Another Teen Girl Sets Sail Around the World Solo; I'm Glad Abby Sunderland Didn't Stop Her

Julie Ryan Evans

Laura DekkerThis morning 14-year-old Laura Dekker said goodbye to family and friends as she set off to sail around the world by herself from an undisclosed port. If she's successful, the teen from the Netherlands will become the youngest person to do so.

Dutch authorities actually stepped in earlier this year and tried to stop Dekker from going, saying it could harm her socially and emotionally. But after determining she was adequately prepared, they ruled it was up to her parents to decide if she could go or not.

They said yes, and off she goes. In total, she'll be spending two years alone on her boat Guppy though she does plan to stop along the way in various ports.

Of course, as she sets sail, reminders of Abby Sunderland come rushing to mind. Sunderland  was the 16-year-old who attempted the same feat a few months back and had to be rescued in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Some disagreed with her parents letting her go at the time; others, like me, said I'd  let mine go too if they wanted to, and I still would.

I'm glad that Dekker gets to attempt her feat too, and that Sunderland's failure didn't stop her. I'm glad that Dekker's parents didn't let  the fear of what could have happened to Sunderland rule their decision in letting their daughter go.

If we all stopped trying just because someone else failed at something, the world would be a very unmotivated place.

Hopefully, Dekker learned from what went wrong in Sunderland's case and will be better prepared. 

Good luck, Laura Dekker; I hope you make your dreams come true.

Do you think Laura Dekker should be allowed to attempt sailing around the world by herself?

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