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An SOS from Liz Clark on Swell

After launching Swell, Clark sailed over to Teahupo’o on Tahiti-iti and rode waves similar to this bone-crusher.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Several times in the last four months or so, we’ve had reports from Liz Clark on the extensive refit she did on her Cal 40 Swell at Raiatea, French Polynesia. Clark, you’ll remember, is the young woman from Santa Barbara who is doing an open-ended sailing-surfing safari, most of it singlehanded. Her writings for Changes in Latitudes have been among the most popular features in Latitude.

After doing a large part of the hardest and dirtiest work on her boat, Clark finally relaunched Swell and headed over to Tahiti to check out the legendary surf spot at Teahupo’o. She overcame her fears to ride some of the most dangerous and exciting waves of her life.

But all wasn’t well on Swell. Liz noticed a mysterious leak in her boat from beneath the engine. Finally, it could be ignored no longer. We’ll let her explain:

"Swell has another leak, a delamination due to a flaw in the original molding of the Cal 40 design. The boat will have to be pulled out of the water again, and the engine will have to be removed to access the damaged area at the back of the keel. This is a big job, one that I can’t do alone. It’s difficult to tell how big the project will be until the hull is opened up, but I estimate needing to raise about $5,000. After spending all my savings during the last haul out, I need help! If anyone would like to chip in, checks can be sent to: THE VOYAGE OF SWELL, 1021 Scott St. #205, San Diego, CA 92106. Or you can make a donation using PayPal to my account under [email protected]. Thank you so much for your help!"

Liz has never been a primadonna, as evidenced by her doing most of the dirty work during Swell’s last haulout.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For the record, this is a repair that has been made on at least one other Cal 40 based out of Santa Barbara. After being repaired, that Cal 40 hasn’t had any problems since.

We at Latitude have made a donation and, even though times are tough, are encouraging as many of you as possible to do the same. Liz has made the transition from a relatively novice sailor to a courageous and competent adventurer, never shying away from the hard work that’s needed to be done. She’s got a great spirit and has truly been inspirational to so many. If you’ve enjoyed reading her reports, and would like to continue doing so, consider it money well donated. We know she’ll appreciate it from the bottom of her heart.

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