Is our senior lady circumnavigator enjoying what must count as just about the toughest assignment anyone could embark upon, or is she enjoying a sightseeing study of remote places of the world that very few humans are lucky enough to experience?
|Magnificent Mo'orea ... One of the very attractive hotels on the beautiful island that Jeanne won't know about. Photo by Robert Preinfalk - own picture/de.wikipedia.org, CC BY 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1018293|
She sailed away from society 278 days ago to round Cape Horn - the equivalent of the climbing Everest to mariners - and to encircle the world on her own.
Think of what other 76-year-old ladies you know have been up to since the 3rd of November last year - 278 days ago, two days short of 40 weeks.
Brave, determined lady
Another amazing aspect of the amazing voyage is that the brave, determined lady continues to be ignored by the media.
After she left the New Zealand pause in Timaru harbour, a Google Alert in operation has found not one report of her astonishing performance, except an article by Katy Stickland in the excellent Sailing Monthly.
Today Jeanne approaches the island of Mo'orea, next to Tahiti, a stunningly beautiful part of the world that Captain Cook knew well. Is the determined lady planning a spot of sight-seeing?
Jeanne reports, 'Changed course slightly a short while ago to head a bit closer to Mo'orea.'
|Astonishing voyagers ... Possible migration routes of the Polynesians, reports Wikipedia. David Eccles (Gringer (talk)) [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]|
Seems Jeanne's too single-minded for that. She hopes to use the leeward side of the island to repair a tear high up on the leech of the mainsail.
I based my novel, To Kill a God (Heinemann), on Captain Cook's voyaging to Polynesia, so for me especially it is almost inconceivable that anyone, and most of all a Brit, could be so close to that astonishing seafarer's islands and not have him in mind.
And nor the The Polynesia migration by canoe which found New Zealand probably around a thousand years ago.
Not a word about it from singleminded Jeanne.
She writes, 'Had a good nap and have just changed into shorts and T-shirt - Yay! I'm definitely feeling warm now and often turn on the small fan over the chart table.'
Am I lonely?
She praises the long-range radio which keeps her in contact which 'is so good for making contact with people!
'Tonight I was delighted to be able to chat to friends from two different boats - one of which I'd not seen for three years or more.'
She adds, 'I'm also chatting daily to amateur radio friends ... Am I lonely? Not at all!