76-year-old Jeanne Socrates is making her third attempt to become the oldest person to sail around the world solo. (File photo)

Victoria’s record-breaking senior sailor hits rough waters

Jeanne Socrates is still on course to become the oldest person to sail around the world solo

The waters were a bit rough in the Indian Ocean on Thursday, causing Jeanne Socrates’ boat to heel throughout the day as she tried to find the perfect amount of sail to unfurl.

“Was glad to have a jacket and hood on, with over-trousers, while on deck just now to furl in some more genoa,” Socrates wrote in her blog. “A wave came over the hard top into the cockpit and would have soaked me – but this time I was protected! Not even my hair got wet!”

She ended her 176th day of sailing with a hot cup of soup and some freeze-dried beef-and-pasta hotpot.

Socrates is a Victoria women sailing around the world hoping to get a record for the second time.

In 2013, Socrates earned the title as the world’s oldest woman to sail around the world on a solo trip, when she was 70 years old. The trip took her nine months.

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

Now, at age 76 she’s attempting the trip again – this time aiming for eight months or less – to become the oldest person, regardless of gender, to accomplish the solo feat.

Socrates had made two previous attempts in 2016, but saw damage to her vessel and had to end early. In 2017 she fell from a ladder a week before her planned departure, breaking several ribs.

However, this year on Oct. 2, 2018 Socrates departed Victoria’s Inner Harbour aboard her ship, Nereida to try again.

Socrates sailed south from Vancouver Island, down and around the tip of South America, and headed east, clearing the continent of Africa and following her course towards New Zealand.

Jeanne Socrates was in the middle of the Indian Ocean on her 176th day of sailing (herokuapp.com)

ALSO READ: Where is the woman attempting to be the oldest person to sail around the world?

She is presently sailing in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and has faced rough weather over the past week, with her route continuously affected as she tried to avoid warnings of cyclones and typhoons.

While for the most part she’s been succesful, she’s hit some rough patches.

“It was shrieking madly, the sea was very angry-looking, with foam flying, and we were heeled over far too much,” Socrates wrote after a 90 km/h wind snuck up on her on March 22, forcing her to struggle to reign in the sail. ” I had to keep reminding myself that Nereida was a good sturdy boat and we were doing fine, despite the strong conditions.”

ALSO READ: B.C. sailor’s attempt to break record crosses Equator line

Socrates has also been continuously working on repairing her mainsail, which was torn during the trip. Once the mainsail is repaired, she hopes to be able to get faster speeds.

In October, Socrates told Black Press that this time around she’ll attempt to sail farther east off New Zealand to find better weather, and hopefully shorten her trip.

She hopes to return to Victoria in May.

To keep up-to-date, you can follow Socrates’ blog at svnereida.com, and track her location here.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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