Victoria-based solo-sailor breaks record for oldest person to sail around the world unassisted

Jeanne Socrates’ sailboat stood out from the others that had come to join her with its orange sail. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Jeanne Socrates and her late husband had their sailboat commissioned and named it the S.V. Nereida. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Pamela Bendall, a friend of Jeanne Socrates, brought her a carton of 2 per cent milk as that’s what she was craving after months at sea. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Crowds had gathered on the Breakwater waiting for Jeanne Socrates to sail by. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Jeanne Socrates’ friends and fellow yacht club members couldn’t stand to wait for her at the Inner Harbour, so many of them sailed out to join her in the home stretch. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

On Saturday afternoon, 77-year-old Jeanne Socrates was inching closer and closer to Ogden Point and a world record as she sailed at about 1.5 knots — or three to four kilometres per hour — in her sailboat, the S.V. Nereida. The solo-sailor was coming to the end of her second sail around the world.

Crowds had gathered on the Breakwater waiting for Socrates to sail by. At 4:15 p.m., Socrates sailed past Ogden Point and completed her trip around the world.

READ ALSO: Victoria’s record-setting sailor’s homecoming delayed by slow winds

“I just bawled my eyes out,” said Pamela Bendall, Socrates’ friend of 20 years and fellow solo-sailor.

After 300 days at sea Socrates — who already broke the record for oldest woman to sail around the world at 70 — broke the world record for oldest person to sail around the world unassisted. After that, she was towed into the Inner Harbour to be cleared at customs and have her engine checked to confirm that she never used it as the rules included only using her sails.

Earlier in the day, her friends and fellow yacht club members decided they couldn’t stand to wait for her at the Inner Harbour, so many of them sailed out to join her in the home stretch.

Others went out to support her in a Prince of Wales whale-watching boat. Bendall and Gail Pohl chatted excitedly about Socrates’ return. They noted the bad weather their friend had braved and praised her for having so much patience.

She never stopped for more food or supplies, they commented. She ate her last cookie last week, Bendall noted. Pohl laughed and congratulated Socrates for her self control.

Bendall communicated with Socrates twice a day for the whole 300-day trip. Bendall had brought a carton of two per cent milk with her because Socrates wrote to her saying that’s what she was craving after 11 months of powdered milk in her coffee and cereal. Bendall bought milk last week as Socrates was predicting an earlier return, but it spoiled before she arrived so she had to go buy another.

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

At 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, the little Prince of Wales zodiac met up with the fleet of sailboats.

She sat on the side of her boat in a thin pink vest, the cold winds were no match for her.

Bendall called out asking how she was doing and told her she’d brought the milk.

“I’m doing great,” she shouted back.

Socrates has to spend a bit more time on her boat getting things in order before taking her first steps on land in 300 days.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Don’t blame ride-hailing for increase in traffic, blame the personal car

Cities must move away from single-occupant cars, says transport advocate

VIDEO: Three men complete 65 km Sooke to Sidney run for Wounded Warriors

As main run looms, organizers looking to raise $175,000

Vancouver Island seniors get a kick out of ’walking soccer’

Provincial invitational tourney to be staged in Nanoose Bay

Bee business looks to new heights in Cumberland

Comox Valley community considering changes to encourage rooftop beekeeping

White magic in Black Creek: Wiccan church congregation seeing growth

North Island woman named high priestess of Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read