My home for the last 12 years has been a 40-foot sailboat, Swell
. I've spent most of that time sailing and surfing in the South Pacific. Life onboard a boat requires 24/7 vigilance — being on watch for weather changes, boat traffic, fishing buoys, and equipment issues. Provisions and comforts are modest, and hot showers are rare. It’s simple living and hard work, but this modest lifestyle awakens gratitude for even the smallest pleasures. Moonbeams on the sea at night make me feel richer than any diamond ever could. In the delicious moments of downtime, I read, spot sea life, snooze in my bunk, make food, fix things, take photos, and listen to music.
The atolls of the South Pacific have no mountains to block the sun or trade winds, so Swell
’s solar panel and wind generator produce most of her daily energy requirements, which include refrigeration, lights, computer, music, and the water pump. I still cook with propane and use gasoline and diesel to power my dinghy and Swell
when needed. My voyaging dream was partly born out of concern for our environment, and a reverence for our beautiful Earth and sea. In my desire to live simply and make a positive difference in the world, I focus on what I can do, examining my daily choices and actions.
I spent the last couple of years writing my memoir, Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening
. When I’m not writing, there’s music playing. I dance… I dance a lot — in the morning blending fruit, and in the afternoon when I need a break from working, while chopping veggies, in the rain, in the wind, or after dark — my body and the moonbeams moving to the beats. This playlist was inspired by those Friday evenings when, after a long week of writing, I turned up the stereo and headed into Swell
’s cockpit to dance under the moon.
I love this beat.
“Fall Underneath (Kilter Remix)”
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This song is great for dancing and it reminds me of my girlfriends on the North Shore, where I first heard it.
“Breakfast in Bed”
by Lorna Bennett
I love her voice!
by Kazy Lambist
A fun song — good for dancing.
by Maxi Priest
This one takes me on a vacation!
“Kiss Me on My Neck”
by Erykah Badu
The ultimate empowered woman. An old one but I still love it.
by Kevin Kinsella
I listen to this when I’m dreaming of a little place on land one day.
by Rita Marley
Time to relax with Rita!
by Vance Joy
by Protoje (feat. Chronixx)
I just go where the trade winds blow…
“Coming in From the Cold”
by Bob Marley
My favorite Bob song!
÷ ÷ ÷
Captain Liz Clark
(swellvoyage.com) is a surfer and environmentalist who has been sailing the seas on her 40-foot sailboat, Swell
, since early 2006. Liz fell in love with surfing while earning her BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. After college, she turned her dream of sailing the world into reality, sailing south from Southern California through Central America and the Pacific Islands. For more than a decade, she has kept her nomadic ocean lifestyle going through writing, blogging, photography, representing conscious brands, and earning recognition as a surf adventurer, environmental activist, and captain. She hopes to inspire people to live their passions and reconnect with nature and our inherent oneness. She was featured in the film Dear and Yonder
(2009), and was nominated for National Geographic
Adventurer of the Year in 2015. Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening
is her first book.