We have all heard of Abby Sunderland, the 16 year old who is trying to sail solo around the world, who was missing and feared lost before she was found and contact was reestablished.
There has been much indignation and ire expressed on the TV news, on blogs, and other media about the irresponsibility of parents permitting a 16 year old to orbit the globe on her own in a boat.
The parents have in their defense cited the fact that their child is an excellent sailor which prompted them to permit her to undergo this adventure.
According to Abby’s parents, people don’t know their daughter, their family or their experiences.
The family is really into boats: Abby’s father Laurence works on repair and maintenance of boats and the kids lives revolve around sailing.
Apparently when you live on boats, you know how to sail, and there was meticulous preparation that went into this round the world trip. Then there is the fact that Abby’s brother Zac has already completed the circumnavigation at age 17.
And Laurence Sunderland has a point when he says children should be encouraged to confront and manage challenges and when he points out the number of children that die in road accidents each year.
This may perhaps counterbalance the dangers of a hostile sea and emotional damage of isolation on the high seas for such a long time.