Abby Sunderland’s family follies

Abby Sunderland, the very young sailor recently rescued adrift in the Indian Ocean, seems appalled by criticism of her family for allowing her to make the solo trip around the world.

“Any sailor that goes out to the water knows that being hit by a rogue wave is a risk, no matter where you are,” she said.

“You can’t eliminate risk, you can do a lot to minimize it but it’s always there.”

I suppose the same could be said for criticism, the entirely predictable result of any end to Abby’s adventure, except unmitigated triumph.

The Sunderland family has evidently done little to minimize criticism. If it bothers them so much to be criticized, they might have taken some steps. But it seems it has hit them broadside, completely unawares.
I’m surprised that criticism is even on their radar, and that they’re choosing to see it as such a threat.

Of course Abby Sunderland is brave, remarkable, and a person of admirable spirit. But her boat is gone, and she had to be rescued many days from the nearest port. The thing speaks for itself. And who speaks for the lost and abandoned boat? It’s an inanimate object, right. But is anyone going to ask Abby if she feels guilty letting Wild Eyes slip away into oblivion?

Maybe we should ask Wilson…

Personally, I think anyone who sets sail across the Indian Ocean alone in a sailboat smaller than my condo is careless and foolish. I would think that even if Abby had been out there with her sailing instructor dad. It doesn’t matter if you have 30 years experience. Because you can encounter calamity anywhere, and it’s wise to do it within reach of a Coast Guard cutter, if not in sight of land.

I’ve been driving for over 30 years, but I would not set out across a roadless desert by myself, even with the best equipment and preparation. It’s simply unwise. And the sun rises and sets just as beautifully off the coast of California as it does a thousand miles from Madagascar.

It’s good to have dreams, but some people seem bent on pushing the living of their dreams beyond the horizons of absurdity.