“I told you I was sick”


Or, “Kicked in the head by a mule,” from an actual gravestone in Tishomingo County, Mississippi.

I’m not going to weigh in on the judgement of the parents of the girl sailor who was rescued in the Indian Ocean, not directly anyway. I will say the young woman is brave and an accomplished sailor. Of course, at 16, she didn’t know the danger she was facing, but how many things might not be accomplished if the danger were known beforehand?

I will tell you what struck me most about the entire episode. What was she doing in the southern oceans in what is late autumn there? It is like sailing a small boat in the north Atlantic in November. Sailors with a lick of sense would not contemplate it. She and her family know the water. She was tricked out with the best boat and equipment their  significant fortune could afford. Why was she there when she was? It is because she was trying to be “the youngest” to sail around the world alone non-stop, to beat a record currently held by another 16-year-old girl. Obviously, months and weeks count. What if she had succeeded? Would the next to attempt the feat be a 14-year-old? Then a 12-year-old? It’s a stupid record, and whoever records it should expunge it and discourage further attempts. Wouldst that truly were possible.

You might point out the record already had been forfeited by an emergency repair stop in South Africa, so now we’re talking really dumb. No, I don’t have all the explanations.  I suppose these things aquire a momentum of their own.