Jeanne Socrates, 70, is still 2,000 nautical miles from rounding the tip of South America but she’s already preparing for the stormy southern oceans. In January 2011, her 38-foot sailboat, Nereida, was knocked over west of Cape Horn, ending her second attempt at a non-stop solo circumnavigation — a feat that would land her in the record books as the oldest woman to do so.
Socrates said in an email she hopes to round Cape Horn early in January “and then will be trying to head northeast as fast as possible to get to a region of slightly less extreme weather conditions.”
The ship’s autopilot, which allows the ship to stay on course while Socrates is busy in the cabin, failed earlier in the voyage but Socrates was able to fix it.
Another instrument that measures wind at the top of the mast stopped working. Socrates tried to climb the 16-metre mast to fix it but was not able to get to the top. Her fingers are still recovering from the blisters she got on the dangerous climb, she said. She managed to make repairs without climbing the mast again.
Socrates left Victoria on Oct. 22. The grandmother used Victoria as a starting point because it gives her the mileage to meet the requirements of the record books.
Socrates has posted stories of her travels so far on her website at svnereida.com. She is hoping to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care, a British program that provides free home nursing for terminally ill cancer patients.
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