June, 2010, as expected…a court in The Netherlands has decided that Laura Dekker, 14, is too young to try to sail around the world by herself.
3 months later, she was finally allowed by a Dutch court to sail away from Holland on a solo voyage around the world. Yesterday she set off with her father on a test and delivery sail to Portugal, from where she will begin her great adventure. Over 100 well wishers gathered at the dockside of the southern Dutch harbour of Den Osse to wave goodbye to Laura and her father.
From Portugal, she will begin her solo voyage, and head to the Canary Islands. Then across the Atlantic later this year after the hurricane season ends. Just last week, Miss Dekker won a bitter legal fight to overturn a child protection order that had placed her under the guardianship of social workers to stop her setting sail last year, aged just 13.
Whilst not get much press coverage in Australia, the Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, is making steady progress on her solo around the world yacht navigation. Update as of 19 January 2011, is that she is in the Caribbean, but doing it a lot easier than our Jessica Watson. But unlike Jessica, Laura is stopping off at many places. So, the Caribbean is not a bad place to lay up…