Victoria sailor, 76, crosses equator on attempt to set new world record


WATCH: A Victoria sailor says her attempt to break a world record has been anything but smooth sailing. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Jeanne Socrates is five weeks into an around-the-globe voyage that could set a new world record.

The 76-year-old sailor set sail from Victoria in early October aboard her 38-foot sail boat named Nereida.

Socrates is attempting to the be the oldest person to sail solo, unassisted and non-stop around the globe.

“If I have something I want to do I won’t give up until it’s done, I’m a pretty determined person,” said Socrates in an interview with CHEK News earlier this year.

Socrates already holds the record as the oldest woman to circumnavigate the globe.

Socrates has made two attempts to be the oldest person to sail alone, but faced multiple challenges during her initial voyages.

Well underway on her current attempt, Socrates officially crossed the equator on November 4.

“I put some music on, I had some appetizers ready and I gave Neptune a good tickle as well,” said Socrates via satellite phone at sea. “The sailing at the moment has been wonderful.”

However, Socrates said her journey has been plagued with problems. She’s faced multiple challenging including an issue with both her navigational system and a solar panel on board the boat.

Luckily, she said she’s had the support of friends and complete strangers online to give her advice on repairing the gear.

“I always expect to get problems and I know if I don’t fix them then I know I’ll have to do without the items so I try hard to fix them,” Socrates explained. “I keep getting emails from my friends and even complete strangers sometimes.”

If all goes according to plan, Socrates is aiming to circumnavigate the globe in eight months which would bring her back to Victoria in May of 2019.

Despite the long journey ahead, she says every day is filled with something new.

“I spend a lot of time on the weather and I’ve got to cook for myself as well,” Socrates said. “I’m busy all the time.”

Socrates is able to receive calls, texts and email at sea.

Armed with a laptop and everything she needs on board for year, she writes a daily blog complete with updates and photos from her journey which she says keeps her mind from wandering off at sea. “I have so many friends who are just so supportive it’s wonderful,” Socrates said.

Follow along on Socrates’ journey by visiting her website. 

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!