Jeanne Socrates has abandoned her attempt to become the oldest person to circumnavigate solo and unassisted because of repairs to her yacht, S/V Nereida.

29 November

Describing the decision as “a painful but an unavoidable decision”, Jeanne Socrates has abandoned her record attempt for a second time because of urgent repairs.

The 74-year-old set out on the 13 November 2016 from Victoria, British Columbia to become the oldest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

Socrates already holds the record as the oldest woman to sail nonstop around the world.

But urgent repairs to the boom connection and genset on S/V Nereida have forced her to head for San Diego on the US Pacific coast.

Writing on her blog, Socrates said: “Why San Diego? I’ve had to make the painful decision to head in there for repairs needed to the boom connection and genset, among other, more minor, items.”

“Not a comfortable thought while heading towards the Southern Ocean that the genset would probably be out of action for the next 7-8 months (an epoxy repair would almost certainly not last long, always assuming it could be done and would work at all), giving an ongoing battery power issue with not enough fuel (main engine takes more diesel and is less efficient at frequent topping up of wind and solar power inputs), and the boom connection can only get worse with more rough use and is already badly worn…. Not something I can repair- it needs proper attention,” wrote Socrates.

“Feeling very disheartened and sad…. So many people have been so supportive and helpful in so many ways, for which I have been deeply appreciative… Thanks to you all!”

This is her second attempt at the record.

In October, Socrates was forced to temporarily abandon her record attempt just ten days in.

She had to return to Victoria for repairs after hitting a storm system.

 

15 November

British record breaking yachtswoman, Jeanne Socrates has started her attempt to become the oldest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

The 74-year-old is already the oldest woman to sail nonstop around the world, claiming the title on 8 July, 2013.

Now, she has set off again in S/V Nereida out of Victoria, British Columbia.

This is her second attempt.

Last month, she was forced to temporarily abandon her voyage and return to Victoria for repairs just 10 days in after she hit a storm system.

Socrates says she expects to be at sea for up to eight months to “get safely” around the Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean and back to the start line at Ogden Point, Victoria.

In order to meet the criteria set out to achieve the record, the motor of her 38-foot yacht “will be sealed”. No other person is allowed on board.

A group of enthusiastic supporters waved off the yachtswoman when she set off at 4.3opm local time on 13 November, 2016.

Socrates is keeping a regular blog of her trip.

In her latest entry, she writes that she has experienced a “complete mixed bag of conditions over the first 24hrs… from becalmings to strong gusts, getting taken by strong tidal current towards Race Rocks, being headed by W wind and so having to tack a long way N-S for very little westward gain….”

“But just after dark tonight, we cleared Cape Flattery and started heading SW to get offshore in the Pacific Ocean.”

Socrates is posting frequent Winlink/Shiptrak position reports.

This latest voyage is the yachtswoman’s fourth solo circumnavigation.

She is also hoping her trip will help raise money for the RNLI.

“The RNLI is independent of government funding and the crews of the RNLI lifeboats are all volunteers. They need our support to keep them well-trained and their equipment up to date if they’re to be able to launch safely and succeed in their lifesaving efforts night and day,” writes Socrates.

“Please donate what you can to show your support for my efforts to complete a circuit around the globe single-handed, via Cape Horn, under sail alone and without setting foot on land until I finish.”

 

Pippa Wilson

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