South Pacific

Free, so Free to be Me.

photo 4

Poema and I on a surf adventure…No wave out of reach in the double kayak!


“However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.”  -Einstein


A few days after my arrival back to Swell in January, Poema du Prel walked into the boatyard wearing a huge smile. Mutual friends had been long trying to connect us, but both of our rigorous travel agendas had precluded our meeting until that day. Ten minutes later I was loading my board into the back of her truck and we were off to chase down some waves…It had been a rough week for matters of the heart, but in her presence, I was promptly feeling like myself again…

In lieu of sleeping aboard Swell in the boatyard (something I’ve done enough of for one lifetime!), she invited me to stay in her home and for two months we shared meals, stories, waves, laughter, work, and dreams like old friends. She understands when I’d rather pee in the bushes than the bathroom, enjoy eating a mango more when its all over my face, need to howl at the moon, wear mismatched clothes, cartwheel in the rain, swing my machete, cut my own hair, or cut open my sunscreen tube to get the very last bit. Just like I understand when she runs through house in a beekeepers hat with a hacksaw in her hand to attack the wasp nest on the roof overhang, gets excited about diving for the kayak anchor, comes home muddy from head to toe, skateboards in circles at 6am around the house, gets overly excited about yoga with David Swanson, climbs the guava tree like a spider monkey, and brings home every sort of roadside fruit known to Tahiti. She countered the sorrow of heartache with the joy of a truly kindred spirit friendship. Never judging–just letting me be me, so lovingly!

There’s no mistake when the universe leads you to people who make you feel like your BEST you…cherish them! In fact, surround yourself with them! Poema, and all my dear and wonderful friends, thank you for making me feel so free to be ME!! Click to follow Poema’s Odyssey.


Poema, tending the vanilla plants...

Poema, tending the vanilla plants…


Rain or Shine, we're yours Mighty Pacific!!

Rain or Shine, we’re yours Mighty Pacific!!


Helmuth made a creative new handle for my teapot!

Helmuth made a creative new handle for my teapot!

Swelly got a new hat!

…and Swelly got a new hat!


More surf adventures, photo by Poema

Getting a pre-session shack in the cloud barrel with the girls! Photo by Poema

Going coconutty with Ema and Poema.

Going coconutty with Ema and Poema.


Let the sanding begin. New deck paint for Swell coming soon.

Let the sanding begin. New deck paint for Swell coming soon.


Surrounded by things I love!

Postcard living…


Boatyard sunset.

Boatyard afterhours.


Poema the anchor diving mermaid!

Poema the anchor diving mermaid!


New deck shower, yew!

New deck shower, yew!


Feeling back at home...

So happy to be healthy again…

You guys made a house a HOME!

You guys made a house a HOME!


You don't have to own it to call it home.

Grateful salutations to the SUN.



A Saturday 'Sundae': Off on a turquoise motorscooter adventure

Bright greens whiz through my peripherals as I slice through the balmy air after pulling away from the corner store. My right hand grips the throttle while my left rests against the other handlegrip, simultaneously clutching a heart-shaped, chocolate-dipped ice cream on a stick. Its heart shape thrills me beyond reason, but I don’t fight the excessive joy. It’s Saturday and I’ve embarked on a motorscooter adventure. Who wouldn’t feel ridiculously merry eating a heart-shaped ice cream bar on a carefree ride around the backside of an island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean?

Not only had Simon and Manuelle left me in charge of their lovely house and adoring cat, but they’d also entrusted me with the keys to the turquoise Vespa scooter that they used to tow their mobile ice cream vending cart. After a dismal week of trudging through boat projects, I was in desperate need of a scenery change. A glance at the whitewater on the reef that morning had suggested that entertain myself with something other than surfing, so I’d gathered my buck knife, a piece of rope (you never know!), my camera, a few other odd essentials, and hit the road.

The day rose to meet my spirits. Even the flowers seemed to agree; it was glorious. Tall and orange, delicate and white, round and purple, stacked and yellow–they all nodded enthusiastically as I passed. My favorite mountain range boldly cleaved the cloud-splotched indigo sky. I waved to the kids playing in the streets and the families picnicking here and there, stopping to chat with anyone who looked willing. I climbed up a mountainside and plopped down amongst tall grass to feast on papaya and peanuts while looking out over the grand Pacific. The lagoon shimmied in its tranquil, turquoise glory while the blue water outside frothed and churned westward.

I stopped to climb for a coconut when I was thirsty and found a cool river to jump in when I felt hot and dusty. Squatting below a mango tree, I swatted mosquitos and rolled the fallen, miniature ripe mangoes between my hands, then sucked out their divine nectar. I explored the ancient ruins of the Marae and fell into a deep nap in the shade of a pandanus tree to further absorb the Marae’s mysticism. Saluting the last rays of this unforgettable day with gratitude, I stretched my legs atop an abandoned cement foundation overlooking a sprawling, open valley.

Donning my sanding goggles to keep the swarms of evening bugs out of my eyes, I wound down through the valley and back towards town, making a last stop at the mobile pizza truck to finally make use of that ‘free pizza’ coupon that Katie and Brandon and Jaime had given me. Thanks guys, that warm pizza put the cherry on this Saturday ‘sundae’.

Liz Clark sails solo around the world on her 40-foot sailboat, Swell, in search of people, places and waves. Check out the rest of her posts here.