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#203301 - 06/11/10 11:39 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in des [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Seems to me her timing was a bit off. This is fairly typical weather for that part of the world this time of year. That said, age may be a small factor here but not a showstopper. She seems to have been equipped to survive and she seems to have most if not all of the required skill-sets. Stuff happens at sea.

This Monday morning QB stuff is easy; circumnavigating a 40' sloop is not.

$.02
_________________________
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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#203306 - 06/12/10 02:51 AM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: billvann]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
rant = on

You know, I hear a lot of people in a lot of places saying "oh, she's only 16, she shouldn't be doing this by herself".

HAH!

She's no younger than many of the men and women who explored the world in small groups on foot, or in little wooden boats that were at the mercy of the wind. She's no younger than many of the soldiers and sailors of the British Empire during it's hayday, and those of the United States in the 1800s. Never mind that Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Aztecs, and the numerous Chinese dynasties all had KINGS AND QUEENS that age who ruled the superpowers of their day ably and well in both war and peace.

The sociopolitical myth that there is some magical age when you become an adult is just that. I've seen 14 year olds who are more adult in my eyes than their parents, and 40 year olds that I wouldn't entrust with tools I used when I was 8.

She's a tough young woman, smart and competent. Not a girl, not a kid, but an adult. She might not have the experiences that some older people do, but she's got more wisdom and ability than the vast majority of those twice her age.

rant = off

OK, I just had to get that out of my system.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#203312 - 06/12/10 06:12 AM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: ironraven]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Quote:
... she's got more wisdom ...


The situation she got into, needing to be rescued and 1200 miles from the nearest help, would say otherwise. I'll give you brave and adventurous. Wisdom ... based on the evidence ... not so much.

Age, in and of itself, isn't really an issue. Then again if you were on an airliner and two 16 year-old pilots came bopping in there might be questions asked. Of course all worries would evaporate if they said they had 'practiced for two years'.

Yes, there are mature 16 year-olds. And there are immature 40 somethings. But, on the whole, those who are forty are steadier and more reliable than those who are sixteen.

Also, while many military organizations had drum and fife boys as young as eight, and the navy had 'powder boys', typically ten to 16, who ran powder charges from the magazine to the guns, such young kids were not typically sent out alone or put in command. Even our founding fathers, setting the minimum age for a president, understood the concept. And the odds.


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#203319 - 06/12/10 11:16 AM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: Art_in_FL]
Erik_B Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 315
Loc: Somewhere in my own little wor...
Quote:
The situation she got into, needing to be rescued and 1200 miles from the nearest help, would say otherwise. I'll give you brave and adventurous. Wisdom ... based on the evidence ... not so much.


wisdom is knowing when it's time to pull the plug, and she clearly knew that. she was 'wise' enough to several means of signaling, 'wise' enough to have plenty of supplies on hand, wise enough to not go topside in a typhoon to try using the satphone, and clearly wise enough to know the trip was over.

Life's no fun if you constantly "play it safe," a that's not what ETS is about either. It's about being ready to survive if s**t happens while you're out having fun. At what point does survival earn one a "good prep" badge instead of a put down and a Rx for "don't do that?"

doesn't seem to me that her age was a factor here. her mast got blown off. what's her maturity, or the fact she's 16, or how far from land she was, got to do with that? if she'd been ten miles out she'd still have needed rescue.
even the fact she was going solo is irrelevant here. she could have had Captain Nemo with her, but no mast means no sailing, and that means calling for aide.
what would you all be blaming if she'd just been out for a day trip and something happened, necessitating rescue?


Edited by Erik_B (06/12/10 04:21 PM)
_________________________
Originally Posted By: scafool
Camping teaches us what things we can live without.


Originally Posted By: ironraven
...Shopping appeals to the soul of the hunter-gatherer.

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#203322 - 06/12/10 12:49 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: Erik_B]
chickenlittle Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
The story does show just how well EPIRBS and PLBs work.
Thanks to satellites (and thanks for the fact that she was not washed out of the boat) it is now a rescue story instead of an attempt to recover a body story.

The beacons have been a huge step forward for marine and aviation safety.

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#203325 - 06/12/10 01:32 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: Erik_B]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7375
Loc: southern Cal
I deal with sixteen year olds in another capacity - recruiting and training them as election workers. There is a special program in California whereby students of that age,with a 2.5 GPA, parental permission, yada yada, can work long hours at slave wages as a poll worker just like any registered voter.

The results over the last several elections? Their work experience pretty much reflects that of the adults who work along side them. Most are capable to very competent, with a very few airheads and flakes thrown in to make things exciting.

I particularly note that in our just concluded June primary, I had two inspectors who have not yet quite graduated from high school. An inspector is the person in charge of the polling place, typically directing a crew of three. This is a job that many, many fully capable and mature adults will reject absolutely. They performed well above average, not surprising because they already had two elections under their belt. One had to go to the mat with his principal, getting an exemption from a graduation exercise.

Are these people"fully mature"? Perhaps and perhaps not. Think about your own path to maturity. If it was anything like mine, it was uneven and bumpy. I did very well in some areas while under performing in others. Now my gray hair shows that I am out of excuses so I must act in a mature manner. Old age is a b#*@h.
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#203326 - 06/12/10 01:50 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: ironraven]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3437
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: ironraven
The sociopolitical myth that there is some magical age when you become an adult is just that. I've seen 14 year olds who are more adult in my eyes than their parents, and 40 year olds that I wouldn't entrust with tools I used when I was 8.


Well said.


Edited by chaosmagnet (06/12/10 01:51 PM)

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#203333 - 06/12/10 02:07 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: Erik_B]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: Erik_B
Quote:
The situation she got into, needing to be rescued and 1200 miles from the nearest help, would say otherwise. I'll give you brave and adventurous. Wisdom ... based on the evidence ... not so much.


wisdom is knowing when it's time to pull the plug, and she clearly knew that. she was 'wise' enough to several means of signaling, 'wise' enough to have plenty of supplies on hand, wise enough to not go topside in a typhoon to try using the satphone, and clearly wise enough to know the trip was over.

Life's no fun if you constantly "play it safe," a that's not what ETS is about either. It's about being ready to survive if s**t happens while your out having fun. At what point does survival earn one a "good prep" badge instead of a put down and a Rx for "don't do that?"

doesn't seem to me that her age was a factor here. her mast got blown off. what's her maturity, or the fact she's 16, or how far from land she was, got to do with that? if she'd been ten miles out she'd still have needed rescue.
even the fact she was going solo is irrelevant here. she could have had Captain Nemo with her, but no mast means no sailing, and that means calling for aide.
what would you all be blaming if she'd just been out for a day trip and something happened, necessitating rescue?


Well stated Erik..
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#203336 - 06/12/10 03:56 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in destres [Re: Erik_B]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Erik_B

doesn't seem to me that her age was a factor here. her mast got blown off. what's her maturity, or the fact she's 16, or how far from land she was, got to do with that?

A better example might be the decision to end the record attempt when the "nav" (GPS?) units both failed. She initially swapped parts to get one working but then decided to stop in Cape Town to get them fixed. I'm sure there was plenty parental guidance over the satellite phone, but she abandoned the record attempt then, boat intact.

The one poor decision I see appears to be a case of "go fever", not exactly unknown in adults (hello Apollo 1). I suspect the reason she was crossing that area in a bad weather season was that if she waited until after the season she might not have broken the record (which, ironically, she had already abandoned by the time she got there). There's lots of blame all around if this is the case, but at least she didn't set sail before she & the boat were ready.

Quote:
At what point does survival earn one a "good prep" badge instead of a put down and a Rx for "don't do that?"

This will be a huge advantage in the future with job/college applications. She's taken a very large, very hard and very long problem and dealt with it. Compared to the job applications I used to see, which gave no hint of life skills beyond that of a burger flip, this is stellar. No hint of "raised on MTV & ESPN" here.

PS. And I like the fact that she's still on an "even keel" despite everything. An AP report quoting her after rescue: "The long and short of it is, one long wave, one short mast."

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#203380 - 06/13/10 05:29 PM Re: 16-year-old solo sailor Abby Sunderland in des [Re: Russ]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"Seems to me her timing was a bit off. This is fairly typical weather for that part of the world this time of year."

She's going around the world, above and below the equator where seasons are reversed. Exactly what time of year could she make the trip without getting involved in local weather problems???

How many of you have given your 16-yr-old a car, based on very little experience? What you've done is hoped that they would DEVELOP some experience, mostly at other people's expense.

If Abby can produce a book out of this, she may be able to pay for her college education without a loan. Reason enough to make the trip, IMO.

"Her father Laurence Sunderland, a boat builder who teaches sailing, said his daughter had thousands of miles of solo sailing experience before she set out and he had scrutinised her skills.

He said: "This was not a flippant decision. Abigail's been raised on the ocean all her life. She's lived over half her life on yachts. This is like second nature to Abigail."

He said the team of experts that worked on Wild Eyes and the circumnavigation project were "second to none."
She will try again

Sue

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