Welcome to my Journey
Jeanne Socrates, aboard S/V Nereida, successfully completed a nonstop, solo, unassisted sail around the world at 2:26 a.m. on Monday 8th July 2013,when she passed Ogden Point at the entrance to Victoria Harbour, 259 days after leaving Victoria in October 2012.
She became the first woman to sail nonstop around the world from North America and the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop around the world.
This was her third attempt to circumnavigate solo, nonstop and unassisted - eastabout via Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean.
She received the Ocean Cruising Club's Special Award on landfall. She will be receiving the Cruising Club of America's 'Blue Water Medal' at the New York Y.C. on 7th March 2014 and she has been short-listed for the UK's "Yachtsman of the Year Award"- winner to be announced in London on 9th January 2014.
Previous awards received have been the "Duchess of Kent Trophy" (2012, Cruising Association) and the Award of Merit (2011) and Rose Medal (2009) (both Ocean Cruising Club)
In August 2012, she became the oldest woman to have circumnavigated solo via the Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean and she had previously, from March 2007- June 2008, circumnavigated westabout via the Panama Canal (although finishing 60miles short of her starting point in Mexico - see below).
(See Travels page for details of my routes and for maps showing my position as I sailed around. See my complete Web Log here. Also see 'Articles and Interviews')
Jeanne Socrates’ single-handed circumnavigations from 2007 onward…
- from Mexico on 25th March 2007, heading westabout, pausing in all the usual cruising places;
- first nonstop attempt in 2009 from the Canaries, in the new Nereida, being forced to stop in Cape Town for repairs, then heading on eastabout to New Zealand and Hawaii;
- second nonstop attempt, from Victoria (B.C.) in October 2010, with a knockdown in January 2011 ending that nonstop attempt… But by continuing eastabout to the Falklands, S. Africa, Tasmania, New Zealand and then on to Tahiti and Hawaii, she completed a circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean on reaching the Strait of Juan de Fuca on 1st August 2012.
The Five Great Capes are: Cape Horn (Chile), Cape of Good Hope (S. Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), S.E. Cape of Tasmania (Australia), S.W. Cape of Stewart Island (New Zealand)
- third nonstop attempt, started 22nd October 2012 from Victoria, B.C., returned to Victoria in the early darkness hours of 8th July 2013, after well over 25,700 n.ml. and almost 260 days of sailing singlehanded, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, with well over three months being spent in the Southern Ocean, where Cape Horn was rounded early in January - without too much drama this time!
Third Nonstop Attempt: 22nd October 2012 - 8th July 2013 (successful)
This last solo, unassisted attempt was notable for the length of time taken (6-7 weeks longer than hoped for, due to the high incidence of calms and light winds encountered, especially on the final, long passage north up the Pacific) and also for the number of problems that occurred - starting with the liferaft 'jumping ship', causing a diversion to San Francisco Bay to replace the raft, while adhering to the 'unassisted' rule of the WSSRC, who were validating the attempt. Rounding Cape Horn as the Vendée Globe racers were also doing so, added interest, as did the presence of large icebergs to avoid. Timing and position was almost identical to that of the January 2011 knockdown on the previous attempt - discomforting...! Almost daily radio contact was enjoyed and loss of computers on board two months before finishing (with satphone already having gone down Christmas Day morning) gave rise to immediate help from 'ham' friends who were able to maintain posting of daily position and log reports plus emails.
Second Nonstop Attempt / Knockdown / Circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes: 25th Oct 2010 – 1st Aug 2012
This attempt started from Victoria (B.C.) on 25th October 2010, but damage caused by a bad knockdown, over 100 miles west of Cape Horn on Day 72 (5th January 2011), ended the nonstop attempt. After rounding Cape Horn unassisted and making basic repairs in Ushuaia, I continued eastabout to the Falklands, Cape Town (S. Africa), Hobart (Tasmania) and on via Stewart Island, New Zealand, to Tahiti and Hawaii. I then managed to complete a single-handed circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean when I reached the Strait of Juan de Fuca on 1st August 2012.
First Nonstop Attempt, started November 2009
The new Nereida was commissioned on the River Hamble, near Southampton Water, over April to June 2009, after being fitted out in Sweden at the beginning of the year. A Najad 380, she's an updated, re-designed version of the previous Najad 361. Due to the many changes and additions, she's not a 'standard' N380 (one obvious, major change is being cutter-rigged, not a sloop). (See 'Boat Details' )
The plan was to trial her thoroughly around the Solent and Guernsey, before setting off towards the Canaries in early August 2009, with a 12-day offshore passage in early September from St Peterport (Guernsey) down towards Puerto Calero in Isla Lanzarote (Canaries). There everything was checked/repaired thoroughly again, eventually leaving in early November – near the beginning of the Southern summer. Starting from the Atlantic, planning to sail east-about nonstop in higher latitudes, passing south of the Five Great Capes, which include Cape Horn, the journey through the Southern Ocean back to the Canaries was expected to take 6-7 months….
I headed down to South Africa.... but rigging and other problems forced me in to Cape Town and this turned into a three-month stop for an engine replacement with improved installation details. I changed my plans, entering the Single-handed TransPac race from San Francisco to Kauai (Hawaii) - but time ran out, with stormy weather encountered in the Great Australian Bight and around New Zealand, and I only managed, with difficulty, to reach Hanalei Bay in time for the SHTP Awards evening, by which time I’d decided to head for Port Townsend (WA, USA) to work on the boat with a view to re-starting my nonstop round-the-world attempt from Victoria (B.C., Canada) later that year.
My Previous Solo Circumnavigation, 26th March 2007 – 19th June 2008
On 15th August 2006, I completed a 'NE Pacific Loop' by sailing to Sitka from Hanalei Bay in Kauai after the finish of the Single-Handed Transpac Race to Hawaii from San Francisco (which I’d started on 24th June 2006).
I'd left Sitka the previous year (2005) as part of a cruise of SE Alaska, sailed down the Inside Passage to British Columbia and on to Puget Sound, where I was forced to stop for the winter months, and then on to San Francisco offshore in May 2006.
As a result of these ocean passages, and having to overcome the varied problems that cropped up en route, I gained in confidence tremendously and set my sights on sailing around the world.
I sailed down from Sitka in September '06 to San Diego, via the Inside Passage & the West coast of Vancouver Island, making the journey from Neah Bay singlehanded offshore to San Francisco for my third time in October '06. After some necessary work there, it was on to San Diego for a lot more work on the boat with my circumnavigation in mind. Then came a fast journey offshore down the Baja (Mexico) in February, ending eventually in Zihuatanejo (Mexico) from where my solo journey around the world finally started on Monday 26th March '07.
I reached Cairns (Australia) on 11th July '07, Richards Bay (South Africa) on 16th November '07 and left Trinidad for Panama on 1st May '08. After reaching the west coast of Mexico from Guatemala, I was making for San Francisco for the start of the 2008 Single-Handed TransPac Race but was then incredibly unlucky to lose "Nereida" on a steep surf beach north of Acapulco, less than twelve hours and about sixty miles short of completing my circumnavigation, on 19th June '08.