Jeanne Socrates

Jeanne Socrates

Senior makes history by sailing non-stop around the world

Jeanne Socrates' nine-month adventure began and ended in Victoria

A 70-year-old British woman made history in Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Monday morning, becoming the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop around the world.

Jeanne Socrates left the Strait of Juan de Fuca on October 22, 2012 on her third attempt at tackling the punishing journey. She already held the title as the oldest woman to circumnavigate the globe on a multi-stop journey.

“Everyone asks me what my plans are now. I don’t know, I’ve got too many other things to think about, too many repairs to do,” Socrates said, standing on the port side of her 11-metre cruiser Nereida in the Inner Harbour .

The most harrowing leg of Socrates’ journey was at Cape Horn off the coast of South Africa, where her previous journey was cut short by stormy seas.

“I was coming down Cape Horn on the identical day at almost the same spot as my knockdown (in 2011),” she said. “It’s so uncomfortable, I’m damp, I’m cold … and you kind of think, ‘Why am I doing this?’”

Despite the bruising weather through much of her journey, calm winds forced Socrates to anchor off Vancouver Island for two days before a Prince of Whales boat offered to tow her in.

“The boating community is such a supportive group of people. You see the best side of humanity, how human beings should be to each other all the time,” she said.

To read more about Socrates’ journey, visit synereida.livejournal.com.