Adventure | Writing | Photography
I’m Ellen, a Hawai`i-based ocean sailor, pilot, writer, and photographer with a BA in Classics from Yale. I’ve been messing around in boats, dreaming of the skies, and scribbling on paper all my life. In my early twenties I sailed around the world in a small sloop that could be called primitive; that voyage cemented my love of adventure and launched my career as a freelance writer and photographer.
My writing and photography have comprised over 200 magazine articles, book contributions, cover shots, and double-page spreads in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. I’ve been honored to receive awards for both my sailing voyages and my creative work.
I’m also a single-engine airplane pilot, one of the mere 6% of certified American pilots who are women.
I’ve sailed 60,000 nautical miles over the world’s oceans, including a circumnavigation of the globe and a voyage to the polar ice edge. I’ve crossed the Equator four times and the Arctic Circle twice; and I’ve weathered hurricane-force winds rounding the Cape of Good Hope. My longest passages have taken me out of sight of land for a month at a time. All my voyages have been made double-handed, aboard small and rudimentary boats, on which we do all our own repairs.
I’ve written for SAIL, Cruising World, Classic Boat, Sailing Today, Pacific Yachting, Alert Diver, Backcountry, and more. You can read a small sampling of my published work here.
I’m a contributing editor to Ocean Navigator, a Guide on OffCenterHarbor.com, and I write an on-going series for Water Craft. I serve on the Awards Committee of the Cruising Club of America and on the judging panel for Ocean Navigator’s marine technology award. I formerly taught writing and history at two small boarding schools.
Many thanks to the sponsors and supporters of my sailing voyages
All text © Ellen Leonard, 2022, all rights reserved.
All photographs © Ellen and Seth Leonard, 2022, all rights reserved. Please do not use without permission. Thanks.