Jeanne Socrates

Affermazione di Alessandro Baricco
“A me risulta che la ricerca del senso è una sorta di partita a scacchi, molto dura e solitaria, e che non la si vince alzandosi dalla scacchiera e andando di là a preparare il pranzo per tutti. È ovvio che occuparsi degli altri fa bene, ed è un gesto così dannatamente giusto, e anche inevitabile, necessario: ma non mi è mai venuto da pensare che potesse c’entrare davvero con il senso della vita. Temo che il senso della vita sia estorcere la felicità a se stessi, tutto il resto è una forma di lusso dell’animo, o di miseria, dipende dai casi. Peraltro, è anche possibile che mi sbagli. È giusto un pensiero istintivo – un certo modo di vedere il mondo.
“Statement by Alessandro Baricco “It turns out to me that the search for meaning is a sort of chess game, very hard and lonely, and that you don’t win by getting up from the board and going there to prepare lunch for everyone. It is obvious that taking care of others is good, and it is a gesture so damn right, and even inevitable, necessary: but it never occurred to me to think that it could really have anything to do with the meaning of life. I fear that the meaning of life is to extort happiness from oneself, everything else is a form of luxury of the soul, or of poverty, depending on the cases. Moreover, it is also possible that I am wrong. It is just an instinctive thought – a certain way of seeing the world. “
Il marinaio britannico Lady Jeanne Socrates, che compirà 74 anni questo agosto, si prepara a tentare un’altra circumnavigazione, a partire da ottobre 2016.
British sailor Jeanne Socrates, who will be 74 this August, is preparing to attempt another circumnavigation, starting this October 2016.
Tre anni fa Jeanne è diventata la prima donna a navigare da sola in tutto il mondo dal Nord America è la donna più anziana a navigare da sola in tutto il mondo (un record annotato nel Guinness dei primati).
Three years ago Jeanne became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world from North America and the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop around the world (a record noted in the Guinness Book of Records).
Il risultato ottenuto nel suo yacht Najad 380 Nereida segnò il terzo tentativo di Jeanne di circumnavigare da sola, senza sosta e senza assistenza – il viaggio diretto attraverso Cape Horn e l’Oceano Antartico. La prima circumnavigazione da solista di Jeanne fu lo stile di crociera piuttosto che un tentativo non-stop, verso ovest attraverso il Tropici e Canale di Panama.
The achievement in her Najad 380 yacht Nereida marked Jeanne’s third attempt to circumnavigate solo, nonstop and unassisted – eastabout via Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean.
Jeanne’s first solo circumnavigation was cruising style’ rather than a non-stop attempt, west-about through the Tropics and Panama Canal.
Ha detto: ‘In realtà ho appena navigato l’ultima tappa dell’anno per completare la circumnavigazione nella sua interezza – il motivo della mia navigazione verso Acapulco alla fine di maggio è stato quello di salpare per l’ultima tappa mancante per Zihuatanejo – da dove Avevo iniziato nel marzo 2007, cosa che ho fatto, prima di proseguire verso nord negli Stati Uniti e poi in Canada. “
She said: ‘I actually just sailed the last leg of that this year to ‘complete’ the circumnavigation in its entirety – the reason for my sailing down to Acapulco at the end of May was to sail the missing final leg to Zihuatanejo – from where I’d started in March 2007 – which I did, before continuing on north to the USA and then on to Canada.’
Il suo primo tentativo da solista non-stop, iniziato da Lanzarote nel 2009, è stato fermato da problemi di rigging nel Sud Atlantico. Jeanne salpò per Città del Capo per affrontare i problemi e scoprì di avere un grosso problema al motore di cui non era a conoscenza poiché aveva navigato fino alle Canarie.
Her first solo-non-stop attempt, started from Lanzarote in 2009, was stopped by rigging problems in the South Atlantic. Jeanne sailed into Cape Town to deal with the problems and discovered she had a major engine issue which she had been unaware of as she had sailed all the way until the Canaries.
Durante il secondo tentativo non-stop di Jeanne, il suo yacht è stato atterrato al largo di Cape Horn e Jeanne è stata costretta a entrare in porto per estese riparazioni. Sebbene abbia completato la circumnavigazione, la sfida non-stop l’ha sfuggita fino all’8 luglio 2013, quando è tornata a Victoria, a.C., in Canada, dopo 258 giorni 14 ore 16 minuti e 36 secondi in mare.
During Jeanne’s second non-stop attempt, her yacht was knocked down off Cape Horn and Jeanne was forced to put into port for extensive repairs. Though she completed the circumnavigation, the non-stop challenge eluded her until 8 July 2013 when she arrived back at Victoria, B.C., Canada after 258 days 14 hours 16 minutes and 36 seconds at sea.
Un’altra circumnavigazione di successo vedrebbe Jeanne battere il record di diventare la persona più anziana ad aver navigato in tutto il mondo senza sosta, da solista e senza assistenza.
Another successful circumnavigation would see Jeanne break the record of becoming the oldest person to have sailed around the world non-stop, solo, and unassisted.
Il record è attualmente detenuto da un Minoru Saito dal Giappone, quando aveva 71 anni.
The record is currently held by a Minoru Saito from Japan, when he was 71.
New challenge
The forthcoming voyage in the 38ft yacht Nereida is expected to take Jeanne seven to eight months, and will involve sailing around the Five
Great Capes of the Southern Ocean and back to her starting point without any outside help and without using her motor (which will be sealed).
Jeanne is now based in British Columbia, Canada, preparing for the round the world trip, having sailed up from Acapulco, Mexico in June and July.
She told PBO: ‘I’m busy here – so much to do! I just spent the last two days cleaning the bilge food storage area of diesel, resulting from a major spillage I discovered just before leaving Mexico – an unbelievable 30 gallons in all. Thank God I found it before I left.
‘”Always check the bilge regularly and especially before sailing away offshore…” should be written and hung up clear to see in all boats!’
During the round-the-world trip, Jeanne will post daily blogs to her website and will be talking each day to people on land around the world using her HF radio, which she uses for e-mails as well.
She said: ‘If any problems arise (and they usually do!), I’ll have to deal with them using tools & spares I’ll carry onboard … and all food for my time at sea will need to be with me from the start of my journey – fresh eggs turned daily should last several months, onions and potatoes most of the way, and I’ll also have canned and dried foods.
‘Drinking water will come from a water-maker (desalinator) working off my batteries and I’ll have long-life milk and fruit juices as ballast! My batteries will be mainly powered by the sun and the wind, with a small backup generator to help on windless, overcast days.
‘I’ll do my own weather routing using my radio to get the information – ‘grib’ weather files will come as email attachments and weather faxes will come direct from onshore transmitters located beside whichever sea area I happen to be in.
‘It’s useful to know when a storm is expected – they’re very frequent over a good part of my route – and in planning my route I’ll try to stay out of both calms and storms and in favourable wind as far as possible.
‘I’m hoping to use my sextant to practise navigation skills made rusty from frequent use of GPS. The Southern Ocean is often overcast so taking regular sights won’t always be possible – but when well offshore, in the middle of an ocean, that’s not a problem!
‘This will be my fourth solo circumnavigation and, I hope, my second successful nonstop one – your support will mean a lot to me and help me to succeed. When I finish, I’ll become the oldest person to have sailed around nonstop, solo, unassisted.’
Jeanne learned to sail when she was in her late 40s. In 1997 she and her husband commissioned the first Nereida and sailed from the UK across the Atlantic.
After her husband’s death from cancer, Jeanne began a steep learning curve that resulted in her deciding to carry on sailing single-handed.
Jeanne’s latest challenge is raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Jeanne added: ‘The 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 to show your support for my efforts to complete a circuit around the globe single-handed, via Cape Horn, under sail alone and without setting foot on land until I finish”.

The Background Story….
I was lucky to be able to retire early to take to the high seas in Nereida – an excellent, if small, ocean cruiser. She proved to be both sturdy and safe in difficult conditions whilst being an excellent sailing boat – ideal for serious blue water cruising. Never having sailed before June 1990, when I first tried out both dinghy-sailing and windsurfing, I eventually took up yachting in 1994 with a Competent Crew course on the Solent – and never looked back! After my husband & I took delivery of Nereida in Sweden in July 1997, we sailed her via Norway, Denmark & the Netherlands to England. In June 1998, we set sail from the Hamble for Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar and eventually left the Canaries in November 1999 to cross to the Caribbean.
During 2000, we explored the Windward and Leeward Island chains before heading north, eventually making landfall in the USA in New York from Bermuda, continuing on to Baddeck, on Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia) before heading south for the winter. 2001 saw us heading down the ICW to Miami and on to Grenada via the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands.
In September, George was diagnosed with cancer – it was not until May 2002 that he got back on board and we headed for Tobago & Trinidad, finally setting sail for Venezuela in late Aug, enjoying the uncrowded island anchorages and spending time in Puerto La Cruz & Merida. By late December, we had reached Bonaire, via the beautiful Los Roques and Las Aves. We had hoped to return in the New Year but that was not to be – George’s body gave up the fight in March 2003.
On Alone 2003-2006
2003 – 2004
I continued on alone – but it was quite a daunting task, getting to know the various systems on board Nereida and dealing with a variety of problems – fortunately boat friends (then, as nowadays) would come to my rescue with helpful advice, useful tools, perhaps some muscle, often expertise I lacked… and lots of moral support! But it soon became clear to me that, if I wanted to persevere with sailing and living on board Nereida, practical problem-solving was something I had to expect to have to learn to cope with. The actual sailing was a mere detail!! (After taking many courses and exams, I had finally gained my RYA Ocean Yachtmaster qualification after the Atlantic crossing sextant sights and calculations – but there is always something new to learn…)
Late in 2003 I had decided I would sail Nereida to Fort Lauderdale to have her shipped over to Vancouver ready to take part in the Ocean Cruising Club’s B.C. Rally in September 2004 – I knew several friends were expecting to be there and it seemed a simple way of getting Nereida into what I’d heard was a good cruising area AND into the Pacific. I was still very concerned about the safety aspects of single-handing overnight – especially on extended passages and was, at this point, trying to persuade various friends and acquaintances to join me on the long passages, having decided to head first for Cartagena and then the San Blas Islands of Panama before sailing north to the Florida Keys via Guatemala’s Rio Dulce and Belize. Why miss seeing what were reputedly some beautiful places on my way?
By early February 2004, I was ready to leave Bonaire – with or without crew! As I sailed over to Curacao, I heard via the VHF that a reliable young Dutchman was ready to join me – Daan, who was a good sailor, joined Nereida and stayed until we reached Colon (where I was fortunate to be able to line-handle a boat through the Panama Canal). Having Daan on board enabled me to get back into sailing mode and improve my rusty skills a little. From Colon, I was by myself – for several extended passages – and several major learning curves! But Nereida stood up pluckily to all my mis-management and I gradually gained in confidence as we headed up towards Providencia, the Honduras Bay Islands, Rio Dulce, Belize, the Yucatan, past Cuba and in to Key West… what a happy landfall!
Over to the ‘Pacific NW’ (British Columbia & Alaska), California and Mexico
The cruising area of B.C. and Alaska has proved to be every bit as lovely as I’d heard – I thoroughly enjoyed my cruising around the Gulf Islands & Desolation Sound. From the Vancouver area, I sailed south to San Francisco in October 2004 and then slowly on to Mexico by February: the Baja to Zihuatanejo (‘Guitar Fest’ in April) and back up to La Paz where I shipped Nereida up to Ketchikan to cruise spectacular SE Alaska over June/July 2005. Major repairs and a refit were needed when I got down to Vancouver, resulting in a delayed departure south – & eventually too many problems resulting from my refit. forced me in to Port Townsend (Washington state) to deal with them over the winter months – but what a lovely place to be ‘stuck’ in!
I ‘escaped’ in May 2006 and headed down well offshore to San Francisco – with major problems of all descriptions on the way, ending up with no steerage and unable to make way (crabpots!), having to be towed in from Point Reyes by the Golden Gate CG – some impressive boathandling in big seas! I then had a lot of repairing to do to get ready for my next intended passage – to Hawaii and thence north to Alaska around the ‘N. Pacific High’. I’d found Alaska so beautiful and wild that I wanted to re-visit it (despite the cold!) – but I was determined to sail there this time – no more ‘chickening out’ by shipping Nereida up north!! As I was busy with my repairs, I began to hear of a ‘Single-handed TransPac’ Race about to take place from the Bay area – to Hawaii…. the rest is history….!!
From Kauai, I headed up towards Sitka, beating in to big seas and quite strong winds, until finally reaching the calm of the Pacific High when I went to use my motor – nada! Another major learning curve, as I struggled with the result of seawater in my diesel fuel – not a happy engine! Triumphantly, I got the engine going again, after 5 days of struggling, changing one injector (who me?…. that was only supposed to be in my spares for a mechanic to deal with…!!) and checking the others, … but it failed as I came in to dock at Sitka – where my 3-week ‘mechanics course’ started in full earnest – thanks to Alan Horoschak!!
Eventually, as I was getting worried about being ‘trapped’ in rainy Sitka over the winter, with the weather already deteriorating after the worst summer they could remember for a long time, my engine was sounding sweet, I was full of new-found knowledge & expertise & I was able to head hurriedly south – to the West coast of Vancouver Island and the most amazing ‘Indian summer’ weather…. There I was, ambling from one lovely deserted anchorage to another in bright sunshine around the beginning of October – it was out of this world! The downside was that my radio was no longer transmitting and had been down for quite a time – so no Winlink emails or weather info were possible – fortunately, not a major concern at this time.
The rest of 2006 was spent sailing down to San Diego from Port Townsend amazingly, the only problem with the offshore passage down to SF from Cape Flattery in October was the 35-40 knot winds (and resulting big seas no mechanical or electrical problems for a change!! And a great sail was had to and past Pt Conception, the motor being used minimally most of the way from SF to San Miguel Island. (The opposite was true from Santa Barbara to Marina del Rey to San Diego – motoring most of the way!)
In San Diego, from December 2006 on, I prepared “Nereida” for a planned one-year, ‘stop-everywhere’, ‘cruising-style’ circumnavigation, to be started from Zihuatanejo (Mexico) after their Annual Guitar Festival in March 2007.

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