I’m not a sailer. At all. Not that I don’t want sail, it’s just that I’ve never really had any practice. Or training. Or luck. I tried to sail last summer with some friends and it was disastrous; though I did manage an hour or so on a Hobie Cat while in Jamaica last year, but that’s really about it. So I can’t really imagine the skill involved in sailing – alone – across the globe; much less doing at 16. Laura Dekker did. So this week, the Salted Rim salutes Laura Dekker…
Laura Dekker: A Heroine for our Times
What do you do when you fulfil your life’s ambition at the age of 16? Laura Dekker, the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly, arrived at the Caribbean island of St Maarten on Saturday to a rapturous welcome and a relieved family. While we wait to hear what does next, we celebrate her life so far.
She Was Born to Sail
Her Dutch parents were living on a yacht in a port in New Zealand when Dekker was born and she was six when she first sailed solo. At eight, she decided her dream was to sail around the world, and, aged just 13, Dekker sailed solo from the Netherlands to England and back – a trip her father had hoped would “cure her wanderlust”, according to her website. Her mother has said “she sails like a devil”, while her grandfather says “she’s a stoic. She will keep a cool head in the most extreme of situations.”
Congratulations to Laura. What an amazing story. I think I’ll give it another try this summer. In the meantime, you can also check out Laura’s travel blog here.
PS – If it was me, I tell ya, the first thing I would grab in St Maarten upon coming ashore – you guessed it – a margarita!