Laura Dekker, the 15 year old Dutch sailor who is sailing rather leisurely alone around the world on her yacht Guppy, has been by all appearances handling the sailing part of her journey without too much difficulty. If she completes here multi-stop circumnavigation prior to turning seventeen on September 20, 2012, she will be the youngest person to sail alone around the world. Recently, she was criticized for not handing the media as well as she has the seafaring. Personally I think the attack is grossly unfair and rather misplaced. She posted a few honest comments on her blog about dealing with the media when she was near exhaustion. And she is all of 15 years old. This silliness does, however, point out that to sail around the world alone these days, it is a good idea to have an advance teams of publicists precede you.
Teen sailor Laura Dekker lashes out against media
But her latest blog entry might be perceived as the handiwork of a spoiled brat, not a courageous adventurer. Here are Dekker’s comments, after a night crossing from San Blas Islands to Shelter Bay Marina in Panama:
“Early this morning I arrived in Panama, right into the thick of crowds of people and cargo ships. I have been busy non-stop since. The press people stood immediately in front of my nose, and because the Shelter Bay Marina sponsors me, I could not ignore them.
“They always ask me the same questions over and over again and are often clueless about me. This time, I even was asked my name… ! She really did not know, and I was so perplexed it took me a while before I could utter that my name is Laura.
“Sure I was tired after the night crossing, and now I really felt very tired of all the people around me pretending to be interested and knowledgeable about me. My good mood slowly faded to an inner anger that I always feel when people treat me like a celebrity. And then they often come up with the most mind-boggling or stupid questions.”
Spoiled brat? She sounds like a tired sailor to me. I find it refreshing that she doesn’t want to be treated like a celebrity. Quit beating up on the 15 year old.