From birth she was destined to be a sailor…
After Laura Dekker was born she immediately lived on a boat off the coast of New Zealand and just 16 years later she earned the title of the youngest round-the-world sailor.
But not without some rough waters.
At age 13, Laura had plans to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, but Dutch authorities stepped in and prevented her from departing. Two years later in July 2010, the legal feud ended and Laura set sail on August 21st, 2010.
After 519 days at sea, Laura successfully completed the solo circumnavigation on January 21st, 2012.
Learn how Laura Dekker became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in her boat nicknamed “Guppy” in this exclusive interview…
Interview with Laura Dekker
How did you get into sailing?
I’m born while my parents where sailing around the world and lived on boats ever since. My dads a sailor but somehow my mum and sister never liked it as much.
I loved it from the beginning though.
Why did you want sail around the world solo?
It was dream I had from a young age and became more solid as I got older. And something I really wanted to do and achieve for myself.
What controversy did you face trying to sail the world at such a young age?
A lot of people telling me that I can’t do this and even the Dutch government trying to stop me from achieving my goal.
What was your overall experience sailing around the world?
Just beautiful I learned so much about myself nature and different culture’s more then I could have ever learned in school.
Of course there where less fun moments, but even that is a good experience.
Where did you start and finish and how long did the journey take you?
I sailed Guppy from Gibraltar around the world to the Caribbean and to New Zealand. But the solo trip officially starts in Sint Maarten (Caribbean) and ends there as well. I did sail solo across the Atlantic from Gibraltar as well though.
Were you ever scared or lonely? How did you overcome it?
Not as much scared as there never was time to be scared. Sometimes loneliness or just wondering why I wanted to do this. But there is no way back once your out there and just another look around and thinking about what a special place I was sailing in always made me realize how lucky I was/am.
What was the most shocking thing you saw on your ocean journey?
Trash! To much plastic and garbage floating around in these beautiful waters. Really shocking.
What challenges have you faced being a young female yachtswoman?
Most people think that you can’t and don’t know anything as most skippers and yacht owners are men they feel like a women especially a young women shouldn’t be able to do such a thing.
How has sailing changed you?
It opened my eyes to the world. How much is nature actually gives us how useful and beautiful it is. And how human kind doesn’t realize it anymore these days.
What are your favorite books for travel?
Solo from Tania Aebi and The long Way from Bernard Moitessier.
Do you have any upcoming trips? If so, where to?
No big sailing trips planned at the moment. I’m traveling around the South Island of New Zealand by car for a bit to see the some more of the land instead of the water around it 😉
Any other thoughts or advice for our women readers?
Don’t be afraid to set a step into the unknown, or do something that other people think is crazy or insane. If you really want something and you’re sure of it then who are they to tell you you shouldn’t!
Thank you Laura Dekker for participating in this interview. For more info on Laura Dekker, please visit lauradekker.nl.