News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates - new 'oldest ever' record on the way
Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates - new 'oldest ever' record on the way

'Jeanne Socrates on Nereida after becoming the oldest woman to solo circumnavigate'    .

She just keeps breaking 'oldest ever' records, and she's on her way to another. British solo sailor Jeanne Socrates, already the oldest ever female solo circumnavigator after finishing her last circumnavigation in Cape Town, has just left Tahiti on her way across the Pacific to Victoria in Canada. On arrival she will have become the 'oldest ever' woman to circumnavigate via the Five Great Capes - Capes Horn, Aghulas (Good Hope) Leeuwin (West Australia), and the southern tips of Tasmania and New Zealand.

Jeanne Socrates accepts the Duchess of Kent Trophy from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston  .. .   Click Here to view large photo
While Jeanne sailed her solo journeys around the world she attracted little attention, but in recent months the accolades have been pouring in. She was invited to meet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip last year, The Royal Yachting Association did a feature story on her and she was awarded the Duchess of Kent Trophy by The Cruising Association for her mammoth achievements to date.

Since then, she's made two long passages: from Cape Town to Hobart (56 days of often-stormy S. Ocean passage!) and Hobart to Tahiti (37 days -another difficult passage, just managing to lay Tahiti eventually, although originally making for Hawaii).

She is now on passage to Hawaii, for brief stop to replace her AP pump, and then north to Victoria, British Columbia. That's when she will have completed her solo circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes. She is hoping to arrive Victoria by the end of July, where she left on 25th October, 2010.

That circumnavigation was intended to be non-stop but after her knockdown causing major damage to her boat while hove-to during a storm on 5th January 2011, she was forced to stop at Ushuaia for repairs, after rounding Cape Horn under a jury rig.

So, because of that stop, Jeanne, getting close to her 70th birthday, has decided that she wants to do it all again, THIS time non-stop.

She’s away. Jeanne Socrates aboard NEREIDA in Hobart, departing for San Francisco, possibly non-stop -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

As she explained recently in an email, 'I felt decidedly cheated when I was knocked down in January last year while trying to play safe in bad weather before rounding Cape Horn...!! If that hadn't happened, I'm convinced I'd have completed my nonstop attempt by May/June of last year.... so I'm going to give it one last try - If that doesn't work out, it clearly wasn't meant to be & I'll go back to relaxed cruising...! '

But at the age of seventy, isn't that pushing her luck? 'No way,' she said, 'So-called 'rogue waves' apart, it's mostly a matter of boat gear surviving the time in the Southern Ocean conditions, not so much the person, in trying to achieve a nonstop RTW success. That's where the racers win out - by taking under half the time I spend at sea to get around!'

October is her planned starting date. Sail-World will be following her story, but you can follow her day-to-day progress at www.svnereida.com

How did she start?

But you might be asking, how did all this happen? Was she a solo sailor from childhood? Did she grow up on a boat? No, not so. Jeanne, as she has related over the years, was simply a cruising sailor, with her husband, when fate made some changes..

Jeanne and her late husband, George, had been keen boaters for years, spending summer holidays on their carefully handcrafted boat Nereida, which was built in Sweden. They spent the best part of five years, from 1997, sailing around the Mediterranean, and over to the tropical Caribbean islands for some very memorable vacations.

They were living the dream of an ideal, relaxed retirement until her husband’s body finally gave up following a long fight against cancer – while they were anchored in Bonaire.

Even though Jeanne had experience in dinghy sailing, captaining an ocean-going yacht alone is something completely different. But she was not interested in sitting around feeling sorry for herself, and decided that her passion for sailing should continue.

Socrates says, 'Firstly, my husband died of cancer while we were on a cruise in the Caribbean. I was already enjoying the boating experience with many friends because they understand what you’re doing and what you’re all about – the show must go on.

'I didn’t want to stop what I was doing. If I get keen on something, I really go for it!

'Every time I went back to London to visit my family, I’d be hit with a year’s worth of mail, and it wouldn’t be long before I wanted to get back out to sea. I’d done all these courses and kept watch overnight while George was around, but it’s simply keeping watch,' she says. 'Later that year, The Ocean Cruising Club – which I’m a member of and have a lot of good friends there – was having a rally in British Columbia. I thought that would be a great idea, and I started looking for somebody to help sail with me. I eventually found a good Dutch guy called Daan.

'But as it worked out, he did not pitch up at departure time: nowhere to be found. So I thought, ‘If I have to wait around for somebody to sail with, this is never going to happen.’ So off I went, leaving Bonaire, heading for Miami,' Socrates relates.

'But when I was leaving Bonaire, I got a VHF call, saying Daan was looking for me. I was not going to turn around, and told him to meet me at the next island in the Caribbean. Daan joined for the first part of the trip, helping me get familiar with my new role as captain.'

She would continue to grow in confidence following a successful first semi-solo sail to British Columbia, taking in some of the breathtaking vistas along the way.

The more Socrates sailed, the more she had to learn how to fix important instruments and equipment on the boat. Her background as a science and maths teacher would stand her in good stead, trying to fix things – often only with e-mail advice from manufacturers and fellow sailors.

Finally she found that she preferred sailing solo, had the competence to do it and - you know the rest of the story!


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=98940

8:32 PM Mon 25 Jun 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:

16 Jun 2012  Tall Ship Astrid - a circumnavigation of Africa
11 Jun 2012  Adventure sailors go for new northern route in Northwest Passage
26 May 2012  Shackleton's legendary open boat voyage: the re-enactment
21 May 2012  Across the south Indian Ocean in 30 days - a family story
21 May 2012  Indonesia's Tall Ship Dewaruci arrives Miami - almost half way around
16 May 2012  Matt Rutherford solo around the Americas: Exclusive interview
09 May 2012  Ludo Bennett-Jones - around Britain in a 16ft dinghy
02 May 2012  South Passage: an opportunity not to be missed!
28 Apr 2012  Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates on a new quest
21 Apr 2012  He's done it! Sailor sets Around-Americas solo sailing record
MORE STORIES ...






Cruising USA





Where in the world are our strongest corals? by Hanny Rivera - Cohen's Lab,








Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,




NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,




















Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,


Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,








Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott
Cruising lessons from ocean racers
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer   
4.8 million Legos all at sea   
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature   
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows   
Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look   
Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases   
World ARC heading out of the Pacific   
Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt   
Desolation Sound added to Salish Sea Pilot free cruising guides   
Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors   
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature   
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!   
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell   
Book review: Weather - you like it or not   
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter   
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice   
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time   
Baby Nemos finding their way home   
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week   
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT