70-year-old solo yachtswoman moves on

A 70-year-old yachtswoman may have sailed into the record books today by becoming possibly the oldest female to sail solo across the Southern Ocean from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope for the third time.

London maths lecturer Jeanne Socrates passed the African cape 600 miles out to sea in her Najad 38 and is now romping across the Indian Ocean after a successful 35-day crossing of the South Atlantic from Cape Horn.

It’s part of her 3rd attempt at a nonstop, unassisted, solo circumnavigation and was her third crossing of the Southern Ocean towards Australia and New Zealand.

The next Great Cape on the list will be Cape Leeuwin , south of Perth in Western Australia, which she will also pass well south at the start of her crossing of the Great Australian Bight towards Tasmania.  

Instrument problems have kept her busy at times – she stlll has no wind information on display below, the rudder reference unit, part of the autopilot set-up, also stopped working some while back.  

‘Work on wiring problems is virtually impossible when the boat is banging about and heeled over in big seas – especially when, as today, Nereida is beating into rough seas, close hauled, trying to sail east against the NE 20 knot wind,’ she said.

She’s looking forward to completing her circumnavigation in early June.