WATCH: She is already in the history books. Victoria resident Jeanne Socrates holds the record as the world’s oldest woman to sail solo around the world. Now, she’s taking on another challenge and world record. But as Aaron Guillen reports, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Seventy-six-year old Jeanne Socrates knows every crook and cranny on her boat, the Nereida.
She’s faced every challenge the ocean can offer.
The Victoria-local is almost three quarters through her fourth attempt at another world record. She wants to claim the title as the oldest person to sail around the world solo, without an engine, and non-stop.
This mid-May, a giant wave came crashing down on her 38-foot boat off the coast of New Zealand.
“I was just soaking wet,” says Socrates.
“So much stuff ended up wet and in the wrong place. Totally upside down,” says Socrates.
Not only did the storm put a hole in her ceiling, but it tore her mainsail.
She lost both of her solar panels and one of the blades from her wind generator broke off.
“I can’t believe the amount of things that have happened on my way around.”
But the Victoria sailor didn’t let eight metre high waves stop her.
“Partly I enjoy the challenge of doing that,” she says.
“I don’t give up easily, quite obviously.”
Luckily, the laptop she uses to update her daily blog is safe and dry.
Now, she’ll make fixes to her wind generator and mainsail when the seas calm down.
She plans on switching between autopilot and hand-steering, to help save her depleting fuel supply.
Now on the final stretch, she’s looking forward to the simple luxuries at home.
“I really wanna soak into a bath!” she chuckles.
“I wanna wash my hair. That’s not been washed since I left, can you believe that? And then also getting a lovely crispy, crunchy Caesar salad, and some fresh bread and butter.”
Until then, Socrates will continue her adventure across the Pacific, in hopes to end up back in Victoria by the end of July, two months later than expected.