With the end of her journey almost in sight, after 336 days at sea, Jeanne Socrates has been forced to delay her homecoming to Victoria.
The 77-year-old woman vying to set a new world record as the oldest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world had just entered the Strait of de Fuca Wednesday evening around 8:30 p.m. before unfavourable conditions forced her to turn back west.
“[N]o wind plus strong ebb tide carried me into danger with shipping around,” Socrates wrote in an email from onboard SV Nereida.
“Presently back out, away from the Strait entrance. Will have to wait for better wind to try again – a few days maybe.”
Socrates set out from Victoria’s Inner Harbour back in October 2018 aboard her 38-foot vessel, which she says is now covered in tape and glue from a series of repairs she’s made while at sea.
Early in her adventure, her mainsail ripped which took her five months to repair. She’s had problems with her solar panels, her steering, and now in what could be her final day at sea, she says her steering cable is frayed and broken and barely holding together.
Over the weekend, friends and supporters in Victoria had been hopeful they would be able to welcome her back as soon as Wednesday, but landfall is now projected for Friday at the earliest.
This is Socrates’ third attempt at circumnavigating the world. In 2013, she became the oldest woman to single-handedly circumnavigate the world on a solo journey, which earned her a Guinness World Record.
A live GPS track of her current location is available here.