June 10, 2010

"I don't feel sad when over-privileged children who think nothing can touch them attempt to subvert the awesome and fearsome powers of nature."

That's one opinion.

UPDATE: Saved!

301 comments:

1 – 200 of 301   Newer›   Newest»
Big Mike said...

What were the parents thinking???

traditionalguy said...

That opinion comes from a weak and bitter person. Being age 16 is old enough to do most skills better than a 36 year old can do them. What the commenter is envious of is her fearlessness. The military likes single folks with no children just because they are fearless and not responsible to Children to take no risks. Fear is the enemy here, and she conquered that enemy. Weather we will never control, so why fear it?

danielle said...

ugghh....heartless commenter.

i pray that they find the young lady alive, and ASAP.

Duscany said...

Sunderland didn't show especially good judgment in trying to try to sail through the southern Indian Ocean in winter (and her parents showed a lot less) but still one's heart cries at the notion of a teen aged girl alone in a capsized boat (if in fact she's still alive), in the cold and dark (not to mention a foot or two of water)? The Australian search plane that's going to look for her tomorrow is going to fly 2,000 miles. No ships will arrive for a day or more. That kid is about as far from as anyone could be and still be on the planet. I hope when the plane arrives she's sitting there waving.

edutcher said...

Most 16 year olds think nothing can touch them largely because they've seen very little of what happens when things go bad, so she undoubtedly went into this with supreme self-confidence and a light heart.

That said, the answer to Big Mike is, "They weren't, clearly".

The only thing I can say about the commenter is that I have a feeling I know his/her political affiliations.

HKatz said...

What a contrast to the story of the other 16 year old girl who successfully completed the trip. I hope this one makes it out alive too.

Also, how big a factor does age play in this situation? Would there have been much of a difference had she been 18? Had her parents tried to put a stop to it now, soon she would not have required their permission anyway.

so she undoubtedly went into this with supreme self-confidence and a light heart.

Or maybe she didn't. Maybe she knew what could happen but wanted to test herself regardless.

I also think the commenter on the other site is a small, petty person.

John Stodder said...

I feel terrible and awful at the thought of this girl drowning so far from home or any help. Jesus.

This tragedy, if that's what it turns out to be has more to do with her parents' failure to understand that a 16-year-old's brain is not fully formed, and has a distorted view of concepts like risk and task-focus. I realize the "sail-around-the-world" opportunity is only given to the wealthy, but I don't that's the point. Kids that age in my neighborhood are given key to big Ford trucks that they are also incapable of handling well consistently. I'm not sure kids should drive 'til they're 18. We know a lot more brain science now, and 16 is not an especially good cut-off age to begin handing off adult responsibilities.

The poor kid won't outlive her brain's development and her parents' bad judgment. But, the small consolation is, until she hit these bad seas, she was probably having the time of her life.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Children have parents because at age 16 they do not have good judgment about many things.

When I was 16 I conquered my fear of driving like a bat out of hell in a big block Chevy, and I was an idiot.

A friend of mine was an Air Force parajumper / rescue swimmer, he could stay afloat for 24 hours with his hands and feet tied, he did a couple of hundred parachute jumps including 24 combat rescue jumps (Nam), and he does not go paddling into white water without using the buddy system. Gee, maybe he needs to conquer his fear.

Hope they find her alive, but the odds are not good.

Bob said...

> That's one opinion.

From a bigot.

Fen said...

Thou Shalt Not Tempt The Lord Gaia!

Revenant said...

Being age 16 is old enough to do most skills better than a 36 year old can do them.

Physically, yes. Mentally, usually not but sometimes yes. But the 36 year old can have an extra 20 years of sailing experience over the 16 year old -- and probably something like six or seven times as much solo sailing experience.

Think about, say, a soldier. An 18-year-old recruit might be physically and mentally superior to a 36 year old veteran, but who would you rather have beside you in combat?

john said...

Jessica Watson sailed those same waters about a month ago. Abby spent weeks docked in Capetown while her crew refitted all the bad and broken equipment, some of which may have broken again after she left port. Worse, those weeks in port put her into the Southern Ocean winter when she finally set sail again. Had she not had to put in, she would likely have been much of the way through that Ocean by now.

Although a very resourceful sailer, it seems like problems dogged Abby pretty much her whole trip from S California to slightly more than half way across the world. We have been following the circumnavigations of Jessica Watson and now Abby, on their blogs since last year. Just a little while ago they pulled Abby's blog from the internet.

Fred4Pres said...

At 16 the risks are enormous, but she was old enough to appreciate them (even though when I was 16 I thought I was immortal). But I had friends in high school who died in car wrecks. It was tragic and sad and alcohol was involved.

This girl was trying to break a record. It was an awesome challenge. She knew it was dangerous and she faced it.

I pray she is okay. I admire her taking the challenge on, even if it may end up tragically.

Heather said...

My grandfather joined WWII when he was 16. Kings ruled countries at the age of 16. I'm not saying this was the best idea and her parents shouldn't of stopped her but at the age of 16 people can legally become adults.

themightypuck said...

It's not like everyone involved didn't know the risks. This sort of feat is impressive precisely because it is dangerous.

Synova said...

And how many teenagers drowned in a swimming pool this year?

The assumption of a particular disregard for the fearsome powers of nature is without merit.

At first I thought this might be in reference to that poor lady who got hit by lightning.

The Crack Emcee said...

I agree with the statement, generally - I laugh and rail at the foolishness of "over-privileged children" all the time - but not here. This is just sad.

Being in the Navy took me to the Indian Ocean, and the waves are just fierce. When I think of what she may have encountered, I shudder. I didn't always feel safe, even on a military ship. I've seen whole vessels get swallowed whole, sharks, winds that make you think you may never get home.

The poor baby.

Paul said...

traditionalguy said...What the commenter is envious of is her fearlessness.

I agree. Otherwise, hy throw in the gratuitous "over-privileged"? What is over-privileged about being willing to risk your life in a daring adventure? I think he has this girl mixed up with Paris Hilton or the Kardashian sisters.

Every time anyone goes sailing, or swimming in the ocean, or rock climbing, or white-water rafting, are they attempting to "subvert" the awesome power of nature or just pitting themselves against it while fully recognizing its awesomeness?

At the same time, I can't imagine allowing any of my children to do something like this at her age. I'd be a nervous wreck.

Also, if you sail around the world at 16, do you have trouble coming up with an encore? Does it make future, more mundane challenges easier, or does everything seem like a bore?

traditionalguy said...

Revenant....You make a good argument, but it is based upon the assumption that a 16 year old has no experience. Unlike the current generation. we were not allowed/encouraged to fake that we just couldn't learn to do work skills right so that we could delegate them back to our parents until we were 30 something. And the needed skills at 16 for someone sailing since 6 are plenty. In your military example also, youth is a big asset, only inexperience can be a pro or a con, and that goes away after a few encounters.

Duscany said...

Heather: "My grandfather joined WWII when he was 16. Kings ruled countries at the age of 16."

Well, you're absolutely right. Someone once said that one reason English kings and queens had such bloody reigns was that they were were kids in their teens.

I expect Abby Sunderland was pressured though. Her brother sailed around the world solo and returned home fine. The girl had not just to know how to sail, which she obviously did, she also had to able to be repair rigging at sea, fix a balky engine and deal with a malfunctioning navigation system. Airplane crashes usually only occur when multiple things go bad simultaneously. This kid was hit with a lot at once, besides just high seas.

I'm not sure where Sunderland's boat got into trouble but if it's in the Roaring Forties (between 40 degrees and 50 degrees south) she's in a stretch of ocean where in former times sailing boat captains in large vessels with crews in the hundreds feared to go. She's only one person. If nothing else, think of the stress. Still her boat is supposed to be unsinkable. I sure hope so.

Duscany said...

Paul: "Also, if you sail around the world at 16, do you have trouble coming up with an encore? Does it make future, more mundane challenges easier, or does everything seem like a bore?"

In his book "Islands in the Stream" Hemingway said that if a boy, who was engaged in a hours-long struggle to land a big fish, managed to see it through, from there on out everything he did in life would be just a little bit easier.

traditionalguy said...

The Celtics have an 8 point lead with 17 seconds left. The young celtic point guard just out ran the Laker veterans.

Irene said...

*tear*

Scott said...

There is something repugnant about this.

Laurence Sunderland [her father] said the easiest thing for them to have said as parents would have been “No.”

On the contrary, the hardest thing for a parent to do is say “no” to their kids. Children need boundaries, otherwise they never learn how to push against them, and to evaluate the risks of doing so. If you never say “no,” you’re not a parent, you’re an enabler.

Slow Joe said...

I think it's impressive that someone would dare to do this, or that parents would let their child do this.

It's quite a shift in perspective to realize just how radically dangerous and remote this trip would be.

If it were me, and I could afford to send my kid on this trip, I would probably be in a well manned boat near her the entire time. Even if I was 50 miles away to something to fulfill some solo rule.

Seems like it would be insane not to watch over her. 16 or 12 or 25.

Hope she's OK, and I do celebrate her spirit of achievement and willingness to be ballsy about it. We've lost a lot of that spirit these days... some parents won't let their 16 year old loose solo at the mall.

Slow Joe said...

I have to say, why would we be recording this achievement, youngest solo world navigator?

Why is this better than going into this with the buddy system?

Lem said...

Do people really feel sad about this kind of thing?

I could say I feel sad but maybe I say so because I'm expected to.

Maybe I'll feel sad tomorrow..

Lem said...

Oh wait.. Bard blew a save in the bottom of the ninth.

I'm sad spent.

danielle said...

YES !!! CELTICS WIN !!

Scott said...

@Lem: I think it's normal to get desensitized to human tragedy reported in the news.

A hundred years ago, any news beyond our immediate communities was an abstraction. Today, our media masters can pick from a cornucopia of pornoviolence and tragedy sourced around the world, and deliver it to us with a firehose.

If you cared, you would go crazy.

Lem said...

I forgot the celtics were on.. the red sox are on almost every night.

This is only a tie danielle. don't jinx them.

Henry said...

You think anyone said that about Amelia Earhart or Charles Lindbergh? Lindbergh was 25 when he flew solo across the Atlantic. He was just 20 when he dropped out of college to learn how to fly. The same year he barnstormed as a wing walker and parachutist.

It would destroy me to have one of my kids die young, but I sure to God hope that the human spirit is never killed by actuarial twerps.

Alex said...

What a tragedy. Bigger then the Gulf of Mexico tragedy. Bigger then the Holocaust. Bigger then 1st impact.

Lem said...

a veritable cornucopia..

I like the sound of that.

The Drill SGT said...

at this point there are basicly 2 outcomes. The boat is apparently afloat because a sunk beacon hasnt gone off, so

1. was she tied to the boat and alive or was she tossed overboard.

2. if she wasnt beaten to death and gone overboard, then the best course of action is to cut the sail down, toss out the sea anchor and go below. With the hatch sealed those 40' cruisers have a huge amount of buoyancy. I assume she was wearing her survival suit. hunker down in a waterlogged cabin and prepare to get beaten up for 36 hours till a ship arrives or the weather moderates

Lem said...

Picking up on Scott's theme its also harder and easier at the same time to do something extraordinary today.

Easier in the sense that resources are readily available to do pretty much anything.. then therein lies the rub.. because its easier people are willing to risk more.

bagoh20 said...

Her age likely had little to do with her being lost at sea. She is a competent sailor. Thousands of older ones have been lost to the sea and it's challenges.

Nobody here was forced or mislead. Anyone with a love of sailing like that is well aware of the risks. Her and her family took a sizable risk with wide open eyes. It's unfortunate if she looses that gamble so young, but the world owes it's richness and texture to people like her. I admire her lost or not.

The dilemma of the parents is terrible, but it was not long ago that we regularly allowed men her age to die in battle and women her age in childbirth.

Death is guaranteed, life needs to be pursued with passion or what's the point. I would prefer my daughter or myself find such an end rather than in a car or a violent crime. Risking everything for nothing is what we do everyday. She was going for something more. She may have found it either way. God speed.

traditionalguy said...

Extremely stormy weather is the crisis, which means that two in her boat, or her parents in a trailing boat nearby, would only mean more funerals, if any.

Methadras said...

Has Bush been blamed for this at all yet?

Lem said...

Instead of an arms race we have a dare race.

A lack of wonderment and excitement?

What could possibly drive some.. how old? Does a child of 16 even know what an epiphany is?

what the hell is a 16 year old doing in the middle of the ocean alone?

Lem said...

All the things that explorers do in return for what an explorer derives from the experience.. a 16 year old.

Anybody?

I was getting pubic hair around 16.

bagoh20 said...

"what the hell is a 16 year old doing in the middle of the ocean alone?"

Being human and exceptional. She's not the first nor hopefully the last of her kind.

It seems strange that we find this more tragic and wrong than if she overdosed on drugs. That's backwards. How many will do that this year with nothing accomplished if they survive?

The Drill SGT said...

bagoh20 said...
Her age likely had little to do with her being lost at sea. She is a competent sailor.


Maybe yes, maybe no.

I can't help thinking that overconfidence can be a killer. What is the difference between a 16 y/o sailor and a 36 y/o one?

experience and perhaps a recognition of when to quit and hunker down in time to be successful at it. The experience to understand failure.

bagoh20 said...

I feel, in equal parts, sadness, envy and awe.

bagoh20 said...

"What is the difference between a 16 y/o sailor and a 36 y/o one?"

We can't know if it would have mattered, but I know the ocean doesn't care. A sailor on a small boat in a storm has few options, regardless of their age. She likely did all anyone could do. There isn't much you can.

David said...

Turns out the family has huge amounts of open ocean experience. Apologies for the incorrect assumption. Still, it does not sound good.

Lem said...

It seems strange that we find this more tragic and wrong than if she overdosed on drugs.

I've never heard of parents buying drugs for their 16 year old.. maybe there have been but its highly unusual.

Dead Julius said...

I detest this sort of stuff with adults who should know better. For instance: Dudes who climb Mount Everest and then write a book about the "hell" experience that drips with the language of "survival". It was your own choice to get into that situation, asshole.

But its different with children, and even with younger, less wise adults. You can appreciate their naivete and their desire for glory.

No matter what the outcome is, this young woman's ambition and (per t-guy above) fearlessness are admirable.

Lem said...

An accomplished sailor from Massachusetts told me one time that when he was out sailing at sea, for all practical purposes, he was dead until he came back to terra firma.

I think I heard the same about submariners.

bagoh20 said...

"I've never heard of parents buying drugs for their 16 year old.. maybe there have been but its highly unusual."

But if they did, then we all would be in agreement about the wrongness of it, because there would be no redeeming reason whatsoever. Nothing life affirming, nothing heroic. That's kind of my point. This is not simply irresponsible or bad parenting. In my view it has another side and I think it's important and their right to value it that highly. I wish my parents did, even if it means I may not be here today.

Lem said...

The kid that climbed Everest with his father was on with Matt Lauer..

whoopty doo da

traditionalguy said...

Eternal Father strong to save whose arm has bound the restless wave...Has been a prayer as much as a Navy Hymn when ever it is sung. That hymn will be a proper last thought for tonight.

Bob Ellison said...

Rocks crumble; milk sours. Hey, that's profound! But this little girl should have been better protected.

bagoh20 said...

I predict she survives. I have to.

Lem said...

Nothing life affirming, nothing heroic.

You could have joined one of the services.

bagoh20 said...

"You could have joined one of the services."

I didn't and it's my greatest regret.

Lem said...

Maybe the price to pay for our success as a specie is that we value life less.

bagoh20 said...

"I don't feel sad when over-privileged children who think nothing can touch them attempt to" - avoid - "the awesome and fearsome powers of nature."

They gonna get you no matter what.

bagoh20 said...

We are exceptional in our willingness to risk life seemingly for a purpose beyond the direct protection of our kind. Yet it probably serves exactly that purpose indirectly.

Mian said...

Nothing more disgusting than fat-assed commentators throwing in their two cents and averring to be experts on all subjects, who declaim opinions like stale farts from their comfortable Aeron chairs knowing little to nothing about the persons or subjects at hand.

I've been following Abby's blog for months now and have been constantly amazed at her poise, maturity and downright capability when it comes to sailing, which is something she's done since she was a young child and is passionate about.

I don't believe her parents forced her into anything, rather, they had to hold her back from doing this a year ago and BTW, the voyage was entirely her idea.

I'm sick and tired of coddled American kids, who are told from an early age that they're "special" yet are never allowed to take on any risk whatsoever because of over-protective parents and a society that is all too indulgent and libertine but dismissive of personal responsibility. Abby is a refreshing change from all this: she comes from a close, large family (7 kids) of modest means and a loving upbringing and is striving for achievement while her fellow Valley schoolmates watch MTV and sniff glue.

As for all you Althouse pundits who have never read any of Abby's blogs or know their ass from a mainsheet, why don't you just shut up and move on to the next article and pontificate over that?

Abby's life is at stake, for God's sake. At least hold your self-righteous opprobrium until we know if she's okay.

Lem said...

She looks a little bit like Elizabeth Smart.

Lem said...

Abby is a refreshing change from all this:

For a name caller you sure live vicariously thru what others do from your easy chair.

Revenant said...

Revenant....You make a good argument, but it is based upon the assumption that a 16 year old has no experience.

Er, no. My argument is based on the mathematical fact that a 16 year old can't have had even remotely as much experience as a 36 year old can have had.

bagoh20 said...

Had to Google Aeron chairs. That's why I love this blog. You learn stuff.

Lem said...

Abby's life is at stake, for God's sake. At least hold your self-righteous opprobrium until we know if she's okay.

I'm special dammit!

I'm not going to do what every body else does ;)

Slow Joe said...

"Er, no. My argument is based on the mathematical fact that a 16 year old can't have had even remotely as much experience as a 36 year old can have had."

And yet she probably was better at this than 99 out of 100 36 year old sailors.

not that it matters. This was a huge risk at any age. Some things are not really better or necessary to be done completely alone, in my opinion. If this were my little girl, I would be so proud and I'd be relatively close in my own boat. Even 100 miles away with a crewed vessel would be better than this letting her be completely remote.

Lem said...

Those chairs are the best of the best..

cant say as I have one.

Mian said...

Lem,
I'm a sailor too though I don't have the guts to take on anything nearly as adventurous as this. And my chair is at the kitchen table.

As for the name-calling, if the seat fits...sit in it.

bagoh20 said...

I'm well past 16 and 36. I get scared sleeping in the woods alone. She must be unlike anyone I know at any age. I want her so bad to be alive in that unsinkable hull. It's quite likely, I tell myself.

Lem said...

I'm going to follow Obamas instruction - Be polite but firm ;)

Chill Mian

Sam Brazys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

I pray that she is alive too.. I'm not hartless.

Its just that it goes w/o saying - for me. For me.. the Caulfield perks up.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

And yet she probably was better at this than 99 out of 100 36 year old sailors.

Quite possibly.

But consider that she was aiming at the record for youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe solo. This means that literally every single person to ever circumnavigate the globe solo falls into at least one of the following two categories:

(1): They were older than her.
(2): They failed.

That sort of suggests that maybe age 16 is pushing it, don't you think? Obviously it was conceivable that it could be done, because someone not much older just did it. But conceivable and advisable aren't the same thing.

That being said, I don't think we should write her off as lost yet. If her boat hasn't sunk (and the evidence is that it hasn't), and if she has good stocks of food and water (which she did), she's got a good chance.

Penny said...

While you quote one Metafilter commenter, let me quote another.

"The only people irresponsible in all this are the armchair parents.

Keep telling kids that they need to settle for second best. That dreams are just dreams. If it weren't for those capable of pushing beyond what others said could not be done or should not be done we'd still be living in grass huts around a campfire wearing loincloths.

I'm appalled at those treating this situation as if a toddler has been boxed up and put on a canoe for a trip across the Pacific. Give this young woman the credit and trust she deserves. In fact, go read her blog a bit. She's more mature than many twice her age. She's incredibly well informed about the dangers present in her journey and she knows how to handle them.

Of course there's risk involved. She knew that and accepted that. And she has the maturity and mental faculty to make that acception.

The scary thing, to me, is that people think age alone is somehow the be-all and end-all to determining a person's ability to make sound judgement. That had she started out on this trip one second after her eighteenth birthday we'd see comments along the lines of "that's sad. she was extremely brave" instead of "wow, those parents are horrible! child endangerment! neglect. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!"

She's got amazing guts; more in her pinky than the armchair parents who want to tie everything down and wrap it in bubblewrap so nothing bad ever happens.

I hope she comes out of this fine. I hope she makes another attempt and succeeds. And I hope she goes on to have even more amazing and inspiring journeys. The human race needs more people like her. A million more.
posted by ruthsarian at 12:25 PM on June 10 [33 favorites]"

Slow Joe said...

"That sort of suggests that maybe age 16 is pushing it, don't you think?"

I think the solo part is the problem. We tend to not record stupid records, don't we? There's no binge drinking world record either.

Anyway, you're right that there's no reason to write her off. I agree that she was well prepared for this problem, actually. See deployed this warning system, so I think she probably did the other steps needed to protect herself.

Fred4Pres said...

She pushed the envelope and may have paid the ultimate price. Still, I have been in a couple of situations where I was sure I was going to die. There was nothing so sweet as surviving.

I hope and pray she is okay.

kent said...

Contact Made With Missing Teen Sailor

Great news!

bagoh20 said...

Amazing! Wonderful!

John Stodder said...

She is alive and the boat is aright.

Heard a guy call into Red Eye Radio a little while ago who seemed to know what he was talking about, and it seemed like there was a decent chance she had survived even if the boat was crippled due to redundant layers of safety equipment and features.

Thank God.

Methadras said...

Good on her. Tough, resilient kid. I feared the worst, but she has grit and I like that.

Duscany said...

Sunderland is alive and safe, her boat upright. This from a news report:

"Sunderland's parents, Laurence and Marianne, wrote on her blog: "We have just heard from the Australian Search and Rescue. The plane arrived on the scene moments ago. Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!"

What great news.

Revenant said...

What great news.

Awesome! :)

Youngblood said...

The comment that Althouse blogged about looks even more stupid now than it did earlier, doesn't it?

JohnG said...

We all know how the "Youngest X to do Y" media feeding frenzies ultimately end. At least when Jessica Dubroff died it also took out her idiot father and "flight instructor" at the same time.

Revenant said...

We all know how the "Youngest X to do Y" media feeding frenzies ultimately end.

You know, you would have looked like a dickless loser just for posting that, but posting it AFTER she turned up alive is just the icing on the cake.

Now you're still the same bitter nobody you were before, but you don't even get the pleasure of gloating over the death of someone better than you. Must be painful for you, no? :)

rhhardin said...

It's entirely a news rating phenomenon.

Pretty white girl in danger is what you hear about, out of a world population of six billion, because you don't tune away, and so see the ads that are the actual point of the business.

News organizations' product is, not news, but your eyes.

That determines what has legs as public debate.

(I wonder why blogger now insists on choose an identity each time, even though I'm thoroughly logged in.)

Slow Joe said...

I imagine rhhardin isn't a whole lot of fun to hang around. j/k

This is wonderful news. I can imagine being flippant about random white girls being centers of stories while minorities are ignored, but this is not a random white girl.

If you watch the TV for news, you deserve the crap you get, btw.

rhhardin said...

The reason you don't tune away is that it's entertaining. You're entertaining yourself with somebody else's problem.

In particular entertaining yourself with how serious and sympathetic you are.

Slow Joe said...

Interestingly, I don't tune in because I find that stuff kinda boring. Except when Beck is (literally) crying, which was funny a few times, but now it's kinda boring.

Now, this gal's adventure I do not find boring at all. I'd love to hear more when she makes it in.

themightypuck said...

Happy times. Let's wait until she is home and dry before the inevitable recriminations.

EnigmatiCore said...

How does one subvert nature's power?

Beyond that, the quote misrepresents the girl. ""I am definitely nervous," Abby told "20/20." "People say you shouldn't be nervous if you are really ready to do this. But I understand [the] ocean, and I understand how dangerous what I am doing actually is, and I understand how careful I need to be out there." "

Not quite someone thinking nothing can touch her.

Michael said...

Most children today, especially privileged children, never play a game without a uniform and adult supervision. We are so far gone as a society that we won't let our kids outside alone for fear of....everything from being kidnapped to stumping their toes. The conditions would have been the same if she was 16 or 66. We may never know if she made an error in judgment but her age would not have changed the facts. And by the way, you don't have to be wealthy to sail around the world.

traditionalguy said...

First morning thought: The Lord does hear us when we cry to Him for those in peril on thr sea.

TRO said...

Hey, the chick's alive. Turns out she just forgot to keep her cell phone on like most teens.

Pastafarian said...

I think that Slow Joe had it right: We need to stop glorifying reckless behavior (like solo circumnavigations by 16-year-olds) or the next one will die.

Now, Joe used a bad example: "There's no record for binge-drinking, after all."

As this is perhaps the only record that I have a shot at, I'd like to register my outrage at the lack of respect shown the sport of drinking-like-it's-your-job.

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
"The only thing I can say about the commenter is that I have a feeling I know his/her political affiliations."

You could watch the sun rise in the east and think it was an Islamic plot and when it sets in the west it would be a clear sign of the Asian horde on the move.

Well I guess every village needs an idiot.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What were the parents thinking???

They weren't?

edutcher said...

A couple of points from history.

First, the majority of sailing ships never returned home. A great many might as well have fallen off the face of the earth, as they were never heard from. So the young lady is probably lucky to be alive. Her experience may be better than others', but how well did her parents understand everything that could happen out there. Some of the commenters here talk about 'dreams' (which are what you have when you're asleep) or exceptionalism are not what this is about. If you want to make a meaningless gesture that could cost you your life, fine; wait five or ten years until you have some sense to go with that experience. There is a big difference between brave and stupid and the difference usually gets you killed.

Second, it's true kids her age and much younger were doing things like this 150 years ago and more only because there was no one else to do it. When Pa was off on the cattle drive, 16 year old Matilda (anybody remember 'True Grit'?) had to go after the rustlers because Ma had to look after the other 15 kids. We don't have to lose teenagers doing things they aren't equipped to do - and they were probably better equipped back then - because their parents fought to make a world where things would be better for their kids.

I don't mean the enforced extension of childhood things like ZeroCare and the rest of the welfare state encourage, but how many people really want to go back to the days when kids did adult work and died for it because they weren't big enough, strong enough, or intellectually mature (let alone educated) enough? (Think Triangle Shirtwaist fire or any book by Charles Dickens) By all means, prepare them for the world rather than shelter them, but this stunt - and that's what it is - has nothing to do with the realities that 14 year olds by the hundred into going Around The Horn - and many of them dying - because they were too poor to do anything else.

PS Alex and danielle vindicate my guess about the political affiliation of the commenter Ann quoted initially.

Roger J. said...

Trad Guy--perhaps a corollary prayer: protect me oh lord--thy sea is so large and my boat is so small.

There is really something awesome about sailing out of the sight of land--It does do remarkable things for our place on earth.

Slow Joe said...

Two points:

1, HDHouse, do you detect class warfare in the comment being criticized? You know, where the wealth is considered a factor in whether or not a dead kid would warrant sympathy? Granted, sane democrats do not think like that.

But those who think this way were probably pulling the lever for (D)s a whole lot more than (R)s. Your freaking that someone notes this exposes someone politics is ironic. You're also exposing another ugly aspect of far leftist thought in your projection and instant taking of offense.

Mian said...

So glad she's safe!

JAL said...

Yes! She is safe.

MadisonMan said...

People parent in different ways. The lost-at-sea sailor's parents raised a very resourceful and accomplished kid. You've got to let them go after a while so they can see what they can do.

It's a sad ending to a short life, if indeed the life has ended. What a horrible hell to live through for her parents though.

Pogo said...

Bless her; glad for the rescue. I am untroubled by the risk she and her parents agreed to, but I am bothered by the risk they put their saviors in, for they faced that same fierce ocean to save her. Her act created danger for many.


"All men live enveloped in the whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life."
Moby Dick

Lem said...

That's good news.

I also agree with rh..

Hoosier Daddy said...

Being age 16 is old enough to do most skills better than a 36 year old can do them.

Well that's fine. Then lets stop pretending they're childrens when they commit henious crimes or do stupid shit and start treating them with the accountability of your average 36 year old.

Oh and lets stop holding parents accounatble for the stupid shit their kids do since they're obviously skilled enough to do things a 36 year old can do.

A.Worthing said...

btw, she is alive.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9G91VU80&show_article=1

That commenter is surely disappointed.

Myself, I am of two minds about it. On one hand, i like her pluckiness. On the other, I keep thinking, "why can't she just have one adult there? i mean that adult can just sit there, not lift a finger to help, play a nintendo DS all day, but why not?"

And its kind of a stupid achievement. It reminds me of those guys always trying to go around the world in a baloon. and then they inevitably crash and we the people have to pick up the tab. which is happening here.

so my feelings are mixed. certainly if she was an adult i would say "knock this off. you are costing us money when we have to rescue you." but the fact she is a teenager doing it adds that pluckiness, so i am less inclined to get annoyed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Myself, I am of two minds about it. On one hand, i like her pluckiness. On the other, I keep thinking, "why can't she just have one adult there?

Well on one hand there is the argument that she has a lot of guts but I remember my teen years and I thought I was pretty much unbreakable too and did some pretty reckless stuff that in hindsight makes me shudder. Maybe I'm just old fashioned or maybe having an almost teen daughter myself makes me want to bitch slap the parents for being morons. I'm not into mollycoddling teenagers and wrapping them in bubble wrap but I also don't think a solo sail around the world is a good idea either.

Superdad said...

She is 16 years old. Through out most of human history she would have been an adult. Just because she did not grow up in a family that coddled her and sheltered her from danger and life does not mean they were bad parents. Even if she dies, I will not think the parents did anything wrong.

HKatz said...

The latest report is that she is alive :)

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/06/teen-sailor-abby-sunderland-in-good-spirits-awaiting-rescue-in-indian-ocean/1

The pilot also was able to speak to Abby by radio, even though her satellite link to her parents in California had been broken. She had already activated emergency location beacons.

sol said...

This is a most excellent way to improve one's judgement.

If she had an adult man with her she would end up being a passenger or deck hand and he'd just screw things up.

If she had an adult female with her she'd end up being a nurse.

The boats are unsinkable when the hatches are screwed down water-tight. You do get to feel like a tennis shoe inside a dryer.

I doubt she will ever find scary thrills at an amusement park.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

For those of you who believe age and experience provide extra protection, one word: Fastnet, 1979

traditionalguy said...

Hooser Daddy...We were in the post WWII 1950's and the adults made us act responsibly under training from a community that had come thru the War. The Boy Scouts at 11had monthly overnight camp outs and two weeks summer camps run by hard-nose men training us in many skills. By 16 we had also learned skills from YMCA programs , but these were not run by as strong a group. Then there was High School wrestling and football. When my son reached 16 age he was on the Woodward Academy wrestling team with an intense coach that picked out 4 of the team members to go to a 4 week Intensive Wrestling camp in Minneapolis. Believe me, Marine recruits had it easier that summer than those young men, who are still close friends today. So my point of view is to respect the dedicated 16 year old's courage, since in my life experience they have been stronger mentally and physically than most 36 year old worker drones that I socialised with. Maybe this boils down at the extremes to a Spartan view of youth next to an Athenian view of youth ...but can't we allow them to live together without being judgemental.

Greg said...

Personally, I'd like to see the parents receive a hefty bill for the cost of the S and R effort.

The real blessing is that none of the rescuers have died in the effort. Let's hope they weren't called away from others in need. I doubt the girl or her family gave much, if any, thought to those possibilities.

And the *minute* one of the rescuers appears on scene they should drag her ass home, kicking and screaming all the way if necessary.

The folly's over . . . or it should be.

Triangle Man said...

I'm not into mollycoddling teenagers and wrapping them in bubble wrap but I also don't think a solo sail around the world is a good idea either.

If only there were some middle ground.

MadisonMan said...

Personally, I'd like to see the parents receive a hefty bill for the cost of the S and R effort.

I think that should be the case only if anyone who is rescued at sea is billed.

I think S&R is a pretty good way for a government to spend money, actually. Do those rescued get a bill? That would be news to me.

Beth said...

"Abby Sunderland, from Thousand Oaks, California, has been following in the footsteps of her brother Zac, who completed his own solo voyage around the globe in 2009 at the age of 17."

So I'm pretty sure she and her family knew perfectly well what was in store, and how to prepare for it.

Now I guess the subject will be how sibling rivalry can kill.

Brian Hancock said...

Live and let live!

Glad she is alive and if she want too, I hope she can try it again.

Pogo said...

Do those rescued get a bill?

Rescued kayakers reject bill for service
TIME: Who Pays For The Rescue?
Should I Pay the Cost When You Get Lost?
Should you have to pay for rescue?
Who should have to pay to rescue stranded climbers?

Pogo said...

Do the parents have any responsibility for putting other people in danger to effect a rescue?

I believe what they did was immoral in the unspoken demand or expectation for assistance in dangerous waters at the worst time of year.

It reminds of "Grizzly Man" in some ways.

John said...

I think stunts like this are stupid and pointless. It is one thing to get killed by accident or get killed defending something or someone you love. But, to get killed trying to do something like this is really a waste of a life. I used to think extreme mountaineering and the like were fabulous. But then I got older and actually had some experience with death and I lost my respect for it. I see your point about sixteen being pretty close to 18. But, two years is a lot at that age. And as a parent I would never condone this stuff. Once she was an adult and over 18, I would wish her well. But before that, I would never want it on my conscience if something happened to her.

Traditional Guy is absolutely out to lunch on this. There is nothing couragous about this. It is a stupid pointless stunt and had she been killed it would have been a complete waste of a young life.

John said...

"I think S&R is a pretty good way for a government to spend money, actually. Do those rescued get a bill? That would be news to me."

I know in Colorado and many mountain states they do. It was costing the states millions to get idiots off of mountains. I, as a tax payer, do not owe you saving from your own stupidity.

bagoh20 said...

As for the rescue costs: I suspect those well trained people pray for the chance to perform such a rescue and in fact it is good training and will be used as such.

Rescue people are like young Abby and are not average mediocre people who avoid adventure and risk so that they can maximize the number of hours spent sitting on their ass capped at the end by a few years in a home stretching it out watching Jeopardy.

I respect them all. I love their willingness to confront risk. I do live through them vicariously. I'm grateful for it. As for the monetary costs: Kick some couch potato off his welfare checks to pay for it, not the other way around. Where is that money better spent? Now multiply that by the millions of parasites and imagine where we would be if those were all risk taking doers expanding our horizons and saving others instead. We may be in decline, but a few of us carry the flame.

Leland said...

I didn't feel sad either, at least not in her loss. Any sadness was the failure to acheive what mattered to her. Alas, she is alive, but I think her quest is over becaue she's not getting younger.

What were the parents thinking? They probably thought she could handle herself pretty well, and indeed, if you think about her survival for a moment; you'll realize that Ms. Sunderland did an excellent job. Just because most of us wouldn't attempt weathering a storm in the open ocean by ourselves doesn't mean we should think less of Ms. Sunderland.

Good for her on the attempt. Perhaps she should tip her rescuers in a bit of thanks. This notion that she should just pay for S&R seems a be more about class envy and politics than a true concern about safety. She's being rescued by a fishing boat. And she was found by an airliner. These people do these things not for money, but because they hope others would do the same for them.

AllenS said...

I live in a rural area. If I call the fire department, I will get a bill.

John said...

"Rescue people are like young Abby and are not average mediocre people who avoid adventure and risk so that they can maximize the number of hours spent sitting on their ass capped at the end by a few years in a home stretching it out watching Jeopardy."

Their services cost money. They shouldn't be wasted on publicity seeking stunt artists. They have better things to do than that. Bill the hell out of her and her parents.

Michael said...

John: As you ponder this girl's "stupid and pointless stunt" do you not reflect the first three words of that quote upon your own life?

As one reads the scolds on this thread one gets a sense of the profound emptiness that grips so many , the joylessness, the utter know-it-all-ness.

this girl's life is already fuller than most and this "stunt" will be with her longer, way longer, than the joy of being right about anything.

MadisonMan said...

I see your point about sixteen being pretty close to 18. But, two years is a lot at that age. And as a parent I would never condone this stuff. Once she was an adult and over 18, I would wish her well. But before that, I would never want it on my conscience if something happened to her.

As I said upthread, people parent in different ways. But universally, parenting should be about gradually letting go of your kids. Sunderland's parents raised a 16-yo who can solo sail (almost :) ) around the world. I think that's a pretty remarkable feat of parenting. She may have been sprung from the nest a little early, but it's pretty clear that she was 99% ready to go.

And I see nothing magical about the age 18. Some kids essentially turn 18 long before then, some long after.

bagoh20 said...

To expand on my point: I suggest a stimulus plan that would take able bodied people off welfare and pay them to either take risks like Abby's or join a rescue team saving the others. In the end we would be much better off with more quality people and less big screen TVs in the hood or some trailer park.

Roger J. said...

Are there any links to who spotted her or was involved in the rescue? I understand the aussies sent an S and R plane but too lazy to google the particulars--While I appreciate the verve of Miss Abby, there are consequences to our decisions, and hers may (I say May) have put rescuers in peril. Seems to me those who put other people at risk need to cough up the dollars to reimburse those folks--otherwise actions have no consequences, and that is not a lesson that needs to be affirmed.

glad she is alive, and she sounds like one plucky lady and pretty well grounded--but her actions and those of her parents necessarily involved other people. Just my .o2

Chris said...

Metafilter? Seriously? A little disclaimer before the link would be nice. You're not going to send us to any YouTube comment threads next are you?

John said...

"John: As you ponder this girl's "stupid and pointless stunt" do you not reflect the first three words of that quote upon your own life?

As one reads the scolds on this thread one gets a sense of the profound emptiness that grips so many , the joylessness, the utter know-it-all-ness."

My life isn't empty at all. I served my country. I have a wonderful wife and family. I have also, thanks to the service of my country, seen a little bit of death and destruction. It is absolute tragedy when a young person dies. It is easy enough to get killed driving to work or by getting a terminal disease. I have an infinite amount of respect for people who risk their lives in the service of others. I have no respect for people who risk their lives in service of their own egos.

I think you project a bit on who has an empty life. You have to have a pretty empty life to think all of the meaning of it comes from taking pointless risks and adreniline rushes.

I don't blame her for that. She is just a kid who doesn't know any better. Her parents, however, are not.

MadisonMan said...

Are there any links to who spotted her or was involved in the rescue?

I believe a Qantas Airliner spotted her.

John said...

"I believe a Qantas Airliner spotted her."

Really? At 30,000 feet doing 500+mph spotted a small sailboat in the middle of the ocean? If so that is pretty incredible.

Roger J. said...

And I will also add that I am an avid wildenrness canoer who has been on a dozen trips into northen saskatchewan north of the churchill river--while I leave my intineray with the RCMP stations, I frankly do NOT expect them to bail me out if I have troubles.
I plan on my own survival and that is a central part of planning my trips to Wollaston Lake, Reindeer Lake, and other magnificent but potentially dangerous areas in the northwoods.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But universally, parenting should be about gradually letting go of your kids.

I don't disagree MadMan but I think letting go of a sixteen year old girl to sail around the planet is a bit much at that age. I'm sorry but that's how I see it.

Andrea said...

Re the idea that a 36-year-old would automatically be more mature than a 16-year-old: yeah, I've never met an immature 36-year-old. In fact, I remember that when I turned 18 maturity came down upon me like Holy Fire. Suddenly I was making sensible decisions and doing everything right! And all around me everyone over 18 was doing the same. It's great living in a Utopia run by mature adults instead of foolish kids.

John said...

"Re the idea that a 36-year-old would automatically be more mature than a 16-year-old: yeah, I've never met an immature 36-year-old."

I don't think anyone is saying that. You are right some people never learn good judgment. But your chances of having it at 20 or 30 is a hell of a lot better than at 16.

Andrea said...

One more thing: from what I'm getting on this thread is that the mature oldsters here wouldn't have the guts (or "foolishness") to even want to attempt to sail alone around the world. "Meh, it's too hard, and I've seen people die and death is a bummer. Also the Scrubs marathon starts in a few minutes," seems to be the Sensible, Middle-Aged position.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe I'm just old fashioned or maybe having an almost teen daughter myself makes me want to bitch slap the parents for being morons. I'm not into mollycoddling teenagers and wrapping them in bubble wrap but I also don't think a solo sail around the world is a good idea either.

Hoosier, I meant to reply to this earlier, but got distracted.

There is such a huge difference between tween and 16, at least as I've lived through it. At 12, the kid thinks they are way older than they actually are. At 16, the parent thinks the kid is way younger than they actually are. It's an interesting flip in perceptions to live through.

Not to say I'd let my kid solo sail -- she's not been sailing all her life though. If my daughter was ready for it, though, what would holding her back accomplish, other than my peace of mind as a parent?

The parents in this case judged their daughter capable of sailing solo around the world. Apparently they have had success in making that judgement call in the past -- their son has done it. It's hard to say whether their judgement is faulty, or if the daughter was just unlucky vs. her lucky brother.

John said...

"I think that's a pretty remarkable feat of parenting. She may have been sprung from the nest a little early, but it's pretty clear that she was 99% ready to go."

I think it is a pretty remarkable feat of stupidity. Even if you are "ready to go", you still risk death. Even the best sailor in the world would still stand a decent chance of death on a trip like that. All it takes is one piece of bad luck, a whale breaching on top of your boat, falling and hurting yourself, and you are in huge trouble no matter how prepared you are.

She has the whole rest of her life to do such things. Would an extra two years of preperation and judgemetn hurt?

MadisonMan said...

Australian rescue officials said a Qantas Airbus A330 spotted "Wild Eyes," her yacht, and was able to make radio contact with her. A French fishing vessel was diverted to her location and expected to arrive in the next 24 hours, the family said.

(From the CNN News report).

pst314 said...

"Their services cost money. They shouldn't be wasted on publicity seeking stunt artists."

I haven't followed this story, so do you have any evidence that she is a "publicity seeking stunt artist" and not simply someone who really, really loves sailing and wants to take on a bigger challenge?

Pogo said...

Is the expectation for rescue limitless?

John said...

"One more thing: from what I'm getting on this thread is that the mature oldsters here wouldn't have the guts (or "foolishness") to even want to attempt to sail alone around the world. "Meh, it's too hard, and I've seen people die and death is a bummer. Also the Scrubs marathon starts in a few minutes," seems to be the Sensible, Middle-Aged position."

I am getting the feeling you are an idiot who has never actually been in real danger in your life. I have. And I can tell you it is wonderful to think about and tell war stories about after the fact, but it sucks really bad at the time.

Thinking that a 16 year old has no business in such a situation, is not being an "oldster". It is having some common sense and appreciation for life. Not that she shouldn't be free to do such things when she is older. She should, although I think it is the height of selfishness to risk your life for you own thrills and ego.

Roger J. said...

this has been (and I hope continues to be) a fascinating thread--for the most part politics free--clearly we all have our own calculus for these kind of things. One of the Professors betters threads, IMO. Appreciate the various POVs, most of which have been stated very well.

former law student said...

Now that she's been found, I can agree that the case of little Jessica Dubroff, with her "Women Fly" cap, ended any sympathy I had with attempts to be the youngest to do anything.

tradguy is right in that the military, especially the marines, prize 17 year olds for their fearlessness and for their desire to prove themselves adults, according to my college friend who had joined the Marines on his 17th birthday with parental consent.

Michael said...

John: So a person can sail around the world solo, when? When they are no longer under their parents care? Or never because it is too risky?

I am curious about your strongly held position on risk. You served in the military, so is it OK to join when you are 18 but not 17? Is this something for the Government to decide?

I am fascinated by your position on this.

traditionalguy said...

@ John...This was a test that brings out the best in humans. And women just want to be treated like humans. If you want to see a totally worthless stunt, then look at the last 30,000 extra young men thrown into the IED seeded and ambush staged gallery of Afghanistan's wilderness so that Obama can look a little better when he withdraws what is left of them 6 months from now.

Roger J. said...

Madison Man--thanks for the information on the contact/rescue. Much appreciated.

bagoh20 said...

"Is the expectation for rescue limitless?"

I suppose not, but we do endlessly rescue millions from their own sloth, which incidentally rarely works and costs much more. Perspective is everything. I think we can afford one, but not the other. Our current fiscal situation is proof.

Lem said...

Geraldo was on Imus this morning. He said he working on the story where it appears the parents might have pushed this girl to do this for the sponsorships, prestige, 15 mins.

Don't shoot me.. I just reporting what he said.

Roger J. said...

fls--I am not sure I agree with argument you and others have posited--my experience in the military is that I value men (and women) who are technically competent, physically able, and mature enough to make decisions when the world is going to shit around them. Some 17 YOs can do that, some 50 YO generals cant--your foxhole mates know who is who.

Pogo said...

Excellent point, bagoh.

John said...

"I am curious about your strongly held position on risk. You served in the military, so is it OK to join when you are 18 but not 17? Is this something for the Government to decide?"

Where did I ever bring the government up? You have to draw a line somewhere, and 18 seems rational. You will never hear me saying "how dare they let that 19 year old do X". I think her parents were dumb to let her do something like this. It accomplishes nothing. It just risks her life for publicity.

It is not that I think that 16 year olds should be treated like 10 year olds. And it is not that I have a problem with taking risks. I don't and do myself. But this is so extreme that it becomes a difference in quality rather than quantity. We are not talking about her going to college two years early, or drinking beer or driving a car cross country.

Leland said...

John,

Dude, if you are going to suggest others are "utter know-it-all-ness" then I suggest educating yourself before making uninformed comments.

Really? At 30,000 feet doing 500+mph spotted a small sailboat in the middle of the ocean? If so that is pretty incredible.

It was a Qantas A320, but it wasn't at crusing speed between Australia and South Africa. It was sent to search for her. In case you are not aware, an A320 can fly below 30,000 feet at a speed much slower than 500 mph. And that middle of the ocean part is not that difficult when you have a transponder to track to, which this young girl had.

She has the whole rest of her life to do such things. Would an extra two years of preperation and judgemetn hurt?

I don't know how old you are, but I suspect you are over 18. I'm not sure the extra years have helped you in making good judgements. Certainly hasn't helped in putting caution and study before setting off to respond.

MadisonMan said...

He said he working on the story where it appears the parents might have pushed this girl to do this for the sponsorships, prestige, 15 mins.

This would not surprise me. (Although it being Geraldo, I'm suspicious :) ).

If my kid had the ability to do this, and wanted to do it, and convinced me that she could do it to the extent that I would actually allow it, I would be trying to find someone else to pay the bill as well. As a Corporation, though, I'd think long and hard before sponsoring something that could be perceived as putting a child in danger.

If the story is true, I'm curious to know what Companies were approached for sponsorships.

AllenS said...

You can join the Navy at 17, but the Navy will not let you sail around the world alone.

John said...

"This was a test that brings out the best in humans."

Jesus the bullshit is waist deep in here. No it doesn't. It doesn't help one person or do anything except feed the doers ego. You want to risk your life, go risk it on something worthwhile.

There is a reason why suicide is considered a bad thing. It is because when someone dies, especially a young person, the people around them are greatly affected. Why on earth would you put your own life in such jeaopardy in an action that accomplishes nothing? It is one thing to risk your life for you country or be a fireman or cop and risk your life to protect people. but this is something entirely different.

Pogo said...

I would be more impressed if she were to walk through the streets of Detroit alone for a week unaided.

John said...

Fuck off Leeland. Madison Man's comments made it sound like she was spotted by an "airliner" as in one that just happened to be flying by not a search plane. And I didn't know it wasn't true, which is why I asked him "really?"

bagoh20 said...

"Geraldo was on Imus this morning. He said he working on the story where it appears the parents might have pushed this girl to do this for the sponsorships, prestige,"

True or not, is there any doubt that such a story will be pushed? It's what they do. Dirt, rumor, tearing down. Journalism is a nasty and damaging business. The gossip clique of our world, carping and preening. I'm working on a story that will show that Geraldo will lie for the sponsorships.

From what I've read, the parents were against it strongly, but eventually relented after she proved herself determined and capable. She was relentless. Seems entirely in-character to me. I know who I believe.

bagoh20 said...

"You can join the Navy at 17, but the Navy will not let you sail around the world alone.",

I don't think battle at sea with people shooting at you is safer.

Leland said...

"Fuck off Leeland."

Ah, a mature response.

At least I know how to read you from now on. You seemed so knowledgable about Ms. Sunderland, that I assumed you were keeping up with events, not just opining based on ignorance. Now we all know better.

Lem said...

I would be more impressed if she were to walk through the streets of Detroit alone for a week unaided.

It would be easier for Galaraga to pitch another perfect game ;)

Beaverdam said...

John, John, John. You are an maroon.

Roger J. said...

bag--in a believability contest between geraldo and anyone else, any one else is always the sure bet.

AllenS said...

bags,

If people are shooting at you, you don't want to be in a sail boat all by yourself. You'd want to be in a Navy ship, shooting back.

John said...

Leeland,

Why do you have to be so nasty? I asked Madison Man a simple question. And no I haven't followed to story closely. But you don't have to follow it closely to realize the parents were out of their minds to let a 16 year old try to sail solo around the world.

kent said...

I would be more impressed if she were to walk through the streets of Detroit alone for a week unaided.

... and, speaking of the modern-day urban marvel that is Detroit: Playing make believe, Detroit to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a felony.

"Hope! CHANGE!" ;)

bagoh20 said...

"But you don't have to follow it closely to realize the parents were out of their minds to let a 16 year old try to sail solo around the world."

But you do need to follow it closely to see there is more to the story. That's what I see here. Those calling her parents crazy know the least about the facts. This is not your father's 16 year old.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But you don't have to follow it closely to realize the parents were out of their minds to let a 16 year old try to sail solo around the world.

Well I'll join John and the minority in seconding that. I'm sorry but her sailing skills notwithstanding, letting a 16 year old solo the globe in a sail boat is monumentally idiotic. Yes that's my opinion and I'm stickin to it.

Oh and for the 'we let 17 year olds join the Army' yes we do. They also serve under and obey the orders of older Army guys who (presumably) have the experience and acumen to keep them from getting their asses blowed up. In other words, 17 year olds aren't sent on solo missions behind enemy lines to blow up shit.

I'm pleased as punch that she is alive and well because I think 16 is a wee bit young to be fish food because her parents were morons.

Andrea said...

"I think it is the height of selfishness to risk your life for you own thrills and ego."

Ah, the selfishness argument. How often was it used on me! A haze of nostalgia enwraps my brain... mem'ries light the corners of my mind...

"I don't want to take my sister along." My sister was a psycho who although younger than me was physically larger and much stronger. "You're so selfish," I was told. Did I mention I'd always get blamed for any damage she did because "you're the big sister, you were in charge."

Wanting to be left alone to read instead of playing with my sister: "Don't be so selfish -- she's your sister!"

Not wanting to share my toys with my sister because she would break them: "How selfish! Nice children share their toys."

Now the grownup phase: "I don't want to go out clubbing with you, I'm tired and I want to stay home." "But I can't go alone! Fine, I'll just stay home again and not have anything to do and not meet Mr. Right. Thanks a lot for ruining my life!" (She never did meet Mr. Right in those clubs.)

An opinion from the same clingy friend: two-seater cars are "selfish" because you can't carry a gaggle of your friends around in them.

I get a boyfriend -- immediate jealousy from the "friend." It's selfish of me not to sit home alone by the phone so she can tell me all about her man troubles.

I decide to move out of Miami. How could I?!?!? Don't I know how much my friend needs me? All her friends have moved away! I'm all she has! I'm so selfish to think of leaving!

The upshot of all this is: the "selfishness" argument doesn't work on me, John. Not anymore.

AllenS said...

I also agree with John.

Leland said...

Leeland,

Why do you have to be so nasty?


Why are you a hypocrit?

John wrote: Fuckoff Leeland

It's pretty obvious which one us is being nasty, and that's without quoting all the times your referred to others as idiot or stupid. Heck, most of us can even spell other's name correctly.

bagoh20 said...

"They also serve under and obey the orders of older Army guys who (presumably) have the experience and acumen to keep them from getting their asses blowed up."

But they do anyway, by the thousands. We expect them to get killed - it's crazy not to. That makes this risk seem tepid. The risk is why we honor them when they are killed and we don't attack their parents for letting them enlist. Well most of us don't.

kent said...

In other words, 17 year olds aren't sent on solo missions behind enemy lines to blow up shit.

Well... bang goes my spec script for "IRON EAGLE V: Barely Legal," then. ;)

Andrea said...

Something I don't think I've seen come up yet: would we even be having this argument if the sailor in question was a sixteen year old boy? Something tells me "no."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Something I don't think I've seen come up yet: would we even be having this argument if the sailor in question was a sixteen year old boy? Something tells me "no."

Well speaking for myself, my position remains the same regardless of sex, race, religious or political affiliation and gender preference.

Just covering all categories ;-)

Leland said...

Hoosier,

Why I understand your sentiment, and I realize you are responding to others about the military and 17 year olds; Ms. Sunderland's older brother circumnavigated the globe when he was 17.

These people are really experienced about this. Out of their mind doesn't seem an apt description.

John said...

"Something I don't think I've seen come up yet: would we even be having this argument if the sailor in question was a sixteen year old boy? Something tells me "no."

Something tells me we would. And the parents were just as stupid to let their son do the same thing a few years ago.

John said...

"This is not your father's 16 year old."

The Indian Ocean didn't care how special she was when it tossed her boat over.

Leland said...

would we even be having this argument if the sailor in question was a sixteen year old boy? Something tells me "no."

Her brother did the same thing, more successfully, at age 17. He was heralded. So I think you have some evidence to support your theory.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well... bang goes my spec script for "IRON EAGLE V: Barely Legal," then. ;)

Now now, Louis Gossett Jr. was flying as wingman so that doesn't count.

Andrea said...

Case in point: the brother did it when he was 17. So far I've seen no one offering any disapprobation of his voyage at such tender years -- or is a male 17 year old more mature than a female 16 year old?

John said...

"Case in point: the brother did it when he was 17. So far I've seen no one offering any disapprobation of his voyage at such tender years -- or is a male 17 year old more mature than a female 16 year old?"


I have. I have said a couple of times on this thread the parents were stupid to let him do that as well. But since he is not the one lost as sea, he hasn't come up much.

Andrea said...

Face it: when you dudes think of a sixteen year old girl, in your mind she's a tender, delicate thing in pink with a bow in her hair. You can't imagine anyone who would let her do anything that would so much as muss her pigtails. On the other hand, a boy the same age reminds you of yourselves at that age, and you think "Go, kid, go!"

bagoh20 said...

For me the whole responsibility thing comes down to preparation and making reasonably sure she was capable of doing it safely. I think they did that. With that done, I'm OK with the decision to go, the cost of rescue, the risk. If we cannot take well planned risks, then we are dead anyway.

Her age is not a problem. Of course at some point youth would make the risk poorly planned. I think 16 is about that limit for me. But it is on the go side of my limit. Some others would be fine at 18, some never. So be it.

bagoh20 said...

"The Indian Ocean didn't care how special she was when it tossed her boat over."

Nor how old she was.

MadisonMan said...

Andrea, you are racing too quickly to judgement. I've seen no indication that the gender of the sailor plays a role in the condemnation of the parents.

Michael said...

Leland: I think the brother is 17 now and was 16 when he sailed the briny seas alone. This guy John is angry about something, isn't he? Poor eye sight too. I have seen many the boat from airliners crossing the Atlantic. Couldn't tell the age of the sailors, however.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ms. Sunderland's older brother circumnavigated the globe when he was 17. These people are really experienced about this. Out of their mind doesn't seem an apt description

Ok here is my last word on the issue. Experience notwithstanding, sex notwithstanding 16 years old or 17 years old to go on a solo sail around the world is in my opinion, a reckless act. I don't think you can put the words really experienced in the same sentence as sixteen years old. I'm sorry but thats how I see it. If God forbid she died we'd be hearing about the tragedy of a tender young life snuffed out with so much ahead of her.

Now that the thread is turning into a screed on sexism I'm baling before Al Sharpton shows up or Obama chimes in to say this was somehow Bush's fault.

John said...

"I have seen many the boat from airliners crossing the Atlantic. Couldn't tell the age of the sailors, however."

Are the 12 year olds out of school or something? Yeah you have seen lots of "boats" out of an trans atlantic airliner. You were seeing cargo ships, not single person sailboats. It is virtually impossible to find a small boat at see. That is why so many of them go down. And why cross ocean sailing is so dangerous.

kent said...

Now now, Louis Gossett Jr. was flying as wingman so that doesn't count.

You always "get" all my jokes. Don't ever leave. ;)

Michael said...

John: You are an asshole and perhaps a blind one. Boats under sail can be seen from airliners, dickhead. Now go make sure your grown children aren't endangering themselves with any of their decisions that they haven't run by you first.

Big Mike said...

After reading Mian's comments in this thread, and what Penny and (lower case) john wrote I take back what I posted at the very top of this thread. The parents judged, apparently correctly, that their daughter knew what she was getting into.

What Drill SGT posted reminded me of a small vignette from Sebastian Junger's Perfect Storm -- a sailboat named Satori got caught in that storm. The pickup crew panicked at the storm's intensity (as seems reasonable) but the owner wanted to stay aboard and ride it out. The Coast Guard insisted he come off when the rescue boat arrived, but the Satori was later found dismasted but afloat and intact despite having no crew aboard and being caught in the worst of the worst storm to hit the Atlantic seaboard in the last century.

So perhaps Abby's risks were within the acceptable range, given her skill level, modern equipment, and the relative safety of modern boats. That she has apparently been found alive suggests that her parents were right and I was wrong. Good for them.

danielle said...

fantastic !

here's the video of the parents on GMA.

John said...

Michael,

I suggest you read some history of air sea rescue. It is a huge ocean. Noticing one boat is different than finding a single boat in an ocean. Your eyes get tired and you stop noticing things very quickly. They actually have tried using pigeons, who have better than human eyesight and attention spans to do it. Many a person has been lost at sea as they watched rescue plans fly over them without being seen.

Mian said...

Geraldo was on Imus this morning. He said he working on the story where it appears the parents might have pushed this girl to do this for the sponsorships, prestige

I think Abby's main sponsor is Shoe City, an LA retailer with about 30 locations. Other sponsors are sailing gear companies, etc. It's not like she's getting $30 million from Nike...

Giraldo & Imus: all hat and no cattle!

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