When Jeanne Socrates, the petite sailor who, at the age of 70, set the record for the oldest woman to circumnavigate the world non-stop single-handed, sailed into San Carlos, Mexico, last weekend she didn’t do it alone. Out of respect and admiration for her achievements—Socrates has circumnavigated solo three times—members of the San Carlos fleet sailed out to greet her.
Over the next few days, scores of sailors stopped by her slip to shake her hand and pay their respects. Though Jeanne had a schedule to meet—she was flying to New York to accept the Ocean Cruising Club of America's Blue Water Medal—she graciously and willingly halted her work on "Nereida," her 38’ foot Swedish-built Najad, and took the time to share a moment.
Jeanne has come to San Carlos to work on her boat and, when she’s finished, she plans to explore the protected cruising grounds of the Sea of Cortez.
“The little bit I’ve seen, it’s got interesting rock formations and the scenery is interesting. I’m beginning to see why people come down here,” she said in her soft-spoken voice, while pouring a cup of coffee made from her last pack of Blue Mountain from South Africa and adding a splash of long-life milk from Tahiti.
After the Sea of Cortez Jeanne thinks she’ll head into the South Pacific so she can drop anchor in some of the bays she’s had to sail by without stopping.
But, that was her plan last time—to slow down—then next thing you know there she was sailing around the world non-stop, a task she accomplished in 259 days. And that’s sailed, mind you. To qualify for the record her prop had been sealed so it wouldn't turn.
When I asked her if she ever pictured herself living on land again, she replied, “No, the boat for me and the life I’m living is way too nice to want to settle.”