Monday, 10 September 2012

Laura Dekker Sails into New Zealand - Her New Home

The Dutch sailor Laura Dekker has finally made landfall in New Zealand. Still a couple of months short of her seventeenth birthday, this charming young sailor has crammed more into her few years than most of us spend our whole life dreaming about!

One can only admire her tremendous spirit and guts in overcoming the unbelievable adversities she faced in even getting started on her adventure of a lifetime - let alone actually completing a circumnavigation and then sailing onto New Zealand which is to be her new home.

Being born on her parents yacht just sixteen years ago in New Zealand, she carries that country's passport and can settle in right away as a New Zealand citizen. 

Here are her two latest blogs from her website  of her arrival and subsequent activities. The 02 Sept. post shows her still at sea and her cool capabilities as a mature sailor with the technical no nonsense approach to the weather, sea conditions and her pending landfall at Whangarei, New Zealand. In the 03 Sept. post, having arrived, she let's herself go a bit with a more sixteen year old like commentary you might expect:


Yesterday was another interesting day, sailing close hauled at 25-30 knots of wind, I heard a loud flapping in the afternoon. The top of Guppy's mainsail ripped off! So well was way too rough to change the sail at that moment. But Guppy was under the mizzen and the stormjib still doing more than 6 knots, so it was okay. Today the wind dropped down a little and I was able to change the main this morning. The next depression is closing in on us fast but I hope to be in Whangarei entrance at 17.00 local. I checked the weathernet and they said that it would be really good if I could make it before 19.00 local time. Until then, the wind will be staying under 30 knots and the waves will probable be fine to make it in. I know Gup can do it =D. Everything is going well. We're doing a good 7.5 knots now with a temperature of 14 degrees during the day. So that's taking a bit of getting used to. Oh and we saw albatrosses today. That was kinda cool :).



Yesterday as I came in there was a boat with cameras aboard filming my entrance into Whangarei and then some media, all really nice people. As soon as we cleared in, I decided to go directly to the marina. I am happy we did that because it's pouring now! All the buoys were lit up along the way so it was quite easy. Immediately, we met some really nice people who took us for dinner, which was very cool of them. Then I just fell asleep right away and didn't wake up until the next morning. How lovely! As soon as we woke up, we went to the supermarket in the pouring rain and bought some fresh cheese and ham and bread for a nice breakfast! Yay! Oh and we got an umbrella too -.-. Then we finally had a nice hot shower and met the people at the Marina who are awesome. And then guess what?! Remember the boat Winddancer, that I met in South Africa and then had contact with in the Atlantic? Well, they left the boat in Curacao and they are here in Whangarei now (they have a house here) and we are going to have dinner with them tonight. Nice, hey?! I already love it here. And well, it finally stopped raining so we're going to go check this place out some more! Guppy smiles at me, so very happy to be here at her new home with her log stopping count, for the moment, at almost 36,000 nm. New Zealand, here we are!


Laura's 37ft Jongert 'Guppy'

Laura is obviously a determined, resolute and resourceful girl - one look at her steady blue eyed gaze will tell you that - and no matter what she takes on in the future I am sure she will do well. With the nautical experience she has built to date there will be many opportunities open for her within the sailing world.

For the time being though, we can only heap her with congratulations on completing this chapter of her life and wish her well in her new country and the very best for whatever she tackles from here on. 

Good luck Laura.

Images and blog posts courtesy Laura Dekker, video courtesy YouTube 

You can read much more about onboard cruising life in my ebook 'Sailing Adventures in Paradise', dowloadable from my website

1 comment:

Zeilmeisje on Facebook said...

Zeilmeisje Laura Dekker on Facebook