View Full Version : Abby Sunderland

06-15-2010, 11:50 PM
Would you let your kid do what Abby (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/15/abby-sunderland-defends-parents_n_613432.html) tried to do? From everything I've read, she has been sailing her entire life. She has skills. She and her parents knew full well what she was getting into. Perhaps she could have set sail at a better time of year but she knew the risks and felt she was up to the challenge. Her parents obviously agreed.

Certainly there were costs associated with the rescue but what happened to her could have happened to any qualified sailor. 16 is an adult in a good many other countries. I've read a few articles that claim it was all for the publicity on her father's part but I'm not sure I buy into that.

As a parent I can say it wouldn't be an automatic "oh hell no!" if my kid was skilled at something like that, mature enough and had the determination to try to achieve a goal that may be deemed as risky to some. I'm curious how other posters here feel. Parents or not!

06-16-2010, 12:22 AM
ohgirrrl. I have been keeping up on this one since before she set out. The whole thing has made me nervous. Hell no would I send a 16 year old out to sail across the world all by themselves. Hellno. ohhellno! Automatic! [post28]

06-16-2010, 02:07 AM
As someone whose job brings them in contact with 16 yos on a daily basis, I can say I was shocked by this. All the kids I teach are bright, college bound kids, and I'm not sure I can name one in the past five years that I think was mature enough to do what she set out to do. Granted that's a huge generalization based on anecdotal experience, but gah! Either she's something really special, or her parents are idiots.

Cunter Fartlett
06-16-2010, 03:49 AM
I can't say I've ever met a 16 year old mature enough to take on such a venture. There are sailors with life experience that wouldn't do it. However, I don't know her, so she may be an extraordinary teenager.

But hell no. That does take some balls, though. How far did she get anyway?

06-16-2010, 04:23 AM
I'm not sure how far she got. I agree the teenager would have to be extraordinary. Indeed. The story initially made me think about the 13 year old boy that summited Mount Everest last year. He summited Mount Kilimanjaro when he was 9. A kid with that kind of drive is pretty extraordinary but I also think a big difference in his endeavors is that he wasn't alone. Although I wouldn't say having people with you on a climb up Everest negates the risk of a life or death situation.

06-16-2010, 02:37 PM
The article you linked said she set sail from Los Angeles in January of this year, and of course was rescued from the Indian Ocean somewhere. She made quite a bit of the trip assuming she sailed west.

06-18-2010, 01:47 AM
An aquaintence of mine wrote this article on her own thoughts of Abby's trip/ "coming of age": http://www.blogher.com/voyage-rite-passage

I'm still firmly in the "hellno" camp, though. Perhaps it's from my own childhood virtually raising myself and how terrifying and lonely it was at time, and how much trouble I found myself in, whether I put myself there or whether it found me on it's own; I would never dream of being so careless or risk-taking with my own children. Yes, I came out alive and kicking, but I would never have chosen that route, had the choice been mine to make. I moved out on my own when I was just a year older than Abby and have been on my own since [well, "my own" = no parental support] - I have a 15 year old that'll be 16 in September thanks to that experience/lack of guidance and support. That's definitely NOT how I would have chosen to "grow up"~!

06-18-2010, 09:22 PM
Thanks for posting that! The writer's experience was interesting. I was always the independent child but I think I would have benefited from something like what her parents did with her.

06-18-2010, 10:18 PM
No problem. Anaiis is a pretty cool lass. :)