# Jessica Watson's homecoming

russ_watters
Mentor
I said nothing about whether they gave permission; clearly they did.

But you said they were "selfish" and you implied they drove it.
I didn't say anything about permission either. Yes, they drove it. They had to: there's no other way for a kid to do such a thing.

Look, I'm not a parent yet. But it is my understanding that far and away the number one source of pride for a parent is the accomplishments of their kids. From screaming soccer moms to those stupid "My kid is an honors student at...." bumper stickers, kids' accomplishments are parents' accomplishments.

Every kid has dreams like being an athlete or astronaut. Those dreams are ones that the parents can help with but most of the work is done by the kids. But an around-the-world sail is different. That idea doesn't get beyond the "wouldn't it be cool if..." stage if the parents aren't an active enabler, fostering and nourishing the idea. And the reason the parents are active enablers is pride.

Now even goals that can be good can be self-destructive at the same time. For olympic athletes and professional tennis players, the sacrifices are huge and the damage can be devistating - and we only hear about the ones that succeed! But for this, there is little real upside besides the publicity itself. It's a stunt little different than the balloon boy stunt.

Put these ideas together: selfish pride.

well, I think its about the same (the age thing) as a 12 year old entering college---is it right? are they going to be mentally screwed up their whole life because they're not mentally/socially developed?

Sometimes the kid wants to do 'whatever' and the parents are there to support their child's quest and goal--

-I don't think there's anything wrong with any of it--

unless its the parent that pushes the child into a course, a occupation, or an area, whether its the child job area to kids' pageants, then it has a chance of screwing up the kids life as an adult.

Put these ideas together: selfish pride.
do you know the backgound why? Do you know how she decided to do it?

it sounds like you're making a concrete statement from your own opinion without knowing the full story.

Last edited:
russ_watters
Mentor
Obviously the record book was not all-important, since the book you refer to was always going to disregard her on the basis of her age. Perhaps the inspirational experience was more important? (So of course she is the one defining the goals.)
That isn't the way her website reads: "Inspired in her turn by Kay Cottee, the first woman to sail solo non-stop unassisted around the world and by Jesse Martin, the youngest person to do so, Jessica Watson has set her sights on beating Jesse’s achievement."
As for leaving school, 16 year olds are not required to attend (!), but this trip has not obstructed her from completing school anyway. (For that matter, she's old enough to be emancipated.)
What do you mean it isn't obstructing her? She wasn't doing internet-based schooling while she was sailing, was she?
And the journey has raised her career/future prospects far beyond what spending that time in a normal classroom would have.
Doubtful. Employers like accomplishments, but accomplishments that come at the expense of other accomplishments don't make an overall net positive. Hopefully, she'll end up finishing school, though.
You still haven't described the circumstances of the support boats.. how far away, for what portion of the trip? You seem to want to complain that she was completely abandoned in mortal danger and receiving great ongoing physical assistance at the same time.
Conceded: when I first posted, I didn't know about the support boats, and I still don't know what they did exactly. Them being there certainly reduces the risk, but it doesn't eliminate it (she collided with a merchant ship!) so it doesn't really change the logic much.

Last edited:
Doubtful? Employers will inevitably bias toward a name they recognise, and her fame provides new avenues of employment (and potential high incomes) in industries that most have no access to.

Her website says she's still continuing and intending to finish school. After that if she chooses to go to uni, there's no way she'll be worse off than the common entrant who first works minimum wage for one year after school (this is done to declare independence and thereby secure government study assistance). But like I pointed out, there's no requirement here for her to have been at school at her age in the first place, so that whole point is moot.

mheslep
Gold Member
This is a pretty new fad apparently and will only end when one of these kids gets killed.
Why? Many single handed circumnavigators have died at sea, and many have done just fine, including several young women.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8684120.stm

Ms Watson has reportedly sold her story to Rupert Murdoch's News Limited for A$700,000 ($625,000).
She made money and earned fame.

Only thing I was amazed was her confidence and maturity in the videos posted in the OP and how she handled questions.

Last edited:
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I didn't say anything about permission either. Yes, they drove it. They had to: there's no other way for a kid to do such a thing.

Look, I'm not a parent yet. But it is my understanding that far and away the number one source of pride for a parent is the accomplishments of their kids. From screaming soccer moms to those stupid "My kid is an honors student at...." bumper stickers, kids' accomplishments are parents' accomplishments.

Every kid has dreams like being an athlete or astronaut. Those dreams are ones that the parents can help with but most of the work is done by the kids. But an around-the-world sail is different. That idea doesn't get beyond the "wouldn't it be cool if..." stage if the parents aren't an active enabler, fostering and nourishing the idea. And the reason the parents are active enablers is pride.

Now even goals that can be good can be self-destructive at the same time. For olympic athletes and professional tennis players, the sacrifices are huge and the damage can be devistating - and we only hear about the ones that succeed! But for this, there is little real upside besides the publicity itself. It's a stunt little different than the balloon boy stunt.

Put these ideas together: selfish pride.
Russ, this is nothing more that profiling, and at best an unscientific attempt at it. You have some notions of how a (statistical) population generally behaves and what motivates them, and you are using that to draw conclusions about one particular specimen within that population. That's just plain wrong.

Besides, you are stating as a fact about a specific family what is really nothing more than an opinion based on your own amateur (I'm using that term in its technical sense) interpretation of perceived general trends.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Also, it tickles me when people who have no experience or in-depth knowledge of a field pass judgment on the risks involved and decide to label people who have loads of experience in said field as "stupid"! Where does the conviction for such judgment arise from?

The same thing happened in the thread (this past winter) about climbers that died on Mt Hood. Everybody and their grandmother decided that the climbers had to be "stupid", while the only person involved in that thread who had actually climbed Mt Hood (and probably the only person in the thread who had climbed any glaciated mountain), refused to make such a judgment.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I didn't say anything about permission either. Yes, they drove it. They had to: there's no other way for a kid to do such a thing.

Look, I'm not a parent yet. But it is my understanding that far and away the number one source of pride for a parent is the accomplishments of their kids. From screaming soccer moms to those stupid "My kid is an honors student at...." bumper stickers, kids' accomplishments are parents' accomplishments.

Every kid has dreams like being an athlete or astronaut. Those dreams are ones that the parents can help with but most of the work is done by the kids. But an around-the-world sail is different. That idea doesn't get beyond the "wouldn't it be cool if..." stage if the parents aren't an active enabler, fostering and nourishing the idea. And the reason the parents are active enablers is pride.

Now even goals that can be good can be self-destructive at the same time. For olympic athletes and professional tennis players, the sacrifices are huge and the damage can be devistating - and we only hear about the ones that succeed! But for this, there is little real upside besides the publicity itself. It's a stunt little different than the balloon boy stunt.

Put these ideas together: selfish pride.
Yep. It's not based on the facts; it's based on your preconceptions and generalizations. You tell these people who they are, then judge that, and find them wanting.

Russ, this is nothing more that profiling, and at best an unscientific attempt at it. You have some notions of how a (statistical) population generally behaves and what motivates them, and you are using that to draw conclusions about one particular specimen within that population. That's just plain wrong.

Besides, you are stating as a fact about a specific family what is really nothing more than an opinion based on your own amateur (I'm using that term in its technical sense) interpretation of perceived general trends.
OK, much more eloquent that my comment...

I think 16 is too young and would have tried to convince her to wait until she was 20 or 19 or whenever she's old enough so I can't force her not to. Probably she would pitch a fit though but then I would have tried and explain to her what happens to a dad when he looses his little girl at any age but especially when she's really little (like 16), someone he loves more than anything in the world. It would be a little disturbing and might traumatize her some but maybe that's what it would take to get her to wait and get through adolescence relatively unharmed. After that, I'm done raising you, it's entirely up to you what you wish to do, and I would support you.

Last edited:
Evo
Mentor
Doubtful? Employers will inevitably bias toward a name they recognise, and her fame provides new avenues of employment (and potential high incomes) in industries that most have no access to.

Her website says she's still continuing and intending to finish school. After that if she chooses to go to uni, there's no way she'll be worse off than the common entrant who first works minimum wage for one year after school (this is done to declare independence and thereby secure government study assistance). But like I pointed out, there's no requirement here for her to have been at school at her age in the first place, so that whole point is moot.
A week from now no one will remember her. Do you remember the kid, Jesse, who's record she was trying to beat? He's famous for being the youngest to circumnavigate the world alone. You do remember him, right? He's FAMOUS.

A week from now no one will remember her. Do you remember the kid, Jesse, who's record she was trying to beat? He's famous for being the youngest to circumnavigate the world alone. You do remember him, right? He's FAMOUS.
people who like sailing may-----

its like who knows who is presently the youngest player to pitch a perfect game in baseball?

who was the youngest person to walk on the moon?

who was the youngest person to win a Nobel prize?

or the second youngest?

Evo
Mentor
people who like sailing may-----

its like who knows who is presently the youngest player to pitch a perfect game in baseball?

who was the youngest person to walk on the moon?

who was the youngest person to win a Nobel prize?

or the second youngest?
Exactly, no one is going to remember her.

Exactly, no one is going to remember her.
well, what I was implying was those who are really interested in sailing, etc. will always remember..

"I remember the exact day and time that Jessica (what's her name) finished!"

Evo
Mentor
well, what I was implying was those who are really interested in sailing, etc. will always remember..

"I remember the exact day and time that Jessica (what's her name) finished!"
Actually, she might be remembered for failing, if she's remebered at all. She didn't set a record.

Actually, she might be remembered for failing, if she's remebered at all. She didn't set a record.
I get the (slightest) inkling/feeling from your posts that she doesn't deserve the attention

Evo
Mentor
I get the (slightest) inkling/feeling from your posts that she doesn't deserve the attention
I think there are a lot more important things that kids do that deserve attention. Of course we rarely hear of them because they don't get attention.

'Records' are transitory and are meant to be broken. I'm sure that some 15 year old girl will want to do it sometime.

We have a local TV station that has a segment called 'Kids to Know' for youngsters doing things that strive and do some things.

Jessica just did something that is noteworthy for her age (she, alone, by herself, on a sail boat) even if there were boats around her to help secure her safety.

When a racing driver wins a race, he gets the attention, but he doesn't really do it alone either.

Evo
Mentor
'Records' are transitory and are meant to be broken. I'm sure that some 15 year old girl will want to do it sometime.

Dutch Court rules teenager Laura Dekker can't sail around the world solo

A Dutch court upheld the suspension until July 1 of a 14-year-old girl's bid to sail around the world solo, citing fears for her safety and ordering her supervision by authorities.

Laura Dekker needs to complete the two-year trip before she turns 17 on September 20, 2012, to break the current record.

"The court is of the opinion that the two-year solo sailing trip as planned ... holds great and unacceptable risks for the child," the appeals court in the eastern city of Arnhem, said in a written judgment.

"It has not been shown that the safety of the child would be sufficiently guaranteed during the trip."

The court upheld a ruling by the district court in Utrecht in the central Netherlands last October, which barred the girl from setting off until at least July 1, when the school year expires.

It agreed she should remain under the supervision of child care services until that time, saying Dekker's father Dick Dekker, supports Laura's bid, "has a limited appreciation of the risks involved".
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-new...d-the-world-solo/story-e6frfku0-1225862259667

This next article also has experienced young sailors exolain why it's not a good idea.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/28/dutch.teen.sailor.court/index.html

Just this week, a British teenager became the youngest person to sail around the world solo when he returned to Britain after a nine-month trip. Guinness World Records confirmed the feat.

Mike Perham, 17, had a support team sailing alongside him during the trip. He said he doesn't think age alone should determine whether Laura Dekker is ready for such an adventure. It's "whether she's got the physical strength, the mental strength, or the technical ability," he said. "Can she strip an engine blindfolded? Can she build boats? Is she an electrician? Is she a mechanic as well? You can't just be a sailor for a trip like this."

Another sailor, Robin Knox-Johnston, also said age shouldn't be the only determining factor. He was the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone without stopping -- in 1969, when he was 29.

"It's really more a question, is that person, that young person, mature enough to be able to look after themselves and deal with everything that's going to come at you when you get out alone at sea?" he said.

Gold medal-winning Olympic sailor Shirley Robertson insisted that sailing is an experience-based sport and that Laura may not be ready for such a great challenge.

"Mike Perham has four years on Laura. That's a big difference," she told CNN.

"Mike had already completed challenges such as sailing across the Atlantic before embarking on his ultimate quest.

"There's a world of difference between sailing a small craft on the Ijsselmeer and sailing around the world with all the challenges that presents."

Robertson also pointed out that "we live in a culture of record-breaking and fame-seeking," with people constantly looking to be the youngest or quickest at anything.

"Why does she need to sail around the world on her own now? Why not sail with a parent first to gain more experience?"

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
She had a dream and she went for it, that's what this is about. We can all sit at home and wait for something exciting to happen, but sometimes you just need to go out and do it. Take some risks. Would we have landed on the moon if everyone said it was stupid and too risky? Maybe it was stupid and too risky, but what an experience it is!

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The Dutch girl Dekker has complied with the Dutch court ruling that she needed to perform certain tests and show certain capabilities and sail according to some rules. She passed everything and she will set sail at the beginning of the summer vacation this year. Good for her, although I'd agree that we should not let every teenager set sail for the horizon.

Evo
Mentor
I guess my problem is where do you draw the line? If a 15 year old decides they want to be the first child to solo bicycle across Siberia, do we let them leave school and take off?

Having goals and dreams and working towards them are to be commended, but when it is age appropriate. Call me a fuddy duddy, but I believe in restricting what my children do when they are young, they can do whatever they please when they are of legal age. I don't see any reason why they can't wait a couple of years.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I guess my problem is where do you draw the line?
That's easy.

On a case-by-case basis. And the only people making any given decision are those directly involved, not those at arm's-length or at the other end of the internet, who only get a news-byte-worth of information.

In short, we are not qualified to judge.

mheslep
Gold Member
Why? Many single handed circumnavigators have died at sea, and many have done just fine, including several young women.
Well scratch that, I missed that she was underage.