It looks like another teen is about to set sail on an around-the-world solo journey. 14 year-old Laura Dekker of the Netherlands has just been granted court approval to navigate the earth’s waterways alone in a 38-foot, twin-mast ketch (boat talk for a yacht). Apparently, the Dutch Council for Child Protection attained a temporary guardianship order to prevent her parents from allowing such seasick (and worse) inducing adventures, but no longer.
Laura is shooting for 16 year-old Australian Jessica Watson’s record of the youngest person to sail solo around the world. It took Jessica 210 days and lots of suntan lotion.
This all comes in the wake of 16 year-old American Abby Sunderland’s aborted attempt at the same record last month. Abby’s mast was snapped by a rogue wave (aren’t they all rogue?) 2,000 miles from land. The world lost contact with her for a few long days before a French fishing boat trolled in for a rescue.
Now far be it from me to tell people how to raise their kids (just ask my kids), but don’t they have solo sailing video games for the Wii? It seems like a safer way to spend the day (or 210 days). And no sharks. Which is always a plus for children and adults alike.