by George Wolf
Teenagers do the darnedest things.
If they’re not jacking up your phone bill from endless texting, they’re sailing around the world.
Two years ago, 14 year old Laura Dekker boarded her sailboat Guppy, and set out to become the youngest person to sail around the globe alone. Maidentrip is the inspiring documentary of her journey.
The footage, shot by Dekker and presented by director Jillian Schlesinger, not only lets us ride along on a breathtaking adventure, but gives us a glimpse inside the soul of a unique young woman.
Born in New Zealand and raised in Holland by a seafaring father, Dekker’s wandering spirit could not be denied. Rather than focus on the speed of the trip, Dekker chose to make stops along the way, taking time to experience places she had only read about, such as the Canary Islands, Australia and French Polynesia. It is an education to envy.
Robert Redford’s recent film, All is Lost, effectively used a fictional alone-at-sea adventure to mirror a man’s journey in life, and the regrets he contemplates in his twilight years.
At the opposite pole, Maidentrip ultimately represents all the wonder, excitement and pitfalls of the trip to adulthood. Without braggadocio or pretense, Dekker sets the course for her sailboat and the path for her life.
It is a compelling souvenir of a goal fulfilled, and a wonderful snapshot of a young life in blossom.