The 14-year-old Dutch sailor might take up to two years in an attempt to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the planet in a sailboat.
She recently navigated the short distance from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands but will remain there until the end of what is a very active storm season in the Atlantic.She'll then make the short trip to the Cape Verde Islands off western Africa, and then cross the Atlantic toward the Caribbean and the Panama Canal.
Her teen predecessors, Australia's Jessica Watson and Southern California's Abby Sunderland, took more dangerous Southern Ocean routes and had planned to sail nonstop around the world.
Watson succeeded after seven months, completing her journey just days before turning 17. Sunderland, 16, had to be rescued after her boat was crippled by a rogue wave in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean.
Dekker is supposed to be keeping up with her schoolwork -- "It has to be done and really isn't that bad," she wrote on her blog -- but she also wants to and undoubtedly will explore the Canary Islands.
As was the case with her predecessors, most of the education she receives throughout her odyssey will be from the sea and, in her case, the people she meets along the way.
-- Pete Thomas