Girl at Sea !

11:13 am | Thursday, 11 June 2015

Inspiration. We all need it. And for all you young sailors, there can be no one better than young Laura Dekker, who at age 14 overcame not one but two challenges. Born on a boat into a sailing family, this gutsy girl dreamed of becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. But before she could embark on her voyage, she had to win her first battle on land, by convincing the Dutch courts that she had the skill and the temperament to take on this daunting task all on her own without an adult to accompany her. In fact, The Netherlands along with many other countries does not recognise persons under 16 as legal skippers of their vessels.It took her and her parents a year in court but win she did. And then set off on the sail of her life.

She sailed out on her mission in August 2010 in a Jeanneau Gin Fizz named Guppy and completed her voyage of 5,600 nautical miles in January 2012. Dekker started sailing very young and owned her own Optimist at age 6. At age 10 she was solo sailing during her vacations. It was no surprise that she honed her sailing instincts and skills during this period; about the weather, the water, the boat, her own strengths and weaknesses. Filmmaker Jillian Schlesinger wanted to film her circumnavigation and handed Dekker a camera, which she used successfully to film her entire adventure. The documentary titled Maidentrip was released in 2013 and earned critical praise the world over. And she continues to sail, to learn and challenge herself.

Supriya Kutty is a freelance writer having written on everything from food, tourism and travel, architecture and interior design and IT for CW Interiors magazine, and Harmony magazine. She also blogs at