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Above: Jeanne Socrates became the oldest circumnavigator at age 77 when she finished her voyage in 2019.

Joshua Slocum. Harry Pidgeon. Vito Dumas. Robin Lee Graham. Francis Chichester. Tania Aebi. Robin Knox-Johnston. Karen Thorndike. Ellen MacArthur. Bernard Moitessier. Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz. Naomi James. Teddy Seymour. Kay Cottee. Laura Dekker. Jeanne Socrates.

What do these people have in common? They are all solo circumnavigators.

Name Dates Accomplishment

Joshua Slocum 1895 – 1998 First solo

Harry Pidgeon 1921 – 1925 First solo via Panama Canal

Vito Dumas 1942 – 1943 First solo via Cape Horn

Robin Lee Graham 1965 – 1970 First solo in fiberglass and youngest

Francis Chichester 1966 – 1967 First solo with only one stop

Bernard Moitessier 1966 – 1969 First solo non-stop

Robin Knox-Johnston 1968 – 1969 First solo non-stop

Tania Aebi 1985 – 1987 First American female and youngest

Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz 1976 – 1978 First solo female

Naomi James 1977 – 1978 First solo female via Cape Horn

Teddy Seymour 1986 – 1987 First solo African American

Kay Cottee 1988 – 1988 First solo female, unassisted, non-stop

Karen Thorndike 1996 – 1999 First solo American female

Laura Dekker 2010 – 2011 Youngest (13) solo of any gender

Jeanne Socrates 2018 – 2019 Oldest (77) solo of any gender

It is a tiny club of hearty souls who have completed solo circumnavigations, with a membership of only 199 people according to a 2013 article in Yachting World Magazine. Compare that to more than 4,000 who have summited Mt. Everest, or 556 who have been in space.

Now that’s inspiration.


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