Liz Clark’s solo, boat-bound escapades make me question my seemingly mundane existence. Here she is, 29, with more life experiences than many of us will ever have, having just spent nearly four years sailing the globe, surfing, meeting people, and living a life so rich in simplicity. Liz’s recent role in Tiffany Campbell and Andrea Lessler’s film, Dear and Yonder, has brought her back to the States for a few brief weeks of premieres and media obligations, before she returns to her boat and slips back into her itinerant existence.
We caught up with Liz while she was in Portland, Oregon, working out the details for a soon-to-be-released book that will chronicle her adventures. She gives us her thoughts on returning to the bustle of the U.S. and tells us a bit about her upcoming slideshow and the Dear and Yonder premiere, which will both take place July 18, at Patagonia in Ventura.
So, how did this book project come about?
I kind of came into some troubles and needed some money to do a big repair and I sent out a call to all my followers and supporters of the blog and these guys came back with an idea to fund the book so that it will eventually help fund the rest of the trip. It’s all the writing I’ve already done for the trip—the best of all the stories I’ve written, all the blogs I’ve written, along with all the best photos.
How is being it being back in America after such a long bout abroad?
It’s definitely always a little shocking when I first get here. I try to enjoy the positive things that I miss when I’m gone—you know, like good food and the availability of anything you could ever want at your fingertips. I totally miss my boat and my little natural world and just being able to jump out and go swimming, but I try to appreciate every place I am for what it’s worth.
Tell us about the slide show on Saturday.
I’m basically just going to give a half-hour slide show before the premiere of the movie.. It’s the behind the scenes of [the Dear and Yonder crew] coming down to see me—it was kind of funny, we thought it was going to be a fairly simple task to try to get the shots that they wanted for the movie. But it took three different trips in three different places and it was a lot more challenging than anyone thought it would be.
The first time they came to the Tuamotus in French Polynesia, then the second time we met up in Christmas Island, and I had never been there—I got there three days before the filmer was supposed show up, so I really had no idea what kind of waves there were going to be or what we were getting into. Then they had one more person come down and meet me in the Society Islands and Moorea, just to get the surfing shots we needed because we had everything else—the waves just weren’t quite cooperating. So it was quite a saga.
What do you think most people will take away from the film?
It’s such a cool variety of amazing women doing really diverse things. I think it really has the ability to inspire a broad spectrum of women and people—just a really cool conglomeration of women doing things outside the box and challenging gender roles. I think it’s going to be a great thing for men and women to see girls out there doing their thing. Lots of inspiration, that’s for sure.
And where to after this?
I am in the U.S. another week and a half and then I’m doing a trip to Indonesia with Patagonia—it’s the Malloys and Gerry Lopez and Wayne Lynch. And then when I get back from that, I go back to fix my boat, and then continue on my trip on the boat.
So, is your boat out of commission right now?
My boat is in Tahiti. It’s out of the water to do this big repair, so it’s waiting there for me. I’m probably going to stay in French Polynesia for one more season. It kind of depends on how long this repair ends up taking. Basically there’s a delamination in my hull and I don’t exactly know how big the water damage is until I get it open and see it, so it could be anywhere from a month to two months.
And once the boat is fixed, where are you headed?
My window to leave that area and go west is already closing—the hurricane season starts again in November. And with El Nino forecasted for this year, it could be even more dangerous for me to try to leave. I’m going to stay definitely in the Pacific for the next two years and be continuing west. There are just so many islands in the Pacific still to see.
Will we still be seeing you in the year to come?
Since I’ve had all the repairs and I put a lot of time into media stuff, I’m hoping this year I’ll be able to kind of sneak out again and drop out for another stretch of time and just do my thing.
The slide show and premiere will take place at 7 p.m. at Patagonia in Ventura.