The extraordinary lady sailor Jeanne Socrates, a mere 77-year-old, has come to the end of here astonishing lonesome voyage right round the world, 336 day out there without so much as seeing another human in all that time ... almost.
|Adventurous sailor ... Jeanne Socrates, far from this Alaska scene of hers, is only a few miles from home ... but where is the wind to get her there?|
Yet thanks to cruel Fate and a disobliging wind, she is still a little under 20 miles away from the finishing mark in Victoria, British Columbia.
Twenty miles! Most of us could row that distant in probably no more than three hours.
Jeanne's ambition to be the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world, and the first of her gender to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world from North America is about to be realised.
I know the frustration you must feel for when I came to the end of my solo circumnavigation, hungry for the sight of the South Coast and the entrance into Plymouth, thick fog descended.
|Magical and alluring ... The notorious promontory thrusting into the Southern Ocean that is a magnet for the seafaring adventurous.|
I'll never forget the sight, or the non-sighting of the English coast then.
Should amnesia take a hold, my book of the voyage, Loner (Hodder and Stoughton) is here to remind me ...
Fog, thick, but I think I know where we are. I can feel a population nearby. Soon I'll be back in civilisation.
Dawn chorus, wind in tall green trees, grass and wildflowers. People. I'll be able to go to Boots in the morning, to become urban man.
I'll smile at the assistant and pick up a deodorant from the choice of exactly 117 types. Yes, I'll be back in the world.
However, credit to patient round-the-worlder Jeanne. She signals as calmly as the disobliging elements, 'Very light wind all day and night... mostly just drifting, becalmed much of the time.'
Notorious Roaring Forties
Jeanne left British Columbia at the beginning of October and has been out there - mostly down in the notorious Roaring Forties - for all that extraordinary time.
For neighbours, there have been whales, albatrosses, and all manner of ocean dwellers, many of which will never have seen a human before.
With such a short distance to go, there can be little doubt that our UK maths teacher, presumably a Canadian citizen these days, will be back in the home port tomorrow.
Best of British, Jeanne! And the most wonderful of welcomes home ...
Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory and on Blogger,