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Old 28-09-2009, 07:24   #361
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salesman and PR firm?

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Proving that she's photogenic, and she and/or her parents and/or their public relations firm are good salesmen.


Actually this comment may have had merit if all the sponsors were girls fashion labels and the like but, some very respected marine names are included.

Some of the names in the sponsors list are Fleming, McIntyre, Yanmar,
Simrad and Musto. Would these companies benefit from being associated with a failed attempt? Sponsorship is given to winners not losers. Would you go out and buy a product associated with failures?

If I owned one of these respected marine firms and some foolish child came to me with a plan that spelled certain doom, would I support her? Would that make my firm look irresponsible by supporting a catastrophe.

I think these companies were convinced that she was a serious contender and expected a positive outcome and I for one would love to see her succeed.

For whatever reasons, the bulk carrier and Pink Lady did meet. The media circus plus trial by public opinion has started. It would be appropriate to allow the people who matter, those close to her, who love her and who know well her capacities to guide her on her adventure. If my daughter wanted to undertake this adventure I would only support her if I believed she was capable and had what it takes to successfully complete the adventure. If I thought she could not do it or it was a fool hardy idea I would not allow it to happen no matter what.

Having said that, I do have a daughter in a jungle somewhere in South America at present. She is doing what she believes in and is saving monkeys. The world is a better place because our youth does these weird things. Yes I think my daughter is crazy but I would never dream of not supporting her. Actually I was more worried when my other daughter went to London! That too is a scary destination. I would have preferred the relative safety of the open sea.

As for my opinion for what it’s worth... I blame the ship's captain. We sailors have to keep an extra vigilant sea watch because of the cowboys who sail the merchant fleet. They are paid professionals and are supposed to be there on watch. It is their responsibility to do their part too and keep a safe watch. If they had, they would have seen her and if unable to raise her on the radio five blasts of their horn would have woken the dead into action. I have witnessed the wrath of a responsible captain who woke a sailor on watch. He said something about sleeping whilst on watch displayed gross negligence and contempt towards his fellow crew. The rest of the crew sided with the captain and he was off loaded at the next port Fremantle after crossing from Capetown.

It is just possible that Jessica is not entirely or even partially at fault of poor seamanship... I am the first to admit that when sailing solo and been only a bit tired with no intension of nodding off the sleep I have sat down on my comfy settee with a hot freshly brewed coffee for just five minutes and much time later woken up when I never intended to go to sleep. The extended micro nap no?

Fabian
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Old 28-09-2009, 07:52   #362
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... I blame the ship's captain. We sailors have to keep an extra vigilant sea watch because of the cowboys who sail the merchant fleet. Fabian

Hi Fabian,

I realise you have a personal connection here and I know you are trying to relate it to your own daughter. But the point that is relevant is NOT this particular individual person. But the person who is next. And the person after that. Any "Youngest" record can be broken by someone younger.

So yes your daughter may get killed in the jungle by monkeys as we could have a few weeks ago in the jungle with Orang-utans. Thats fine for us, we are adults. The 38 year old man who died on the weekend in Kakoda raising money after his daughter had Leukaemia made an adult assumption of risk.

It may even be fine for this girl -there is no way she will ever sleep so peacefully at night knowing there was not ONE close shave but TWO in the space of half an hour.

Also, cowboys, or not, of the merchant marine, they are just not used to seeing sailing boats floating around.

A few years ago I may well have slagged every ship driver too. But then we started cruising and found that the Panama Canal is full of ships that don't give a ****. The Pacific ocean is full of them too. So was the Atlantic when I crossed that. So was the Mediterranean when we went from right to left.... And now I am in Asia. And I'll give you a bit of a hint about how much they give a damn if you are awake, asleep, if your teeth are crooked or not. They will run you down.

So this girl may now realise that. But will the next one? If this girl is 16 then the next one must be 15. Then the next one 14.



OK, now figure this one: The girl goes and she gets half way along the course and decides to pull out.

Is she allowed to pull out?

Of course she should be allowed to pull out.

But how? How the hell do we physically get this person back?

Once she is out there, or the next kid, 14 or 13 years old, once they are out there there is no real way to get them back.

Neither quickly nor safely.

And thats a scary thought.

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Old 28-09-2009, 07:53   #363
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Fabian, first of all, I like you. Your arguments are quite strong, nobody can naye that.

The best captains are on shore, it is said. I sincerely hope she will prepare her tour of duty better than her trip to Sydney.

Jessica is riding a wave and only she can do it, can bring the planned voyage to a good end. Accidents do happen, even fully equipped commercial ships manage to collide at full daylight.
So let's hope that she will do the next round better.
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Old 28-09-2009, 09:14   #364
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Responding to MarkJ

I do see your point and it is a valid one. Might the answer be to encourage the record keepers to ban some of the records for the “youngest” if that record is irresponsible in concept? We don’t recognise all things the young can do?

Personally, the concept of "youngest" in Jessica’s case is not what impresses me. What gets my admiration is the idea of a “young person” doing a not young person deed and fulfilling a dream, or maybe it’s that sailing solo around the world was something I would have loved to do when I was young and immortal. This world is so full of do-gooders and knockers that we are being stifled in our adventures and pursuits. That may also be the reason this story got such a following even before the incident off the Gold Coast. I may have undertaken some adventures when I was young and foolish but the adults kept telling me to “build your career, pay off your house and work for your retirement”. I’m still getting told to get rid of my boat and live in a house like normal people by my parents. But ironically my kids have been supportive, it must be in their upbringing.

We need to support the relatively few youth we have who risk falling to have a go.

It would be a tragedy if we said to our youth, “You have to old and experienced before you can undertake an adventure”.

OK, I’ll get off the soap box.

On the other side of the coin… I may be a dreamer, but wouldn't it be nice to see ships do just a little bit towards sharing the seas they don’t actually own? I too have seen enough of the attitude of ships captains and their cowboys... it would soon get around that flattening sailboats is not good sport if helmsmen and their bosses were ordered to pay compensation for sailboats damaged by reckless ships crew. They wouldn’t even need to take evasive action just a call on the radio or a blast of their horns would be enough… but that would require that the ship have someone on the bridge with their eyes open and either checking a radar screen or looking around. That is probably too much to ask.

When sailing solo at night, I find that my masthead strobe makes me noticeable for a much greater distance. However, that is useless if the helmsman has his head in a book or is playing computer games or shock horror is asleep rather than doing what he is paid to do. Would it be acceptable if heavy trucks were driven with the same attitude as ships?

Fabian
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Old 28-09-2009, 09:45   #365
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Might the answer be to encourage the record keepers to ban some of the records for the “youngest” if that record is irresponsible in concept? We don’t recognise all things the young can do?


Fabian
Thats what I am saying. I'm asking you what the cut off age should be.

(I am not trying some psycological warfare here, I can see by the way you write you are intelligent and caring)

Have a look at the photo below and answer some questions to yourself honestly.



Q: Does this girl look intelligent and confident?
Q: Do you think she is too young to attempt a record "Youngest"?








Q: Does she look a bit a bit too young here?






Q: When Jessica Dubroff was killed attempting a youngest pilot record accross the USA do you think her family finally accepted responsability for her death?
Q: Do you think the sponsors accepted any responsability for her death
Q: Do you think the media cared? Or did they just love the story because a 7 year olds death sells newspapers?



What I am putting to you is that "Youngest" records are tantamount to killing someone because they will not stop untill someone is killed.
Over the last few years the ages of the youngest sailor have been getting younger (of course!). Next up is a 15 year old American. a 13 year old Dutch girl has tried. Will there be others.

The person holding the record immediately before the Dubroff attempt was 8 years old!

What I am asking is what age are you comfortable sending people out to sea in the Southern Ocean in winter?

If you think it should be this girl and then all others banned, say so. Thats all I want. To know where those that support this draw the line.

With Jessica Dubroff no one drew the line till she was killed. At 7 years old.
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Old 28-09-2009, 10:24   #366
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I am fairly acquainted with flying, had my PPL, so reading the story of the little Dubroff girl, with her meager 35 hours experience, then I sea pure case of a nut father driving his little girl to death, for his own vanity.
At 35 hours you barely qualify to get your basic license, not allowing you to take off in any bad weather, rain and/or clouds.
Certainly not the harsh conditions of Cheyenne airport at that time.
Only with an instrument rating ATC will let you go in that kind of weather. At least that's here the case.
7 years...... because of a girl of 8 did it. If the girl could have handled an F16, I would have said yes,let her try it. But not an experience equal to 35 hours flying time. Ridiculous. This is beyond any rationality.
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Old 28-09-2009, 10:39   #367
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The drift is indeed in age. The ages keep getting lower till the 13 year old goes.. till the next youngest kid goes... till it gets to be like the youngest pilot of a plane accross the USA where a friggin 7 year old was killed triying to fly a plane!
Because Jessica Dubroff's crash has been used in this thread a few times I figured it important to note that her father and her flight instructor were also in the plane when it crashed.

Jessica could not pilot the plane solo as the aviation community has rules. Technically the flight instructor, in the right seat with a full set of controls was pilot in command on every one of ther flights.

Basically, they took off in bad weather, in order to meet media commitments and crashed a short time later.

While they were "on their honor" that she would be sole manipulator of the controls, there is no freakin' way she took off in IFR conditions and flew that flight in the vicinity of severe thunderstorms. In fact unless the instructor was the stupidest person on the planet there is no way he put his life in the hands of a 7 year old on that flight.

That whole record attempt was the epitome of a media circus.

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Old 28-09-2009, 11:29   #368
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I understand what you are saying.

See to me the age whether 16 or 18 really has little to do with it. It’s really the state of mind. She is really a novice at life. This is how we should describe her. She has little history, no children, work or other adult responsibilities. Is that a better description of youth than calling someone 16 years old? I know 30 something’s who are in my opinion much less mature than some teenagers. They are still youth really but we measure, evaluate and pigeon hole everything so they are old in age but are they mature? I have a niece who is a sweet kid. She has a licence to drive but is so immature I would never let her drive if the decision was mine. Our culture says at 17 a child is old enough to drive that is the law. I have taught 13 year olds to drive (on private property) who I feel are a much safer driver than that 20 year old niece. I suppose maturity, age and youth are really the issue here rather than the number of years they have been around.

There is no black and white here it’s all subtle shades of grey but ultimately our society’s values are questionable.

The headline should read something like "young person sailing" rather than "Youngest ever to sail" we should be discussing the achievement of what she will or won't do. Does our society look for extremes or should we blame the media for the sensationalism of how they sell advertising, papers, etc.

Who keeps the records? For what purpose? Who benefits? Why do we need a youngest record? Is it irresponsible to even have a record for “youngest sailor solo around the world”? These are questions for our society and as responsible adults we should act on their answers. For the moment there is a record and that will lead to contenders rising to this challenge. Let’s not knock the kid accepting the challenge or the parents who are doing their best with their children. The responsibility here is with the keeper and administrator of the record and they should be held accountable for all the problems their record creates. Should they ultimately bear the responsibility for their records disasters too?

I suppose there are two major points I would like to make here.

There is a record and as human beings if the challenge is there we will climb it, swim it, run it, sail it or whatever the challenge might be. As a society we have a responsibility to our youth not to stifle them and to encourage instead. Maybe we should make the record attempt invalid unless suitable seamanship qualifications are achieved first. This could be something like a yacht masters qualification. I don’t know too many 13 year olds who would understand well enough to problem solve all the systems necessary to run and sail a yacht including the basic mechanics of a diesel, navigation, radar, plumbing, electrical, etc but if they did maybe they deserve to be allowed to try. They still need a challenge but lets not make it too easy to go there without the necessary background. On that point there are quite a few oldies out there who could benefit from the same regulation.

The second issue is that ships have a responsibility to themselves and all maritime users to obey the rules of the sea irrespective of their size. With modern instruments and good seamanship there is no excuse for manned vessels to collide at sea. When a collision occurs just like on the road the responsible party should be required to pay compensation by monitory payment or jail sentence in the event of causalities. If this could and was enforced I believe the high seas would be a safer place for all. Will the bulk carrier captain get a damage bill if found negligent by the authorities? If he did I’m sure that could potentially save lives too.

Fabian
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Old 28-09-2009, 12:35   #369
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Old 28-09-2009, 12:56   #370
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To Fabian:

(In your original order)

F: Would these companies benefit from being associated with a failed attempt?
B: A spectacular fail is better than an under-publicized success (and do not ask the companies - ask independent marketing experts). The fail is promptly re-branded into a 'brave attempt', 'the last challenge', etc.. Think marketing.

F: Sponsorship is given to winners not losers.

B: Sponsorship is given BEFORE the (possible) achievement, it is given to potentials, not to winners (unless it is given to winners of earlier, successful, attempts, which is NOT the case). What counts is the amount of exposure (publicity) created. As you may have noticed all league teams have sponsors, not just the winning one.

F: For whatever reasons, the bulk carrier and Pink Lady did meet.
B: The bulk carrier and Pink Lady did not meet for whatever reasons, they met for specific reason, and the reason was stated by AUS maritime authorities. There may be further investigation, but at this point there is no reason to think the AUS authorities are wrong.

F: The world is a better place because our youth does these weird things.
B: Better? A better world by doing weird things? Does this phenomenon apply to all weird things? Or only to those done by 'our youth'?

F: Yes I think my daughter is crazy but I would never dream of not supporting her.
B: With all due respect to your freedoms, if I thought my daughter were crazy, I would support hertoo, but not in her craziness.

F:
I blame the ship's captain.
B: I don't. Any evidence he is guilty?

F: The cowboys who sail the merchant fleet.

B: There may be a few 'cowboys' there, but not a higher percentage than in any other profession. And the percentage of bad sailors in the merchant navy is low enough to NOT label the whole class as 'cowboys'.

Please be assured of my respect for your freedom to express your views, but I found the arguments in your post to follow the pattern that if your daughter is doing something 'crazy' then all other daughters automatically have the same 'right' or, actually, are supposed to do something crazy (to make a better world ?).

I believe that brave undertakings do not have to be crazy to be of value, and I believe there are other ways of supporting our kids than be allowing (or perhaps even pushing them towards) too dangerous (at this stage) and over-publicized (for whatever reason) undertakings.

How about supporting our daughters (and sons, why not) towards their getting good education / jobs, so that then they can buy themselves a sailing boat (without need for any sponsors or other pressure creating factors) and sail around the world?

Regards,
barnie
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Old 28-09-2009, 13:08   #371
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Old 28-09-2009, 14:51   #372
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On the other side of the coin… I may be a dreamer, but wouldn't it be nice to see ships do just a little bit towards sharing the seas they don’t actually own? I too have seen enough of the attitude of ships captains and their cowboys... it would soon get around that flattening sailboats is not good sport if helmsmen and their bosses were ordered to pay compensation for sailboats damaged by reckless ships crew. They wouldn’t even need to take evasive action just a call on the radio or a blast of their horns would be enough… but that would require that the ship have someone on the bridge with their eyes open and either checking a radar screen or looking around. That is probably too much to ask.


Having been on the other side of the coin, I think this is a rather unfair generalization. Blasting their horns is often not enough - been there, done that! I don't defend ships/watchkeepers that don't keep effective watch, but it's a competitive industry, so ships don't normally carry a surplus of crew. The watchkeepers typically stand alone 4 hours on, 8 hours off.
Even when they have a lookout, that person may go on periodic rounds. It is not too difficult to be distracted by a task, at least enough to miss a small boat at a distance. This is where it's extremely important for all vessels to maintain an effective watch - I don't see how you can lambaste all commercial watchkeepers, then in the same breath support solo long-distance sailing. Especially in a close quarters situation, the crew of the smaller vessel will most likely need to be ready to take action - as large vessels are obviously not that manoeuvrable.

Quote:
When sailing solo at night, I find that my masthead strobe makes me noticeable for a much greater distance.


I wonder where you found this light in the Colregs? In some places this is considered a distress signal, so you may find it makes you an attractive target for a closer look.
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Old 28-09-2009, 15:40   #373
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... When sailing solo at night, I find that my masthead strobe makes me noticeable for a much greater distance...
How did you find it? Did you sail with another boat alongside with standard lights on her?

What you say is contrary to the results of tests I have read on visibility of strobes. The tests showed the strobe to be less visible than the standard light (tested on bouy lights).

Personally, I sailed in a group of perhaps 6 of boats in light conditions off Darwin and at night we often had visuals on each other. The only strobe boat was somehow the most difficult to spot (sic!) in next to calm conditions ...

I think the strobe will be perplexing to any pro watch-keeper - are you not supposed to show the red/green/white combination if you are a sailing boat. To another sailing boat - how will they judge your course relative to theirs if you show the strobe?

Aside from being possibly the worse, and definitely a perplexing choice, I think strobe is not allowed by the COLREGS in normal navigation.

b.
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Old 28-09-2009, 15:55   #374
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Strobelights are not allowed as navlights. To easy to mix em up with bacons and the like.

Regarding watchkeeping on com vessels. It leaves much to be desired for. Except in The Channel. There they are forced to have a lookout all the way.But very often in NE waters collisions occur by not keeping a watch at the radarplotter one who is capable to read what it says. Some 3-4 collisions a year at Europoort, even at open sea. But radar doesn'work always. Snow, rain and spray can be very troublesome to get a proper picture.
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Old 28-09-2009, 16:45   #375
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Anyone who expects a 65000 ton tanker to take any sort of avoiding action to prevent a collision with a 34' sailing boat probably has unrealistic expectations. Those puppys take miles (10+ in some cases) to stop and are notoriously slow to alter course. Assuming the vessel was "spotted" on the radar (or AIS) at 6 miles (which, I believe it was), and was doing, say, 15 knots, she had approximately 24 minutes to get out of the way. Allowing 60 seconds to start her own engine, and assuming a motoring speed of 5 knots, my math says that she should have been more than able to get the hell outta Dodge before the stagecoach arrived (excuse the horribly strangulated metaphor).

There is little doubt in my mind that the fault for the incident lies very much with the young lass. Having said that, we do all make mistakes. Speaking from personal experiance, the days (and weeks) leading up to the start of a major voyage are fraught with all kinds of last minute preparations, distractions, diversions, problems and general mayhem - long long days and short nights, and not enough sleep. By the time the lines are thrown, I am exhausted and frazzled. It generally takes me a day and a night, at least, before I am mentally and physically recovered sufficiently to be "on my game" (and I try to plan accordingly, if possible, with a fairly short "hop" for the first day of a trip). That the lass made an error on the first night does not, necessarily, prove her fintness or otherwise to undertake the longer journey.

If I had the responsibility for saying whether or not she could go, I'd say no. But is isn't my responsibility. I did plenty of irresponsible / dangerous things in my youth, so I guess I can cut her a little slack. I am singularly unimpressed by "youngest person to do...whatever" records; it doesn't really prove anything and it certainly isn't as though sailing around the world is particularly remarkable these days: Even the Bumfuzzles managed it (in their own inimitable way).
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