I know that it is easy to get hysterical when a girl’s life is at stake. Indeed, many of us were worried that the 16 year-old Sunderland was put in harm’s way. There was even talk of child abuse charges for her parents. But of course, Abby is the second girl of 16 to attempt this. Another Australian girl had done it already at the same age. Moreover, Abby’s brother accomplished the feat at just 17. I feel sure that in the same scenario, if it were a boy feared lost at sea, there wouldn’t have been such widespread panic.

But she’s a girl, right?

Sunderland’s boat was damaged in the storm – something that could have happened to any sailor of any age. I will admit that I was worried for her yes, because she’s a girl. As the mother of a 12 year-old I WAY too overprotective. My own ideas about the abilities of girls were challenged. Is a girl more vulnerable out at sea alone? Or can a girl do what a boy can do?

Now that she’s been found alive and very much okay – plenty of food, in good spirits – it’s easier to be supportive of a girl and her dream. Happy endings are few and far between. I’ll take this one, thank you.