How young is too young to sail alone around the world?

I first sailed to Bermuda when I was 14 years old.  It was a pretty significant milestone in my life.  From what I can remember of it today, more three decades later, it was also a significant accomplishment, psychologically, emotionally and physically. Of course, I was on a 128′ tall ship with 20 other adolescents and there was also this other little factor that the ship was under the command of a master mariner.

This morning, Mike Perham, a 17 year old Briton, became the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe.  Mike’s prior experience included crossing the Atlantic at the age of 14. Here’s a BBC video/audio report upon Mike’s arrival this morning.

In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times,  Pete Thomas wrote an interesting article titled More Teens Choose High-Seas Journeys.  A more accurate title for the article might have been Younger Teens Choose High-Seas Journeys as the race today is less about who will be the fastest around the globe but rather who will be the youngest.

While I find it difficult to make a definitive statement with an absolute age on this controversy, it does seem to be getting a little ridiculous. I guess there will always be 2 schools of thought about these types of things with freedom of choice on one side and youth competency and parental responsibility on the other. Mankind has always been designed to push the limits, whatever they might be.

There’s an interesting conversation over at the Free Range Kids blog that you should check out if you are at all interested in this controversy. And from a slightly different perspective, check out the comments on BoingBoing.

Here are the websites of the youth sailors so you can read their own words about their adventures.

Senator Edward Kennedy, Sailor. R.I.P.

Senator Kennedy - Martin Luther King Center Sail 2004

Just over a month ago I wrote a post about the loss of an American sailing icon, Walter Cronkite, and tonight it’s sad to think about the loss of another, Senator Edward Kennedy.

The above photo was taken in 2004 aboard the schooner Aurora in Newport, RI when I was executive director of the American Sail Training Association. We arranged a morning sail for a youth group from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center and invited our local Congressman Patrick Kennedy to experience sail training first hand. Without advance notice Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy showed up at the dock too.  He came aboard to meet the young people and share his enthusiasm and passion for sailing.   As we departed the harbor, he sailed passed us at the helm of his beautiful schooner Mya.

Over the years I had several occasions to meet with the Senator and every time impressed me more. They say this about all great leaders, but when you were in his presence you really felt that he was totally focused on you and what you had to say.  Of course, our brief meetings were always about tall ships and sailing, topics that were very important to him.  As a student of leadership,  I often reflect back on my very short, yet impactful experiences with the Senator and am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time with him.

I could stand and look at and listen to this all day

Watch this in full screen HD.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium’s Kuroshio Sea – 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world (song is Please don’t go by Barcelona) by Jon Rawlinson

Share this post :

USAir 1549 Flight Simulation with Air Traffic Control Audio

Wired.com’s Autopia blog posted 5 amazing simulations of USAir 1549 water landing in the Hudson River. This one’s integrated the actual air traffic control audio.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imDFSnklB0k]
YouTube – Hudson River Plane Landing (US Airways 1549) Animation with Audio

Here’s another from the BBC that reports that USAir 1549 came perilously  close to another plane as it banked left over Manhattan and headed down the Hudson River.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G2TLqxWM04]
YouTube – COCKPIT VIEW OF HUDSON RIVER FLIGHT | US Airways Airbus A320 Flight 1549 pilot’s view

These were reportedly made with Microsoft’s popular Flight Simulator.

I’m always amazed by how cool, calm and collected air traffic control remains as an emergency unfolds.

Share this post :

Pursue It! The SEA Experience

Following up on my last post about Sea Education Association, here’s an awesome video that captures the spirit of adventure and learning integral to the SEA experience. Enjoy it and pass it on!

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnPxKYHAHr4]
YouTube – SEA Semester – Pursue it

Share this post :