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

Marlene King and her granddaughter KK with the bench she installed in memory of her late husband, artist Marven Tallio (Caitlin Thompson photo).
New downtown bench honours late Nuxalk artist

Renowned Nuxalk artist Marven Tallio passed away in 2018

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

The rockslide occurred just east of Firvale before Snowshoe Creek (photo submitted)
Heavy rain causes mud, debris on Highway 20

Environment Canada had issued a rainfall warning on Thursday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Most Read