70-year-old woman about to complete solo 'Five Cape' circumnavigation
by Nancy Knudsen on 30 Jul 2012
There's nothing can stop her now! Amazing 70-year-old Jeanne Socrates is due to create multiple world records when she reaches Victoria, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada this week. She will be the oldest woman(by far) to have sailed a solo circumnavigation of the world by sailing south of the Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean. But because it was not non-stop it's not good enough for her.
Jeanne Socrates aboard NEREIDA in Hobart SW
The five capes are: Cape Horn (South America), Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (West Australia), South East Cape of Tasmania, South West Cape of New Zealand.
The last two Capes were rounded by her on this present set of passages for the first time... Being so far South, well into the Southern Ocean, they can be difficult to round, weather in that area so often being nasty, especially coming into winter, as it was, so she told us she was happy to have done so safely despite the time of year!
Since her memorable December/January visit back to Britain in which she was lauded by the British several times including a meetingwith the Queen and Prince Phillip in Buckingham Palace, Jeanne has made several long passages this year: from Cape Town to Hobart (56 days of often-stormy S. Ocean passage!), Hobart to Tahiti (37 days -another difficult passage, passing S of New Zealand), on to Kauai (Hawaii) (21 days, crossing the Equator and the ITCZ).
She is expected to 'close the circle' on Wednesday 1st August when she reaches Tatoosh Island, near Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca which lies between Canada and USA. She will make landfall later that same day in Victoria, B.C., after about 20 days of passage on her final leg from Hawaii.
She had left Victoria on 25th October 2010, trying to circumnavigate solo nonstop, but had a bad knockdown just over 100 ml W of Cape Horn, while hove-to on 5th Jan 2011. She had to pull in to Ushuaia (Argentina) for major repairs, after rounding Cape Horn unaided on 7th Jan, and she subsequently sailed to the Falklands and then on to Cape Town for further repairs.
She will have sailed over 28,800 mls, with just over 250 days at sea, on this circumnavigation ....
....but not nonstop, as she had hoped when she left Victoria in October 2010...
So she's planning to re-start that nonstop attempt in October this year!
She says, 'I felt decidedly cheated when I was knocked down in January last year while trying to play safe by heaving-to 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 - in company with friends...! '
More about Jeanne::
Jeanne Socrates, from London, is sailing on 'Nereida' (a 38ft cutter-rigged Najad 380) and has been trying, through her solo sailing, to raise donations in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care - a charity that supplies specially-trained nurses free of charge, to enable the terminally ill to spend their last days in their own home.
She has no financial sponsorship but several companies kindly help out with repair or replacement of onboard equipment. She is looking for a sponsor to help with the (expensive!) cost of her satellite telephone - mainly used for data communication when radio stations are difficult or impossible to reach via her HF radio.
Her website, with regular news and position updates posted by her while on passage, is: http://www.svnereida.com
Contact by email to Jeanne, whether at sea or on shore, is via her website's 'Contact' page initially.
Her position is tracked continually via satellites receiving her AIS transmissions:
If you want to link to this article then please use this URL: www.sail-world.com/100334