Born on a boat in New Zealand and spending only one year of her life on land, Laura was a natural sailor and began planning her round-the-world route when she was only 10 years of age.
Many questioned whether she was too young to enter into this momentous task, with many critics fearing that she would not survive. The Dekker family found themselves in the midst of the law when Dutch child protection services placed Laura in temporary custody, fearing her safety and questioning her parents fierce support for their daughter to set sail alone, for two years.
Laura won her court case and thus began her remarkable journey ; she faced unpredictable weather conditions, sleepless nights and long lonely weeks, anchoring only to sleep, study and repair her 12-metre yacht named “Guppy.” By January 2012, some 518 days after she set off, the young Dutch sailor arrived at Saint Maarten in the Caribbean, proving her critics wrong and officially becoming the youngest person to have completed this journey.
Despite this acclimation, Laura states that she didn't take on this challenge to earn a title or to prove people wrong, she did it for herself. Now 19 years of age and still living aboard her boat, now docked in the north of Auckland, Laura spends her time delivering motivational speeches across the world. Most recently, she has published “One Girl, One Dream,” an autobiographical account, giving daily accounts of life at sea throughout her epic journey.
One Girl, One Dream by Laura Dekker is available now online or in store.