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Joshua Slocum Took 'The Hard Way Around'06:16
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Slocum sailing The Liberdade, a boat he built, with wife Henrietta and sons Garfield and Victor. (Courtesy Knopf/The New Bedford Whaling Museum)
Slocum sailing The Liberdade, a boat he built, with wife Henrietta and sons Garfield and Victor. (Courtesy Knopf/The New Bedford Whaling Museum)

In 1895, Joshua Slocum set sail alone from Gloucester aboard the "Spray", a 36-foot gaff rigged sloop he'd built mostly by himself. Three years, 46,000 miles and many adventures and tragedies later, Slocum landed in Newport, R.I., the first man ever to circumnavigate the world on his own.

Slocum was famous — he dined with presidents and traveled the country on the lecture circuit. And yet, while riding the up and down waves of his life, he lost his fortune. A mere ten years after he returned from his first solo circumnavigation, Slocum set sail to replicate his feat. He was never seen again.

The Hard Way Around

In his biography of the sailor, "The Hard Way Around," author Geoffrey Wolff chronicles the fascinating life of one of New England's most fascinating adventurers.

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This segment aired on April 5, 2011.

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