Joanne Socrates is already the oldest woman to have sailed around the world alone. Now she’s after a new record. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Senior sailor leaves B.C. to sail around the world — again

Jeanne Socrates departed from Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Oct. 3

As Jeanne Socrates departed from Victoria’s Inner Harbour aboard Nereida on Oct. 3, a chance to make history is on the horizon.

The 76-year-old became the oldest woman to sail — solo — around the world in an unassisted, non-stop voyage in 2013 when she was 70. That trip took her nine months to complete. Now, she wants to do it in eight months or less.

READ MORE: Senior makes history by sailing non-stop around the world

To reach that goal, Socrates has several light-wind sails she didn’t have in 2013. She’ll also venture farther east off New Zealand where she’ll hopefully be met by better weather and shorten her trip.

“I don’t like things going wrong on a boat, but it’s always a challenge to try and fix them. I enjoy that challenge. I think as boaters, we learn to think laterally. We can’t fix it one way, we try and think of another way of doing it,” she said before setting sail.

Socrates will carry all the food and tools she needs onboard because she won’t set foot on land again until she’s done. Weather will be her biggest obstacle, especially since Socrates has sealed her motor off so she is officially sailing unassisted.

“I just enjoy being out on the water,” Socrates said. “When you’re cruising and you turn the engine off and get sailing, the moment the engine stops and you’re just with the wind… the wind is the power in your sails and it’s just fantastic.”

The record-breaking sailor made two attempts in 2016, but treacherous weather damaged the vessel and she was unable to complete her mission. In 2017, she fell from a deck-level ladder a week before she planned to set sail, breaking several ribs and putting off her journey once again.

With nearly 30 years of sailing experience, Socrates has sailed around the world by herself four times but hopes this trip will be her second without stopping — breaking her own record as the oldest woman to do so. She’s also chasing another record. Now 76 years old, if Socrates completes this trip, she’ll also become the oldest person (woman or man) to circumnavigate the globe alone.

READ MORE: Yachting world race event helps christen new Victoria marina

In the last few years of Socrates’s attempts, she’s amassed a following of other sailors and seniors inspired by her ambition. Although she’s planning on spending the next eight months alone on her 11-metre vessel, Socrates said she doesn’t feel alone with the many radio calls and emails from people keeping in touch with her along the way.

When asked what she hopes others take away from her journey, Socrates said, “It’s really nice to think I’m achieving something positive. People should go out and do their thing. If they want to do something, do it.

“I couldn’t just sit around in my carpet slippers doing nothing,” she said with a laugh. “I think it helps keep you alive and young and whatever just to be active.”

To follow her journey, you can read Socrates’s daily blog and watch Nereida’s position at svnereida.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jeanne Socrates does some last-minute tune-ups in the Victoria Causeway Marina before departing for an eight-month sail around the world. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Jeanne Socrates’s eight-month mission to become the oldest person to sail around the world is officially underway as she left the Victoria Inner Harbour on Oct. 3, 2018. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Just Posted

No charges yet in death of Abbotsford officer Allan Young

Police and Crown say the investigation is still underway

COLUMN: What the Nelson library needs most … is you!

Avi Silberstein of the library fills us in on the progress of re-opening

Practical fashion: Local designers make supplies for Nelson dentists

Surgical caps and gowns have been in short supply for dentists during the pandemic

UPDATE: Search effort underway for Slocan River drowning victim

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read