Posted by: First Mate | October 18, 2010

Eloquence is a virtue.

If you are a regular reader, you may have gathered the Captain and my feelings on CHILDREN circumnavigating solo.  And by the way, it wasn’t Abby Sunderland’s failed attempt that brought us to this conclusion; Captain has raised three wonderful children and we are raising number four together.

This past weekend I flipped through the 400th issue of Latitude 38 and found an interesting letter.  I won’t paste the letter, rather I will sum it up.  A recreational sailor from Chesapeake Bay recently had the opportunity to meet and have a private dinner with Jessica Watson, “the youngest sailor to complete a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation via the Southern Ocean.”  The writer of the missive spoke of how humble and (folksy) the young woman is despite her book and documentary deals, television appearances and roles in advertising sailing as ambassador to sailing clubs and associations.

Latitude 38 Letters provided such a clear and eloquent response that I will post it:  

Not to detract from Watson’s admittedly outstanding achievement, but as we’ve stated before, we, along with all other sailing authorities, are against the concept of age-based sailing records. We feel even more strongly about it now that it’s been demonstrated that there can be a such a large payday at the end — even for those who fail. Indeed, one of the most macabre aspects of the whole business is that the parents of the first youth who dies, particularly if in an agonizing way, will probably profit the most. So good on Jess, but to hell with the concept of age-based sailing records.

I would certainly not consider myself a sailing or parenting authority, but I do know that the ocean, the wind and global travel can be humbling to those of all ages.  Parenting, by the way, can be equally humbling as well.



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