Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Jeanne tames the world's wildest ocean

How's our 76-year-old lady solo mariner, Jeanne Socrates, doing down there in the vast Southern Ocean? Remarkably well!
She has covered 18,148 nautical miles on her 208th day yesterday. She has most likely sailed very much further because Jeanne very modestly measures daily distances between fixes. That won't include distances sailed in tacks, of course.
Jeanne has signalled back to we landlubbers:
'7am: Dark grey mass of cloud ahead with deep orange line of light below.
'Bright silver crescent moon high up. Seas well down.'


She reports some very slow progress. 'Struggling to make way downwind in very light wind.
'1030am: Having breakfast after a long radio sched.
'Lovely to chat to so many contacts in Australia - from Perth and Albany in West Australia to Flinders Island in the Bass Strait, and up to near Brisbane.'
The Australian coast, 120 miles away, appeared on her electronics on the yacht. 'It's the first land I've seen on the screen since the Falklands, soon after Cape Horn.
'Very cloudy sky, but no rain so far. Wind still light. So soup and then some pancakes. I needed hot food to warm up.
'Suddenly got a lot rougher as wind increased over the afternoon, but the wind has been less than I was hoping for overnight.
'The pancakes were excellent though!' Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at http://sailingtopurgatory.com/index.php/feeds/385-jeanne-tames-the-world-s-wildest-ocean

Thursday, April 25, 2019

When living a dog's life really was

A video sent via WhatsApp shows a dog licking a baby, and winning amused approval from the mother.
The video came from a medic friend, but not sent in a mood of concern about hygiene, and shock-whatever next, but because of a wonderful affinity it shows between mankind’s best friend and the newest humans.
If we don’t dwell on the risks, the meat-tearing teeth, the canine tongue, nor where the tongue might recently have visited, the video is cute, sweet, even endearing.
But it also revealed that I must be getting long in the tooth.

What's the dog thinking?

It brought a reminder that lessons from childhood are seldom forgotten.
As we know from life and see constantly as a weapon of religion, give a dog a bad name
We can guess what a mother looking on might fear, but how interesting to know what passes through a dog's mind at such playful moments.
And that's particularly so in Britain because so many share human lives, where they are often treated more like humans than many humans. But also, lest we forget, a few do savage our species.
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at http://sailingtopurgatory.com/index.php/feeds/384-when-living-a-dog-s-life-really-was

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

On day 198, brave Jeanne's going really well

Courageous Jeanne Socrates, the Brit solo circumnavigator on her stormy progress to win new round-the-world sailing awards, battles on through the Great Australian Bight.
Jeanne aims to set new records as the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world, and the first woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world from North America.
In this blog I wrote the other day, I feared she would have to endure some of the atrocious conditions I faced in that wild stretch of ocean.

Rogue wave

However, it looks as though Nature is treating Jeanne rather more kindly.
However, come Good Friday a following rogue wave overtook Nereida, smashing into the stern. Jeanne, 76, logged:
‘3:40am Good Friday: Just got pooped. A lot of water got below ... I got wet at chart table close to companionway. Computer and instruments OK, TG! Dry clothes (and me!) now a bit wet.’
 ‘The cockpit had a lot of water which took a time to drain away. I got wet at the chart table close to companionway, but the computer and instruments were OK, TG!
‘I got even wetter, with water gradually continuing to find its way below from above the hatch.

Lovely clean clothes!

So the lovely clean, dry clothes I'd put on just the other day were now very wet in places, along with my hair (again!)...
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at