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Have we talked about teenagers sailing around the world alone?

Like the 16 year old Australian girl that is currently sailing around the world trying to become the youngest person to do it non stop, alone, and unassisted?  http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/

Or the 14 year old Dutch girl for whom the court ruled she could NOT and then she just ran away?  http://in.news.yahoo.com/137/20091220/758/twl-dutch-girl-missing-after-thwarted-gl.html

Thoughts?

Re: Have we talked about teenagers sailing around the world alone?

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    I had heard about the Dutch girl. I think there's a British 17 year old who is currently the youngest to do it.

    My opinion is, that as a parent of those kids, I would definitely not allow it. Not only because of the risk involved in sailing for so long, but because you miss a good chunk of being a teenager, including school. And to me, education comes before trying to break world records. Call me crazy.
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    Whoa, I would have a hard time letting them do this if I were their parents. The potential record-setting is not worth the risks, IMO.



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    Mery, the Australian girl has school work with her.  She's doing it on her own and she has to turn in all the work and such.  Plus the argument was made that she'd learn much more sailing around the world by herself than she could in school.  Because in addition to what she learns studying on her own, obviously she learns about being responsible, mature, self sufficient, etc, all important life skills that aren't really taught in school.

    As a parent, I don't think I'd let my kids do that, but it would depend on the child.  It just seems like such a huge risk, but at the same time, a completely amazing experience.
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    14 is extremely young, but honestly I don't have a problem with a 16 year-old doing it.  I have an issue with them being out of school more than anything.  It's probably just as dangerous as an adult who plans on sailing around the world alone.  In 2 years they'll be 18, danger doesn't automatically decrease once you hit a certain age.  Eh.

    I also agree it's a dumb record to want to break.  Who cares.
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    From reading her blog and such, I honestly believe it's not so much about the record as the experience and just doing it.  The record is just the icing on the cake.
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    Yeah, it's hard to say unless we're in their shoes. I just feel like I'd want to ground them until they were 18, to keep them safe. ;) Also, what about all the pirates these days? I wonder if there are safer times to attempt this trip than others.



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    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
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    Eek... I'm mixed on this. I think it would be an amazing accomplishment, but it's such a risky thing to do alone. I'd probably want somebody to go with them, although I'm sure that would defeat the purpose.
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    That's insane.  I don't know what to think about it.

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    I also thought about pirates Beatles, but aren't most of the pirates around the bays and stuff near Africa and the Mediterranean?  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)  I don't think she's going up that way.  It sounds like she's going around the Cape of Good Hope and then a straight shot back to Australia.  Plus, I can't imagine pirates thinking they'd get much ransom and such out of a teenage girl on a tiny sailboat.  Then again, I could be quite wrong.
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    I'm abnormally biased against young stupid sailors, so I say, uh, no.

    Sailing around the world is probably a great experience, yeah, but it'll still be great when you're 18 and graduated or 65 and retired.  Why not wait?
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    I think you're right about typical pirate locations, J&K, but can pirates really be predictable? Sorry I'm such a pirate downer. ;)



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    Taco cat: Always a palindrome. ALWAYS, okay J&K?

    "cool......insult my size 2 body or my natural brown hair...or the fact that my parents own a country club, I have no budget for a wedding, and I have horses. I really dont care. Its better then having roots." ~ futurepivko
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    Good point Brie.

    It's true Beatles.  I mean...they are pirates.  It's not like they follow rules.
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    The pirates stay primarily around Somalia (I think, I could have the country wrong), because that's their home base.  Since there's no government in that country, they can be pirates without penalty.  If she avoids that area, I think she would be fine.  (Though I am, of course, not a pirate expert - how cool would it be to be one?)

    Also, I think 16 is a fine age to do that.  14 - not so much.
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    My first question is, what constitutes "alone"?  Are they completely alone out there or are they just alone on their own vessel but there are other vessels
    accompanying them in near proximity?

    I think the 14 year old is far to young to be attempting this in either situation.  A 16-18 year old with the proper skills and experience would be a different matter.  I would certainly think long and hard about it though before allowing my children to venture into something like this.
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    They're completely alone, 3plus.  She has a shore team that she consults via radio and satellite phone that keep her updated on weather and advise her and such.  Since she's trying to do it unassisted as well, if somethere were to happen to her vessel, she can't get outside help to repair it, she has to do it all on her own.

    It's my understanding that she went through intense preparation including disaster survival skills and the like, and that she's been sailing forever.
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    I don't think I would have an issue with that so much then, in the 16-18 year old range.  If she's in contact with other people, has the necessary training and experience, if something were to go wrong someone could be out to her fairly quickly to rescue.

    Then again, this is coming from someone who was flying airplanes solo at 16.
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    Her blog is really a good read.  At least, IMO.  If you go to the first link you can find it there.  It's pretty cool.  She seems really mature and put together.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_talked-teenagers-sailing-around-world-alone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:539f61bf-11f1-4055-826e-d468904fd8a2Post:5d6d7fc8-9674-4aa3-b841-35f887f911e1">Re: Have we talked about teenagers sailing around the world alone?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm abnormally biased against young stupid sailors, so I say, uh, no. Sailing around the world is probably a great experience, yeah, but it'll still be great when you're 18 and graduated or 65 and retired.  Why not wait?
    Posted by Brie2010[/QUOTE]

    Exactly. When you are an adult, do what you like. I agree it would be a great experience for someone who likes to sail. But it would also be great as an even more experienced sailor. So I do think the record is very much in the mind of the Australian girl.

    I have a friend who's parents used to pull him out of school for a week or two with the excuse, "You'll learn more in Europe this week than you will in school!" But - school also has vacations/breaks when you can travel. So it's not an either/or proposition.

    And it takes a LONG time, so I still maintain she's missing out on a lot of the average teen experience.
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    Msmerymac- who's to say that this isn't her idea of a teenage experience?  Something to cross off her list before adult responsibilites take over and she may never get around to it?  Not everyone needs to be drooling over the boys in the school hallways to have a teenage experience.

    I joined reg force military at 17 as soon as I was old enough.  I assure you that I missed out on nothing.
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    Understandable, 3plus. But its easy to make decisions you later regret when you're young. Not that she would regret the sailing experience, but she might regret missing prom, or graduation, or even taking Latin or something. Or maybe she thought about that and won't regret it.

    All I know is that I paid money (my own money) for my education, and I'm very thankful for THAT experience.
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    It actually only takes 8 months (give or take, barring any unforseen circumstances).  I think there's still plenty of time for her to have "normal teenage experiences."
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    There was a massive media frenzy around this girl, Jessica Watson, and she was strongly discouraged from leaving- especially when she crashed her sailing boat on her first night alone after falling asleep and not turning on her sensor gear (that was a couple of weeks before she departed). The government did a review of her safety plans etc and made some recommendations- I believe that ultimately they were recommending that she not go until she'd done further prep, but they didn't actually step in to prevent her leaving. She and her family insisted that she'd updated her plans and had learnt from her mistake so that she would be ok for the trip.

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    I am super silly late to this, but yes, the pirates stay around Somalia and Indonesia.  Frankly I'd be worried about the Indonesian pirates.  They don't want ransom, they take the boat and kill the crew.
    As Thesun said, she had issues before she left.  Her parents dug their feet in to prove they weren't being bad parents.  HA. 
    If she gets the record it will be a shame, as her intended route is now where near being "around the world".  It's more like around the lower third.  To be around the world you do need to sail up into the Atlantic and over to England and then back down.
    As for her being too young, my only issue is that a 16 year old girl does not have the upper body strength needed to do stuff that will be needed to be done out there if H$ll breaks loose.

    stepping off my soap box.
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    It's interesting to get perspectives from someone in Australia and an experienced sailor.  All I know about the crash is what she put in the her blog, and of course in her blog she made it sound like she did everything right and the media was all lies.  And I know little about sailing. 
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