Laura Dekker wants to sail around the world… by herself, on her 26’
boat, Guppy. Laura is 13 and a Dutch court has prevented her from
launching. Is this the nanny state overreaching or does Holland
need every available teenager for plugging dyke duty?
We say let her sail. Her dad, Dick, doesn’t mind. He
even encourages her. And for that reason we will refrain from making
any Dick Dekker jokes. Laura Dekker says “I want simply to learn about
the world and live freely.” Her plan is to take two years to circumvent
the world and when she is finished at 15 be the youngest ever to sail
What does Mike Parham, a 17 year old Brit and
current youngest to sail round the world, in 9 months, say about this
after he tackled 50’ waves, gale force winds and technical problems?
“She better have the physical strength, the mental strength and the
technical ability,” he said. “You know, can she strip an engine
blindfolded, is she an electrician, is she a mechanic as well – because
you can’t just be a sailor on a trip like this.”
Hey Mikey, wise up. She’s a Dutch girl. Have you
seen them? Pick up a paint can if you haven’t because they’re giants.
This kid was born to sail. She was born on a yacht off the coast of New
Zealand during a seven-year world trip. She had a yacht by the age of
six and began sailing solo by the age of ten. Her dad is Dick Dekker.
Laura’s lawyer, Peter de Lange, said on Radio
Netherlands “The question is whether it is wrong for to allow their
child to indulge in her passion.”
Of course the nanny state deems it wrong and is
putting her under guardianship for two months. Laura says this will put
a little kink in her plans as she’ll have to haul her boat to Portugal
to launch because the weather in Holland two months from now will be
prohibitive. Sailor Laura has thought this thing out.
“She should sail the Atlantic, first,” pipes up
Master Parham. “I did that when I was fourteen.” Laura answers “Since I
was 10-years-old, I knew I wanted to sail around the world.”
But what about the loneliness and the school
missingness and the not seeing the tulip crop come in? Laura told Dutch
television Jeugdjournal “I will always be surrounded by other people
who are on a journey like mine. I really think I will meet these people
and make friends easily.”
See, Mr. Parham and you busybody Netherlands
authorities, Dutch girls are friendly and other will gravitate to her
course. We’ll even bet a few sailing journalists will be tagging along.
Don’t doubt this kid. When she sailed solo from Holland to England in
very choppy waters at the age of 12, British authorities were hesitant
to let her sail back by herself but she convinced them. She had more
sailing knowledge than any of the Port bobbies questioning her and
trying to detain her. In Holland we like to call her moedig (brave, courageous) with lots of ingewanden (guts).
Does Holland want their children to be fraidy katten landrottens or kids with ingewanden?
Have they forgotten their “Dutch East India Company” heritage? The kid
says she was born to sail and she’s qualified. Let her do this before
she discovers boys and make-up. She wants to sea the world while seeing
the world. We say laat haar zeil !!