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Old 17-06-2010, 17:57   #46
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
Hmmm . . . if you go back enough "great, greats," it could well be that her ancestor indeed came to Australia aboard a sailing vessel . . . one of the prison ships the British used to transport their incorrigible criminals to the other side of the planet.

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Actually both sides of Jessica's ancestry arrived in Australia only a few short years before she was born. And they arrived from New Zealand. I seem to recall a New Zealand Prime Minister publicly congratulating all those Kiwis who were flocking across the Tasman at that time for playing their part in raising the average IQ of both countries...

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Old 17-06-2010, 18:26   #47
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Actually both sides of Jessica's ancestry arrived in Australia only a few short years before she was born. And they arrived from New Zealand. I seem to recall a New Zealand Prime Minister publicly congratulating all those Kiwis who were flocking across the Tasman at that time for playing their part in raising the average IQ of both countries...

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha . . . good one, paradix!

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Old 17-06-2010, 20:06   #48
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Actually both sides of Jessica's ancestry arrived in Australia only a few short years before she was born. And they arrived from New Zealand. I seem to recall a New Zealand Prime Minister publicly congratulating all those Kiwis who were flocking across the Tasman at that time for playing their part in raising the average IQ of both countries...

not sure what you mean about Kiwis flocking
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Old 18-06-2010, 15:36   #49
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The Boat

What do people think of Laura's choice of a Jeanneau Gin Fizz? It has a reputation as a solid RTW cruiser, but it's also said that the cockpit is not very good for single handed use, being rather big. It does look really nice though, a sort of traditional sailing boat look. She's using a Windpilot windvane I believe.

Two masted ketch with centre cockpit, fore and aft cabins
LOA 11.4m (37 ft)
Waterline: 9.5m (30 ft)
Beam 3.7m (12 ft)
Draft 1.9m (6 ft)
Displaces: 7000kg

Performance Indicators
Displacement/Length ratio: 255
Comfort: 25.0
Capsize: 1.98
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Old 18-06-2010, 16:09   #50
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Not quite what I meant..... Seriously though, what would the authorities do if her parents went away for 3 or 4 months and left her to live in their house completely alone, unattended by adults with enough money to pay the bills? Suppose they left her is a house where she had to fix things every few days or where some of the things (electric, gas, etc) could kill her. What would happen? It's not like she does not have experience of living in a house. She's done it since babyhood.

We all know what would happen. Child services would put her in care and her parents would be arrested on their return for child neglect. If she had been injured in their absence they might be charged with something more serious.
OK - here's the plan. Mama & Daddy need some time away from the kid. They will line up auto-payments on all the bills...sign sponsors to provide some income...install hidden cameras throughout the house...deal for a reality show to use the footage...make sure Kiddo's bicycle & helmet are up to spec --- and head off for a summer in Europe! They get a vacation, and will of course be on-call by cell phone at all times if Kiddo needs "advisors", and the kid gets the "experience of a lifetime"!
I'll bet you could find a network to take it on and help you get around CPS.
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Old 18-06-2010, 19:40   #51
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Laura Dekker's blog mentions sailing across the North Sea to the UK and back last weekend prior to the court hearing, babelfish has managed a terrble English translation of it (her own English pages don't have this entry yet).

In short, she had her first ever dolphin escort, then was forced to use her iron topsail to get out of a shipping lane only for the prop to become tangled in a stray fishing net. In the end she had to dive in and cut it free.

Back home, she said she's baffled as to why they wanted to extend her supervision order by a couple of months as she says she's completed all 14 tasks they set her.

I see the judge said "Not enough attention has been paid to the court's concerns for her social-emotional and identity development" ... in other words, she's a loner. But if she wasn't she'd hardly be planning a solo circumnavigation! Is the court just indulging in social engineering?

It's my guess that the authorities didn't want to be seen to be ok'ing her voyage (as per slomotions' "they unwittingly set themselves up as ratification bodies" comment) when Abby Sunderland's epic fail was still in the headlines. The only thing that tends to give me pause for thought is that Laura seems to rely on her engine a lot, maybe it's just a poor translation but it reads like she uses it whenever she has to travel upwind. Or maybe she's just been unlucky with the weather conditions.
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Old 19-06-2010, 03:11   #52
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Laura Dekker's blog mentions sailing across the North Sea to the UK and back last weekend prior to the court hearing, babelfish has managed a terrble English translation of it (

In short, she had her first ever dolphin escort, then was forced to use her iron topsail to get out of a shipping lane only for the prop to become tangled in a stray fishing net. In the end she had to dive in and cut it free.

.
I think Google is a better translation tool, although not perfect. Google Översätt

Abby had to climb the mast in a gale to solve an acute problem, and now Laura had to swim to clean the propeller. Such things are dangerous for solo sailors, and such things worries me regarding the young sailors. Now I shall not dismiss her just because of the number 14, but allow her to show some skill and good judgement. I hope she did call home for advice before doing the swim.
I can imagine that male middle-aged solo circumnavigators don't call home for this type of advice, since they know best themselves.
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Old 20-06-2010, 17:21   #53
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The problem with child services intervention is:
a. They are often clueless and incompetent.
There's a disturbing confirmation of this picked up by a Sail World article on the court case: with their delaying tactics, the child protection authorities could actually endanger her by making her miss her optimum weather window for crossing the Atlantic.
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Old 21-06-2010, 09:03   #54
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There's a disturbing confirmation of this picked up by a Sail World article on the court case: with their delaying tactics, the child protection authorities could actually endanger her by making her miss her optimum weather window for crossing the Atlantic.
But ... if she just wants to DO it, not trying to set a speed record, then she doesn't have to make THAT window. If she is delayed, she can stay home until the next one. Once winter storm season is past, she can go ahead. (If she goes then anyway, that says something about the motivations.) Yeah, it's a bureaucratic hassle (I guess that's kind of redundant), but better to get out there without having to worry that they're coming after her, isn't it? They already did that once...
I know she wants to be the youngest, but the article says she's planning a 2-year trip with stops along the way. So it seems like she's got some margin of error for her time limit there - able to speed it up a bit if needed, but still enough wiggle room to account for bad weather or other problems.

Having had plenty of foster kids and "home problems" in my classes when I was teaching, I'm not going to say anything bad about social services.
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Old 21-06-2010, 13:12   #55
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It is ironic that the Dekkers' basic plan was to do this the "right" way. It was never intended to be a nonstop unassisted circumnavigation per jessica watson or Abby Sunderland. It was always supposed to be a cruise, probably with Daddy meeting her at various ports.

No, she doesn't "have to" go for the age "record." But if the end result of intervention is that Laura has to and does undertake a Jessica Watson style voyage in order to get it, I think the Evil Dutch Empire will bear some responsibility.
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Old 26-06-2010, 10:36   #56
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Would it be legal to have the kid in one boat and the parents nearby on another boat? I was thinking that way even an infant could set the record with enough electronics controlling the boat. For an infant it is understandable that the parents would need to be nearby (at least at every port) it would be too cruel to send it out alone.
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Old 26-06-2010, 11:11   #57
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Any parent who allows children, emphasis on the word children, such as jessica and abby to 'circumnavigate' in the manner they did needs to have thier parenting card recalled. I reared 3 children aboard, the last one came aboard 28 hrs post birth. It is not like I am an armchair sailor. I am, however, a responsible parent. My dtr, who, like me sails has said the same thing... and she was very adventurous at that age.
Another point, in the current climate, a traditional circumnavigation for a female in the Indian ocean is just simply asking for problems. Perhaps some forget what Islam thinks of women without male "supervision". I know my comments are probably going to create a sh$$storm, to be honest, I am not the only person I know, who sails, and is a parent who has had the same opinion. All three of the young women have been discussed at length over drinks numerous times in my past and current marina. The consensus is that the parents need to be parents and stop them from foolhardy actions...

With regard to Abby, it ended excatly like I expected it to.. at least she was able to stay on her boat and get rescued instead of either a lifeboat or lifevest in the water.
YMMV
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Old 26-06-2010, 11:30   #58
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I think Gord is trying to make a point by putting up these child circumnavigation threads. There must be some psychlogical connection bridging our youthful dreams and our adult aspirations. There might be an opera or a novel in here somewhere.

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Old 26-06-2010, 12:22   #59
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Would it be legal to have the kid in one boat and the parents nearby on another boat?
Bearing in mind that there is no "official" record, the answer is YES. When Mike Perham became the youngest to solo across the Atlantic at 14, his father was aboard an escort vessel.

The youngest to solo RTW "record" does not require that you do so nonstop unassisted. When Mike did it he made several stops; he used the Panama Canal; and in a boat similar to Abby's but bigger, he was knocked down and experienced similar trip stopping autopilot problems.
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Old 26-06-2010, 12:47   #60
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I think Gord is trying to make a point by putting up these child circumnavigation threads ...
I both report, and less often, editorialize.
I try very hard not to conflate my opinion with news; and especially try not to pollute news with my opinion.

In this case, I was merely reporting news of possible interest to cruisers.
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