— Dutch sailor Laura Dekker may not return home to the Netherlands after completing her voyage around the globe. Dekker, 16, wrote on her blog that she is on course to finish her journey Saturday, becoming the youngest person to accomplish the feat solo, but bad experiences with the Dutch government could keep her from returning to her mother country.
“The Dutch government was not kind to me,” Dekker writes. “I think that the nightmares will follow me for the rest of my life."
Dekker was 14 when she announced her intentions to sail around the world, and the government was not pleased. She writes in her blog that Youth Care and other government organizations dragged her through six court cases and asked a judge to take her away from her father.
“Over a period of 11 months, I was constantly afraid that Youth Care would lock me up. Also during this period, there were intimidating interviews with Youth Care workers. It was all a frightening and traumatic experience. So often these terrible memories come to me. I can’t ignore them. It is painful. Now, after sailing around the world, with difficult port approaches, storms, dangerous reefs, and the full responsibility of keeping myself and Guppy safe, I feel that the nightmares the Dutch government organizations put me through, were totally unfair.”
Dekker and her yacht, Guppy, will complete their voyage upon reaching the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which she left in January 2011. She would have started her world voyage in the Netherlands, but her experience with the government changed her mind.
“I am sorry if I disappoint my Dutch fans. What a party it would have been if Hoek van Holland or IJmuiden had been my port of arrival…!!!.. Who knows, it might still happen one day….”
When speaking with a Belgian radio station via satellite phone last week, Dekker called the journey a “dream come true.” She revealed on her blog that she is most looking forward to seeing her family, eating fresh food, and going for a walk when she arrives at the island.