Thursday, 31 January 2008

Way to go, Socrates!

Since I have been writing this blog, I started in September 2007, I sometimes feel that I have been pretty harsh on some of the recipients of my sceptisicm. And then you come across a story like this one.

A story that illustrates all that is good about cruising, personal challenge and spirit.

Jeanne Socrates(can you believe that name!) and her boat Nereida are on a single handed circumnavigation and have already sailed from Mexico to Australia and rounded Cape Agulhas in South Africa. In complete contrast to the arrogance of 'Captain' Heather, here is a lady who deserves our support.

No spin, no premature claims, just honest hard work....I like it!

Reading through her website she not only had a fair bit of experience before she began single handing but she had the wit to recognize the deficiencies in her knowledge and worked to correct them before setting off. Her personal challenge has been to take on single handing after the death of her husband and sailing partner in 2003.

She writes:

I continued on alone - but it was quite a daunting task, getting to know the various systems on board Nereida and dealing with a variety of problems - fortunately boat friends (then, as nowadays) would come to my rescue with helpful advice, useful tools, perhaps some muscle, often expertise I lacked... and lots of moral support! But it soon became clear to me that, if I wanted to persevere with sailing and living on board Nereida, practical problem-solving was something I had to expect to have to learn to cope with. The actual sailing was a mere detail!! (After taking many courses and exams, I had finally gained my RYA Ocean Yachtmaster qualification after the Atlantic crossing sextant sights and calculations - but there is always something new to learn...)

Now this I admire! I have often said that without TBH I could not imagine sailing alone, there are so many gaps in my knowledge. But reading Jeanne's web entries I am filled with admiration for the way she has grasped the challenge and is making her dream a reality.

Bugger all that talk about "Captain' Heather and her soul, and all the crap spewed out by her appalling father Gene Neill. Let's see whether a woman who really does epitomize what sailing is about, who isn't a spring chicken either, will get the support of the world's cruising community. Her log is full of harsh realities, problems encountered(and overcome). No spin here just good honest dreams backed up with realism and practical knowledge.

No half- safe boat, no phoney title, no puffery...

Best of luck Jeanne I'll be rootin' for you...

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