Maidentrip – Laura Dekker

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    Dan Packard

    I recently watched the movie “Maidentrip” on Netflix about 14 year old Laura Dekker who attempts to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo.

    Incredible spirit and courage she possesses, renewing my faith in the upcoming “Z” generation. They all aren’t sitting around playing the X-Box all day.


    I sit around and play X-Box all day whenever possible.

    My inactivity is what makes her journey possible.


    You scared the life out of me! I used to work with a Laura Decker and I thought she’d died!


    That is a pretty cool feat, and I am surprised that it could happen today or at any time in recent history. I wonder, wouldn’t the parents risk prosecution for allowing a minor child to undertake a solo voyage like this? I guess that I will have to watch the documentary to find out how they were able to get away with it.


    I should have watched the trailer first. She had to fight a ten month court battle to be allowed to do this. Nonetheless, I am surprised that she won the court battle.


    I’m glad she did. Deffo will watch this movie.

    There are risks in life. No doubt. But, we must always temper those with the person and what they can do too.

    How many of you were free range kids? How many of you attempted things?

    A court battle seems appropriate. For something like this, there needs to be some serious qualification. Apparently, she sold it. Good for her.

    It’s not like I condone totally nuts behavior. It is all about not limiting those who are great somehow.

    That experience has to be worth a lot.

    If she were more dreamer than capable, she would have qualified out, as she should. So long as we leave a reasonable door open, I’m happy. Those who are great and somehow discover that young should exploit it.


    I am in the Generation-X demographic (aka “the latchkey kids”), so by comparison, I think that I had much more leeway while growing up than what most teenagers experience today or what–to some extent–Millennials experienced. I believe that to a large extent, the new social expectations have come about due to various technologies reaching a broad cross-section of the population.

    During my education through high school (1980s and early 1990s), teachers typically recorded grades in paper gradebooks. No course grades were available until the final grades were computed at the end of the term. Thus, it was up to the teacher’s discretion whether (s)he called a student’s parents over academic performance.

    Today, many schools are adopting online gradebooks. These allow parents to see grades, as well as an up-to-date computation of the course grade, at any time. Teachers now use blogs to communicate with parents about course content throughout the duration of the academic year. In the modern school world, parents can thus easily look over their children’s shoulders.

    When I was in college in the early 1990s, I would call my parents on Saturday evenings from the phone in my dorm room, using a calling card. At the time, this was considered a vast improvement over what college dorm residents of the past had–a single phone for the entire floor. We would exchange stories about the week’s events, and that would be that. It was expected that I should be able to figure out minor problems and solve them.

    By contrast, for the last ten years or so, I have been hearing about the phenomenon of hovermoms and helicopter parents. This, I believe, has been enabled by mobile phones becoming ubiquitous among college students. Helicopter parents call their children repeatedly to make sure that they have gotten up for class, to check in on whether they have completed their assignments, and to make sure they are not getting into trouble. Sometimes, they even pester the professors. Effectively, these helicopter parents are constantly looking over their children’s shoulders, even though the children are legally adults who have moved away from home.

    Staying with the original topic of this thread, I wonder what significant differences (if any) exist between Holland and the US in terms of legal systems and culture that made Dekker’s daring voyage possible. I also noted, from the Wikipedia page on Dekker, that she married at age 20. Today, this is somewhat unusual in most of the industrialized world. When I was that age, more typical activities might have been any combination of going to school, starting a career, trying to figure out the twisted world of dating and relationships, and frequenting bars and parties.

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