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Dekker's Circumnavigation Nears End

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  • Dekker's Circumnavigation Nears End

    The waves are rolling nonstop over deck now that Gup and the Trade Wind have found each other… And so between the closed hatches and the wind blowing outside I am left with two choices: either I stay inside in the stuffy heat or I go have a salt water bath outside and freeze in the wind ...I am doing both. Guppy is enjoying herself in the wind as she is charging through the waves at a good 6,5 knots eating down the miles to Sintt Maarten with 1450 nautical miles left to go. All is fine aboard, the waves keep rocking us back and forth and we are making some good progress.


    The 16 year old Dutch native, Laura Dekker is nearing the end of her solo circumnavigation, now 509 days since leaving Gilbralter on August 21 2010.
    When she reaches St Martin, her unofficial voyage will be over, and will become the youngest to ever solo circumnavigate the world with a few caveats included. aboard her 38 ' Guppy, Laura has taken the long way around and enjoyed many stops, as opposed to the the 16 year old Jessica Watson of Australia, who completed her voyage in 210 days, with out all the sidetrips.

    But who is to begrudge her? Certainly not the Volvo Ocean Race crews, who have made the race into a world tour vs a flat out drag race. Laura even got to spend some quality time with the fleet while in Cape Town and sailed with the crew of ETNZ! Laura has made it known when this voyage ends, she would like to relocate to New Zealand and avoid the constraints and bureaucratic baggage which Dutch authorities wish to levee upon her.

    If life's pursuits are overridden by life's obligations, perhaps the focus has been lost. It about the journey, not just the final destination. Maybe this precocious teen can teach us all a lesson, stop and smell the roses. Venture out of the familiar and introduce yourself to the unknown. Dare to be, to do. Live. Again. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    Once again, I'm amazed by the guts and determination of a female soloist.



    • #3
      The girl has balls.



      • #4


        • #5

          Almost 1 year to the day, 366 days older and now 16, Dutch native Laura Dekker sailed into St Maarten Harbor
          completing an extended world solo tour/ circumnavigation. From her log yesterday:

          "Only 160 nautical miles left to go and today I saw the first of many small islands I'll be sailing by. Guadeloupe is still hidind over the horizon but I expect that it will soon be in sight. Exactly 364 days ago I was sailing on the opposite side of Guadeloupe heading west, with a whole bunch of old fishing buoys and nets in tow... Since then a lifetime of experiences has gone by. It feels like it was just yesterday but at the same time it seems like it was an eternity ago. Back then I had no idea I would be back now with a life load of new experiences and 27 000 nautical miles under Guppy' keel. But here I am having almost circumnavigated the whole world. Yes, that idea is slowly sinking in… But I don't really believe it..."


          ©Stephano Kogelman

          From Laura's Log on the 18th, some deep retrospective:

          "Reaching the end of my circumnavigation, I look back with joy at the adventures of the past year. I am also thinking hard, and trying to come to terms with the year prior to my voyage. The Dutch government was not kind to me. As a 13 year old girl, it was never my intention to be the center of world news. From the moment my plans became public, Youth Care and other government organizations tried to stop me.

          During the first court case, in August 2009, (even before Youth Care had ever seen me, or had spoken to me…), they asked the Judge to take me away from my father and to lock me up in a secure clinic! By doing this they tried to stop me from sailing. Another five court cases followed and another five times Youth Care asked the judge to lock me up. I only wanted to go sailing! Fortunately the judge never honored this terrible request. Over a period of 11 months, I was constantly afraid that Youth Care would lock me up.

          Also during this period, there were intimidating interviews with Youth Care workers. It was all a frightening and traumatic experience. So often these terrible memories come to me. I can’t ignore them. It is painful. Now, after sailing around the world, with difficult port approaches, storms, dangerous reefs, and the full responsibility of keeping myself and Guppy safe,
          I feel that the nightmares the Dutch government organizations put me through, were totally unfair.

          I think that the nightmares will follow me for the rest of my life... At sea, I feel comfortable and I come to rest. I especially enjoy the long passages over the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. I hear now that the Dutch government organizations have started causing problems again. I am seriously thinking about not returning to the Netherlands. Of course I will discuss this with my parents. We will make decisions carefully, such as finishing my high school education and making plans for my future.

          Last but not least, I would like to say that I realize my voyage would not have been possible without the support of all my fans from around the globe and my sponsors. I am very grateful to them and I would like to thank them all! I can’t be negative about the Netherlands, a country with so many good people. Because of my past experience with the Dutch government organizations, I have the feeling that it will be very difficult for me to return to the Netherlands. I will complete my solo circumnavigation on the island of Sint Maarten. I am sorry if I disappoint my Dutch fans. What a party it would have been if Hoek van Holland or IJmuiden had been my port of arrival…!!!.. Who knows, it might still happen one day…"


          ©Stephano Kogelman

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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