Saturday, May 2, 2015


I put two adventurers but really there were three main characters in the two stories, plus lots of
other adventures with the story of the Amazon Jungle explorers some 55 years ago.

You can read here about the extraordinary but deadly adventure that Richard Mason took with a fellow named Kit Lambert who later managed the wonderful rock band The Who, apparently in their early rise to fame as Mr. Lambert died at a young age.

The Mason adventure took place decades ago, long before the next adventurer I'll talk about was born. Yet, although one was venturing through unknown jungle territory, the other ventures alone through open oceans and seas and does so not as a trust fund kid but as a regular person really living a dream.

I like reading some of the stories in the Daily Mail, although I'd complain they've gone a bit more sensational over the past several years, which to many Daily Mail readers is apparently no new thing. Even the subscription newspapers, the few left of some repute yet almost with an entirely liberal bent, do cover more of the hard news, but I like to read a variety of news sources in order to get a balanced idea of what's going on in the world.

I like a good human interest story. There is so much war and death and destruction and absolute inhumanity of all kinds that is violating millions around the world that it's nice to hear the story of someone who escaped the 9 to 5 and has actually discovered a fantastic way of life.

 A young 34 year old woman named Liz Clark has been sailing solo on a Catalina 40 for much of the last 10 years, surfing in lots of exotic locales and just generally leading an enviable life for those of us who have enjoyed sailing and like beaches and fishing and the feeling of floating with the wind on a gorgeous day on the ocean or water.

Ms. Clark has some advantages. The story goes that after graduating from college and bar waitress working she meets a retired professor who gives her a Catalina 40 with the promise she'll document her travels, and he gifts this to her because he never got to live his dream of doing that and wanted someone to that shared that dream to actually do it in that boat.

What a great man. Apparently she's been at it off and on, doing about 25,000 miles since 2005. She takes time off, and apparently on one trip home to California a few years ago she broke her neck surfing, after already sailing thousands of miles around the world solo with no similar injuries. And apparently she got right back on that horse, so to speak, and has been back world traveling via her boat and surfing like nobody's business all over the globe.

So I don't say, what a strong woman, no, I say what a strong person. Man or woman, I don't care who you are, that's an impressive accomplishment SOLO for that many years. Dangerous. Scary. Mother Nature can be very nasty, and trust me on this, a 40 sailboat is but a mere speck on the water thousands of miles from land in any direction. Ballsy, at the very least.

Feel free to google her. There's several articles from other mags and on the Patagonia website, one of her sponsors. She has all the facebook and instagram and other pages but I didn't look at them. She does have a great blog I want to look at some time.

And the kind of guy I am, and how I earned the moniker I use here on this blog, namely El Fishing Musician a/k/a El Fishing Musicano, being an inveterate fisherman.

One of the pics in the article linked above shows her with a huge fish she caught. 

I see she's all into surfing and more power to her but I'm into fishing as much as she is into surfing and I could just imagine the fun of fishing for all kinds of fish, both saltwater with the added bonus of some jungle freshwater fish at some of the places visited.

Me and Wife and the family, not perhaps crusing the ocean blue as Ms. Clark does, would love as a bucket list item to do some of the more protected area cruising in island chains or along certain coastlines. 

Can you imagine spending a few months in wonderful waters with all kinds of other worldly scenery and pristine beaches, particularly in some of the parts of Asia with scenery from James Bond or other movies or in the Fiji chain or around Tahiti or even the legendary fishing in the Christmas Islands? 

Yes, yes I can that. An emphatic yes. And the wife is such a beach fanatic and would love living on a decent sized boat ( as long as she is in charge of all below deck matters, decorations, fixtures, ovens, fridge, arrangements, etc. 

You've got to give it to someone like Clark. She's young enough, were she inclined to start a family in a few years, she and her family could come back and find employment and live that workaday life we all do.

But you'd almost hope they'd live as they are doing. Maybe having some ports of call during infancy, but nothing says the trip around the world has to be a race around the world. Without checking Wiki or the web, I'm sure there are lots of women or at least some who have sailed solo around the world in a certain record amount of days. Perhaps it's record frequently broken. I don't follow such things.

But I like Ms. Clark's approach. General Destination and see what happens. I'm pretty sure had I been lucky enough to be her that I might have found a place I might have wanted to hang for awhile by now. Maybe even if it were more of a home base from which to continue her worldly trek. But man, some of the places she's been and shown look so ideal to live such a wonderful life on.

I once had a friend like Ms. Clark named Kathy. She passed on some 17 years ago, from breast cancer. I know she had fought it once before I met her. Kathy was about the age of Ms. Clark now.

Kathy too had acquired a Catalina sailboat, hers a 27 footer, identical to the one I spent my youth learning to sail in. 

Kathy's  dream was to do the same the Ms. Carter is doing now, but Kathy was using the 27 footer that she had bought cheaply as a trainer in the Gulf of Mexico before she invested in a larger boat. Her plans were for a 50 foot boat as I recall and she was doing shopping around for one when I was spending time with her.

I met her in my twenties and she had already been in a fight with breast cancer of some sort. She really didn't want to talk about it much, and was fortunate to have an extremely high paying job where she was stashing away incredible amounts of money in her plan for world travel and buying a much larger boat.

Unfortunately, she never got to make that trip. The monster returned and claimed her life. So I know Kathy would be envious that Ms. Carter is living that dream, which is obviously a dream that more than one person shares.

Anyway, Ms. Carter does some pretty hardcore maintenance work on her craft and obviously has been doing well in the McGyver department when need be. You can imagine the perils of open sea travel and breakage or equipment issues occur. Not only must you find a way to remedy the issues, but sometimes you may be doing repairs in rough seas whilst trying to pilot the boat in a safe fashion.

I suspect there are plenty of long days and sleepless nights during bad weather and such, but I bet they are damn worth it when those good days on the water come together.