Senior sailor en route to Victoria after near-disaster during trip around the world

Jeanne Socrates is slated to take the record as the oldest person to sail the world in a solo trip

The Victoria sailor aiming to break a world record is on her way home.

Jeanne Socrates, age 76, launched her ship, Nerida on Oct. 2, 2018 in an effort to earn the title as the oldest person to sail a solo trip around the world.

Socrates already earned the title as the oldest woman to do so in 2013.

On day 243 of the sail, Socrates reported being docked at Timaru Port, New Zealand, the last major port before heading north back to Victoria. It was a holiday, she wrote in her blog, and gave her a good opportunity to catch up on sleep and to work on some much-needed repairs after a near-miss a couple days before.

ALSO READ: Victoria’s record-breaking senior sailor hits rough waters

On day 239 while heading towards Timaru, Socrates checked her position near 4 a.m. when she noticed something strange.

“[I] smelled a seaweed smell which surprised me, being a good distance off the shore… But a short time later, to my horror, I realized that we were dangerously close to a large, long, rocky, unlit breakwater. I jumped to the wheel and had to hold it full lock to get us away in very little breeze,” Socrates wrote in her blog.

“I could not believe that such a large structure, invisible in the darkness until close up to it, could be left totally unlit … It was very difficult getting away since there was very little steerage in such a light wind.”

Luckily, thanks to the guidance of some local fishermen, she was able to get to Timaru and port at a buoy there.

Jeanne Socrates’ position on day 243 of her sailing trip (mmsn-shiptrak.herokuapp.com)

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

After over 15 hours of sleep, Socrates felt better and got to work on some necessary repairs.

She used the last role of Gorilla Tape to hold together a tear in her sail, untied broken lazyjack riggings, fixed wood at her air vents and made a note that she needed to bleach down large portions of her boat where mold is starting to appear due to constant condensation. She’s also working to understand why her overall battery charge seems to be low.

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

After nine months at sea, the rations were getting low, but Socrates got a nice surprise while cleaning.

“[I] finished checking on food stowed away – had a nice surprise finding five one-litre packs of mango juice I’d forgotten about and some more tins of beef chunks in gravy,” she wrote.

When she finally got some shut-eye, she didn’t sleep long.

“Woken by machinery starting up on docks close by– always one to three big ships nearby unloading or loading– Timaru is a busy port,” she said.

As of day 239 she’d sailed 19,963 nautical miles.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Boating

Just Posted

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

The Skeena Queen, serving the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route has been out of action since early Wednesday morning, forcing BC Ferries to cancel eight sailings connecting the Saanich Peninsula and Salt Spring Island. It is not clear when service will resume. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Ferries cancels additional sailings to Salt Spring Island

With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau says British Columbians face a choice between “false majority government” and a “more cooperative, collaborative” form of governance during a campaign stop in Saanich North and the Islands Monday (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
BC Greens leader makes pitch for minority government

Sonia Furstenau calls on British Columbians to reject ‘false majority government’

The Saanich Teachers’ Association is calling on the local provincial election candidates from all parties to commit to making schools healthier and safer for all. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich teachers call on election candidates for improved health, safety in schools

Increased funding, reduced class sizes among required changes, says association president

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Island candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Most Read