1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Rebel Heart - and making a difference.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rebel Heart - and making a difference.

photo by Sariah English (sister to Charlotte)
This week's - heck, this month's, sailing story is all about Rebel Heart, but quickly, I want to update you on a recent post... I've joined the ranks of those who have put a Mantus on their bow. To be honest, compared to the traditional look of my CQR, it looks like a set of bull horns on the hood of a Cadillac. There's a certain panache to it, but it 'just doesn't look quite right'....
I'm sure I'll get used to it but at the moment...hmmmmm. More in another post, let's get on to today's hot story!
This week's BIG news in sailing circles as I said is the Rebel Heart story. Very briefly for those not familiar (what? how long can you stay at the top of your mast anyhow?), a family of four including a three year old and a one year old left Mexico two weeks ago on the first leg of a circumnavigation. The baby became seriously ill about 900 miles out, and the US Navy parachuted four paramedics to the boat. Her condition was stabilized, but - and not all of this is confirmed by any means - the boat was experiencing some issues. From the reports, it sounds like they had a packing gland problem as water was coming in when the engine was running.
The Navy then sent out a fast frigate to take the family off the boat, and scuttled Rebel Heart rather than leave it floating, and a danger to other vessels. A google search for Rebel Heart will find you all the details.
Of course, it didn't take long for the media to pile on this one. Great story: young family, adventure, sick child, rescue of sinking boat - wow! WWRD? (what would Redford do?)
And of course, online, thousands of people are taking the parents to task for risking their childrens' lives in a foolhardy adventure.
None of them are, of course, sailors or boaters. Many seem to want the government to take their children away, to force the parents to pay for the rescue (ignoring that they get free 'rescue' if they crash their car or their house burns down), develop legislation preventing this sort of thing from EVER HAPPENING AGAIN! On and on it goes.
I'd like to ask the readers of LiveBloggin' to take a hand in dealing with this. Almost all of us are experienced sailors and, in any event, we understand the hows and whys of what the Kaufmann family were doing. Some of us even know others who are doing the same thing or similar (hello McKissicks' Journey and Bill and Erin Jackson and all your kids!)...
I'd like you to go online and find one of these forums where people are bashing our sailing and cruising lifestyle through their criticisms of the Kaufmann family. I'd like you to spend a half hour responding to these criticisms from your better informed viewpoint. Show these people that the Kaufmanns were doing the right thing, that they are not uncaring and unthinking parents, that they were not wrong to attempt this adventure.
Here are a couple of sites to get you started. First, you can read the Rebel Heart website and blog, it's at www.therebelheart.com/ You can also get an idea about what's happening at the SSCA Facebook page. If you're not a member, sign up and tell them I sent you! Lots of worthwhile stuff there besides this story.
Next, choose your target. Some good ones are CNN, Washington Post, MSNBC, LA Times, and of course, your local media. Then, post back here with what you've done, and links that you've discovered. Let's let the world know that the Kaufmanns aren't crazy, that we aren't crazy, and that this is a wonderful lifestyle. Ok, maybe we're a little bit crazy, but...
For once, let's make a difference online if for no other reason than that the Kaufmanns deserve our help here in defending their decisions.

(postscript - Susan Landry just posted an article on SSCA's Facebook page about a Coast Guard rescue of an infant with breathing problems...from a cruise ship at an island in the Bahamas...here's the link "Cruise Ship Rescue". If this is appropriate, then I certainly see no problem with the Kaufmann's cruise.