May 15, 2010

"Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted..."

"... when she cruised into Sydney Harbour in her pink, 34-foot (10-meter) yacht to a rock star welcome of thousands. She successfully maneuvered her boat through raging storms, 40-foot (12-meter) waves and seven knockdowns during the 23,000 nautical mile journey that critics thought she wouldn't survive. After standing on land for the first time in 210 days, the teen said she's eager to learn how to drive a car, to eat fresh fruit and salad after months of packaged meals, get a full night's sleep instead of catnaps and shake off her sea legs with a long walk on the beach."

Jessica is 16.

29 comments:

themightypuck said...

Impressive. A girl from So Cal is doing the same thing but she stopped somewhere to fix her autopilot so she doesn't qualify. Still, also impressive.

Pastafarian said...

Impressive; but she wasn't really alone, what with all the electronic assistance that she had. It's not really the same feat as others who accomplished this in earlier eras.

And the foolhardiness of this stunt always made me cringe -- sending a little girl out on the pirate-infested high seas. As a father of two daughters, I can only conclude that her father is a) dead or b) insane.

kalmia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

$0.80 an hour was all I could make at 16, which barely paid for flying lessons.

AllenS said...

It's a great story. Something is setting off by BS detector.

rhhardin said...

The modern (since 1970) myth of the child has worked all sorts of mischief in the media.

David said...

Girl has guts, but there's a lot of luck involved. She's lucky to be alive--literally--and being 16 probably was dismissive of the risk.

Flexo said...

I guess The Island didn't want her. Apparently she is neither a candidate or special.

Andrea said...

Sixteen years old didn't used to be thought of as a "little girl." In any case, I'm surprised that in the current culture of coddling everyone under the age of 21 from getting so much as a bruise she was even allowed to get in a boat by herself. I'll bet you we won't be seeing much more of this, though, since every year people seem to grow more and more fearful of just about everything when it comes to children. On the other hand, maybe we'll go back to thinking of orphans as people who are lucky instead of victims -- free to do whatever they want without parental interference.

traditionalguy said...

She could become a great star in a film about her around the world trip. Is Roman Polanski offering his services to direct her yet?

ricpic said...

In the middle of a storm...you're being knocked down you can't fall apart.

We're, every last one of us, so much tougher than we think. It's almost doing a favor to make life "impossible" and the worst kind of betrayal to convince anyone they're not up to whatever life throws at them.

traditionalguy said...

That was profound Ripic. That is also why Socialism is torture to live under. This Aussie is from a culture that likes its challenges.

Ralph L said...

I'm surprised her parents weren't arrested.

edutcher said...

Send that young lady off to BUD/S, or, at least, the SBS.

Bet she'd make it.

Kirby Olson said...

Her parents should be arrested.

But, at least she isn't fat.

It's just as bad to have kids sitting around watching TV about kids going around the world while they eat cupcakes.

It's hard to find a middle ground these days.

I'd think that informed consent on this for a teen would be necessary, at the least. Geez, if the kid died, wouldn't the parents have been responsible for some kind of negligence?

Andrea said...

"Her parents should be arrested."

You're right. They should have instead have taught her to drive a car. Just think, right now she'd be on the highways in her very own car like millions of other sixteen year olds. So much safer than the high seas.

rhhardin said...

Jessica in the well was the start of the media event. They found people would tune in and stay tuned in.

Then there was Jessica piloting the airplane.

A whole history of soap opera news Jessicas.

This Jessica is a little old, though; pushing the Jessica envelope.

The Crack Emcee said...

It's nice to see a woman - or, even better, a girl - accomplishing something that didn't involve her looks. Word to other women:

Like mastering a yoga pose, your looks ain't no accomplishment.

dick said...

Given that our ancestors were crossing the plains and deserts on their way West while married and raising kids at that age, I think it speaks well of the way she was raised to be responsible by her parents and then trusted to do this. Seems to me that wanting to arrest the parents tells us more about the way the complainer did the job of raising kids than it does about the kids. If you raise the kids to be responsible adults, then you can trust them to do the job IMNSHO.

jimspice said...

Dad of two girls here. I couldn't allow it for mine. Too dangerous. Perhaps I'm selfish.

But more importantly I'd be disappointed. This was a journey of self-aggrandizement. There were no lands to be found, or even treasures to be be secured. It was simply "look at me."

Our great-great grandmothers may have traveled west for a better life, and our great-great^14 grandmothers north, out of Africa, for survival. But a journey for only the journey's sake, to me, does not justify the risk.

I'll reserve my pride for selfless acts of helping others.

Alex said...

jimspice - you're just jealous you don't have the nads to do somethinga 16yo girl could do. Pwned - which is what are current culture is about.

traditionalguy said...

You know we did all sort of river canoe trips and appalachaian trail hikes of a week or so at age 16. But we never tried them alone, but in groups that included a lineman or two. There is something about a small female chosing to do this 210 day trip alone that seems so different. What a story to tell her kids someday.

TosaGuy said...

An amazing feat no matter how much technology is inserted into the equation. It is also a feat that is certainly an outlier and should not be replicated.

However, I would rather have our 16 year olds lean in that direction than their current state of coddling.

HKatz said...

This was a journey of self-aggrandizement... It was simply "look at me."

If it were only that, she wouldn't have completed it or even got it off the ground. There had to be other motivations at work as well. Like a need to prove oneself, test oneself, and even just satisfy a thirst for adventure, a love of the sea; something with more steel in it. And you can't do such a thing without a strong measure of strength either. It's not the only or best kind of strength out there, but to reduce her accomplishment to teenage narcissism is a bit ridiculous too.

Kirby Olson said...

She should get capital punishment for having risked her life like this.

Andrea said...

This was a journey of self-aggrandizement... It was simply "look at me."

She was all by herself in the middle of the ocean. Who was going to look at her and feed her ego? Seagulls?

What strikes me as "self-aggrandizing" are statements like "I'll reserve my pride for selfless acts of helping others." Yeah, right.

TosaGuy said...

"I'll reserve my pride for selfless acts of helping others."

If such acts can be proven to me as truly selfless. If the act is truly selfless then it better not be listed on a single resume or college application.

Outside of family, virtually every act we take is selfish...as in we derives some sort of financial, social, personal, etc. benefit to ourselves. Some efforts help people more than others, but that does not at all affect the personal benefit number in the equation.

eve said...

I say bravo and I say she was "really alone" notwithstanding the electronics. Anyone who has spent any time at sea will know what a feat this was and the fear that had to be overcome. Her parents are to be commended. Had they failed they would have been arrested.

Kids today are raised to be pussies, with adults lurking everywhere watching their every move. They can't have a game without being made to wear a uniform and have some adult calling the plays and telling them what position to play. It is absurd. They have no skills to handle confrontation, conflict resolution, fear, anything. In the olden days the worst kids were chosen last, the best first and close plays were settled between the teams. The kids decided who was the best for which position. No more.

Jessica would be on my team were I choosing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You're right. They should have instead have taught her to drive a car. Just think, right now she'd be on the highways in her very own car like millions of other sixteen year olds. So much safer than the high seas.

Yes because if her boat capsized or was taking on water she could hit her Onstar button and Triple A Watermotors would be right there to help.

Then again I won't be letting my sixteen year old daughter drive across the country when she gets her license but that's just me.