SEAFARING pensioner Jeanne Socrates has now entered the epic final leg of her solo trip round the world after spending more than six months at sea.
Her route through the Southern Ocean, one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world, saw her pass through Cape Horn and the Cape Of Good Hope. She passed through the South East Cape of Tasmania earlier this month.
Mrs Socrates, 70, is currently on her third attempt at a non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation around the globe.
Communicating with the Gazette via email, she said: “It’s been surprisingly different compared to my previous attempts, with many more frustrating calms to slow me down, alternating with the usual strong winds and rough seas, and very little relaxed sailing in between.”
"Gear failures and problems have continued and my poor vessel Nereida is looking quite battle-scarred now. One memorable night in March, when hove to in stormy weather in the Southern Ocean, not too far from Tasmania, my radar support and wind generator were badly damaged when a wave knocked the boat violently and, as if that were not enough, the very next morning, as I prepared to get underway again, I watched in disbelief as the wind-steering rudder came free."
She said a planned repair stop at anchor off Tasmania was abandoned after she succeeded in replacing the rudder in relatively calm conditions just before rounding the South East Cape of Tasmania.
Mrs Socrates left Victoria in Canada’s British Columbia, on October 22 last year. If her voyage is successful, she will become the oldest ever woman to have completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation, as well as the very first woman to have circumnavigated non-stop solo from a point in North America.
She is currently sailing north from the Tasman Sea into the Pacific and hopes to ‘close the loop’ by June.
Mrs Socrates has sailed well over 18,800 miles and is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. You can follow her on her trip via her website www.svneredia.com .