16 Year Old to Sail Around the World Alone


ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,539
8,163
Colorado

Kamera RAWr

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2007
1,022
0
Sitting on a rig somewhere
Hmm... on the one hand I wish I had her courage to undertake something like this. On the other hand however I wonder why on earth her parents would ever allow her to do this. Almost makes me wonder why the child protective services doesn't step in.
 

MinorBidoh

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2005
298
0
uk
Perhaps parents of our modern age simply see this type of event as character building and/or an adventure. Yes, I see the danger of sailing the worlds oceans, although I cant help but think of my Granddad, who at the same age enlisted in the army (1944). And that was his choice, to lie about his age and the 'do what can be done' was his approach.

There is no choice without opportunity. Im sure most of us would have loved to travel the world at 16. And If needed I'd fight for my country even at the same age.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
I thought this had already been done. I remember hearing something about a teen doing this last summer, except it was a guy that time.

Edit: Guess it helps to RTFA. :) The other guy was 16 when he left, 17 when he got back. He also used a diferent route.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Another punch in the gut for the Girl in the Netherlands that wanted to do it and got stopped by child services...
Is this the one where she struggled to get legal permission?
So you (and I) were both thinking of the girl in the Netherlands, I think, that Ahmed referenced. Laura Dekker. AFAIK, so far the courts have continued to prevent her from trying to do it.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
Laura is 14. This girl is 16. Might not sound like much, but you could START sailing at 14 and be ready for something like this aged 16.

As another poster said, only a few decades ago, people of 16 were going to the trenches to fight wars.

If I were this girls parent, would I be nervous? Hell yes. But you don't suddenly wake up and say "See you next year, I'm off to sail the world" - this is something that clearly has been worked up to over years of sailing as a youngster, with the parents probably. They'll have been involved in the planning for this - hell - they've probably paid for it.

Good luck to her. I know kids 3, 4 years older who struggle to get out of the house, get a job, get a career, have any motivation at all infact - someone like THIS should be an inspiration to them.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
If I were this girls parent, would I be nervous? Hell yes. But you don't suddenly wake up and say "See you next year, I'm off to sail the world" - this is something that clearly has been worked up to over years of sailing as a youngster, with the parents probably. They'll have been involved in the planning for this - hell - they've probably paid for it.
In the end, I could see an exceptional teenager, who has trained appropriately (as they both have), making an informed decision to do something like this at 16. It's true that she could die out there, but we are ultimately all at risk of dying in one way or another, at one time or another.
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
Quite the adventure. I don't know all of the details, but I doubt doing something like this is as dangerous as it was in the past. Please don't misunderstand, the ocean is as dangerous as ever, but with today's technology she will probably be in regular contact with people via satellite, GPS, etc.. Sea travel is not quite the unknown it used to be like in the days of Columbus.
 

QuantumLo0p

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2006
986
27
U.S.A.
Her journey brings to mind Ernest Henry Shackleton.

Just curious but I wonder what tech gear she is bringing along?

Don't get me wrong, this is a huge undertaking; just the solitude has easily doomed other solo navigators to watery deaths. However, I am curious if there are any people who would attempt this "Shackleton" style without the aid of modern technology.

Perhaps with merely a sextant. Dang, that is hard core.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
She needs to watch out for pirates (serious).
Actually - not so much. They mainly hang out between Oman / Yemen and Somalia. Her route will probably be LA, SW towards Australia / NZ, W across the Southern Indian Ocean, past South Africa, and then up the West coast of South America and back to LA.
 

Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,708
299
Austin, TX
I just don't get it. She's a minor. Where I live minors can't even work a job where they're required to use hazardous equipment, and that "hazardous equipment" can be something as simple as a tomato slicer. This voyage seems decidedly more dangerous.

I don't see how this could possibly not result in the parents going to jail for violating child abuse and neglect laws, especially if (God forbid) something happens to her.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that she is trained and I admire her bravery. That being said, what's to stop a 15 year old who is not so well trained from trying to emulate her feat?

I just hope that through the use of technology that this trip will be closely monitored.
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 29, 2007
8,623
23
NYC
I just hope that through the use of technology that this trip will be closely monitored.
I bet it will be, but at the same time if something goes wrong, she's still going to have to deal with it all on her own until help arrives. And that could be awhile. It's not like she's being followed around by a chase yacht equipped with a rescue helicopter.

Like I said before, I admire the spirit. Even with all the tech and preparation, this is still a friggin' 40 foot sailboat out on the open ocean for six months with a 16 year old at the helm. That's pretty cool. However there's a small part of me that worries that this is a case of of yuppie parents living out a midlife crisis through their kids. I sure hope not. ;)
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 29, 2007
8,623
23
NYC
It would be interesting if a seventeen year old didn't just do it.

But OMG she's almost a year younger!
Well, she's trying to do it non-stop. Plus, and I hate to say it, but his sister is likely getting more press because she's female. That said, I don't think what he did was any less dangerous, and I applaud his effort as well. And where is the cutoff when this stops making sense (if it hasn't already)? 13? 10? 7?
 

RayStar

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2008
45
0
I think allowing a teenager to do this should be illegal. Is there another boat following her? I just don't like it.