American transoceanic sailor born in Snohomish, Washington. In 1996 Thorndike sailed from San Diego, California, to attempt a solo ocean voyage around the world on her 36-foot (11 m) sloop, Amelia. Two years later, in August 1998, she completed her journey. This marked the first time that an American woman successfully solo-navigated around the five "Great Capes": Cape Horn (South America), Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), South East Cape (Tasmania), and Southwest Cape (New Zealand). Thorndike was 56 when she completed her voyage, making her the oldest woman to sail solo around the world.