How about those child-welfare authorities that were hounding her and her parents?
Miss Dekker fled abroad in 2010 when Dutch child welfare authorities took legal action to try to stop her making the voyage. She later won a 10-month court battle, promising judges she would buy a bigger boat with advanced navigation equipment, take courses in first aid and coping with sleep deprivation, and enrol in a special correspondence school.Godfrey Daniels, I hear you say. Mother of Pearl. Here we have millions of kids in the global underclass getting totally screwed by the family breakdown of the welfare state and the lousy schools, and the bureaucrats still have time to hound a rich-bitch kid and her parents over a teenage adventure.
Of course, there's nothing new here. When Laura was 12 she made a solo trip from Holland to England, just like Arthur Ransome's Swallows in We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea. Only in the Brit novel, it's Brit kids sailing to Holland instead of the other way around. But really, the Dutch version is more realistic. The Dutch are famous sailors. Only they were sailing to the Spice Islands with the Dutch East India Company before the Brits got cracking with their own East India Company and the empire in "Injah." The Brits learned about everything they know from the Dutch.
You can understand those child-welfare authorities. Why, the very idea that some kid could escape the mandatory 12-year sentence to confinement in a government-approved child custodial facility! Not to be endured! What could be more important for a 15-year-old that sitting bored to tears in her government child custodial facility?
On the contrary. Here we have a young woman, in her mid-teens, that has sailed around the world solo! What matters whether she's done her math or her social studies or her sex education. The education she just get in life is worth about five years of confinement in the government's child custodial facility. This idea that government officials would have anything helpful to say to a girl and her parents about sailing, survival, navigation--and "sleep deprivation." It is madness!
Yeah, you are saying. What about "sleep deprivation" training for Italian cruise-ship captains?
In fact, scrub the "sleep deprivation" training. What is needed, for survival in high adventure, is the training to act effectively when you are tired, panicked, and scared out of your tree in the middle of the night in the southern ocean. I'm sure the bureaucrats have tons of experience with that.
But there's a bigger issue. (There always is.) What in the Sam Hill are we doing allowing the government to bully us around with the raising of our children? When are we going to rise up and tell the politicians and the bureaucrats to get lost and come back when they have their deficits, their debt, and their utterly failed programs under control?