her to save her ass...it is quite possible that she could die without this extraction. What part of this are you not getting?
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