Solo teen sailor goes home to raise money
by Nancy Knudsen on 26 Feb 2011
Laura Dekker, 15-year-old Dutch solo sailor embarked on a round world adventure, is returning home.
Laura Dekker arrives Sint Maarten 2 - Photograph courtesy of www.HeliPhotoCarib.com Heli Photo Carib www.HeliPhotoCarib.com
No, she hasn't give up her journey, she's doing what many cruising sailors do during their voyages, return home for one reason or another. Many go to see their children and grandchildren. Some go home to work for a while to pay for their next leg. For Laura, also, it is a question of money.
After a long fight with Dutch authorities, Laura was given permission to leave on her proposed round-world voyage, and has so far made it to the Caribbean.
She has been gradually moving from island to island, mostly Dutch-speaking, getting closer to the Panama Canal, which she will pass through in time to catch the trade winds which begin in the Pacific Ocean around April.
Currently she is in Bonaire, part of the 'ABC' islands in the western Caribbean.
So all is going well - except for the money. Lacking sufficient sponsorship, Laura is skint for cash, and her fast trip home to the Netherlands will allow her to attend the HISWA-Amsterdam Boat Show which starts on 1st March. Here she will be 'giving lectures' to help fund her trip.
Laura aims to become the youngest person to sail around the world singlehanded. The voyage is expected to take two years, having her back to where she can cross her outbound course well before her seventeenth birthday.