Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, 16, has successfully crossed the Indian Ocean and has made port in Durban, South Africa, her agent announced Monday.
Dekker, whose is on a controversial quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world, had kept her Indian Ocean route a secret because of concerns about piracy. She has been sailing aboard a 38-foot sailboat named Guppy.
Lyall Mercer, Dekker's agent, stated in a news release that the sailor endured periods of harrowing seas during her crossing from Australia to South Africa. "Every sailor knows the Indian Ocean is a dangerous place, but Laura did it in style and this is a credit to her professionalism and ability," Mercer said.
Southern California's Abby Sunderland was rescued from the Indian Ocean in June of 2010 during attempt to become the youngest to solo-circumnavigate the planet in a sailboat.
Australia's Jessica Watson, who completed a non-stop circumnavigation in May of 2010, just days before turning 17, is unofficially the youngest. ("Youngest" records are no longer kept by governing agencies.)
Dekker, who turned 16 during her layover in Darwin, Australia, has now crossed the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. She must still round the Cape of Good Hope and sail to Gibraltar, up the west coast of Africa, to complete her odyssey.