|Jeanne at the helm as she sails away, alone.|
70-year-old British solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates left Victoria, BC this morning to begin her third attempt at an unassisted, non-stop solo circumnavigation of the planet via the great southern capes (Cape Horn [Chile], Cape of Good Hope [S. Africa], Cape Leeuwin [Australia], S.E. Cape of Tasmania [Australia], S.W. Cape of Stewart Island [New Zealand]).It was a cold start for her bid to be the oldest woman (and one of only few people) to complete this monumental sailing achievement. I was aboard Nereida, a Najad 380, with Jeanne and two other friends when she was towed out of Victoria Harbour by a local whale watching outfit. (Her transmission is disabled for the attempt.) A favorable east wind was blowing 10-15 knots. After final goodbyes, the three of us disembarked to the tow boat and Jeanne sailed on alone, across the starting line.
I first contacted Jeanne last month, for an interview. After that interview, I offered to help her get ready. Hers is truly a grass-roots effort and she welcomed all of the time I could spare. Over the past week, I attached fittings down below, attached jack lines topsides, vacuum packed clothing and other things, and individually wrapped tons of fruits and vegetables for stowage. She was a pleasure to hang out with and learn from. I plan to share all of my impressions in an upcoming article (along with better pictures). In the meantime, over the next 7 to 8 months, as she sails non-stop, day and night, around the world, Jeanne will post updates on her website via SSB (www.svnereida.com).Fair winds mighty lady!
|Jeanne Socrates and me.|