At the venerable age of thirty-eight I can appreciate that I am half way to the terminal point on my current life expectancy, unless of course, I die sooner rather than later. Momento mori. I appreciate that my remaining time is a precious commodity, one that I certainly no longer wish to waste on pure frivolity. If I’m going to commit to two hours of television it has to be something that must come highly recommended, preferably through a trusted source with a proven track record whose suggestions are few and far between.
My particular psychosis means I gravitate towards weird indie films and movies that (briefly) make me feel like I’ve done nothing particularly profound with my life. I also like movies where the hero dies at the end.
While not completely committed to a single genre I do like epic adventure documentaries with plucky, likeable underdogs.
Enter Laura Dekker who, at age 14 became the youngest person to circumnavigate the world, SOLO. It took her 518 days at which point she sailed into Sint Maarten, age sixteen. She mostly documented the journey herself, her first person footage becoming the foundation for the movie.
There is one thing that doesn’t sit well with me throughout the movie. Although I’m trying not to judge circumstances over which I do not have perfect knowledge. I never quite get over the mind bending lack of paternal regard that Dick Dekker has for his daughter, allowing her to drop out of school and countenancing her epic world sojourn aboard eleven feet of fiberglass. Appropriate namesake. I’m glad she survives.
Laura is amazing.
I can only remember in broad strokes what I was doing at age fifteen but I certainly had zero desire to risk death alone on a tiny ketch bobbing around in the ocean. It is likely that the only vaguely ambitious thing I ever did at that age was staying up late to download grainy low definition pornography on my dialup.
Even now as a cantankerous veteran of life with a respectable number of injuries garnered both in battle and impacting with stationary objects of various densities I can with absolute certainty attest that there are things that are beyond my capabilities. Sailing solo around the world is definitely one of them.
Still, I find it comforting that there are people out there that are disregarding convention and living life the way they choose to live it. I find that quite hopeful.