Friday, September 18, 2009

Follow the Leader!!

Is it just me or are there a LOT of people sailing around the world these days!? Perhaps this is due in part to the fact that since Scott and I are two such people, we are more "in tune" with others doing it...but I still get the feeling there's a trend developing here. And what's more - these circumnavigators are getting younger and younger...and younger still!

There is Zac Sunderland, arguably the most famous thus far for being the youngest to circumnavigate at 17, then there is his sister, Abby, who, at 15, is apparently setting out to squash her brother's record some time next year (how's that for sibling rivalry!?). England's Mike Perham also completed a solo circumnavigation at 17 shortly after Zac. Then there is the controversial 13 year old  Laura Decker who is trying to set sail, but (last I checked) the Dutch government has intervened and prohibited her from doing so on the grounds that she is just too young to endure such a challenge. And even before this slew of young adventure-seekers there was Aussie Jesse Martin who, in 1999, was the youngest to circumnavigate - completing his journey at 18. Most recently, however, there is Jessica Watson, a 16 year old Australian girl who - on her rather inauspicious "shake down" voyage - was run down by a super tanker in a shipping lane earlier this month. She (thankfully and luckily) survived and still plans to continue on later this year...

This last chick got me thinking. Call me crazy, but if my 16 year old daughter collides with a tanker on her first "real" attempt to go to sea solo, I think I might reconsider her qualifications and stick her back in high school. That's just me. A collision with a ship is a very very real threat and concern for any little sailboat heading into open water. Not only do they rarely (if ever) see you (both visually AND on radar) - but if they DO hit you, they won't even know it until they get to the next port and see a little paint on their hull. Scary. It is always better to assume that your safety is up to you and you alone. If you do see a ship on the horizon (or on your radar) a) try to hail it on the radio (this doesn't usually work though, as they rarely speak English) b) take a sight from a stanchion or something else to determine if you are on a collision course and c) GET OUT OF IT'S way (even if it means turning completely around until it passes). The fact that Jessica got in the way of hit by this boat is, in my opinion, no one's fault but her own...But I am getting away from my point...

While all these "kids" might be getting the glory, the press and no doubt amazing life experiences, I sort of prefer the way Scott and I are going about this. We don't want to break any records, we don't want to re-trace someone else's journey and we certainly don't want to do it fast. We plan to just amble along leisurely - stopping wherever we'd like and staying as long as we want. We're taking the Bernard Mortissier approach:
"I have no desire to return to Europe with all its false gods. They eat your liver out and suck your marrow and brutalize you. I am going where you can tie up a boat where you want and the sun is free, and so is the air you breathe and the sea where you swim and you can roast yourself on a coral reef...."
While he might be a tiny bit dramatic, we like his style...

That said, if there are any sponsors, individuals or organizations out there who would like to give us money, swag, kit or anything else - feel free to contact us! (wink)

Your friends,
Brittany & Scott

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...