Quick on the heels of last week’s announcement that 14-year old Laura Dekker would be allowed to make a solo circumnavigation attempt, comes word that she has set sail today, along with her father, for Portugal, where she’ll complete the final preparations for her voyage and get properly underway soon.
Laura and her dad, Dick Dekker, sailed out of the Dutch harbor of Den Osse this morning aboard her 26-foot sailing yacht, the Guppy, with about a hundred well wishers on hand to witness the start of the adventure. The father-daughter pair will now spend the next few days sailing to Portugal, at which time Dick will leave the Guppy and Laura will set sail for the Canary Islands and eventually the open waters of the Atlantic.
It is estimated that it could be about four weeks before the voyage officially begins, but Laura has already loaded up her school books and most of her supplies. One of the conditions of her being allowed to make this journey is that she enter into a distance learning program which will allow her to continue her studies while abroad. The circumnavigation attempt could take upwards of two years, and if she completes it by the September of 2012, Laura will become the youngest person ever to sail around the globe.
I guess we can expect to hear a lot more about this moving forward. For good or ill, she’s on her way!
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