Friday, June 11, 2010

Sea worthy

By now the good news has circumnavigated the globe that 16 year old Abby Sunderland from nearby Thousand Oaks, CA has been located ~ and she's fine. Woot! Her boat, Wild Eyes, not so much. Reports say the mast broke, disabling the boat.

What's been disheartening, though, are the unkind comments at the end of many of the reports. Everything from suggesting her parents be thrown in jail to charging the family for the rescue bill.

Oh, brother.

I wonder how many of the most outspoken (and profane!) critics have kids glued to Facebook rather than outside creating their own adventures. Or how many have kept their thoughts to themselves as our taxes pay for things like a school district's money-draining $725,000 pizza vending machine or $2.2 million for skylights in a state-run liquor warehouse?

I'd rather my kids stay purposeful, and taxes be used to protect life.

Does the idea of a teen girl sailing solo around the world make me think twice? Yes. It does. One of my daughter's turns 16 this summer and I. can't. imagine! When I learned about Abby I worried over all the unthinkables: capsizing, pirates, sharks...

But I've also been inspired by her. With the support of family, she trained and pursued a dream. I've do doubt that her quest has or will inspire teen girls around the world to not let age or gender ~ or couch potato-itis ~ stop them from putting their dreams into action, too. And although the mothers among us secretly hope Abby will stay on dry land for awhile, chances are she'll be back in the water in no time~ a little more experienced now ~ and sailing toward another goal.


Beach Combing... said...

Great blog post - mom! This was exactly the conversation that Tom and I were having this morning. How brave of those parents to let Abby get in that boat, but what a fabulous life she will have - knowing that she is capable of anything. That girl will do more good than harm for the rest of the world, paltry sum of money to save her.

Heather said...

I absolutely agree!! So many of our kids are overweight, un-exercised and glued to the computer (gaming, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or TV that it's inspiring to see someone with enough passion to do something out of the ordinary. Yes, she's young but she's obviously capable of the task or she wouldn't have made it through 60 knot winds and 25-30 foot seas. Look at the other young people who are doing the same thing - they're skilled sailors. It's wasn't her lack of ability, it was a supercharged storm that crippled her vessel.

I honestly can't believe the number of people condemning her parents for allowing her to go and bitching about the rescue fees. The experience and confidence she has gained will help her pursue so many more dreams in her life...and I know she'll be back to do this one again.

I think you need to have sailed on the open ocean to understand what it's really like before you criticize others for doing it - no matter what their age!

Julie Carobini said...

Thanks Gals! Great comments. You should see the local paper, though...yikes.

Ronel Sidney said...

Amen!!! I joined the Navy at 17 years old.... it broke my moms heart yet she knew I had a dream of traveling around the world. Yes, I was supervised but I was still given a lot more freedom than a 17 yo usually has... ie living on my own in Italy. I am inspired by her story and hope she inspired other young girls to follow thier dreams and to most importantly get off the couch and DO SOMETHING!!!!