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Jeanne Socrates - solo round the world yachtswoman

(49 Posts)
Riverwalk Wed 11-Sep-19 08:06:27

I can't praise this 77 year-old enough - alone for 388 days with no support.

Her previous attempt resulted in a broken neck!

I hope she's welcomed home as a conquering hero smile


petra Wed 11-Sep-19 09:10:34

Amazing woman. She said the 'wind gods' weren't with her!!
I've been in some pretty bad weather in the North Sea and the channel myself so the thought of a cyclone is terrifying.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 09:22:25

I'm not sure she's that amazing. Heard her on the Today programme this morning. She obviously comes from a privileged background, speaks with a posh accent. Probably been sailing all her life. If it's something she wants to do, good for her.

Yep. sailing round the world alone is a feat most GNrs wouldn't want to do. But we all do our own things.

Everyone is different.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 09:31:38

been sailing since she was in her forties actually

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 09:32:48

Good that she's raised money for the RNLI.

(Why do people always choose charities that they might themselves benefit from one day?)

lemongrove Wed 11-Sep-19 09:36:23

I agree Riverwalk she is amazing, what a feat!
Whilst most of us are staring gloomily out of the window wondering if we really want to go out in the wind and rain to the shops/walk the dog/ etc, at 77 she is doing something we could never imagine doing in a million years ( and it doesn’t matter if she is: posh, been sailing all her life and so on....) however experienced a sailor, it was a dangerous and daring

wildswan16 Wed 11-Sep-19 09:53:07

gonegirl that seems a strange statement to me - don't we all donate to charities which we feel an affinity towards. Cancer charities for those who have personal experience, lifeboat charities for those whose friends have been helped, animal charities for those with a love of all creatures?

I used to live on an island - I still give to the RNLI - yes, maybe I will benefit from them one day, but maybe so will you.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 09:55:24

So Oxfam and other charities for starving kids is off your books is it?

That is exactly what I mean.

Riverwalk Wed 11-Sep-19 10:51:42

Uncharacteristicly sour of you GG at 09.22

She’s the oldest person, man or woman, to achieve this, and she’s a grandmother!

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 11:19:11

I know. I just feel people do these things because they want to, and have the means.

I'll bet there are grans on here soldiering on every day with difficulties we don't know about. I think that's more heroic.

But yes. It is a remarkable thing. I expect sour grapes comes into my response somewhere. hmm Take no notice of me.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 11:20:33

And Wildswan you are right. It does make sense to support charities you might one day need yourself.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 11:24:35

I admired Francis Chichester greatly, so I have no idea why I'm so down on this woman. confused

Maybe I feel she's let the side down. ie I'm pretty knackered at the same age so she should be too. shock

Riverwalk Wed 11-Sep-19 11:47:12

Just reading up on Chichester - he was a mere 65 AND had a stop in Sydney!!

This woman didn't even make the front pages - when Richard Branson and other grown men with big toys go ballooning/space rides/microlighting, whatever, they get live TV coverage.

Happiyogi Wed 11-Sep-19 11:57:33

I think it's an astounding feat, and I don't believe that "a posh accent" would be any kind of support during the many serious challenges faced by a 77 year old alone for hundreds of days in a ten year old boat that'd already been round the world twice!

Why can't we just celebrate true achievement? Think of the legions of talentless individuals who achieve "celebrity" by a presence online or on reality tv shows. There is no comparison!

Blinko Wed 11-Sep-19 13:07:49

Blimey! That's all I can say. She must be quite a girl, posh accent or not.

Larissa67 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:16:00

Thanks for posting this Riverwalk, would have known nothing about her otherwise. Now curious to learn more and get off my butt and into the water.

M0nica Wed 11-Sep-19 13:51:45

She obviously comes from a privileged background, speaks with a posh accent. Probably been sailing all her life.

So what? I fail to see the relevance of the above remarks. Perhaps GG could return and explain them.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 13:54:33

Priviliged background etc probably = money

Which says it all really.

(Would have thought that was self explanatory but nevertheless always happy to oblige)

Jane10 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:55:26

She did it because she wanted to. Fair enough. Her choice. Don't expect rounds of applause from me.
I give to all sorts of charities. I don't need anyone to jump through self indulgent hoops to earn my donations.

M0nica Wed 11-Sep-19 14:37:40

Sorry GG, what has money got to do with it, apart from paying it? How many women of any age achieve the feat she has achieved?

When on other threads we are talking about inspirational women and women of achievement, why do you feel the need to knock someone who has achieved something at the age of 77 because she has money?

If someone gave you all the money would you be prepared to take on a project like this or something similar? If not, why not?

My sailing has never gone beyond sailing dinghies, but I have friends who have taken on sailing journeys, much less arduous and talked about some of the weather conditions and disasters they faced. To face the storms, repairs and experiences she has faced you need to be exceptional, whether you have money or not.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 14:57:05

Oh for heaven's sake! Read what I have already posted. I'm not bothering with a fight with you.

And no. Surprisingly enough, I would not want to sail single-handedly - or any number of handedlys - round the word today or any other day.

Why does everything have to be made combatitive on GN. hmm

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 14:58:27

How many women of any age achieve the feat she has achieved?


How many would want to? (sorry to laugh)

ffinnochio Wed 11-Sep-19 15:28:48

Deep pockets do matter. It can instil confidence, provide a host of opportunities, experiences, and in being able to pick and choose regarding adventures, if that’s your thing.

I agree she’s adventurous, blessed with good health, and crazy enough to attempt such a voyage. Good for her, but she has had good winds of fortune to bring her to this decision. I expect she will have substantial back up one way or another.

lemongrove Wed 11-Sep-19 16:20:28


M0nica Wed 11-Sep-19 16:28:25

But many round the world sailors do not have money. Ellen MacArthur for one and many more who have depended on sponsorship in every form.

In fact most adventurers you read about whether on land or sea, climbing mountains walking though Arctic and Antartic regions are almost entirely dependent on funding from elsewhere, as they do ot have it themselves. It is this lack of money and their determination to overcome it and fulfill their ambitions come what may that makes many of them so successful.

I would say this lady is the exception in having the money to finance herself.

Either way regardless of finance this journey is a remarkable feat and I think we should be cel;ebrating her success in showing the world what older people can do.

We are surrounded by negative stereotpes of old age, we are ill and needy and a drag on society. Let us celebrate every older person who defies these stereo types wether this lady or the 100 year old lady who chose to go sky-diving for her centenary birthday.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 17:27:50

Oh, what exactly does the "sigh" mean *lemongrove"?!

At leastMonica has the nous to actually post some words.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 17:28:36

Not sure where I have actually "knocked" her. But there.... hmm

ffinnochio Wed 11-Sep-19 17:58:48

Yep, I take your comments re. sponsorship Monica, and I do celebrate Jeanna Socrates determination and achievement, and at her age.
I still think that the opportunities to carry through such endeavours requires substantial advantages that many do not have. That’s just as life is.
As I said, good for her.

As for the sigh, lemongrove - why?

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 18:04:29

lemongrove flowers

Cheer up for Chatham.

J52 Wed 11-Sep-19 18:59:28

She was an orphan, never knew her father and was a teacher in a West London School near the river. She only took up sailing as an extracurricular activity for her pupils.

lemongrove Wed 11-Sep-19 19:00:15

Am quite cheered up thanks Gonegirl and the sigh wasn’t for Monica ( so you got that wrong!)
It was for ffinochio’s comment.......when will poster realise that money doesn’t matter in these cases, it’s having the derring do to actually do this sort of thing.
Ellen McCarthy wasn’t from a privileged background, and if you are crazy about sailing you will find a way to do it. Crewing at first, and working your way up.
What is wrong in just applauding an older woman for a daring exploit?

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 19:02:06

Don't feel like applauding anyone.

So I won't.


Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 19:02:48

didn't say it was for Monica....

lemongrove Wed 11-Sep-19 19:03:27

Thanks for posting that fact J52 .....perhaps all posters will feel they can applaud her now.

Gonegirl Wed 11-Sep-19 19:04:13

still not applauding

lemongrove Wed 11-Sep-19 19:05:54

Actually Gonegirl I had already posted ‘some words’ earlier up the thread.

Never mind, it’s gone 7pm time for a gin fizz?

Sussexborn Wed 11-Sep-19 19:18:38

Jeanna Socrates attended the local state grammar school and then studied at university in the late 50s/60s. Nothing to say she had untold wealth though possibly she inherited the family home when she was orphaned. Local friends here who attended grammar school said they had elocution lessons to ‘improve’ their accents.

J52 Wed 11-Sep-19 19:47:29

She was in an orphanage from the age of 5 until 9. She sold her house to fund her voyage.

M0nica Thu 12-Sep-19 07:57:05

Interesting, I assumed the person who dismissed her achievement because she was rich had checked her facts before posting.

Maggiemaybe Thu 12-Sep-19 07:57:24

If it wasn’t for this thread, I wouldn’t have heard of Jeanne Socrates. Perhaps it’s because the news is so dominated by our political shenanigans at the moment, but you’d have thought she would have merited some publicity.

I’m in awe. I love an adventurer.

Maggiemaybe Thu 12-Sep-19 08:01:01

some publicity - should be more publicity.

Esspee Thu 12-Sep-19 08:45:00

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Anniebach Thu 12-Sep-19 09:09:41

There is a man running from Lands End to John o groats , SKY news are following his run.

This woman ? Silence .

What a woman, I am in awe

FarNorth Thu 12-Sep-19 09:58:58

Perhaps it’s because the news is so dominated by our political shenanigans at the moment

Or perhaps because she is a woman, as other posters have suggested.

Maggiemaybe Thu 12-Sep-19 10:17:25

Could be. Though Ellen MacArthur hardly lacked publicity.

nanou Thu 12-Sep-19 12:18:40

Well ladies, I say that staying 388 days alone in the middle of the ocean at 77 years old is no mean feast. Very well done, a strong and courageous woman mentally and physically. There is hope for the over 70s.

Maggiemaybe Thu 12-Sep-19 13:32:56

If anyone's interested in making a donation to the RNLI to honour Jeanne Socrates' achievement, the link is:

I'm surprised she's only had 80 donors so far.

Gonegirl Thu 12-Sep-19 16:14:18

Also, this is a great way to support the RNLI

Gave my son and GSs a lifelong interest in lifeboats.

Maggiemaybe Fri 13-Sep-19 00:14:37

I like that. One of my DGSs wants to be a pirate when he grows up. This would be the next best thing. smile