Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brave? Foolish? Or Maybe a Little Bit of Both?

Thirteen-year-old Laura Dekker has one simple wish. The Dutch girl would like to sail around the world in the yacht she's named Guppy. By herself.

She would need to miss two years of school, but if she's given permission to go, Laura will be the youngest person ever to make a solo trip around the globe.

This isn't some crazy fantasy. Laura, who was born on a yacht was given her first boat at age six, and she's been sailing solo for the past three years.

So who's stopping her from breaking the record? Not her parents--they're totally on board. No, Dutch social workers have stepped in to prevent poor Laura from living her dream. They say it's too dangerous for a girl her age.

How do we feel about that?

Read more here, and then write in to vote yay (she should go) or nay (keep that kid on dry land). I'll forward your thoughts to the Dutch government. (JK)

(Below: Is Laura aware of what's in the ocean?)


Blogger ajstar said...

That's messed up! She should so be able to do it! THe government has no right to step in!

4:35 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

i agree i think she should, i want to be a singer, what if our government stopped me? that would stink!

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Peacey said...

Uh, if her parents say she can go she can go, right? Or is it different there? Whatever, I still say let her go.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:49 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

i vote yay!!! i wish i could travel the world, but that's highly unlikely (until i take OVER the world, then that's a different story). she should totally be able to follow her solo sailing dream! when i'm in charge (which i will be!!!!!), i'd let her go in a heartbeat! you go girl!!!!

7:42 PM  
Blogger vendetta said...

go laura!!!!!!!!! if they dont let her go, she should sneak away. that would be so cool if she made it around the world. but if i were her, id stay away from the bermuda triangle.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

omg, people can be so ignorant! she's thirteen! i'm thirteen and i feel way more mature than that, and i think she does too. why is it that (most) adults always look down apon us! the (almost) always doubt our abilities and it gets on my nerves! not ALL teenagers are the targets of this prejudice though. no one looks down apon teenage BOYS!!!! UGH!!! it make's me sick!!!!! *BLECHK!*

7:52 PM  
Blogger TheMog said...

Considering that she is a minor and will be going outside of her native country to do something dangerous, it is understandable that her government isn't going to just say "Sure, why not!". After all, even if she is fully competent she isn't legally allowed to make her own decisions yet. That has nothing to do with what she should be allowed to do, just that she isn't actually allowed yet.

There are two ways out of it though, depending on how Danish law works. The first is to have her file for emancipation if the Dutch have an option for that. Then she would legally be able to let her go it alone.

The other is to have a second boat with a safety crew following but not interfering. In order for her to officially break the record, that second boat would need a round the clock observer to make sure that there is no communication between the boats unless an emergency occurs. If they hang back far enough when they follow then they can't even be considered to be leading her or steering her in the right direction.

I would really like to see the see the second option be used to allow her to do her thing. It would cost a lot more, but under the circumstances I think it would be worth it. But if her parents are willing to support emancipation as a way around the laws blocking her, then I would support that option too.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

stupid adults ruin everything. I they make us thin and go to school and clean and be responsible and don't let you follow your dreams. when i'm an adult i will be the coolest adult ever! or maybe i will just go to neverland and not grow up!...yeah i'll hangout with peter pan! yes!

8:41 PM  
Anonymous UU said...

The government has no right to step in. Everyone deserves to live their dream! She is totally brave, and if she is willing to risk it, so be it. It's her life!
Live your dream.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

She should! If she wants to she should! I would do it but my sailboat is a day sailer and I get a tad seasick XD
People should be able to follow their dreams! Yes she is aware of the dangers! Yes she knows she might die. I say go for it girl! Also another note for everyperson with a dream you should go for it! Don't be chained to the drab life of house work! I want to climb the seven summits! Hey maybe I'll bbrake the record for that! Oh and maybe ski across the antartic! If she does it then she will be my hero for life on the count that she didn't give up her dreams!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous TicTac said...

YAY! i was on a cruise and the ocean is beautiful so she should be allowed and if her parents are on board then why do the social workers intrude how rUdE haha

10:44 PM  
Blogger Spring said...

Yay! She should totally be allowed! I agree with TheMog; The second way out would be perfect, just in case something goes wrong, and how could that not satisfy the government?

10:47 PM  
Blogger JD said...

I agree with TheMog. A second boat soley there to observe should alleviate any concerns the government has over her safety.

There are ways for them to help her live her dream if they really wanted to. They should let her do it.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Olivia said...

if she feels she can, and her parents are happy, definitely yay.
its none of the governments business.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Charstar said...

Chanel YOUR right If it was a 13 year old BOY the government wouldent hav a problme I'm sure!

Can't the goverment put a tracking
thing so if she gets lost or what ever thay can find her.
(2 years away from school KEWL!lol)

I VOTE not yay, I vote OH YEAH YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Becca said...

I Agree with TheMog. A safety boat would be a better idea, but that would cost her parents a whole heck of a lot! Then again she could always try to find a sponsor to finance her trip.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Meganito said...

Of course she should be allowed to go! It's not fair for the government to hold her back like that. Maybe you should send our votes to the government =^D

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She Can Do It!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous gymnast20 said...

i deff say yay! its an experience that not a lot of people will ever get and if she has the boating skills she should do it!

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Rebel said...

mog- i disagree! there are more than 2 options! the dutch government could just mind their own business and let her do it her own way! how is it hurting them? she should be allowed to go by herself if she wants to!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous KikiStrike20 said...

YAY! She's her own person who has her own rights. what is it with the government and not letting kids get a voice. I think if her parents think shes mature enough (which they obviously do) then she is and the family knows the risks, so the government should stand down and look at actual cases of child abuse instead of sticking their noses where they don't belong

4:37 PM  
Blogger Queen Of Useless Information said...

I vote total yay! That girl is more ambitious than I think I ever will be and deserves to live out a wonderful dream like that! However, I do believe that proper observation and connections should be kept with her family or someone so that if she ever gets in trouble, help can be ready. But let the girl do her thing!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TheMog has the right idea, However, i'm a bit worried about her education, I'm sort of wondering, don't you think it would be lonely to spend two years in the water, not to mention the sea monsters (sometimes man is no more than a monster)
well, i guess we'll see...

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Just another example of how THE US IS THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, though our gov would definitely have a problem with a thirteen-year-old doing this. With the seventeen-year-old guy, it was different, not so much because he was a guy, as because he was sixteen when he started out and in the US, at sixteen, you can live independent of your parents and not be placed in foster homes. In the Netherlands, the government has much more power and pretty much owns the kids.

I'm not sure I'd let her go, if she was my kid, even though she's grown up on boats. Around the world is a long way to go and you only have one life to live.

Yay/Nay--not sure.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

I agree with you to, the Mog, but would she homeschool herself? She'd probably learn more aboard the ship than she would at school, though. I understand the governments concern, but they should let the parents have the ultimate decision. I say yay, it sounds like Laura had a lot of experience, but if the government is really uncomfortable, have the boat trailing behind in case of emergencies.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous cupcakedoll said...

I may be about to get my face eaten by everybody on here, but I vote safety boat. Even the bravest and most competent person can suffer bad luck and it'd be a shame to lose such a promising irregular.

She's braver than I am. ALL of you who'd sail around the world alone are braver than I am. Or maybe I just don't want to die before I accomplish my dream of becoming a published author!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Toph said...

I say: Let her go! If it's her dream, than fine! No one should stop her if she made her choice. I wouldn't, I would have asked if I could come with her xD

1:44 AM  
Blogger brave chickens said...

Where there's a will, there is a way.

I agree with TheMog especially with their second point.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Chica said...

i hope that she isn't a jerk like Christopher Columbus. you know he rode on the native Americans backs and cut off their hands if they did not bring him gold?

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Forrester said...

kirsten, i have a picture of the Irregulars i want to send you( in the mail 'cause i don't know how to put it on the computer.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Me said...

GO LAURA!!!!!!!!! she'll go......we hope. u know why the government won't let her go? 'cause they don't want a girl... to go before them. but she will.....

12:36 PM  
Anonymous MadsTheWeird said...


The Man cannot decide this. btw, didn't the record get broken by a 16 year old not to long ago? but he cheated. his dad came to give him help.

Happy national woodstock week, people!

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

random post

HAHA! I found an anagram of Ananka Fishbein. is her real name Banana If He Sink? I think so!

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Kiwi said...


If she wants to do this, and her parents are Ok, I think she should go go go! They should really let her.

I totaly admire her courage to do that. I would probably be freaked out... and a little lonely. What is the record anyway?? 13s going to be hard to beat, if she gets to do this.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Kiwi said...


If she wants to do this, and her parents are Ok, I think she should go go go! They should really let her.

I totaly admire her courage to do that. I would probably be freaked out... and a little lonely. What is the record anyway?? 13s going to be hard to beat, if she gets to do this.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

boo government people.when they said the part about the broken mast on heavy seas it made me mad.An experienced sailor knows how to handle that situation and she is experienced as that 17 year old boy probably.Just because she is a girl doesn't mean she shouldn't be able to achieve her dreams.and her parents said yes!if the government is concerned about her safety a speedboat would be good all though it would be creepy to be watched 24/7.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

You go girl!

1:06 AM  
Anonymous dangerous said...

I say she should totally go for it. And bring along some goldfish to lure away those sea monsters.

.....What? It worked on "Dragon Tales".

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if her parents believe she can do it, and the family seems to be experienced with sailing around the world, so they would have good judgement.
i wish i could go around the world like that, it would be a really memorable experience, and educational too, to get a first hand look at everything... IF SHE GETS TO GO, SHE IS SO LUCKY!!!!! i know i'm going to travel the world some day, but i wish i could do it now like her. although i would be careful around somalia and the dragon's triangle near japan.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they have no right to stop her from going! that's screwed up! even if she misses 2 years in school i'm sure she'll be fine! governments are waaaaay too controlling and they forget that people as individuals have rights too

2:44 PM  
Anonymous no way jose said...

ok but i think the goverment has a right 2 do this. i mean, shes only what. 13? there are laws about people under the age of 18 living by them selves. and what is something happened to her? the government could get sued if they didnt do anything about it, because she is underage! that is dangerous!! and kathleen, singing is not dangerous. sailing around the world alone definataly is.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous UU said...

Even my dad thinks it would be fine, as long as she stays WELL AWAY from Somolia (he talked about not rounding the horn, just going strait once your past the tip, if that makes sense)

8:46 PM  
Blogger vendetta said...

i think a boat should follow her. except wouldnt she get lonely? she might go crazy from the isolation. unless she has a phone or computer...

11:06 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

so hows school treating everybody?i have the funniest English teacher ever!

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Nora said...

It will be dangerous for certain, but she has the right. That kid from California that got back from his trip around the world and he's just 17. I mean, if he's underage and he can go, why can't she? If she thinks she can do it, I applaud her. Go Laura!

12:05 AM  
Anonymous she who must not be named said...

Okay, I think it's kind of understandable that the government is trying to stop her (because of her being underage, the risks of sailing alone, and all that), but, seeing as her parents have nothing against it and she herself seems to be extremely well prepared, why not?

I say YAY! You go girl!!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Minx said...

if she's totally aware of how to manage a boat and understands weather patterns and all that, I say, "go for it."
Good Luck Laura!! :)

~Minx Deadly

10:52 AM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

here's what happened. she can't go. stupid people they won't let her do it and they're making a psychologist live with her and her parents.

11:14 AM  
Blogger vendetta said...

my teacher has purple eyes. theyre just contacts, but they creep me out. but if laura goes into the monterey bay and sees the sea monster thats supposed to live at the bottom, and she happens to have a camera on hand, and takes pictures, i want her to SEND THEM TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. i wanna see!!!!!!!!!!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY!!!!!!!! She DESERVES to do what she wants! Maybe the government should have like a course they want her to take informing her of all of the dangers of sailing around the world alone, to make themselves feel better, but they should NEVER stop her! EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i think she should have backup, but still be sailing by herself, so she can break the record, but the dutch are making her a ward of court so her parents don't have authority over her!! thats not right! whatever theyre going to do, pretending she's an orphan so her parents cant let her go is just cruel.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Laura should be allowed to pursue her dreams so i vote yay. if a sixteen year old BOY can sail the world why shouldn't a thirteen year old GIRL be able to?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good old Child Protection Service, taking capable little girls out of boats instead of taking children from abusive families...

3:50 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I vote YES.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with TheMog's second point! She would be happy cuz she would totally do it on her own, but if she needed help, it would be there, so the gov should be good with that!

5:05 PM  
Blogger falcon said...

yes. if she can sail that well, totally!

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY! How is anyone going to break the record if the government won't let them go. If I could sail I would totaly want to do thet. Tooo bad I can't.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello?!?!this girl should soooooooooooo go travel the ocean ! if her parents say ok then she should go, the government should not step in! i would kill to travel the ocean by myself1

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gonna post anything new anytime in the next couple of weeks?

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

I believe the argument is that two years alone on the ocean would upset her emotional development definitely makes sense. However, it's not clear that the government is responsible for people's emotional developement. "Everyone should live their dream!" seems a tad irrelevant. Some dreams ("When I grow up, I want to be a serial killer!") shouldn't be fulfilled. The question seems to be whether the government is overstepping the limits of their authority and trying to parent people. Personally, I think if her parents think she can do it she probably can, and it's not really the government's business.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Micci said...

I believe if she knows she's ready, and she's prepared for the dangers, she should be able to go.

3:14 PM  
Blogger whoot said...

you should really do another contest, you always come up wit hte best stuff! btw, i found a really coolm if a little strange, article about a plastic surgeon who wants to give people wings!
it's a little crazy, i admit, but it's fascinating as well!

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow that must be annoying for her. i vote yay, and i would put i poisoned knife in all the goverments hearts!

1:06 AM  
Blogger Kiki said...

I totally agree with Suzie Cyanide! Also Kirsten did you hear about the Black Tom Explosion on Black Tom Island half a mile from the Statue of Liberty? July 31, 1916(I think thats the date.) The island was a stash for ammunition the U.S. made for the English, the French and the Germans during World War II. Three German men put 2 chemicals in a tube and put a piece of copper between them and they statred a fire, then boom! The official death count was six but there were hundreds of immigrants living on boats and they all turned to dust. The president didn't investigate the matter but later they said he suspected Germans. Only eight years later did the truth come out about the fact that the Germans attacked the U.S. Tremors were felt all the way to Maryland and if it was an earthquke it would have been 5.5 on the Richter scale. Shrapnel rained in New Jersey and New York City. But barely anybody knows about the explosion nowadays...
Sorry I was watching History Detectives on PBS last night.


10:24 AM  
Anonymous Phoebe said...

She should be allowed because it's her right if she wants to and her parents said yes. It's possible that she could get hurt, but 13-year-olds are more responsible than adults give them credit for.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous funny drama girl said...

*my first ever comment* :) what they don't realize is that she COULD go on her own free will. all she has to do is take 2 bags of her most FAVORITE NECESSARY belongings and some food,leave a suicide note(let her parents in on what's going on) saying that shes taking her boat into the middle of the ocean to throw herself off of it. and go. then a miraculous return of the girl everybody THOUGHT was dead. pure revenge on the government. *evil laughter* WARNING: should only be used if the government say a flat out NO. also may possibly result in being banned from sailing FOREVER. Kirsten will you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us know the governments choice????? PLEASE?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Forrester said...


4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aw poor laura. My friend is on a cruise. (hey that reminds me my friend's birthday is tomorrow!) I vote yay. Liah loves boats too. I wish i would buy one for her birthday. oh wel i hope she sees this comment. lol/.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Kiara said...

Kristen! Kristen! Kristen! I'm your biggest fan in the whole wide world! XD! I love to write, also! Please email me! We could be email buddies! My Mail: XMistyFireFlyX@yahoo.com
Please email me soon, I promise im not a bad person. Im just a little 10 year old girl. (does puppy face) Pwease.

4:39 PM  
Blogger vendetta said...

hmmmm....... you havent posted anything for about a week :( :( :( D: D: D:

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristen did you die or something? or are you getting kiki 3 published?

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

Ananka, some (claims to have) captured the chupacabra!!!


It could be a dog or coyote, though.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Catalina said...

i believe that the gov. has no right to interrfere and i also agree with the Mog she should be followed by a boat at a safe distance for the world record
PS im new i just finished reading shadow city and loooved it!!!! :D

9:36 PM  
Anonymous SAMEANONYMOUS said...

I only wonder weather they would have a different if she were a boy?

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Gnat said...

sounds fun. i wish my parents would let me do something like that. ;)

9:50 PM  
Anonymous sad girl said...

security,we have a crazed fan on the loose going by the name of: Kiara.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:09 PM  
Anonymous maxride said...

That is so unfair! Leave it to the government to go screw everything up.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous heygirl said...

i want a giant snake to rap around a ship when i am there. that is so cool

9:11 AM  
Anonymous American Girl said...

I can't sail, but my grampa can. And I hink the only reason they're saying this is because she;s a girl. The world still sees boys as ore capable, which is really stupid. Laura should go, but she should keep up studying so she doesn't fall brhind.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous EQ said...

funny drama girl: Couldn't that result in a high-speed chase through the ocean? Just a thought.

Rebel: They could lose face with the rest of the world if she gets hurt, for being irresponsible. It could hurt diplomacy.

I think the boat-following-at-a-distance is a good idea. Or a helicopter, or something.

Isn't it a little creepy how easy is is for governments to get total control of a kid? I mean, what if they needed cheap labor somewhere? There's loopholes big enough to drive a semi through in that regard...


3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura should be able to go.And another thing:How did the govement get involved? And if the problem is Laura missing school she can keep up with her classes online.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Kat said...

Everyone has a right to break world records.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous aquene said...

She should be allowed!!!!!!

3:06 PM  
Blogger capybara said...

Definitely yea, she could attend school via a correspondence course or something, or at least keep a journal!!! Geez, she 's been sailing in some form since she was BORN!!

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Funny Drama Girl said...

EQ: Maybe, but if she disguises herself as a bush doing the can-can she might be able to make it! Or...... get a gun! Or steal a helicopter! Or blow up the ocean!

1:38 PM  

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