I learned to sail at seven years old in San Diego, California on a little red sailing dinghy. At ten, I completed a 5,000-mile, 6-month cruise in Mexico with my family on our sailboat, The Endless Summer, experiencing a different culture, the freedom and beauty of sea travel, and opening my mind to horizons beyond my hometown reality. Two things were clear when we returned to San Diego in 1990: I wanted to protect the natural world from human destruction and, one day, I wanted to be the captain of my own sailboat.
Every since I was a kid, putting sunscreen on was considered a ‘healthy’ thing to do. Whether I was sailing small sailing dinghies, playing on the beach, or surfing, I was always caked with sunscreen. Like most consumer products, I never questioned its safety for my body or the environment. Sunscreen was something that […]
Last year, Patagonia contacted me about participating in a series of events about ‘women in activism’. I felt excited. To me it meant that I was being recognized as an ‘activist’ for the planet because of the choices I’ve made in my own life to cause less harm and use my voice to […]
Last year I got to meet fellow Patagonia ambassadors Kimi Werner and Léa Brassy for the first time. Patagonia generously arranged for all of us to meet upon the waters of some remote atolls that have come to be my beloved backyard and playground. From all that I knew about them, I expected we’d […]
About The Voyage
Captain Liz Clark
The Boat, Swell
Swell was built in 1966—the 68th Cal-40 to come out of Jansen Marine. At purchase, Swell was in decent condition, but her light coastal use and relatively old age left her in need of more work than we’d originally presumed necessary to prepare her for offshore voyaging. I worked with local marine professionals to overhaul Swell and simultaneously learn about safety equipment, mechanics, electrical systems, rigging, sail and fiberglass repair. The 18,000 miles of safe sailing behind me are a testament to the quality of work and profound expertise of those who helped me along the way.
I left California aboard Swell in early 2006 with the hope of succeeding at my life-long dream of surf exploration via sailboat. Since then, the voyage has presented more fantastic friends, waves, adventures, natural beauty, opportunities for personal growth and insights than I dreamed possible. Swell serves as my floating home and transportation. I travel at a pace not much faster than you can run. Weather, swell, and tides dictate my days. This isn’t just a surf trip–it’s a lifestyle, passion, and search for better ways for humanity to inhabit our shared planet.