Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm very grateful....

...that Miss Abby Sunderland, a young teen trying to circumnavigate the world solo, has been found alive and well after a horrifying day when she was out of contact with those who loved her while in the middle of the Indian Ocean. However, I have to wonder what on earth were her parents thinking to allow their daughter to attempt this--in a day and age when pirates once more range in places like Somalia and the Straits of Malacca, and when small vessels routinely are dismasted by ocean storms. There is genuine achievement to be had out there, but I cringe when parents encourage their children to be daredevils like this.

It's time for Mr. Sunderland to protect his daughter and bring her home, I think.

11 comments:

pentamom said...

I agree, except that I don't think a sailing yacht is much of a target for pirates. It's a big, big ocean. They probably wouldn't take the time and risk to chase down something so tiny, even though it could potentially be big stuff hostage-wise. But overall I agree, I just think that the pirate thing (which I've heard people raise before) is a bit of a red herring.

Bike Bubba said...

Well, there are a couple of yachts--and their owners--in pirate ports in Somalia, and the French Navy famously rescued one about a year back. So I don't know that it's a red herring--if you're going for a big ransom, why not somebody you know can afford $100k or million dollar boat?

And even if it weren't for pirates, a quick perusal of articles about "extreme sailing" finds a lot of demastings and fatalities. Not something for one's 16 year old, especially a daughter.

pentamom said...

A sailing yacht isn't a million dollar boat. That's a motor yacht -- COMPLETELY different thing, and those are probably the folks getting caught. Much bigger target, slower moving, etc.

Yeah, like I said, the demastings and everything is why I agree with you. I just don't think a sport-sailing yacht is a good target for a bunch of modern day pirates, who aren't exactly the famed sailors and navigators of old. They're usually criminals with motorboats and guns.

Bike Bubba said...

Actually, by the time you've got a boat worthy of sailing the oceans, you're talking at least $100k, probably twice that. So when you see anything that looks nice and is longer than about 30' long, you are talking about a wealthy family sending them out there. Good for ransom--which is why previous young solo circumnavigators have sailed armed as well.

K-Rod said...

I like it that they have the freedom to do such crazy things.

I don't agree with the parents decision, but I sure as heck don't want the government persecuting and prosecuting them.

It was the 30 foot waves that did her in. Thankfully she didn't get hit by a rogue wave. She'd of never had a chance.

Gino said...

now, we need to just lock up her parents.

K-Rod said...

//sarcasm//
Right. Oh yeah!!!
//sarcasm off//


Big brother government should come in and put them in prison because they overstepped their freedom and didn't listen to what BIG BROTHER Liberal Fascism didn't tell them what a good Useful Idiot should have known in the first place?

Heh


Good one Gino. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Please tell us you forgot to use the //sarcasm// indicator.

pentamom said...

I guess my question is whether any of that type of sailor has ever actually been threatened by pirates? There are lots of scenarios you COULD come up with, based on how much the vessel is worth and how much ransom the family might be expected to be able to give, but DO pirates actually attempt to chase down that kind of vessel? With all the people of all ages who have done that kind of thing over the years, has it happened?

Being armed might always be a good precaution, but there's a difference between being able to imagine and prepare for a risk, and the risk having a significant real-world probability.

Bike Bubba said...

I'd have to assume that part of why a young person is being trusted with a pistol has something to do with that--something perhaps with Lloyd's of London telling the parents that there is no way in **** they're insuring the boat and such if she's not armed?

pentamom said...

That line of reasoning surprises me coming from you. You are a big advocate of people being armed, but surely you don't believe there is a *large* chance of people like yourself needing to defend themselves at any given moment? Isn't it rather more of a "better safe than sorry" approach? Does your insurer refuse to cover you or your wife if they're not armed? No? Then why are you armed? Just in case, maybe? Because dangers DO exist? But that doesn't mean you believe they're constant or likely to crop up every time you turn around. So Abby being armed doesn't logically imply than anyone believes that it's LIKELY that she could be attacked by pirates, but that it's wise to be prepared for anything you can be.

Bike Bubba said...

I always advocated it, but when you're talking about people under 21, it's a lot of work getting them the permissions to carry that weapon, especially on the seas. So the fact that the family did this--and news reports of others who have done this emphasize it being carried periodically--seems to indicate more than just an ordinary advocacy of the right and responsibility of self-defense.

And the insanity of sending a 16 year old girl out alone in those oceans.