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Abby Sunderland possibly lost at sea.

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by Teamcasa, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. DiverG

    DiverG Reached My 2nd Goal!

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    I follow a sailing website, and while I haven't followed this story much there is one point that has been made on this sailing website.

    She should not have been in the Southern Oceans at this time of year. That seasoned experienced professional sailors avoid that area in the winter months. Not sure if they were referring to solo sailors or sailors in general.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

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    IMO this would have made much more sense upon her graduation from college than at 16 years of age. Her maturity, mental and physical state at 22 would be much more conducive for a favorable outcome. I am guessing this has more to do with the parents cocktail party chatter then the kids best interest at their young age...
     
  3. xcelratr

    xcelratr Registered

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    While that may be true, the 16/17 year olds that have attempted this recently (that I'm aware of) are 3 for 3.

    Maybe all three (and Abby, too, for having made it as far as she did) were incredibly lucky. I think that's probably a fair statement, but it can be equally applied to anyone that solos the world. So in that case, her age is irrelevant.

    Maybe the other three were better prepared, smarter, better trained or simply better equipped than Abby. Certainly possible, however, one of the 3 is Abby's older brother. I would assume (perhaps erroneously) that her equipment was comparable to his, and she probably had the benefit of having heard in intimate terms about his experience. He succeeded, and she followed him, so it's probably reasonable to believe she was more qualified than him, simply because she went second.

    Her being out in the Southern Indian Ocean this time of year is perhaps the most fateful part of the decision. Maybe an older, wiser sailor would have aborted the trip, or hugged the coast(s) and paid the time penalty. However, once she was out there, it's hard to say her disablement (is that a word? well, it is now) had anything to do with her age. Once the wave sets itself upon you, it doesn't give a damn about demographics. A 50 year old grizzled veteran might have suffered the same vessel damage in that situation. Maybe or maybe not, we just don't know.

    We can all sit here and say how foolish it was for her to go, for her parents to let her, or indeed, send her.

    But what it boils down to is this, did she fail because of her age? Or would any other sailor have faced the same failure all other things being equal?
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

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    There a difference between a 16 year old male vs. female. She does not have a strong looking physical presence to me. What's their hurry? She easily be dead at this point changing the argument considerably...
     
  5. DiverG

    DiverG Reached My 2nd Goal!

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    Location: Houston, Texas, United States
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    I wouldn't say she failed because of her age. I would say she failed because she was not properly prepared to do this trip in skills. Jess Watson who just finished her solo around the world trip seemed to be well prepared.

    There is a good thread linked below about Abby's adventure. I haven't read it all, and probably never well as it is over a 167 pages long.

    Some things to mention. She only recieved the boat for the journey a month before the start. That isn't alot of time to learn the boat, and apparently has had very little time on the water in training.

    She sets off - Sailing Anarchy Forums
     
  6. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Haha that may not float. There are general physical differences between boys and girls her age, but I don't know if they really apply to this argument? There are stronger points to examine anyway...

    I am impressed that she got as far as she did, whatever storms she endured, thru the Straits* of Magellan, across the Atlantic, by Africa's Cape Agulhas and into the southern Indian. Still foolhardy for any of these teen adventurers aiming to circle the world with distress signals to whoever's closest as their only backup. Still like to hear what she's going to do with the book money?

    * I wonder how many hundreds of times I've spelled that Straights, as in Florida's, now that I finally looked - altho it seems that singular or plural is fine.
     
  7. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Solo Diver

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    It's funny listening to the analysis here trying to armchair quarterback some rational explanation for what happened out there and can we explain it all by guessing that she was too young or didn't have the sense to stay away from a particularly hazardous ocean during this time of year or she wasn't physically strong enough to handle the results of a 40' sea taking her main mast.

    I think occasionally our parental instincts kick in and we can assert that we would never allow our kids to do anything dangerous so therefore Abby's folks must really suck because they encouraged their kids to seek adventure in a manner the kids were comfortable with, a bold - but basically safe - adventure. Interesting coming from folks that strap a can of gas on their backs and breath underwater over and over and over again.

    I joined the Marines when I was 17. A war was going on but that's where I sought my adventure. My parents weren't thrilled but when I told them how important it was to me they signed the permission form and off I went. It wasn't a bed of roses but I wouldn't trade those four years for anything.

    Like I said, this kid has the heart of a lion. Voice your opinion, as that's the purpose of an online forum, but my opinion is that I'd be proud to have her as a daughter and I'm very glad she's safe. This is the kind of gal that other kids can look up to. Or I guess Lindsey, Gaga and Brittany are options, too. You choose.
     
  8. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

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  9. Padipro

    Padipro Instructor, Scuba

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    Wow, amazing just how many people will comment on something they know absolutely nothing about! Do a little research on the subject before you voice your opinion so at least you have a valid opinion.

    First, her parents are not divorced. Second, Her Father did not force her to do this. A simple google search will turn up quite a few videos and blogs where she repeatedly says this has been a dream of her's since she was 13. Third, this young woman has more sailing experience in her little finger then most adults two or three times her age have and you see them sailing their boats off shore everyday. She's been on sail boats since she was 7 months old and crewing since she was like 7 years old, she's skippered a sail boat solo up and down the coast of Cali many times before to prove she had the ability to handle it. She's spent the last several years preparing for this attempt and has the experience of her brother to rely on, who, for a short time, was the youngest to ever circumnavigate the globe solo at 17. Her boat was specifically designed to be sailed solo and deal with rough conditions of the open ocean. Her attempt, unlike her brothers which stopped in many ports around the world, was to be a non-stop trip to avoid being alone in some shady place and it was a southern route in order to avoid the possibility or running into pirates, which her brother had to deal with. This attempt wasn't done on a whim in some un-seaworthy dingy. If you do even the smallest amount of research on this you'll immediately see that this young woman is not your typical airhead teenager. She knew what she was in for, knew the risks and prepared for them in order to minimize that risk. At one point during her voyage she was alone at sea for 111 days and had no trouble dealing with that. Repaired the autopilot on board her boat and weathered several severe storms all by her self. How many 16 year old's do you know that could handle much of anything technical by them selves for a week let alone 3 months? At that age I was lucky to be able to tie my own shoes. :confused:

    I applaud Abby for going after her dream and her parents for preparing her for this attempt. I believe the good Lord put us on this earth to live not to merely survive. Taking a little risk now and then is something that makes us appreciate life and it's only through that risk we realize how precious and short life is and that we need to live it everyday before it's to late. I hope she try's again and succeeds.

    Just my 2 penny's worth.
     
  10. burna

    burna Contributor

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    I personally think age has nothing to do with it. No one should be out in those waters with a crew of one. It is reckless and they should be held accountable.

    If you followed your own advice and did a little research, you'd see that there are plenty of experts who do not agree with your opinion above.

    Teen sailor alive and well - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010

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