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Sailor heads off from Victoria for record-setting circumnavigation

Jeanne Socrates, 74, hopes to become the oldest person to sail solo non-stop around the world. She set sail from Victoria on Wednesday.

Jeanne Socrates, 74, hopes to become the oldest person to sail solo, non-stop around the world

Jeanne Socrates waves goodbye as she departs from Victoria on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Jeanne Socrates, 74, hopes to become the oldest person to sail solo non-stop around the world. 

The British sailor set sail from Victoria on Wednesday and will spend roughly the next eight months on the S/V Nereida. If she's successful in the feat, she will edge out the record currently held by a 71-year-old man from Japan.

But age isn't top of mind for her. She admits this will likely be her last trip around the globe and says she's not worried about her age affecting her physical ability to make such a demanding journey.

Inside the S/V Nereida. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

"Having my husband and other friends die of cancer, you suddenly realize, well, I could find myself in a similar situation and within a year I could be dead. So let's make the most of what we've got," she said.

In fact, this is Socrates fourth attempt at completing the journey non-stop. Her first two trips were hampered by break-downs while she was sailing.

At 74 years old, Jeanne Socrates hopes to become the oldest person to sail non-stop around the world. (Michael Mcarthur/CBC)

"Things happen on the boat, and I've made all kinds of repairs," she said.

On her third trip, Socrates successfully completed the around-the-world-trip, becoming the oldest woman to make such a journey. She set that record between 2012 and 2013 with a 259-day journey that also started and finished in Victoria.

Her home for the next 8 months

Jeanne Socrates gives a tour of the S/V Nereida which will be her home for the next 8 months. 1:44

The S/V Nereida is a 38-foot long sailboat with solar panels and a wind generator. It also has the ability to make fresh water.

Socrates has stocked the boat with a year's supply of food and will be self-sufficient but says she won't fish because it's just too inconvenient. 

She expects heavy weather every few days when travelling through the southern ocean but is prepared for that. 

'I never get sea sick. I'm lucky that way."

Socrates is also using her trip to raise money for for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Britain. 

Jeanne Socrates' sail boat passes the official start line at Ogden point pier. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

With files from Mike MacArthur and Megan Thomas