Weblog van Laura

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30-1-2015

Check out some pictures of my latest sailing adventure here

 

Excuse me for being so slack with my blog! I just realized that I didn't even wish anyone of you a merry Christmas & a wonderful new year. 
So hereby a very belated Happy New year to everybody :) 

Christmas was wonderful again! Three friends of Daniel came over for a short summer holiday aboard and we took Guppy out for a sail to the Whangarei heads. We initially hoped to sail out to sea, but the weather was a little too rough to go out with three crew that had never sailed before - so I decided it would be more enjoyable to spend the night in a quiet bay near the heads, explore the shore there, scrape the hull, spend a rolly night out and then turn back - with three crew that know a little more what life's like afloat :)

Otherwise we have been busy with all sorts of things of daily life (including friends, work, maintenance on Guppy and other ordinary things that keep us alive and happy) - We also did a boat delivery. Only a few days ago Daniel, Rafael and I got back to Whangarei.

Early January Daniel and me flew over to Port Vila, Vanuatu, and spend about a week getting 'Anna Rose', a 13m sloop ready to be returned to New Zealand. The Hurricane season had started and so I had to watch the weather very carefully. There seemed to be no ideal time to leave. Different weather systems roared over all the time and created messy weather patterns. So when the boat was ready I departed from Port Vila with Daniel and Rafael as crew. Rafael has sailed a lot in the past and saw this delivery as a nice opportunity to be out at sea for a little while again. Sailing with him was interesting, because it gave us a lot of insight into “findacrew.net” and their makers. Rafael is its founder and to find out that he’s not just a computer specialist, but actually knows also about sailing himself (and was able to amuse us with lots of wild stories!:) was quite an aha for us. It explained, why ‘findacrew’ is so well set up for sailors and focused on crew and captains needs. It needs a sailor to serve sailors efficiently :)

The first two days immediately put the boat and us to the test. We landed in some sort of tropical system, which – according to weather maps – were supposed to develop more after they had passed us. We didn't have any means of getting weather maps on board, so I still don't really now what the weather did out there exactly. We sailed for a day in 35knots of wind on the beam bashing into waves. At night Rafael and I were up when the wind suddenly dropped. It was a very dark night. We couldn't tell the difference between the night sky and the sea. It all seemed to be one black mass that was tossing us around wildly. With no horizon to fix our eyes on, it didn't take long for all of us to get seasick. The sea had build up and seemed to come from two different sides. After about ten minutes trying hard to keep her sails from ripping and the boat from damaging anything by rolling around very wildly - the wind suddenly came back from the opposite direction, only this time with a fist of 50knots! 
We found a stable course for Anna Rose to lay on for the rest of night, not really going anywhere but just keeping the boat together. Exhausted we lay down in the cockpit with our wet weather gear completely soaked. The next day I realized that Rafael had slept in a waterfall that was streaming down the bench that he laid on. That night gave him a bad cough for the rest of the trip :(  When the winds finally ceased, we got the calm after the storm, which lasted for four days… There was no use in motoring for days, so we just patiently waited… slept, read, ate, dived into the bright blue deep (which I never would have done if there wasn’t dolphins around)… and so on. 
When we just decided to try out paddling :-) , a breeze cooled our cheeks and filled the sails to a gentle speed of under 2 knots. Other days again we just took the sails down and rolled about in a smooth, silent ocean. 
As it generally seems to happen at sea, there's either too much wind or too little and when it's a good amount of wind it is doomed to be on your nose. And so it seemed to be. We sailed slowly for a day or two, when a nice breeze replaced the calms. Soon enough the winds strengthened and on a close haul we were beating into seas again, that were now building up. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well Anna Rose managed to force herself through the waves. I think that it helped, that she is a long-keeler and very very heavy. That way we still managed to make good speeds and also to stay on our rumbline. Progress was certainly great then, but comfortable is surely different. It took us 12 days to get across from Port Vila to Whangarei, where we then moored the boat, rowed ashore, shook off the salt and indulged in a delightful meal at George & Ellens place – back home!

P.S.: Another thing that excited me was the adventures that I had in Iceland. I was offered to take place in another expedition for a dutch TV channel, but this time not in the hot Marocan desert but the iceland cold. Of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit such remote place without even having to pay and organize it yourself. So I ended up on volcanic and icy grounds for a couple of weeks and later on dutch home screens. In case you’re interested and understand a bit of dutch you might like to see some bits of film cut to a weekly series about the troop and me fighting cold drops, cold heights and dog food, while the landscape was well worth all that!   Here is the link: http://www.expeditiepoolcirkel.nl/

 

Laura 


10-12-2014

USA radio interview.

http://nextbigthingradio.net/?podcast=conversations-episode-3 

starting at 3.50

 


27-11-2014

Another interview

http://dailytravelpodcast.com/around-the-world-alone-at-16-with-laura-dekker/ 

 


5-11-2014

Radio interview,

http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20141105-1006-teenage_round-the-world_solo_sailor_laura_dekker-048.mp3

or,

 http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20141105-1006-teenage_round-the-world_solo_sailor_laura_dekker-00.ogg

or, 

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20156041/teenage-round-the-world-solo-sailor-laura-dekker 


18-10-2014

The last 2 months I have been busy with some presentations and visiting family. Time in Europe flew by. I went to Spain where I was invited for the "Sail in" Festival. I loved walking around Bilbao, which is an old city with lots of beautiful architecture, I also really enjoyed meeting the other sailors that were at the festival. Racers of big boats were present as well as those that cruise the oceans using only astronavigation in their tiny boats. Capucine Trochet was one of the speakers who really fascinated me with her story. She is sailing mostly singlehanded using only celestial navigation. Her boat is a tiny boat from Bangladesh that is made from canvas jute (40%) , Polyester and recycled materials. This is the first boat made like this and she hopes to sail it back to Bangladesh to prove it's strength. Go Capucine! :)

Unfortunately I don't understand spanish and therefor couldn't follow what was being said on the festival. Which means that I had to get the personal stories by asking the people for an english version. Luckily a lot of video material was included, which made it more interesting for me :) 

The following week I found myself in Copenhagen. With its typical buildings and lots of water, it reminded me a lot of Holland. Prior to the presentation I went for a sail with the host on her boat. We sailed a little around Copenhagen and into the harbor where the mermaid sits. I love seeing the differences between boats in various places of the world. In Copenhagen I found a lot of old Colin archer type boats. Very wide and mainly wooden.

But then it was really time to get back to poor Guppy - who has been on her own for 6 months! On the way back I made one more presentation-stop - this time in Lake Tahoe, California. I stayed there for four days, enjoying the area and its people. I got to go wake-boarding on the Lake and jumped of a cliff into one of the clearest lakes in the USA! The area is perfect for adventurers on many levels, and I connected well with the people living there. There were about 350 people who turned up for my presentation, which I thought was pretty awesome for it being in a relatively small town. 

After another long plane ride I arrived in Auckland, where I took the bus back to Guppy. She was as expected full of Spiders,but not as much as I was expecting. Or maybe I just didn't find them all yet. It is so good being back! I had an awesome nights sleep and it felt so right to open my eyes and realize I am home. It is still a little to cold at night for my comfort zone though. Or maybe I should just close the windows a bit more.. The next couple of days I will be busy cleaning up Guppy and seeing if everything still works as she certainly doesn't get any better from sitting in the berth on her own. Oh and as I arrived back home, I found another nice surprise - the certificate of my Yacht Master Offshore! :) I had done the practical just before we left to Tahiti so that I didn't get to see it before.

Next month I will be busy doing a bit of a book tour through New Zealand. My book has finally been translated into english and will be published on the first of November this year by Harper Collins in New Zealand! :) 

 

Laura 

 

 Kim and I enjoying time together. 

 

 My Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate :) 

 The english version of my book, only two weeks to go before it will be in the stores! 


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