“Sixteen-year-old Californian sailor Abby Sunderland defended her family for letting her try to sail around the world alone.” “I’m really disappointed that things didn’t go as planned,” Sunderland told reporters after coming to shore early Saturday on the remote French island of Reunion, located off the southern tip of Africa.” “Any sailor that goes out to the water knows that being hit by a rogue wave is a risk, no matter where you are,” said Sunderland, flanked by her 18-year-old brother Zac, who flew to Reunion to meet her.” “That was a risk that I was willing to take.” “You can’t eliminate risk, you can do a lot to minimize it but it’s always there,” Sunderland said.” ” Sunderland said she was as well-prepared as she could have been.” “Sounding composed and lucid, she choked up only once, when thanking Zac – who at 17 briefly held the record for being the youngest person to sail solo around the world – for “inspiring my dreams.” (MacPherson, Masha; 6826/2010, Associated Press, US teen sailor reunited with brother after ordeal, Retrieved from [email protected]). I can not honestly say that the choice to allow my sixteen year old daughter to attempt a solo voyage around the world would be one that I, as a parent, would have okayed but then I am not the Sunderland’s. I can say that being who I am allowing any child of mine to sail solo around the world would have gotten a “no” vote quickly.
“Her parents stayed in California, where her mother is soon to give birth to her eighth child.”
“Sunderland, whose father is a shipwright and has a yacht management company, set sail from Los Angeles County’s Marina Del Rey in her 40-foot (12-meter) boat, Wild Eyes, on Jan. 23,” “In April she had to give up hope of breaking the record for being the youngest when she was forced to stop for repairs.” “The past few months have been the best of my life,” she said. “I was on an adventure. You can only plan so far.” “Sunderland said criticism of her family for letting her undertake the expedition “is ungrounded.” “They have put up with a ton of stuff to help me follow my dream,” she said.” “Some observers have wondered if the family isn’t pandering to media attention with both Zac and Abby seeking records. (MacPherson, Masha; 6826/2010, Associated Press, US teen sailor reunited with brother after ordeal, Retrieved from [email protected]). I can slightly understand because her father being a shipwright has greater knowledge of sailing than I will ever have, however, allowing any child of mine to be exposed to that degree does present pause. I guess if they allowed her brother Zac to do it then it would be grossly unfair to not allow her to attempt it as well. Was this something like the “Balloon Boy” family, there are similarities but I think that there are also very stark differences as well. Either way, I am glad that she is fine and soon will be re-united with her new brother and dog and one can only pray that these parents have learned something and will not allow any further attempts.