Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The fourteen year-old who will sail solo around the world

By now everyone has heard of Laura Dekker, the 14 year-old Dutch girl who has been fighting a court battle for the right to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

She has just won her fight after a Dutch court lifted the ban it imposed a year ago. She plans to head out from Portugal sometime in the next two weeks in an attempt to beat Jessica Watson, who is the current record holder at 16. She has been sailing solo since she was ten and was actually born on a yacht. . .while her parents were on a round-the-world voyage. Looks like there's a gene for sailing.

The news source for this post is significant--CBBC, which is the BBC's children's channel. The recent trend of young people doing incredible and dangerous travel feats, like this week's 12 year-old climbing the highest point in all fifty states in record time, can't go unnoticed by children around the world. Even my four-year-old son has taken notice. These kids are inspiring kids everywhere.

Is that a good thing? As a parent I'm torn. On the one hand I applaud anyone with enough courage to go for their dream, on the other hand I have to wonder if a fourteen year old is ready for such a feat. A normal kid that age obviously isn't, but Dekker is no ordinary kid. Even so, there's the high amount of danger involved.

So if Julián wants to do something equally amazing and crazy when he's 14, should I let him? Well, if I think he's capable of achieving it, I'd probably end up saying yes. I don't think I could bring myself to stand between my child and greatness. I'd be biting my nails the entire time, though, and probably shadowing him the entire way!

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