Saturday, January 21, 2012

Laura Dekker, 16-year old sailor, completes round-the-world journey

I have often written, in this blog, of empowering kids, and of real-life success stories of young people. Often, I've compared those real-life stories to some of my fiction stories, to talk about what young people are capable of. Occasionally, but fortunately not often, a reviewer of one of my books will complain that the characters are too young, and could not possibly do what I've had them doing.  Of course, I vehemently say that young people are way more capable than most of the adults around them think, and I write that into my books.

Now, I celebrate another real-life story.  Laura Dekker, a 16-year old Dutch/New Zealander (and there's a story behind that), has completed a round-the-world sailing journey.  

Laura maintained a blog, in which she vividly describes her experiences at sea.  She also describes her battles with the child protection authorities back in Holland, and about how those battles have left her with nightmares far worse than anything she anything she experienced battling the oceans of the world in Guppy, her 38-foot sailboat.

So, today, I cheer her success, and I’ll close by sharing with you the entry I left on her guestbook:

Laura: You have shown, a very real way, what young people are capable of.  As a sailor, I applaud your extraordinary achievement.  As an author of Young Adult fiction, I celebrate your perseverance, determination, tenacity and courage. A story better than anything I could write.  My sincere congratulations.

1 comment:

  1. A fellow named James Higham wrote a good piece in his blog;

    He wrote about Laura's issues with authorities, and about some of the solo round-the-world sailors who preceded her. I added the following comment:

    The last few years have indeed been great for armchair adventurers, with the ability to keep track (in almost real time, allowing for difficulties of blogging from sea) of the round-the-world young sailors you’ve named, starting with Zac Sunderland. It’s been a privilege to follow all of them, many of whom took their inspiration from Robin Lee Graham. In some cases, particularly including Laura, these young people have found the battle against authorities worse than the battle against the oceans of the world.