Monday, June 20, 2011
Solo Sailing Update: Laura Dekker Reaches Bora Bora
15-year old solo circumnavigator Laura Dekker reached another milestone on her round-the-world journey over the weekend, sailing into Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Her arrival in that island paradise puts her a little more than halfway across the Pacific Ocean.
When we last checked in with Laura back in April, she was getting ready to pass through the Panama Canal and challenge the sometimes turbulent waters of the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately for her, the seas have mostly been kind to Laura, who has made good time in the open waters. After visiting the Galapagos Islands, she arrived in French Polynesia a few weeks back, and has been enjoying the calm, clear waters ever since. In fact, Dekker has enjoyed it so much, that she has visited a couple of extra islands along the way.
She nearly had disaster strike on Saturday however, when she was moving into an anchorage on her approach to Bora Bora. Spotting a larger yacht already at anchor, Laura assumed it was safe to sail into the area, but she ran her boat, the Guppy, into a coral reef, scraping the bottom as she went. Luckily, there was no damage, but it was a good reminder of the dangers of the sea.
For now, Laura will enjoy a few days of relaxation in Bora Bora before she gets underway again. She still has a long ways to go before she is done, but she doesn't seem to be in any hurry, after all this isn't a speed record attempt. There are worse places to be than the South Pacific and Dekker doesn't expect to reach Australia until November.
So? What were you doing on your summer break when you were 15? I think I was mowing lawns and riding my bike to the local movie theater. That seemed like a long way to go back then. Laura, on the other hand, has already covered thousands of miles on her journey, with many more to come.