My Cart


Liz Clark and The Voyage of Swell: Standout Moments Part 1

Written by Drew Dayberry


Posted on September 07 2015

There are a lot of reasons we love Liz Clark and knew from the start that we wanted her as part of our Mizu family. For starters, she charges through life with a single-minded purpose that makes us all question exactly where we are heading. Then there's the way she seems to stare fear smack in the eyes and make it blink first. And then, of course, is her mission. Her desire to raise awareness for better ways for humanity to inhabit our planet as she travels the world's most remote waves alone on her sail boat Swell. Recently Liz was nominated as National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year 2014/2015. "For a decade, National Geographic has spun the globe to find the Adventurers of the Year, each selected for his or her remarkable achievement in exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism." (National Geographic Magazine.)  You can vote for Liz here. With that in mind we thought now was as good a time as ever to check back in with Liz and ask her to share her standout moments so far on the Voyage of Swell. Here's Part 1. In Liz's own words: A lot has happened since I cast off the dock lines in San Diego in 2006 and sailed south. But there are moments, good or bad, that always stand out a little more than the rest. Like the time when… Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.30.09 PM …Shannon and I got rides back to Swell from the surf spot for three days in a row with the Michoacan police.   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.33.39 PM …I sailed to a remote island alone for cyclone season and got this for my birthday! And…   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.34.38 PM …I finally figured out how to climb a coconut tree.   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.36.35 PM …Mckenzie and I sailed for 3 days in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. It rained like hell and we were beating into squally winds. The propane had leaked out of the bottle (or so we thought) and we couldn’t cook anything, so we heated cans of beans on the engine…   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.39.11 PM And when we finally made it to our destination, we found an incredible bay with a waterfall spilling into the sea, lush green mountains, a marine sanctuary filled with sea life…and new friends who fed us 3 course meals and chocolate milkshakes and took us for a ride in their submarine!!?   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.45.24 PM When Dad came to my rescue in the bug-ridden boatyard at Puntarenas to help me raise the waterline, insulate the fridge, install a lightning plate, and paint the bottom!! You’re my hero, Dad!!   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.46.20 PM Katie, Shannon, and I hitchhiked south to a find an infamos righthander in Mexico, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for 4 straight meals, and slept on a concrete slab only to be woken by gunshots and roosters and a drunk neighbor all night long… Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.47.20 PM …but after a few miles walking the next morning, we found this…   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.48.03 PM …I miscalculated the 15 ft Panamanian tides, got caught up in conversation with some local friends, and Swell ended up stranded on a sand bar. Heather and I spent the day living on Swell’s port wall.   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.49.09 PM Mckenzie and Kemi and I found a perfect little right-hander after 2 months of hot, exhausting, dirty boat projects in Panama City.   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.50.05 PM …we thought the Colombian drug runners were coming to take us hostage, only to find out it was the Panamanian Navy undercover, looking for the drug-runners who had beached their boat on the nearby island and fled into the forest. It happened to be my 27th birthday, so along with the unforgettable Lost Coast Explorer crew, we all laughed about the confusion and drank a few cervezas together!!   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.51.39 PM …my mother volunteered to cross the Pacific with me!?! I’ll never forget the feeling when we saw land for the first time after 22 days together at sea!!   Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.53.10 PM …I set off on my first ever, 3- day, solo passage. I finally figured out how to use the windvane and caught this beautiful tuna just before landfall.   PART 2 OF LIZ'S INCREDIBLE "STAND OUT MOMENTS" COMING SOON...