Saturday, September 3, 2011

Unsinkable by Abby Sunderland



Why I read it: Maritime history is as much a vocation for me as an avocation; if the sea wets it, I'll read it.

Summary: The author, at 13, sets a goal, to sail around the world single-handedly. By doing so she has the chance to become the youngest person in the history of the world to do so. Attacked by critics, but bolstered by supporters, she sets out on her first attempt at a "solo-round."

My Thoughts: I can remember the frustration of being told "You're too young. You have to wait." There's a point in all of our lives when we hear those words. But there's a difference. I produced. I wrote articles for newspapers. I slaved over my historical research. My name, and work, faceless, appeared in print. But when it came time to meet someone face to face, to apply for a job, I was often told, that no, I couldn't do the job, I was too young.

Capital B, Capital S.

Society has just never come to grasp with the fact that youth can outperform wisdom from time to time, that the young sometimes have what it takes to do amazing things that older people cannot. So it was with Abby. She set sail and did her absolute best to shut the critics up. She did n't make it all the way around the world, but she made in more than 12,000 miles before an Indian Ocean storm dismasted her sailboat during a rollover. In the end, it wasn't age, wisdom or contrariness that won the day, it was Mother Nature.

Good for you, Abby. You're a role model for the young; don't ever let the world say you can't try.

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