Yesterday, 16-year old Laura Dekker became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe by sailboat when she completed her solo journey which she began a year ago.
Dekker had wanted to set sail in 2009 when she was 14 but Dutch authorities prevented her by seeking and obtaining joint custody of her with her father who has supported her ambitions from the outset. She was born on a boat in New Zealand and has spent most of her life at sea. Eventually, her father and Dutch authorities reached a compromise which allowed her to set sail last year when she was 15. Here’s a blog post I wrote about the controversy at the time.
I realize that many people would be appalled at the idea of a 15-year old girl sail solo around the world. Under normal circumstances it would be a crazy idea but I think Dekker is an exceptional case. Given her background, she probably knows more about the sea than most people twice, perhaps even three times her age.
Let me put it this way. Would you rather have your daughters keep up with the Kardashians or with someone like Laura Dekker?
In any case, I want to congratulate Ms. Dekker for her magnificent accomplishment.