15-year-old solo sailor Laura Dekker reaches Fiji
by Nancy Knudsen on 18 Jul 2011
Laura exploring in her dinghy in Tonga .. .
Laura Dekker, 15-year-old Dutch sailor embarked on a solo world cruising voyage in her 38ft ketch Guppy, has reached Suva in Fiji, and is now well on her way to have conquered her second ocean.
Leaving from Europe almost one year ago (she is on Day 331 now) after a long fight with Dutch authorities to allow her to embark on such a journey, Laura has had a mostly uneventful journey. She has negotiated successfully through some of the most challenging waters and overcome all navigational problems like a true seasoned cruising sailor.
In her voyage from Tonga to Fiji she has had to negotiate many islands and reefs as well as fishing boats, as it is quite a complicated sail, even for cruisers with plenty of crew.
Laura reflected, in her undemonstrative way, her pleasure at arriving in Suva, saying, 'Guppy has come through unscathed from the reefs and I dropped anchor in Suva at midnight.'
The young sailor then slept the rest of the night before preparing to get out her dinghy to go through customs and immigration clearances in the busy port this morning.
The other piece of good news for Laura revolves around her HF radio which had 'died', and appeared to be unable to be repaired.
In Laura's words, 'Icom America came up with very good news. They will sponsor me with a whole new SSB radio! I'm REALLY SUPER happy, because when I do my next trips I do not have to wonder where everyone is and how they are doing ...'
Well done, Laura, Sail-World commends your achievements so far!
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