Laura Dekker, 16, becomes youngest ever to sail around the world solo

Laura Dekker, a 16-year-old Dutch girl, today apparently became the youngest person to sail around the globe — even though she interrupted her year-long journey at several points — when she arrived at the Caribbean port of St. Maarten, according to the Associated Press.

The news agency reported that a crowd of supporters were waiting as Dekker dropped anchor, cheering with delight as Dekker crossed the dock in tears, accompanied by her mother.

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There were moments where I was like, 'What the hell am I doing out here?,' but I never wanted to stop," she was quoted as telling reporters. "It's a dream, and I wanted to do it."

Guinness World Records did not verify her claims, according to the AP, as they no longer record such attempts, seeking to discourage them as dangerous. The agency also said Dutch officials sought to stop Dekker, believing she was risking her life.

Dekker marked her 16th birthday during the trip and launched the journey two months after Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old American, was rescued in the middle of the Indian Ocean, also while trying to circumnavigate the globe by boat, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. An Australian, Jessica Watson, completed a 210 circumnavigation at 16 but was a few months older than Dekker, the newspaper said.

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According to The AP, Dekker anchored at ports of call along the way to rest, repair her 38-foot vessel and study (Dutch authorities said she should be in school). She also surfed, went scuba diving and played the flute during a trip of 27,000 nautical miles which took her through the Canary Islands, Fiji, the Galapagos, Australia, South Africa, Tonga and Panama.

"Her story is just amazing," one of Dekker's fans, 10-year-old Jody Bell of Connecticut, was quoted as saying. "I can't imagine someone her age going out on sea all by herself."

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