- Mon, 8 Feb 2010
Just stop for a moment and think about it: a sixteen-year-old girl sailing alone around the world. No, make that two sixteen-year-old girls sailing alone around the world. And they are sailing in the wake of two 17-year-old boys who sailed alone around the world also.
These youngsters have invited snorts of cynicism in some sectors of the marine industry, nay, make that derision. I've even written a blog or two myself sending up what seems at first to be juvenile dementia.
But the two boys have made it and I'm sure the two girls will make it too. By any measure it is a truly mind-blowing achievement and never ceases to fill me with wonder. When sailing alone I have offered up the odd prayer, and promised to the Almighty I will build a Christian chapel on whichever side of the North Sea I manage to make harbour in during a blow. Only the Lord knows what it must be like in the relentless Southern Ocean.
Do the detractors of these kids feel somehow threatened that the mystique of their unshared offshore world is being breached? That their authority is being undermined? Their secrets revealed? Who knows. It's certainly not an age thing as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston appears to be behind all such voyages and he's nearly 80. Is that, perhaps, because unlike so many who would knock these water babes, he has actually done it?
So I entreat anyone who reads this to, please, try and remember what it was like being a teenager and join me in raising a sou-wester to all of 'em!