Author: Story and photos by Ellen Massey Leonard

Amazing trades

This is the fourth and final installment in a multipart series, “The toughest passages of 50,000 miles,” a look at the most difficult aspects of circumnavigators Ellen and Seth Leonard’s various ocean voyages. In this last piece, Ellen changes the focus.

Dodging lightning

This is the third part of a multipart series, “The toughest passages of 50,000 miles,” a look at the most difficult aspects of circumnavigators Ellen and Seth Leonard’s various ocean voyages.

Worst gear breakdowns

This is the second part of a multipart series, “The toughest passages of 50,000 miles,” a look at the most difficult aspects of circumnavigators Ellen and Seth Leonard’s various ocean voyages.

Worst weather challenges

Last summer, in the middle of our second Pacific Ocean crossing, my husband, Seth, and I realized that we had sailed 50,000 sea miles.

An unusual high-latitude vessel

Most boats navigating above the Arctic Circle, or even for that matter above about 50° N, are purpose-built steel vessels with high freeboard, big engines and generators, and a bridge deck or pilothouse full of electronics.

Two hands on deck

A sailor transitioning from racing to cruising or from coastal hopping to offshore passages has a lot of questions, not the least of which will be how many crew to have aboard.

Armor belted

I’ve always wanted to sail in the Arctic. Some of my greatest pleasure in voyaging comes from the remarkable animals that share the earth with us. I love diving and never tire of the tropical creatures, but I’ve always wanted to spot a walrus, or narwhal, or polar bear.

Staying clear of piracy

Voyagers looking west from Australia at an Indian Ocean crossing can choose to go under Africa or over it: either around the Cape of Good Hope, or through the Red Sea and Mediterranean.