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Laura Reaches Durban

November 14, 2011 permalink

South Africa flag

Laura Dekker has arrived in Durban South Africa. She crossed the entire Indian Ocean in one 49-day lap of 6000 nautical miles. There was a partial blackout on her blog during the crossing. All location and destination information was suppressed to avoid tipping off pirates. Even weather reports could disclose her location, so blog postings were delayed for up to five days. The original plan to go through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean was scrapped in favor of rounding the Cape of Good Hope.

When Laura arrived at Durban the customs officer would not believe she came all the way from Darwin. She had to show him her weblog to convince him. Back on dry land, she is looking forward to warm showers and a more varied diet.

Laura left the Cape Verde islands on December 3, 2010. Getting back there will complete her round-the-world trip.

Our last report on Laura was in August. Enclosed is a news report, and a photo of Laura's on-board kitchen. It would get social workers to grab children for clutter.

Source: Laura Dekker blog (so far only available in Dutch)



Teen sailor Laura Dekker safely crosses Indian Ocean

Laura Dekker with Guppy

Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, 16, has successfully crossed the Indian Ocean and has made port in Durban, South Africa, her agent announced Monday.

Dekker, whose is on a controversial quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world, had kept her Indian Ocean route a secret because of concerns about piracy. She has been sailing aboard a 38-foot sailboat named Guppy.

Lyall Mercer, Dekker's agent, stated in a news release that the sailor endured periods of harrowing seas during her crossing from Australia to South Africa. "Every sailor knows the Indian Ocean is a dangerous place, but Laura did it in style and this is a credit to her professionalism and ability," Mercer said.

Southern California's Abby Sunderland was rescued from the Indian Ocean in June of 2010 during attempt to become the youngest to solo-circumnavigate the planet in a sailboat.

Australia's Jessica Watson, who completed a non-stop circumnavigation in May of 2010, just days before turning 17, is unofficially the youngest. ("Youngest" records are no longer kept by governing agencies.)

Dekker, who turned 16 during her layover in Darwin, Australia, has now crossed the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. She must still round the Cape of Good Hope and sail to Gibraltar, up the west coast of Africa, to complete her odyssey.

Source: Pete Thomas

Guppy's kitchen
Laura Dekker's kitchen on Guppy

Addendum: On November 25, 2011 ABC's 20/20 did a segment on teenaged sailors Around the World at 16 (mp4).