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Old 29-08-2009, 23:48   #91
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Hi Nick…..I have lived in Holland (Aalsmeer) for a few years and I am a big fan of the Dutch. They are an incredible seafaring nation of survivors with a can do attitude.

I don’t know the details, yet the mother’s silence and the father’s past history of allowing his daughter to flaunt British travel rules speaks volumes about separated parents, who have divided issues and a child that is searching for peace.

I am sure, somewhere out there exists an 8 year old who can deliver the goods, but what does it say about our priorities as “parents”, if we do not draw a line in the sand and simply say:

“I know you can do it, but just wait a few more years, to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, rather than a publicity stunt”
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Old 30-08-2009, 14:07   #92
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Hi Nick…..I have lived in Holland (Aalsmeer) for a few years and I am a big fan of the Dutch. They are an incredible seafaring nation of survivors with a can do attitude.

I don’t know the details, yet the mother’s silence and the father’s past history of allowing his daughter to flaunt British travel rules speaks volumes about separated parents, who have divided issues and a child that is searching for peace.

I am sure, somewhere out there exists an 8 year old who can deliver the goods, but what does it say about our priorities as “parents”, if we do not draw a line in the sand and simply say:

“I know you can do it, but just wait a few more years, to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, rather than a publicity stunt”

I am not really sure if she really could deliver the goods.

However: I was astonished when joining a sailing companion I saw his granddaughter 9 y.o. taking over command of the ship, a 37' heavy steel ketch.
She managed to set sail, adjust and taking over the wheel.
With dead earnest face she sailed the boat at Bft 6 on a sneaky water called IJsselmeer, (the North part).
She is not encouraged, nor is she pushed. But she knows.

If she could sail at her own discretion, she could easily follow Laura, Abby or Jessica.
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Old 30-08-2009, 14:12   #93
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Old 30-08-2009, 15:49   #94
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Mac,

Yes, the IJsselmeer is one of the better "training grounds" in Holland. The only easy thing about it is that there's no current and tides ;-)

When I was about 18, I trained 6-10 year old Dutch girls sailing Optimist and Laser after that. Some of them drop out but at least 80% ended up racing the Laser, 420 etc. and it's a familiar sight when Dutch girls bring Olympic gold back home. The parents of all of them have their sailboat and they sail that too of course (finding it somewhat boring compared to their own boat).

There's two groups of people in Holland, like everywhere else: sailors and landlubbers. The difference is that the group of sailors in Holland is much bigger and they spend all their time on the water.... there's enough of it. It's a rare occasion that you enter a bay or marina in the cruising grounds (on and off the beaten path) and there's no Dutch boat there. But there's only 16 million Dutch people in total, not even the same as a single big city in the US.

Later, we met cruisers with kids who were born aboard and never lived ashore. These kids are different, sailing is like breathing for them, they don't even have to think about what to do (and I'm thinking of a Canadian family here so it doesn't matter which passport they have ;-)

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 31-08-2009, 22:08   #95
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There are some excellent posts going on now about offshore psychology, which underlines my point that mental toughness requires a bagful of life experiences and technical knowledge to help carry you thru your failures.

The issue is not about whether a 9 or 13 year old CAN do a solo circumnavigation, but whether parents or society as guardians should allow them to be put at real risk, with no immediate support for the sake of some stupid competitive bragging rights.

The Ijsselmeer is a nasty piece, but you cannot compare the short term sailing (less than 240Hrs with others on board) to long term challenges that will wear down the boat and the solo sailor, to the point of being severely tested.

I just have to ask myself…Why would a parent willingly agree to risk putting their child ALONE into these conditions?



Perhaps you need a better vantage point…


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Old 03-09-2009, 08:25   #96
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Until You've been there, well, those who haven't can't...

Imagine how ugly It Can Get "out there, beyond the horizon".
Here are well equipped folks on a well equipped vessel completely prepared & making gr8 time in just plain ugly (& the point is they are prepared, it's daylight, And IT IS "THEY")


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