Dekker, 15, finishes first leg of circumnavigation

Dutch teen Laura Dekker has sailed across the Atlantic, as she aims to become to youngest solo circumnavigator.

The 15-year-old arrived in St Maarten yesterday, after a 2,200-mile trip from the Cape Verde Islands on her 38ft Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch, Guppy.

Dekker said: ‘There were two or three moments that I thought; “OK, why the hell am I doing this?”, but they were not for very long.

‘If I feel really lonely I can always call my parents or something so then it’s over.

‘For me it’s more weird to be in a house for a week than to stay three weeks on a boat.’

Unlike the current youngest solo round-the-world sailor, Australian Jessica Watson, Dekker will stop throughout her voyage, following the typical cruising circumnavigation route with the trade winds and via the Panama Canal and may even fly back to the Netherlands to catch up on her studies.

She began in Gibraltar on August 21 and spent two months in the Canary Islands, before moving onto the Cape Verde Islands, where she left on December 2.

Dekker said she was in no rush and is having an “amazing” experience out on the ocean.

She said: ‘I’ve not really a plan. I just want to be in the Panama Canal in May, April, so until that time I will cross the islands, I think.’

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