On Barbie Dolls and Adventuring

      In the Los Angeles Times, blogger Pete Thomas reported Abby Sunderland's imminent departure on her nonstop solo circumnavigation. He quotes Australian adventurer Don McIntyre's assessment of Abby's level of skill, "it is pretty obvious that she has not been playing with Barbie dolls for the past 16 years, so there is every expectation that she comes from a background that could do it."

      Don McIntyre is an experienced cruiser and racer, generous with time, advice and money. News reports say that he lent Jessica Watson s/v Ella's Pink Lady for her solo circumnavigation, but the truth is he bought it with the intention of lending it. That's how supportive he is of this attempt. I think he meant to say that although he doesn't know Abby, she could probably succeed as well as Jessica. But Barbie dolls?

     This is what my father would have called a backhanded compliment. We all know that what really matters is not what toys kids play with, but that they dream about their futures. Not everyone comes to cruising by way of racing. That plenty of us come from less competitive or more traditional backgrounds doesn't prevent our become skilled sailors.

      I could see a future adventurer playing with Nautical Barbie. Worrying about whether she is wearing foul weather gear in a storm, or has the right accessories  - like a good tether with a couple of D-rings - mightn't be bad preparation at all for a circumnavigation.
     And that pink boat could be irresistible. 


My Barbies raced (pink) cars and climbed mountains!

Nicely put. I know nautical Barbies would be the only Barbies I would consider buying. But I think you missed that pink boats are already irresistible :)