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Old 11-03-2012, 13:36   #331
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

the translation is pretty much correct (I'm Dutch). Laura is planning on continuing to NZ, she has also a passport of NZ, I think she was born there and with all the trouble that the Dutch government gave her, and the fact that she wants to make a living with sailing made her decide to go back to NZ to settle there.

She is for sure more appreciated there, most Dutch people find her a spoiled brad that was on vacation and avoiding school.

I admire her courage, I do not know her personally (how is that possible in such a small country ) and have therefore no opinion about her, seeing her on TV gave me the impression that she is an adult in thinking and speaking, she appears older than she actually is.

It was great to see her blog change from "school girl" style to the style of a grown-up.
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Old 11-03-2012, 13:45   #332
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Erik:

I did not follow the interview. What makes you to think that here in NL people thinks she is "a spoiled brat" (not my words).

I don' t think so. Quite a number stood on her side.
The majority of comments came from people not sailing. "Klootsjesvolk"

From the sailors, most people thought she could do it, me from the beginning of the whole circus.
She proofed it. End of story.
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Old 11-03-2012, 13:54   #333
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

MacG,

Laura has always been admired by the sailing folks, but did you read all the forums (or is it fora) that are not visited by sailors? not a single positive word about what she wants and what she did.

Those are of course people who do not sail and do not know anything about being at sea, but these are the persons she will have to live with. How many sailing people do you have around you in daily life? Not many I suppose, for her it will be very hard to make a living with sailing and she will not be appreciated by her "neighbours". At least that is what she wrote on her website.

If I would be in her shoes, and I had the choice of going to NZ, I would not have a second thought but will do what she is planning to do.
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Old 11-03-2012, 14:04   #334
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

@ Erik:

You are correct - in my daily life people hates boats. As simple as that. My ex wife in extremis, therefore I defended Laura wherever I was capable to.
My brother did the opposite, with his legal contacts he even countered Dutch Navy. Ok, she was at that time 14, closing 15. But I was strongly convinced taht she was up to what she wanted. I am not going to be explicit. If you want a full resume you may send me en pm. I highly respected her and now she is almost a mature woman nobody will or can contest her abilities.
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Old 11-03-2012, 14:09   #335
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Even though Laura has alluded to making NZ her new home, she has yet to say anything is definite. My impression is that even though chronologically she is a young person, mentally she is quite advanced in her thought process and very calculating, leaving options open till she has first hand experience. She no doubt will have a comfortable nest egg from her two book's royalties, and if she makes friends and contacts in the sailing industry in NZ, which is probably more likely than the NL, and can pursue a livelihood in the maritime industry that is to her liking, then NZ might be her new home base.
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Old 11-03-2012, 14:09   #336
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Please, do not understand me wrong, I'm not one of those "haters", the opposite! I also believed that she would full fill her dreams, if I remember correctly, she sailed solo to England at the age of 13.

I think she did a fantastic job, but all the "haters" in Holland would make me bitter as well and I would leave the country if I was in her place.

I also have been defending her wherever I could, and that way you are not making friends yourself, that is why I wrote that NZ would appreciate her more for waht she does than Holland will ever understand.
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Old 11-03-2012, 14:13   #337
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG View Post
@ Erik:

You are correct - in my daily life people hates boats. As simple as that. My ex wife in extremis, therefore I defended Laura wherever I was capable to.
My brother did the opposite, with his legal contacts he even countered Dutch Navy. Ok, she was at that time 14, closing 15. But I was strongly convinced taht she was up to what she wanted. I am not going to be explicit. If you want a full resume you may send me en pm. I highly respected her and now she is almost a mature woman nobody will or can contest her abilities.
Come on MacG, get explicit. You have an inside track that the rest of us don't. You did comment on the fact that since I was a professional, I understood early on that Laura was very capable, so don't leave me in the dark.
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Old 11-03-2012, 14:31   #338
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I'm a fan of Laura's. But I do understand the concern the non-sailing world has about child sailors. Whether we like it or not the vast majority of people see the sea as no place for child sailors and laws today give agencies significant powers to intervene. ( for example the British wouldn't let her sail back to holland on her own) we have these agencies because of the " value" western people put on childhood, which itself is a 20th century invention.

To many ordinary people and these agencies, the idea of a 13 old girl being left to sail off on her own amounts to child neglect and I've have to say I myself feel uncomfortable allowing such voyages. The fact is had something happened to her the fallout would have been huge. I can also understand why most Western European child support agencies would likewise intervene, especially with the mother with them. In fact in many European countries the parents would have been prosecuted and the child institutionalised.( let's leave the politics of why out of the discussion)

From my own perspective I feel children under 16 should have no responsibility in captaining a vessel. Some may feel that's a harsh perspective, and it may not be shared by others, but it's one I feel is consistent with what I see around me. Yes that may preclude the particularly capable children, but that's just a fallout of having rules and laws.

As a sailor I of course applaud Laura's feat, as a father of two girls, I don't see the parenting decisions as correct. She is afterall ( or was) a child. It's worth noting that her mother was specifically against the journey ( despite the issues of estrangement )

I would hope that Laura's is the last we see of such attempts. Should they continue undoubtably there will be a fatality, and such a outcome would have potential to cause laws to be enacted, further eroding such freedoms that we do have.


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Old 11-03-2012, 14:37   #339
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

@ Erik,

I have somewhere the idea that we know each other. Maybe or maybe not.

Yes, I knew all the "against" posts but also the "keep 'm up" especially the one from the British Pilot Association.
Laura sailed the world, very mature, very strong and very handsome.
For ambitious persons Holland is not the right environment. They are nay-sayers, the race I dislike so evidently.

@ Dave

You are not entirely correctly informed regarding the mothers' s response.
She withdrew all her opposition when things became "hard".
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Old 11-03-2012, 15:04   #340
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

< OFF TOPIC >:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG View Post
@ Erik,
I have somewhere the idea that we know each other. Maybe or maybe not.
can very well be, I wrote quite a few articles for Dutch sailing magazines and I've been working in the yacht industry for 15 years. Most sailors in Holland know me from the articles in "Zilt" en "Zeilen" < ON TOPIC >
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Old 11-03-2012, 15:13   #341
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Yes, I am a subscriber of both.
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Old 11-03-2012, 15:53   #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
@ Erik,

I have somewhere the idea that we know each other. Maybe or maybe not.

Yes, I knew all the "against" posts but also the "keep 'm up" especially the one from the British Pilot Association.
Laura sailed the world, very mature, very strong and very handsome.
For ambitious persons Holland is not the right environment. They are nay-sayers, the race I dislike so evidently.

@ Dave

You are not entirely correctly informed regarding the mothers' s response.
She withdrew all her opposition when things became "hard".
I know that macG, but her early position was one that led the child agency getting involved. I just making the point that I feel that the agency in holland is singled out for criticism and I think it's unfair. I can fully understand why they would try to intervene and in general I would agree with them. She is or was after all a child and like all western European nations, holland has a sophisticated child support structure and at the heart of it is a child welfare. This may have been a unique case but really the risks are too high. What's happens when the next "child" with perhaps not the same capability, decides to set off. I beleive we as responsible adults should stop this behaviour.

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Old 11-03-2012, 16:21   #343
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

It is the "capability" that is what matters, and most government agencies are not well equipped to measure that capability. An exceptional 14-year-old might be more capable than most adults to circumnavigate -- but how can that be measured reliably beforehand? If it can be established that a young person has exceptionally good judgement, training, and experience, then more power to him or her.
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Old 11-03-2012, 16:37   #344
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

@ Dave,

Your reaction sounds logic and Yes, in a normal situation I would agree with you all the way down.

However, I am in this case better informed then most of the bystanders. I know exactly where the anti-Laura hype started, who turbocharged this issue and why the State (Youthcare) ultimately lost when her case was handled by a total "clean" court.

First of all, Youthcare has a very bad rep. here. Numerous are the cases they failed, leading more often than exception to grave situations. Point is that Youthcare is a political item used by the left bank of the Dutch society. The ultra left bank so to speak.

Moralising about what should be done or not by the Government in general is a non-issue. A government never protect whatever person as long as there is no political residue.
Laura fought the government successfully because the Government lied and misinformed the particular court of justice. Then it was over and out but due to save faces there was some sort of an agreement. An agreement everybody knew that was impossible to keep upright.
What nobody realises is that Laura had seen another world and could not adhere to the rural Dutch life in the small town of Wijk bij Duurstede.
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Old 11-03-2012, 17:09   #345
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I agree MacG , I've followed Laura's case quite closely. But , leaving politics aside, I believe the reaction of the child protection agency in Holland, would be followed identically by similar agencies in other EU countries, some of which give these agencies great powers to intervene ( often without the need of a court case) . Most people would regard the Dekker case as " child neglect" , if they didn't know the unique case that Laura was.

In most countries child protection services always get huge stick because they don't intervene soon enough. The newspapers are always carrying stories of neglected or abused children that Social Services ignored or didn't react quick, in Laura's case they overreacted , but seen from the outside I beleive that were right to attempt to intervene. The next child that try's this kind of thing may not survive and then watch those agencies get stick. " dammed if they do and dammed if they don't"

I don't except your political view on Youth Care, it has it's faults, but it's actions in the Dekker case was motivated by a desire to prevent what they saw as an action tantamount to child neglect. Society affords adults the right to take part in activities that may result in their death, with children we are far far more circumspect and that's right.

In general this recent trend of child sailors needs to disappear or be stopped before a fatality occurs and even more rules get brought in.


My comments are not a reflection on the superb triumph of Laura achievement, one that I hope will never be attempted again.
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