Laura Dekker, youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo.
Today was a big day in Auckland harbor. It marked the arrival of Laura Dekker who is the Dutch girl who sailed around the globe by herself at age 16 and 17. She is a bit of a celebrity not only for that incredible feat but also because the Dutch authorities have been very unsupportive of her journey, thinking she was too young to undertake such a risky adventure. Many seasoned sailors have died on that journey and allowing a 16 year old to try it seemed like child endangerment to them. But her family has been sailing for their entire life so even at her age, she is more experienced than 99% of sailors out on the water. So she had to move out of the country first before starting her journey. She had spent part of her childhood in New Zealand so, since the Dutch authorities were still upset, she decided to move here permanently. And today was her big arrival. Her boat, Guppy, is 40 foot crusty old thing and seeing the smallish Laura maneuver this all by herself is really impressive. Getting off the dock she was assaulted by tv and newspaper people as well as her immediate family. But I was able to get her attention to take a few photos. Her full story can be found at www.lauradekker.nl
Laura and her boat Guppy arrive at the Auckland Maritime museum dock.
Remember the movie Castaway? Guppy's autopilot is Wilson's cousin.
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