After 10 days at sea, 74-year-old singlehander Jeanne Socrates was forced to suspend her latest nonstop circumnavigation attempt and return to her Victoria, BC, homeport yesterday after taking a beating from extreme weather.
Before reversing course, she reported winds of 50-60 knots accompanied by 25-ft seas. Out of caution, she has been keeping in touch with the Coast Guard (RCC Alameda), and at one point was considering donning her survival suit. We’re told that ultimately, the failure of her Jordon series drogue led to the regrettable decision to turn back. Other minor repairs to her longtime warhorse, Nereida, are also needed. The now-famous sloop is a Swedish-built Najad 38.
As reported here and in Latitude 38 magazine in 2013, after 259 days alone at sea, Jeanne successfully completed a nonstop, singlehanded, unassisted circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes. She holds the distinction of being the first woman to sail solo nonstop around the world from North America, and the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop around the world. Her current effort was an attempt to become the oldest person — male or female — to go around solo, nonstop. Japanese sailor Minoru Saito currently holds that record, having completed his lap at age 71 in 2005 aboard his Adams 50 Challenge 7 (ex-Shuten-Dohji).