A 14-year-old Dutch girl who hopes to become the youngest person to sail around the world by herself has climbed onto her boat and left the Netherlands.

Laura Dekker and her father Dick Dekker have left the southern Dutch harbour of Den Osse in her 38—foot (11.5—meter) yacht Guppy, bound for Portugal, where she hopes to begin her solo attempt later this year.

Miss Dekker plans to stop at dozens of ports along the way to rest, study and receive assistance in maintaining her ship.

She won a prolonged legal battle last month when a court released her from Dutch child protection agencies that had blocked her departure over fears for her safety.

She told reporters before leaving on Wednesday she would miss her dog.