Jeanne Socrates was honoured by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Thursday for being the first woman to sail across the world alone and the oldest person to do so. A dock in the Inner Harbour lower causeway, where her boat the S/V Nereida is, has been named after her. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Harbour authority names dock for Victoria’s record-breaking sailor

Jeanne Socrates is the oldest person to sail around the world unaccompanied

A dock in the Inner Harbour lower causeway is now named for Victoria’s record-holding yachtswoman Jeanne Socrates after a Thursday ceremony.

The Jeanne Socrates Dock – the crescent commercial yellow line dock in the Inner Harbour – welcomes thousands of visitors and locals every year and is home to the Victoria Harbour Ferry stop. Now, with a commemorative plaque placed near where Socrates’ boat is docked, visitors can learn about her feat.

On Sept. 7, 77-year-old Jeanne Socrates became the oldest person to sail around the world on a solo, non-stop trip after being at sea for 339 days on the S/V Nereida.

When Socrates sailed into Victoria’s Inner Harbour, she was accompanied by several boats and greeted by hundreds of people rooting for her on shore.

“Victoria has become very much my second home and the support everyone has given me here in Victoria has been absolutely amazing,” Socrates said at the ceremony.

READ ALSO: Victoria-based solo-sailor breaks record for oldest person to sail around the world unassisted

Socrates faced storms, dangerous waters and even a torn sail that she mended. The entire time, she received e-mails of support from people in Victoria looking forward to her return.

“I have to say that there were times when that became a very important consideration because there were times when I wasn’t sure that I was going to get back,” Socrates said. “I thought ‘I’m going to keep going and get to the other end. I’m going to get to Victoria’.”

Brian Cant, spokesperson for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, said the organization wanted to commemorate Socrates’ accomplishments in a public space.

“Her accomplishments continue the deep maritime history this city has,” Cant said.

Luke Penseney, a Vancouver resident spending the winter in Victoria on his boat, was at the Inner Harbour to speak with Socrates on Thursday. He said he was aware of her before but after really thinking of what she accomplished, realized it is “something special.”

“It’s about endurance, courage and being prepared and having a vision and planning,” Penseney said. “It’s about what a human can achieve alone.”

READ ALSO: Senior sailor leaves Victoria to sail around the world – again

Socrates started sailing after she retired and purchased the S/V Nereida in 1997 with her husband. They travelled across Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S.A. After her husband died in 2003, Socrates continued to sail alone, leading up to her world record achievements.

Since her return, Socrates has kept busy by fixing her boat but said she is supposed to be writing a book as well. She’ll be headed to Mexico soon to focus on her book and will eventually go to Australia to meet up with family and the many friends she made over the radio while she was sailing in the area.

“It’s an amazing privilege,” Socrates said of the dock naming. “It demonstrates the support that I’m getting in Victoria here … I know people were rooting for me, it was wonderful.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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Jeanne Socrates was honoured by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Thursday for being the first woman to sail across the world alone and the oldest person to do so. A dock in the Inner Harbour lower causeway, where her boat the S/V Nereida is, has been named after her. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Jeanne Socrates was honoured by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Thursday for being the first woman to sail across the world alone and the oldest person to do so. A dock in the Inner Harbour lower causeway, where her boat the S/V Nereida is, has been named after her. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Jeanne Socrates was honoured by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority on Thursday for being the first woman to sail across the world alone and the oldest person to do so. A dock in the Inner Harbour lower causeway, where her boat the S/V Nereida is, has been named after her. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

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