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She Prefers "Crazy"

Information gathered from: The Times of London, The Guardian, BBC News and Yachting Monthly.

When I saw mention of this woman, and her astonishing feat, I knew I had to know more about her. She sailed around the world, non stop, unassisted, alone, at aged 77. ( I have read conflicting reports on how many days it took her from 320, 339 to 380) Wow, just wow, no matter how many days it took. This news began to appear in several places on August 21, 2019, when she celebrated her 77th birthday, alone, at sea less than a thousand miles from Victoria.

Initially, she set sail to release the ashes of her husband, and somehow she just kept going on her 38 foot yacht, Nereida. Socrates, from Lymington, Hampshire, completed this voyage in Victoria, Canada. She was accompanied by a flotilla of boats during the final moments of the journey, while hundreds of people cheered her on from the harbour.

When 77-year-old Jeanne Socrates tells people what she has been doing for the past 11 months they call her “plucky”, “feisty” or “brave”. She doesn’t like those epithets. She prefers “crazy”. “I do think at my age you to have to be a bit crazy,” she says. “It helps fend off the perfectly rational reasons why you shouldn’t be doing certain things.” While preparing for a previous record attempt in 2017, she fell off her boat, breaking her neck and her ribs. However, she persisted.

It was perilous at times. During the journey, Socrates’s 38ft Nereida, sustained damage to its mainsail and backup sail, while its solar panels were lost overboard. At one point she reported that “The wind gods have not been with me, two cyclones off Hawaii to avoid, and a cyclone off the Indian ocean to avoid, I wasted a week with that.”

Socrates took up sailing with her husband shortly after retiring in 1997. The pair travelled across Europe, the Caribbean, and the US. After her husband died in 2003, Socrates continued to sail alone, describing it as “quite a daunting task, getting to know the various systems onboard Nereida and dealing with a variety of problems,” on her blog.

Jeanne Blogs at at › and has a Facebook Page, if you want to follow her.

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