Liz Clark is a surfer, writer, and eco/spiritual activist who travels around the world on a sailboat with a cat as her first mate. In 2003, she bought a sailboat and worked for about two years to prepare it for offshore voyaging. Clark has started her journey in California and so far she sailed down the coast of Mexico and Central America, explored islands of Panama, French Polynesia, and Karibati, covering more than 18,000 nautical miles.
In November of 2013, Liz Clark found the 6-month-old cat in an abandoned house while she was staying at French Polynesia. Hungry for food and love, the kitten touched Clark’s heart and she took her back to the boat.
Liz didn’t plan to adopt the animal. She wasn’t sure if she had enough time for proper care of the pet with an already full plate of captain duties. The plan was just to look after the kitty until she found someone who could take better care of her.
The only problem was that Liz couldn’t find anybody to provide a better life for the cat than her. So Clark decided to adopt the kitty and named her Amelia after Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
Adjusting to boat life wasn’t easy at first, but little-by-little Amelia adapted to a life surrounded by water. After a few “kitty overboard” accidents, she learned to be more cautious when climbing and jumping around the 40-foot sailboat.
When Clark noticed that Amelia often stalked fish over the side of the boat, she built a fishing platform from a soft-top surfboard. After that, Amelia became an excellent fishercat and really began to enjoy the process.
As well as loving fishing, Amelia enjoys going for walks. “I knew she missed climbing trees and bounding through tall grasses, so I started bringing her ashore on beach walks and jungle hikes.” Liz Clark wrote in her blog.
Amelia also started going to parties, outdoor restaurants, and friends’ houses together with Liz. The kitty also learned to travel by canoe, dinghy, and even a few times on a motor scooter. To be honest, she doesn’t really enjoy these rides, but discovering new surfaces to walk on is so rewarding to her, that she doesn’t mind too much.
Liz Clark, together with Amelia, plans to continue the voyage and explains that this journey “isn’t just a surf trip—it’s a lifestyle, passion, and search for better ways for humanity to inhabit our shared planet.”
A few of the most powerful lessons Liz Clark have learned along the way:
- By using the challenges and adversities in life as opportunities to grow and learn, something positive can come out of almost any difficult situation.
- Instead of pointing fingers, it’s always more useful to look at one’s own faults.
- Practicing relentless positivity and loving-kindness has the power to completely change one’s reality.
- Nature, humanity, and all life on Earth are inextricably and fantastically connected. Abandoning the idea of Self and seeking to understand and participate in this Greatness is not only a path to immense personal fulfillment, but also to healthy, peaceful planet and a populace that could exist in harmony with nature!
- A life of voluntary simplicity can be surprisingly fulfilling and might allow others in our world of limited resources to ‘simply live’.
- There’s always more to learn!