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

 

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

Vernon Vipers stymied in shootout

The Vipers fell 3-2 to the Langley Rivermen Friday night in their second shootout in as many games

Vernon firefighters snuff out basement fire in single-family home

The residents were not home at the time of the fire, which resulted in no injuries

Vernon firefighters, councillors push new trucks into service

Vernon Fire Rescue Services ceremony took place at Station 1 Saturday morning

Downtown Vernon building evacuated due to high carbon monoxide levels

One person was taken to hospital Friday afternoon as a precaution for CO exposure

The Debaters to bring holiday cheer to Vernon

CBC Radio One’s comedy program to perform Christmas live show at performing arts centre Nov. 23

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Okanagan philanthropists treated to moving speech on National Philanthropy Day

David Roche shared his message to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and non-profits

Most Read