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Readers weigh in on girl's plan to sail around the world

Many think that Abby Sutherland is more interesting and adventurous than the average 16-year-old.

December 20, 2009|T.J. Simers

These people live among you:

Rosemary Patterson: "I can appreciate how you feel about the Sunderland (sailing) situation. It's scary, and there's a good chance this girl might not make it home. . . . If Abby Sunderland doesn't make it home, she will at least die doing what she loved and wanted to do. Life is not just a time of breathing and playing it safe. There are always risks in life."

I find reading my e-mail to be one of them.

Francisco R. Gomez: "I read your pitiful diatribe against the Sunderland Family. I also read your bio on the website. According to your bio, you have been pretty much hiding behind a computer since you graduated from college. Your rant against the Sunderland Family smacks of cowardice. You did not even have the courage to say it to their faces."

I tried to reach the parents the other day, but I presume they were getting their 4-year-old ready for next year's Iditarod.

John Bargas: "You are correct. This child will look back on her teen years and mourn the loss of all those times when she could have watched TV, 'tried' pot, had sex with her boyfriend, and thrown her clothes on the floor, instead of embarking on the adventure of a lifetime."

Finally, someone who understands.

Mark Newell: "Maybe if you let your daughter walk to the car by herself, she wouldn't be 33 and still living at home."

Tiger Woods might be out there.

Jamie Redmond: "You don't like hearing of people like the Sunderland kids, Zac and Abby, because I imagine you are basically a total coward about facing life's challenges. The Sunderland kids have more guts in their little fingers than you will ever have, no matter how long you live. BTW, I am younger, smarter and better educated than you."

OMG, dude, LOL.

Thom Rees: "Say she doesn't make it and there's some tragedy at sea, is the world any worse off for losing a 16-year old girl with a zest for living AS SHE SEES FIT? I think her death would be more meaningful than most 16-ish mall rats, who you seem to admire and raise. Say she does make it, chances are she's more interesting for the rest of her life and full of life than your over-protected mall rat will ever be."

Your updated version of "It's a Wonderful Life"?

Carlos Castaneda: "Your story said it all. Choosing to stand in a neat pre-drawn line patiently waiting to die is definitely the way to go . . . "

I thought it was the line to see "Avatar."

James Sullivan: "Mind your own business. The fact that your own daughter is still living at home at age 33 informs me that you are an incompetent father and have no business telling ANYONE how to raise their own children."

The daughter has a house of her own, and when the doorbell rings, Beyonce is singing: "Put a ring on it."

Mark Assaf: "I am glad I'm not your daughter. I'm glad my daughter isn't your daughter. And I assure you, my daughter is absolutely THRILLED she is not your daughter."

I'm guessing a Coach purse would change her mind.

John Epperson: "Your column reflected exactly how I feel. My daughter was 17 when she got her first job at Hometown Buffet. It required her to close a couple of times a week and on those nights I was physically unable to sleep until she got home. I would pace the front yard while watching for her headlights, worrying about her walk from the restaurant to her car in that dark parking lot. I remember when it was all the rage to have the youngest kid fly a plane across the country. Then 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff died in a crash and that was the end of that. What's it going to take here?"

Responsible parents.

Mike: "You are boasting that you are one of those pathetic parents that smother their kids? Losers breed losers who marry grocery store clerks."

Thanks for trying to make me feel better, but had she married a clerk rather than a bagger, that would've been a step up.

Dennis Petticoffer: "Hey crabby pants, quit yer griping. Everyone knows Abby isn't really sailing around the world solo. Her dad will be navigating an empty boat by remote control while she hides in her room. Move over balloon boy. Make way for boat babe."

Won't the pirates be surprised when they find no one onboard?

Jack Gogreve: "I think your article does one thing, exposes you as an overprotective meddling parent. These Sunderland kids, and parents, are not afraid of greatness and all greatness comes with risk. . . . they have taken life and death into their own hands and learned to value life, and learned that life is only valuable if you take some chances."

So the family that plays Russian roulette together has a better shot of learning the value of life. Now it makes sense.

DJW:"If your only goal is to not risk their lives, why not just lock children in a basement until they are 18?"

I'd be more inclined to make it 35.

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