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Just how close?

by John Curnow, Editor, 29 Aug 2019 06:11 UTC
Lone star. © John Curnow

Thoughts of record books are far from Jeanne Socrates' mind. Frustration is actually the number one element the inimitable and inspirational sailor is dealing with presently.

When I spoke with her yesterday, she had just 400 nautical miles or so to go of her amazing round the world odyssey, but was not really making a lot of way either.

Typically, she was upbeat about it all, yet for me, the most incredibly factor present was that even now, even after the knock downs, even after the torn mainsail, even after the Southern Ocean storms, even after the wind vane steering died, even after the demise of the electronics, the elements still wanted her to pay some more dues. The boom end was the latest breakage. As Socrates said, "At least the seas were flat!"

So I got to think during the call that anyone who has followed her journey and incredible tale needs to do whatever it is they favour, and talk to whichever deity it is that runs their life, and ask for a speedy return to Victoria Harbour, British Columbia, in Canada for this amazing soul.

If you can, also stress that during the course of this weekend would be nice, as they are holding their classic boat festival over the holiday long weekend, and it would all be rather fitting. Don't you think? One last thing, if you would, is to suggest that during daylight would be a really nice touch, too. I mean something has to go right for her at some point, "You begin to wonder...", says a laughing Socrates.

Actually, I have asked my powers that be to make it a belated birthday gift for Jeanne from the 17th of August. "Could you see if a little Westerly can send me in please?" The last section alone is 60nm, and there is a whole lot of shipping and other traffic in the area, so at least she is well rested for now.

"It is one day at a time right now, and that is all I can focus on. I am doing little things to keep motivated, like I just celebrated the fixing of the boom with a pancake breakfast. I cannot think of the end until I have crossed the finish line."

"If the winds arrive I think I can do well, for it seems like Nereida does not have a lot of growth on her. I am keen to get her out when I get back to actually see if this is so. I did 80nm in seven and half hours, easily making over 7.5knots, all in the preceding 24 hours." Maybe all of the issues she has endured have conspired to look after that aspect with 'free' hull cleans.

Overall, I did sense that she is very keen to return now, and does not want it to drag on any longer. No major surprise in that. "There has been a lot happen, that's for sure."

I also think it is important to look at just how well prepared she has been with the myriad of spares, extra food and water, as well as determination to fix things herself at sea, so that she can preserve her hard fought right to be the oldest, solo, unassisted, and non-stop circumnavigator. Jeanne Socrates is a star.

I also know she would want to thank all of her followers, and particularly those that have helped her solve issues over the radio and phone. So to you I merely say well done. You know how much you did, and she has spoken many times about how much she has appreciated it all. Jeanne also indicated to me "...that I have more than enough for a book now." Anyone looking for inspiration and marvel at human achievement could do well to place an order for that gem right now.

Today you will find that we have information for you about Multihull Solutions' rally in Phuket, a massive pumice 'raft' after undersea eruption, lifejackets, the Great Barrier Reef, Singapore to Sri Lanka, deck hardware with Karver, Saildrone goes around Antarctica, a coral nursery, gear from Raymarine, wind farms, ARC, Baltic Rally, hurricane preparation, whales, the Azores, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow

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