Preview: Messing About—A Guest Blog by Ellen Massey Leonard

May 16, 2013

Ellen Leonard

In working on my book about my recent voyage around the world, many drafts have transformed the story from a simple travelogue to a tale of risks and relationships.  Because of that, I’ve tried to address the question of why I made this voyage, something I didn’t really think about when I decided to embark.  I was very young: 20 years old and a junior in college.  I had to take a leave of absence for the first year of sailing.  So maybe I wasn’t satisfied with the conventional trajectory of higher education.  Or maybe I was drawn to the challenges of long ocean crossings.  But as any sailor can understand, I think I just liked messing about in boats.  If I could mess around in a boat all over the world, fantastic!

 This came clear to me when my husband—then boyfriend—Seth and I returned to Blue Hill, Maine, to complete our circumnavigation in 2010.  We’d done it!  32,000 miles!  There was champagne and cannon fire and dancing and 18 courtesy flags flying from our spreaders.  We were happy and excited of course, but aso a little sad.  Four years of messing around on a boat we’d come to love were over.

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