Inspiring 34-Year-Old Female Captain Has Sailed Solo Around The World For 10 Years

Inspiring 34-Year-Old Female Captain Has Sailed Solo Around The World For 10 Years

- in Uplifting
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Thanks to David Wolfe for this article

At the age of nine, Liz Clark’s family spent a year sailing the Mexican coast. “That trip inspired my dream of sailing around the world,” she said. Once graduating from college she left Southern California in her 40-foot sailboat. Now she surfs, sails and raises environmental awareness through her writing and photography

In October 2005, Liz Clark sailed out of the Santa Barbara harbor all alone…

liz-clark-raining-sailImage – Captain Liz Clark

She is an excellent surfer. From an interview with surfermagazing:

Plans are almost as useless in sailing as they are in surfing — both require adaptability to be enjoyed to their fullest. I’ve learned that the more flexible I am, the more I luck into good surf and find a rhythm with the right winds and weather for passages. Naturally, that way of thinking and flowing has spilled over into the rest of my life decision-making. Always trying to flow versus force things.

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

It’s the freedom of this lifestyle that keeps me out here. It’s addicting. There are too many rules back home. I love not having to get into a car and battle traffic.

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

I eat and shower and live under the sky and stars. The warm clear Pacific never gets boring — exploring remote islands, surfing uncrowded waves, playing in coconut trees. Aside from boat work, missing family and the occasional food craving, it’s pretty dreamy.

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

Whenever possible, I use this precision anchoring technique to place my anchor in a sand patch where my chain wont damage any nearby coral…

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

There is plenty of inspiration to be found on Liz Clark’s website. In Her Words:

I spent the first year and a half gaining confidence as a captain, with different friends as crew, while traveling down the western coast of Mexico and Central America. After announcing that I intended to sail to the South Pacific alone, my mother volunteered to accompany me, an offer I gladly accepted.

We spent 22 unforgettable days sailing across the largest expanse of open ocean on the planet. With the mysteries of blue water sailing behind me, I spent the next year exploring French Polynesia and Kiribati mostly on my own. I enjoyed the contrast of travelling alone–indulging in the freedom of solitude and making choices based on weather and swell forecasts rather than itineraries.

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

Upon my return from Kiribati, Swell had a mysterious leak, a broken forestay, and was in desperate need of an overhaul. Over a series of labor intensive haul-outs, from late 2008 to 2010, I finally succeeded in locating and replacing the leaky ‘shaft tube’ along with all the other repairs. Water tight and intent to sail again, I set off in 2011-12 on a 2,500 nautical mile loop through French Polynesia’s outer islands.

The Captain Liz Clark hero Shot

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

I plan to continue exploring in the Pacific, not only for waves, but opportunities for personal growth, to work on local environmental projects, make presentations on pollution and conservation issues in schools, and to continue writing and documenting the voyage in hopes of inspiring others to live out their passions, face fears, discover the unlimited benefits of self awareness, and explore our connection to all of life on Earth.

More Awesomeness from her journey

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

“The space was really tight, and my head needed to be right next to the jack for leverage. The jack slipped off the wood and flew into my face. It was no fun. It would have been cooler if I’d wounded myself on a reef, but it just didn’t happen that way. Anyway, I went to a friend who is a nurse, and she put a butterfly strip on it. It kept me out of the water for a week, but it’s healing well.”

Fresh Fruit Benefits

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

Liz Clark at the fresh market for a coconut. Certified Organic…liz-clark-coconut

Image – Captain Liz Clark

From her National Geographic nomination for adventurer of the year

Stay In The Moment
“For two years I rebuilt my boat by day, bartendered by night, squirreled away paychecks, and pitched private donors and company sponsors. I learned a key strategy: You have to break your dream down to avoid being broken. The only way I could do it was one step at a time. If I thought about the whole trip, it was too overwhelming.”

Face Your Fears 
“I’ve heard every horrible sea story on record. But I’m strong—small, but strong. Of course, I do get queasy now and then when it’s rough. And I’m always a bit afraid of the wind, the waves, lightning, bad people, you name it; it’s scary out here. You’ve just got to override the internal noise and act, not because you have no fear, but in spite of it.”

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

Trust Your Gust
“I had just woken up for my watch when a gust filled the mainsail from the north. Within minutes we got slammed by a 30-knot blast. I turned the boat into the wind, secured the reef, and we huddled in the cockpit with waves smashing over the side and drenching us down to our underwear.”

Ask for Help 
“At the Puesta del Sol Marina, in Nicaragua, I took my broken windlass motor to the dock. I looked up and saw a man on a Powercat yacht. ‘Any windlass mechanics aboard?’ I yelled up. ‘Well, yes,’ he replied. I followed him to his engine room. He pushed down on the brushes and sprayed parts-cleaner into their grooves. It worked. It hadn’t been four minutes and it was fixed!”

Captain Liz Clark Feeding Sharks

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

TIME TO CLEAN THE BEACH!

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Image – Captain Liz Clark

liz clark cleanup

 

LET IT FLOW…

Thanks to David Wolfe for this article

 

 

 

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