Latest nonstop single-handed unassisted circumnavigation:
3rd October 2018 - 7th September 2019
NEWS UPDATE (May 2023) She’s off again! Jeanne has just left on her latest adventure – to sail single-handed once more across the Pacific Ocean from Mexico, stopping at many of the islands on the way, en route to New Zealand and Australia. She’ll celebrate her 81st birthday mid-August somewhere along the way! Read more HERE
Follow her story here and see her videos on YouTube.
Click HERE to see her latest position on board S/V Nereida
In 2016, Jeanne’s two circumnavigation attempts (started 19th October and 13th November) ran firstly into weather and then into gear-related problems. Intended to be a fourth single-handed circumnavigation and a second sail nonstop and without any assistance around the world, both attempts that year were thwarted. A three-day storm, a few days out in October, caused damage requiring a return to Victoria for sail and other repairs and, despite sailing a lot further S on re-starting in November, major problems forced her to pull in to San Diego for urgent repairs.
Her sights were then set on starting again from Victoria, B.C. on 5th October 2017, but a nasty fall from deck-level onto the hard just a week before her planned departure caused serious neck, rib-cage and internal injuries and meant postponing that attempt to October 2018.
Finally, after a third start from Victoria on 3 October 2018, she succeeded. Several major problems cropped up to slow her progress, but she eventually arrived back just over eleven months later, four months longer than she had hoped, having covered 27,911 n.ml. in 339 days.
Where is Nereida now? ..... Click here to find out
(See 'Travels' for an overview of her solo passages and for maps showing her position as she sailed around the world from 2004 onward. See her complete Diary/Web Log here and see 'Articles and Interviews' for some magazine, TV and radio reports.)
Very high medical expenses were incurred as a result of her fall, adding to the cost of unexpected repairs needed to boat gear, following the costs incurred in preparing the boat for her attempt - re-rigging (ready for exposure to heavy weather), replacing worn items and provisioning for that length of time, etc. Those costs have been great, so if you’d like to help by contributing however little towards them, it would be very much appreciated - there’s a PayPal link here.
The UK’s RNLI is independent of government funding and the crews of the RNLI lifeboats are all volunteers. They need our support to keep them well-trained and their equipment up to date if they're to be able to launch safely and succeed in their lifesaving efforts night and day.
Please donate what you can, using the 'Lifeboats link, to show your support for my efforts in completing a circuit around the globe single-handed, via Cape Horn, under sail alone, without any outside assistance and without setting foot on land until finished.
I expected to be at sea for around 7-8 months nonstop, rounding all Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean, sailing back to my starting point without any outside help and without using my motor (which was sealed) – but, unbelievably, it took just over 11 months to complete - four more months at sea!
Blogs were posted daily to my website and I talked each day to people on land around the world using my HF/SSB radio, which was also used for emails and weather info - so I wasn't quite alone!
All problems that arose (and there were plenty of them!), I had to deal with using tools & spares carried onboard ... and all food for my time at sea had to be with me from the start of my journey - fresh eggs turned daily last several months, onions and potatoes lasted most of the way and I also had plenty of canned and dried foods.
Drinking water came from a water-maker (desalinator) working off my batteries and I had long-life & dried milk and fruit juices. My batteries were mainly powered by the sun and the wind, with a backup diesel generator to help on windless, overcast days and/or when I’d used the radio a lot.
I normally do my own weather routing using information gained from using my SSB/HF radio. (This time, I also had the loan of an Aurora (Redport/GMN) Iridium terminal to get some of the information and it was also used for VOIP contact and posting photos). 'Grib' GFS weather files are downloaded as email attachments and weather faxes come direct from onshore radio transmitters located beside whichever sea area I happen to be in. (I was also given additional helpful information by Northland Radio, who had access to the European weather model. We spent radio time discussing weather forecasts and options on routing to try to avoid the worst of the storms)
It's clearly of benefit to know when and where a storm is expected. They were very frequent over a good part of my route and, in my daily planning, I often had to try to stay out of both nasty storm conditions as well as the sometimes long calms in between. It was frustratingly difficult to keep in favourable winds at times and the lack of a working mainsail, which I was trying to repair over much of the Southern Ocean portion of my voyage, made for slow progress.
This was my fourth solo circumnavigation and my second successful nonstop one and, on finishing, I became the oldest person to have sailed around the world eastabout, nonstop, solo and unassisted (as well as the oldest person to have sailed around the world in either direction, staying south of all five Great Capes).
(I think I might also now hold two other records by a single-handing unassisted woman: for the longest time at sea nonstop (339 days) and for the greatest distance sailed nonstop (27,911n.ml.)…!!)
The Five Great Capes are: Cape Horn (Chile), Cape of Good Hope (S. Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), S.E. Cape of Tasmania (Australia), S. Cape of Stewart Island (New Zealand)
First Nonstop Unassisted Circumnavigation 2012-13
Jeanne, aboard S/V Nereida, successfully completed her first nonstop, single-handed, unassisted sail around the world at 2:26 a.m.LT on Monday 8th July 2013, when she passed Ogden Point at the entrance to Victoria Harbour, 259 days and 25,743 n.ml. after leaving Victoria on 22nd October 2012.
She became the first woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world from North America and the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world (a record noted in the Guinness Book of Records)
This was her third attempt since 2009 to circumnavigate solo, nonstop and unassisted - eastabout via Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean - all attempts made without the help of a shore-based support team.
She received the Ocean Cruising Club's Special Award on landfall and, in April 2014, their Barton Cup. On 7th March 2014, she was presented with the Cruising Club of America's Blue Water Medal and, in April, with the Royal Cruising Club's Seamanship Medal. She was a close runner-up for the 'Yachtsman of the Year Award' (U.K.) and was short-listed for the 'Yachtworld Hero of the Year Award' (U.S.A.).
Previous awards received for her solo sailing were the Duchess of Kent Trophy (January 2012, from the Cruising Association, after circumnavigating solo from/to Cape Town via Cape Horn) and the Award of Merit (2011) and Rose Medal (2009) (both from the Ocean Cruising Club)
Long passages from 2006 onward
Taking part in the Single-Handed TransPac Race from San Francisco in June-July 2006 and then sailing on north from Kauai to Alaska in July-August were turning points in Jeanne's ocean sailing career - giving her confidence in single-handing for lengthy periods at sea.
- Her first circumnavigation was from Mexico on 25th March 2007, heading westabout via the Panama Canal back to Mexico, mainly through the Tropics, pausing in many of the well-known cruising haunts, sailing to within 60 miles of her original starting point where her boat was lost on a surf beach on 19th June 2008, the final leg of that circumnavigation eventually being completed in June 2016.
- A first unsuccessful nonstop circumnavigation attempt, in 2009, started from the Canaries, in the new Nereida. After being forced to stop in Cape Town, S. Africa, for repairs after sailing 61 days nonstop, Nereida then sailed on eastabout nonstop through the Southern Ocean to New Zealand and then, again nonstop, on to Hawaii, ending in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on 19th August 2010 (having sailed over 15,000 ml from England).
- A second unsuccessful nonstop attempt started from Victoria (B.C.) in October 2010 and ended, after 72 days under sail alone, with a bad knockdown on 5thJanuary 2011, well west of Cape Horn. After repairs, she continued on eastabout to the Falklands and, on reaching Cape Town, she successfully completed a continuous circumnavigation around the three 'named' Great Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn), albeit with a few stops (becoming the oldest woman to have done so). By continuing on S of the southernmost capes of both Tasmania (S.E. Cape) and New Zealand (S. Cape on Stewart Island), and on to Tahiti and Hawaii, she completed her first solo circumnavigation around all Five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean when she reached the Strait of Juan de Fuca once more on 1st August 2012.
- Finally, she succeeded in a successful nonstop attempt - she started 22nd October 2012 from Victoria, B.C. and 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 successfully rounded (without major incident this time) early in January.
- A second successful nonstop, unassisted, eastabout circumnavigation started from Victoria, B.C. in October 2018 and made her the oldest person to sail around the world nonstop and unassisted via all five southernmost capes of the Southern Ocean.