Laura Dekker nearing end of solo trip around the world

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The title of youngest yachtswoman ever to circumnavigate the globe is now within reach for Dutch yachtswoman Laura Dekker.

At the end of this month, the 16-year-old is expected to arrive in the Dutch Caribbean island of St Maarten, from where she started out on her trip around the world on 20 January 2011.

Laura celebrated New Year’s Eve aboard her boat, Guppy. On her weblog she wrote that the moon and the stars and the way their light was reflected by the tips of the waves were a good substitute for fireworks.

When Laura first announced her plans in 2009, Dutch authorities intervened and said she should first finish school. The child welfare authorities brought the case to court and the judge ruled that the 13-year-old was too young to travel alone. Laura then ran away and took a plane to the Caribbean island of St Maarten, where she was arrested and sent back to the Netherlands.

Finally last July, a judge gave her permission to carry out her plans - provided she conformed to a number of conditions, including continuing her secondary school education through an online teaching programme set up for Dutch-speaking children abroad.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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