Her name is Liz Clark, she is 34 years old, from California, and has been traveling the world alone on her sailboat since 2005. And he has no intention of stopping. He learned to boat in San Diego, “on a little red drift,” at age seven. At ten, together with his parents, he sailed 5,000 miles and six months in Mexico on the family boat. “The trip changed me profoundly: when I returned to San Diego in 1990, I realized that I wanted more than anything to protect the world from man-made destruction and, one day, to be commander of my own sailboat.” This he tells on his very well-crafted blog, www.swellvoyage.com.
Liz, who has since graduated while alternating between college and surfing (with nationally prominent achievements), realized her dream in 2004 when she purchased a Cal 40 (designed by Bill Lapworth), built by the Jansen Marine shipyard in 1966. The boat was in excellent condition but it took nearly two years of hard work to make it an ocean-going vessel, renamed Swell.
DEPARTURE FROM SANTA BARBARA
The Clark set sail from Santa Barbara in October 2005: with her bow pointed south. In the first year, the sailor sailed along the west coast of Mexico and in Central America. She was never alone: in turn, some friends were on board to crew her.
I WANT TO CONTINUE ALONE
But the desire to separate herself from the world, and the feeling of going into riskier situations in which she never wanted to involve her friends, made her choose to continue on her own since 2006. Or rather, first she embarked on a 20-day trip to the South Pacific together with her mother, then since 2007 Liz has sailed the turquoise waters of French Polynesia and Kiribati. In Kiribati he also had to deal with a leak, which was repaired thanks to seafaring skills acquired over time. To date it has completed 18,000 miles.
A staunch environmentalist, Clark ensures her own energy autonomy with solar panels and wind generators, lays anchor by hand so as to avoid destroying any corals, and has often procured her own food by fishing. There are many great recipes on her site, although, she recently announced, Liz has switched to vegan eating.
A FEW MORE SHOTS…