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Old 24-08-2009, 22:12   #46
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ALONE

There have always been and still are child workers,sailors and soldiers (and the soldiers do kill people) , that doesn't make it correct in my thinking. But these children are not alone. I don't agree with a 13 year old being alone for the legnth of time and conditions that will have to be endured. Would you submit a 13 year old child to 6 months solitary confinement?
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Old 24-08-2009, 22:34   #47
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Would you submit a 13 year old child to 6 months solitary confinement?
I hope when I make a solo passage its more fun than staring at a wall.
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Old 24-08-2009, 22:35   #48
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This could be the most dangerous part. She must be a pretty competent sailor if the parents are on board, and sailing in the north sea is not bad for training grounds.

These 'non-sailing dangers' are much more difficult to prepare for.
+2 on this point. And a mature 13-year old?? Imagine your 13-year old daughter traveling around the world for almost a year, alone, in foreign lands. Oh yeah, then imagine her sailing in the ocean, all alone, from point-to-point for sometimes weeks at a time, in all seas and all conditions....all alone. I'd never be able to live with myself if something happened to her. We are all proud of our kids, but I can't imagine what these parents are thinking.

I just hope this doesn't happen, and if it does, she comes out alright.

I won't be cheering for her, but if I was religious I'd be praying for her. There's the difference right there.
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Old 24-08-2009, 23:44   #49
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I'm just wondering what the point of letting a 13 year old do it in the first place. Was it her idea created from her own will or the Parents wanting a feather in there cap. In my humble opinion this is going to create a circumnavigation age war. When she has completed her trip (and I hope to God she does safely), then it will be a 12 year old, then 11. Who knows what these people won't do for attention.
Yet I can fully understand an elderly person, feeble and physically worn doing the same thing. They have lived a full life, have always loved the sea and wanted to live out their last days doing what they love. But a 13 year old! It's dangerous enough letting them play just down the street!
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Old 25-08-2009, 01:13   #50
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Update on Laura

The Dutch court prosponed her judgement until next Friday. Meanwhile Laura did a request to delete her from the Dutch administration and using an option her triple passport (Dutch, German, New-Zealand) gives her and to emigrate to the country where she was born during the circumnavigation with her parents : New-Zealand.
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Old 25-08-2009, 01:23   #51
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The Kiwis are strict on maritime safety, so they might not agree to her sailing aone either.
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Old 25-08-2009, 06:37   #52
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We just made a three year leap from debating Zacks Sunderlands sister trying this stunt at 16 to this girl at 13 within a weeks time. I guess that will now be the standard to beat. I can't wait till next week when we get to dicuss the moral attributes of the Columbian parents that are preparing their 10 yr old for a solo circumnavigation. We'll have to wait and see. Until then I think I go over to my neighbors whose 7 year old is getting ready for school. I'll tell her she can borrow my boat any time she wants to help her achive her goals this year, because I want to be a responsible adult.... and get in on the action.
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Old 25-08-2009, 07:09   #53
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Reading all your pro's and dont's I have meanwhile a pretty picture of the situation. Initially Laura played an open card game and asked the particular officer whose tas it is to force the compulsory education (till min. 18) and who nayed it. Other governmetal organisations were not that negative and allowed her to go.
Subsequently the general public got hold of her story and there the jamble began.
Due to the enormous negative response of the mob, the government now backs on track and forced Laura to seek professional legal help.
Yesterday there was a short inquiry and the particular judge handling her case will com to a ruling on Friday next.

Laura keeps 3 nationalities: 1) New Zealand - 2) Dutch and 3) German.

Laura was born during the 7 years circumnavigation of her parents, sailed solo on the Waddenzee at 10 and crossed the Northsea just 13 solo.

She insists to make this circumnavigation and will do such in a Hurley 800, a strong and sturdy boat.

Initially I was mordicus against, but having read the many replies and judgement of highly proficient sailors I know quite well, I slowly tacked to her side - I have a natural weakness for underdogs.

There are kids and kids. Many kids even younger than Laura, are alone in the world only responsible to themselves. Living in slums, shooting, begging - call it whatever.
She is determined to do this. With a determination that is of a different kind than of those wishing something.
She will be escorted to the Panama-canal by the ARC fleet and than she will make many stops along the way.
If she comes into any kind of danger or if she clearly cannot cope - she can break off. But at least she have tried.
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Old 25-08-2009, 07:24   #54
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.....but...but...there are rules concerning compulsory education and the dutch organization for the protection of children (Kinderbescherming) brought this case to court and the judge will decide today to let her go or not.
I'll address this issue about education:

As someone who works in education, I place a high value on education. However, I find the idea that sailing around the world will stifle one's learning opportunities to be quite laughable. In my opinion, experiential learning is the most effective learning tool there is.
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Old 25-08-2009, 07:33   #55
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We have a variety of ages for children/adults by government regulation. 21 for drinking (mature and responsible). You can serve and die for your country at 17 but not vote until 18. Drive at 16 (some provinces 15). They are arbitrary numbers.
As for danger, why not then eliminate most activities for children, they can all be dangerous: go carting, bicycling, motocross, playing football or hockey.
As for the education angle. So she might drop back a grade at the worst, a small sacrifice for the fantastic adventure she will have. But she will have a phenomenal accomplishment that can be her motivation to achieve whatever she wants in life.
Everyday we all wake up and face death. It is not of our choosing, we can take precautions but when it is our time, nothing will stop death. I am sure she knows the risks and is prepared to face them. Lets take someones dreams and stomp them flat, because some government official stamps a number on minimum age for accomplishment.
I am 54 and would I try this, not on your life, but I salute anyone willing to face these risks and give 100%. The only failure in life is NOT striving for your dreams and aspirations. We have become a nation/world of can't do this, can't do that....mediocrity rules supreme.
We stop those trying to accomplish great things under the guise of she is a child and we are concerned for her welfare, yet millions of children die from starvation, war, predators and we do nothing.
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Old 25-08-2009, 07:38   #56
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I strongly disagree with the solitary part.

Two years ago, I waked up completely deaf overnight. Completely cut off from ANY discussion and vocal communication. So I know what solitariness is first hand.
(Meanwhile I have had a brain-surgery and can hear again)

Today with all the sophisticated communications all arguments about "communication" and solitariness are void and of no value.
Young people are even more proficient with their modern equipment and there are plenty of possibilities keeping in visual and vocal touch of the outside world.

Her sole obstacles are just age and the public opinion.
The latter is of non-value.
The first is not.
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Old 25-08-2009, 08:43   #57
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Public opinion is of non-value? I suggest a re-thinking of that concept.
Public opinion in the free world has ended slavery, ended wars, ended the abilities of single minded despots from having their way, ended forced child labour, given rights to those that were denied those rights, governments change their leaders constantly based on public opinion. It has also set standards that we judge (yes judge) others by. Public opinion draws the perverbial line in the sand that says when "Enough is enough". What of the public opinion when some country who didn't agree with this stunt in the first place has to launch an all out search and rescue for this child? A search these oh so responsible modern aged parents are screaming for because the wonderful proficient modern equipment fails and they haven't heard from their baby in weeks?
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Old 25-08-2009, 09:01   #58
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I do not mean public opinion in general. My apologies for this misunderstanding.
I mean it in the sense of what an individual wants to accomplish and what other people see as justifiable or not.

BTW what ended slavery was not public opinion but politics. It was meant to cripple certain parts of the US and sofar I have seldom seen Governments bow for the public opinion unless the press joins in.
Let's not creep politics in the discussion, it's not helping sailing. Generally speaking you are right.
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Old 25-08-2009, 09:13   #59
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No child this age, regardless of her sailing experience, could be safe at sea and this doesn't even begin to depict the dangers she would face when entering any number of ports alone.
Forget about the sailing dangers - would anyone allow their child the wander around a foreign country by herself?

The entire concept is either a bad joke or a sad commentary on the parental skills of anyone in favor of this.
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Old 25-08-2009, 09:25   #60
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I do not mean public opinion in general. My apologies for this misunderstanding.
I mean it in the sense of what an individual wants to accomplish and what other people see as justifiable or not.

BTW what ended slavery was not public opinion but politics. It was meant to cripple certain parts of the US and sofar I have seldom seen Governments bow for the public opinion unless the press joins in.
Let's not creep politics in the discussion, it's not helping sailing. Generally speaking you are right.
Don't apologize, it was just my .02 cent rant and that's more than it's worth. I was considering slavery not just in America but throughout history and the world. I'm not always as clear as I should be.
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