The record-breaker was 'on a high' after achieving her goal

Jeanne Socrates sailed into the history books yesterday morning after 259 days alone at sea.

The 70-year-old British grandmother successfully completed her third attempt at a solo non-stop global circumnavigation in Victoria, British Columbia.

Jeanne Socrates arrived dockside at Victoria Harbour n her 38ft yacht, Nereida, just before dawn and managed to get some sleep before customs were due to arrive at 8am.

Jeanne said: ‘I was on a high, despite little sleep during previous night spent drifting between shore and shipping lanes, and I felt fine – both then and over the succeeding days when lots of friendly, supportive people kept coming by to meet up with me in Victoria.’

She added: ‘People here have been exceedingly kind and welcoming and, combined with lovely sunny weather, it’s been a highly enjoyable landfall.

‘Although I have now hauled out – I’m getting down to a lot of repairs and hard work… Nereida is in need of plenty of TLC!’

Light winds delayed Jeanne’s triumphant return by several days.

Jeanne left Victoria Harbour, B.C. Canada on 22 October 2012 and travelled more than 25,000 nautical miles to become the world’s oldest female solo nonstop unassisted circumnavigator.

She is also the first female solo non-stop circumnavigator to start from North America.

Third time lucky

Jeanne’s achievement was recorded by the World Sailing Speed Record Council as 258 days 14 hours 16 minutes and 36 seconds at sea.

This was her third attempt: Her first solo-non-stop attempt, started from Lanzarote in 2009, was stopped by rigging problems in the South Atlantic. Jeanne sailed into Cape Town to deal with the problems and discovered she had a major engine issue which she had been unaware of as she had sailed all the way from the Canaries.

During Jeanne’s second non-stop attempt, her yacht was knocked down off Cape Horn and Jeanne was forced to put into port for extensive repairs. Though she completed the circumnavigation, the non-stop challenge eluded her until when she arrived back at Victoria, B.C., Canada on 8 July 2013.

Jeanne learned to sail when she was in her late 40s. In 1997 she and her husband George commissioned the first Nereida and sailed from the UK across the Atlantic.

They were spending a leisurely retirement cruising the Mediterranean and the Caribbean when George fell ill with cancer and passed away while on a cruise in the Caribbean.

Jeanne didn’t want to give up sailing but she had not been the skipper on board Nereida. After taking many courses and exams, She achieved her RYA Ocean Yachtmaster qualification in 2003 after the Atlantic crossing sextant sights and calculations – but she says there is always something new to learn.

Jeanne is raising funds to support the Marie Curie Cancer Foundation by using her sailing to highlight the work it does in providing home care to terminally ill patients.

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