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Solo sailor Jeanne Socrates on a new quest

by Nancy Knudsen on 28 Apr 2012
She’s away. Jeanne Socrates aboard NEREIDA in Hobart, departing for San Francisco, possibly non-stop .. .
Jeanne Socrates, already the oldest ever female solo circumnavigator after finishing her last circumnavigation in Cape Town, has just left Hobart in Tasmania to cross the Pacific in order to get ready for a new record-breaking bid to circumnavigate the globe later this year.


Once obviously just wasn't good enough for this intrepid British sailor, originally from Ealing. She wants to do it, solo again as before, but this time non-stop and unassisted. It will be her third try. On her first circumnavigation she was almost home when she went aground and lost her boat, the first Nereida. On her second try it was technical problems which prevented it from being a non-stop sail.

Obviously determined to achieve her original goal, Jeanne set off from Tasmania, across the Tasman Sea to the south west cape of New Zealand this week in her vessel, the 'new' Nereida.

October is her planned starting date. This week she said: 'I’ve enjoyed being in Tasmania immensely since sailing there from Cape Town. There are lots of friendly people and a climate somewhat similar to Great Britain.'

'I’ve also had many jobs to get done in between socialising while here - a mix of repairs and maintenance.'

Last Thursday (26 April), after waiting for some weather systems to pass, she began her voyage to San Francisco via Tahiti and Hawaii.

She added: 'I might not make landfall anywhere, depending on timing and weather, since I’d like to get to San Francisco by the end of June. The weather is looking a bit threatening in a few days’ time, but with luck I’ll avoid the worst of it.'

Jean, a retired maths teacher, has been actively immersed in sailing since her husband George died of cancer in 2008.

She has notched up tens of thousands of miles in her 38ft yacht, and last December was honoured by a meeting with the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.

On the 7th January this year, she was also presented with the Duchess of Kent Trophy at the Flag Officer lunch of the Cruising Association in Britain. Presentations were made to people who had made significant contributions, both in 2011 and sometimes for many years prior to this.

You can follow Jeanne's progress at www.svnereida.com

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