Abby Sunderland: Would you let your 16-year-old sail solo around the world?
I don’t typically interfere with parental decisions, but the recent situation where 16-year-old Abby Sunderland was sailing solo around the world and issued a distress signal made me a wee bit angry. At one point, she was thought to be lost at sea, and there has been no shortage of criticism from seasoned sailors.
Fortunately, she was located, and as her parents declared on her blog: Abby is fine! A story in the Los Angeles Times, Sailor Abby Sunderland is alive and seems unharmed, appeared in the sports section.
As the mother of a now adult son, I can’t imagine this type of trip for my kid. Oh, he did fly off to Europe by himself in high school; I think it was between his junior and senior years. But he was staying with family friends in Switzerland, not trying to sail around the world.
I made my first solo backpack trip to Europe when I was 18, flying Icelandic Airlines from JFK to Luxembourg via Reykjavik, Iceland. It was the early ’70s, and I was squished in next to a very large hippie from Holland sporting John Lennon glasses. I recall seeing the volcano spouting off; being stuck at the Reykjavik Airport for way too many hours (not ash related, some other reason); and watching reruns of Leave It To Beaver on a very small black and white TV in a very small airport lounge.
Abby said it had been her dream since she was 13 to sail solo around the world. Would you let your son or daughter go?
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