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No, What Are YOU Doing Up at 3 a.m.?

Jeanne Socrates in warmer climes.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Having done more major things in his life during the past week than in any previous one-week period, the Wanderer/Grand Poobah was up at 3 a.m. on Sunday using his iPad to keep up with the world.

He was most excited by a message from Jeanne Socrates of the Najad 36 Nereida in Victoria, British Columbia. Jeanne had taken off from Victoria about 10 days previously to start a proposed 280-day singlehanded circumnavigation via the Southern Ocean. At 74 years young, Jeanne is the oldest woman to have done it so far, but missed being the oldest person by a few months. So she’d taken off on yet another incredible record attempt to rectify things.

Almost as soon as she’d gotten out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, she ran into nasty weather. Real nasty weather. It was one big storm after another, and almost all on the nose. At one point the veteran of countless blows in the Southern Ocean thought about putting on her survival suit.

The weather was so bad that she had to deploy her Jordan series drogue. Something went wrong, and it was only connected to one side of the boat. As a result, when it came time to get it back in — an exhausting job for even the most fit 20-year-old — it was destroyed. As much as Socrates hates to lose ground, she decided to head back to Victoria for a new drogue and minor repairs to the boat.

As she was coming back to port, the Wander/Grand Poobah emailed Jeanne that it would be his “honor” to buy Jeanne a replacement drogue.

So it was that at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning he got a response from Jeanne saying she’d love to have it paid for — but did the Wanderer/Grand Poobah realize how expensive they were? Well, no. So on behalf of this year’s Baja Ha-Ha fleet, the Wanderer/Poobah decided to donate a flat $1,000.

“Wow!” replied Jeanne, who is beginning to run a little short of funds.

The Wanderer/Poobah also said he’d try to get the 25 or so kids in the Ha-Ha fleet to follow her voyage as an educational project. Jeanne said that she’d be happy to talk with them via satphone anytime during her voyage. Cool!

What was Socrates, who had to be exhausted, doing up so late?

“I’m catching up on loads of emails and on Facebook — first time since getting back — there’s a lot there and it’s Sunday tomorrow, so I can sleep in (before work on board later in the day!) But should get to bunk now — had’t realised how late it is… G’night!”

Jeanne is one of the coolest people the Poobah/Wanderer has ever met, and her yet another solo circumnavigation via the Southern Ocean is one of the most ambitious sails that can be undertaken. If you are as impressed and as inspired as the Wanderer/Poobah is by Socrates, you can also contribute to her adventure. Send a check to Jeanne Socrates, RVYC, 3475 Ripon Rd., Victoria, BC V8R 6H1 Canada. And follow her at

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November is looming and thus so is the midwinter racing season. Blessed as we are on the West Coast, we just keep on sailing all year round, while boats in other parts of the country are already hauled out and shrink-wrapped for the winter.
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