That doesn't mean I haven't been busy! In fact, I met with a granny who is more adventurous than me, by far. Jeanne Socrates is a 70-year old granny from England, who just finished her third - yes, her third - single handed, around the world non-stop, unassisted sailboat voyage! It took 259 days to go from Victoria all the way south and wind back at the starting point on July 8.
Jeanne is an amazing lady - she is fit, very positive and down to earth about the whole thing. She said, when I asked her about fixing things that go wrong or break on the boat, "It helps to be logical." She endured knock downs, storms, broken computers, wind vanes and a multitude of other breakages, being becalmed and the frustration of drifting off the coast of Vancouver Island, within spitting distance of the finish as the wind died. She hails from England, but her boat is her home. When I got there, she had been in port for several days but the boat was chaotic! A huge box with her new radar array was taking up most of the main salon, there was stuff everywhere and I thought she would be anxious to get on land for a while - but she wasn't! She has one picture taped up on the bulkhead - her three grandchildren who will have great stories to tell about their grandma!
But she was short on hugs, which don't translate well over the radio! She got a lot on her arrival and as people kept showing up on the dock to congratulate her. She kept a blog going, which you can read here.
Jeanne only started sailing in her late 40s when she and her now-passed-on husband took early retirement to go cruising, something she recommends everyone should do.
"Life is precious," she said. "Make the most of it."
They had several years of sailing together before cancer took him and now part of her mission is to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care, which according to their description, "provides high quality nursing, totally free, to give people with terminal cancer and other illnesses the choice of dying at home, supported by their families. It runs nine Marie Curie Hospices across the UK offering free specialist care for patients and support for families. The charity conducts palliative care research to find better ways of caring for terminally ill people and also funds scientists who investigate the causes and treatments of cancer."
Jeanne appreciates any support you can give.
The article I am writing will be in a future issue of Sailing Magazine - not sure which, but I will post it here when it is published.