The title of youngest yachtswoman ever to circumnavigate the globe is now within reach for Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who is expected to reach St Maarten to mark the end of her feat.
At the end of this month, the 16-year-old is expected to arrive in the Dutch Caribbean island of St Maarten, from where she started out on her trip around the world on 20 January 2011.
Laura celebrated New Year’s Eve aboard her boat, Guppy. On her weblog, she wrote that the moon, the stars and safety light-sticks were a good substitute for New Year’s fireworks.
In 2009, when Laura first announced her plans to circumnavigate the globe, Dutch authorities intervened and insisted she should first finish school. The child welfare authorities brought the case to court and a judge ruled that the 13-year-old was too young to travel alone. Laura then ran away and took a plane to the Caribbean island of St Maarten, where she was arrested and sent back to the Netherlands.
Finally last July, a judge gave her permission to carry out her plans – provided she agreed to a number of conditions, including continuing her secondary-school education through an online teaching programme set up for Dutch-speaking children abroad.
For the original report go to http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/laura-dekker-nears-end-world-solo-voyage