— Laura Dekker, a 16-year-old Dutch sailor, is just days away from becoming the youngest person to ever sail around the globe. Now on day 509 of her solo voyage, Dekker estimates in a blog post Wednesday that she will reach the Caribbean island of St. Maarten in the next 12 days. She left the island in January 2011, after first sailing across the Atlantic from Portugal.
“I am looking forward to my arrival and officially end my journey even though I feel like I already accomplished what I had set out to do a long time ago,” Dekker writes. “I have learned very much about myself along the way and I also have learned very much from all the different places and the many different people that I came in contact with in so many different countries.”
Even though the journey has been a long one, Dekker writes that it’s gone by too fast for her and her yacht, Guppy. While she may be looking forward to her arrival, she is not looking forward to the media that will be waiting for her.
“Everything will abruptly change soon as we will come under the media limelight. I am so glad that I still have 12 more days on the Atlantic Ocean before that time comes because that part never appeared in any of my dreams."
Dekker called the journey a “dream come true” when she spoke via satellite phone with a Belgian radio station Friday, revealing that she is also considering a move to New Zealand after she completes her trip, which began in 2010 with the solo sail from Portugal to St. Maarten.
At only 16, her voyage has not been without controversy. When a 14-year-old Dekker first announced her plans to circumnavigate the globe solo, a Dutch court blocked her from going. She was required to take a first aid course and make adjustments to her boat before receiving the go-ahead. In a blog post from July 29, 2010, Dekker expressed her enthusiasm for finally planning her voyage.
“After a one year “battle” I am allowed to go!! This is so great!”
You can follow the final days of Dekker’s trip on her website.