Skip to comments.Dutch teen sailor reaches Canary Islands (14 years old)
Posted on 08/26/2010 12:15:33 PM PDT by jerry557
MADRID A 14-year-old Dutch sailor aiming to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world says she has reached Spain's Canary Islands off northwest Africa but declined Thursday to say where exactly she was.
"Now I'm in the Canary Islands with the first stage of my trip behind me," Laura Dekker wrote on her website. "It was a great first stage that I can look back on with a good feeling.
The message was posted Wednesday but gave no details as to where on the seven-island archipelago she was.
In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Dekker said she would not specify where she was for fear of attracting the press. She also said she did not know how long she would stay in the Canary Islands.
The trip has been shrouded in secrecy since the start. Dekker has also sold exclusive TV rights to her voyage to a Dutch media company.
"Sleeping, eating, navigating and all the other things on board went well," she wrote in the website message.
"I'll have to look at land for a while now, but with the beautiful weather and great view here that will be fine," Laura added.
She is expected to stay in the Canary Islands while waiting for the Atlantic storm season to abate. During her stay she will be able to catch up on her schoolwork, receive family visits and install cameras on her yacht for a film to be made of the voyage.
The attempt comes two months after Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old American, had to be rescued in a remote section of the Indian Ocean during an attempt to circle the globe. Earlier this year, Jessica Watson of Australia completed a 210-day voyage at age 16.
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Would you allow your 14 y.o.to sail around the world alone?
Not me, not in today’s world.
What is this obsession about sailing around the world, alone, as a young teenager?
Does this kid have parents?
I say Huzzah for the kid.
I say Boo for the parents, is he has any.
Is anybody verifying this attempt or is it secret because she is reporting this from her computer in her bedroom?
Chick's never going to score a Reality Show with that attitude.
She’s not going into the Southern Ocean. She’s cutting through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal.
Suez??? Somali pirates waiting at the exit.
She would be safer in the Southern Ocean.
Big, big mistake.
Why stop at 14??
I’m waiting for some “loving” parents to send their 5 year-old on a solo round the world sailing trip!!
All for a mention in the Guiness Book of World Records!!
Sailed out of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Antigua on a 15 meter sail boat the late fall of 2002. The optimum time to depart the Canary Islands on a trans-Atlantic at that latitude is late November thru March. Hurricane season is over and trade winds are favorable. On our trip we sailed southwest to 15 degrees north latitude then west with the trade winds to Antigua. The trip took 20 days.
Universal TV has done a show about a series of yachts racing around the world - it is so tough that some grown men quit the team, people fall overboard etc. etc. How one person can do this alone is amazing and far from safe...especially if they are so young. Sailing from africa to asia is more than a day on the lake. I wish her well but in my opinion it is a poor decision by parents.
I think it's Dutch.
Her route takes her south-to-north, from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea to Suez.
The pirates will be waiting not at the Med end of the canal, but off the Horn of Africa.
Absent a carrier-group escort, I’d rather take my chances in the Roaring Forties.
She has alternates
Lower track avoids pirates (although another Dutch Captain Van der Decken is having a little difficulty in getting around the Cape of Good Hope - since 1750)
Sorry I thought she was going through the Med, Suez, Red Sea.
Heck, even w/o the pirate problems, the tanker traffic.
When you pull into port, you are seen by people
Start of my solo voyage Finally I departed from Gibraltar for my solo voyage.
Just one day after reaching Portimao I was constantly followed by the press and the tourists. All day there were lots of people coming over at the pier. And everyone had to take photos! I found all this really annoying.
Guppy had to be tested with the newly installed equipment. So I decided to sail for Gibraltar in the hope I would find some tranquility. ~~~