Lonely Planet Writer

Meet the girl who has spent 10 years sailing the world, and has brought a cat along for the adventure

Getting your cat on a boat and sailing the oceans of the earth sounds like the beginning of a best-selling children’s book, but for Liz Clark it’s a reality.

A self-proclaimed ‘Shepirate’ the 34 year-old San Diego native has been sailing around the world in an 11-by-40-foot Cal 40 boat that she was given on condition that she sail the globe and document her adventures in it.

Since then Captain Lizzy has been sailing the globe solo for 10 years, from the American west coast to French Polynesia in her sailboat, Swell, and she’s covered around 25,000 nautical miles to date.

Along her travels she picked up a six-month kitten, Amelia, or ‘Tropicat’ who now accompanies Lizzy aboard the Swell on all her travels.

A passionate environmentalist and keen surfer, part of Lizzy’s motivation in moving onto the Swell, which is now her home, was to live as environmentally friendly as possible. Writing on her website swellvoyage.com, Lizzy talked about how 10 years abroad the boat had changed her way of living:

“Living aboard Swell has allowed me to drastically reduce my daily impact on the earth. Solar and wind power provide my electricity. I live closer to nature, and take time to cherish and appreciate it. I use less, need less, and want less”

She documents many of her unbelievable voyages on Instagram, with images showing off the turquoise waters she crosses, surfing expeditions, tropical beaches, and Tropicat peering at dolphins and sharks that go by their boat.

It’s no surprise that she’s gained a massive following of over 53K and received multiple sponsors, many of them who support her environmental plans.

She’s taken advantage of her platform to push environmental issues and highlight conservation plights worldwide.

There’s no suggestion of how much longer she’ll be doing this, but Lizzy does write that she wants to keep spreading the word on the issues close to her heart.

Amelia kitty spying on the neighbors…

A photo posted by Captain Lizzy (@captainlizclark) on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:55pm PST

“I plan to continue exploring in the Pacific, not only for waves, but opportunities for personal growth, to work on local environmental projects, make presentations on pollution and conservation issues in schools, and to continue writing and documenting the voyage in hopes of inspiring others to live out their passions”

And if you’re living the best possible life, why would you ever stop?