BLUE HILL — Among pickup lines, “Hey baby, wanna sail around the world?” must rank among the most unlikely to succeed, but some variation on that theme worked for Seth Leonard and Ellen Massey.
On June 27, the young couple sailed the 39-foot yawl Heretic into Bar Harbor after completing a 32,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe. They began the voyage that took them through the Caribbean Sea, the Panama Canal, across the Pacific and Indian oceans, around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa and across the Atlantic on Oct. 7, 2006, in Bass Harbor. Their final destination was Blue Hill, Leonard’s home port, where they arrived on June 28.
Throughout the nearly four-year voyage, Massey and Leonard endured calms and storms, mechanical breakdowns, boredom and excitement. They enjoyed some great sailing, spectacular diving, beautiful hikes and wonderful hospitality. Ellen also managed to complete her college education at Yale, although it was a little more complicated than originally planned.
Although Leonard bought Heretic, a copy of the famous Sparkman & Stephens-designed centerboard yawl Finnesterre, before he knew Massey, their joint circumnavigation seems almost inevitable.
“I wanted to do it since I was a little boy,” said Leonard, who will soon turn 28, during an interview in the cockpit of Heretic.
Now a Deer Isle resident, Massey said that she had wanted to sail across the Pacific Ocean “since I was 6 years old.”
For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.