Yesterday we posted a story about 14-year old Laura Dekker, a Dutch girl who has dreams of sailing solo around the world in an attempt to claim the title of youngest person to achieve that goal. Several months back, the Dutch government ruled that she would have to stay in port while they reviewed her case and considered if she was too young to make such a journey. Frustrated with that decision, the teenager ran away from home this past weekend, only to turn up on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean, where it appears she was attempting to set sail on her own.
Laura was taken into custody by local officials, and sent back to Holland, and today judges there ruled on her case, once again, taking her current actions into account. Despite the fact that youth social services requested that she be put into foster care with family friends, the judges allowed Laura to return home to her father, who has strongly defended her right to circumnavigate the globe, and supports her wholeheartedly.
Furthermore, the judges ordered the girl to begin taking steps that would further prove she is ready to sail solo around the world. They are requiring her to complete a first aid course, and make several long distance sailing trips abroad, to gain valuable skills necessary for her journey. They told her to view these requirements as a set of challenges, and if she is successful, she could set out on her solo journey in as little as three months time.
So there you have the update. By March of 2010, a 14-year old girl could quite possibly be sailing solo around the world. Does that seem like a good idea?