Captain Liz Clark: Swell and Awakening

lc-1Last night (April 13, 2018) the Patagonia store in Bend, Oregon had another of many great events (shop local and talk story). It was kick-off night for the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge at Mt Bachelor over the weekend. The BIG story was the stellar presentation by sailor, surfer, author – Liz Clark.

Listening to her stories about living life on a sailboat while traveling around the world (although there were many challenging and difficult times) gave me a flashback to the very first sailing adventure hubby Ed and I took – on our honeymoon in 1970.

Liz took on the Pacific Ocean and the world, then wrote her incredible book, SWELL.. We simply took on the amazing and unspoiled Abaco, Bahamas of the 70’s. On a chartered 25′ sloop we were adventurers – in our own minds- living off the land and sea, because we had no money to spare. It was all here in photos (and a journal) to re-live today after hearing Liz.

Liz was introduced by two of the team at Changing Tides Foundation. A powerhouse of talented and dedicated women, Changing Tides has many ways we can be “Better Together” when it comes for taking care of the Ocean. Through mentorship and outreach they are changing lives. My favorite was the become engaged with their mission starting immediately is the Plastic Swear Jar Challenge.

lc3Liz shared so many nuggets of genius and inspiration. Not the least, “Living from the heart makes everything possible.” Her message was not about herself or her incredible accomplishments. It was all about staying awake, being vulnerable and connected while living our own best life with purpose.

Yes, you can get her book and really dive in. (published by Patagonia Books)If you’re like me, her final words really hit home – “Take pride in what you do for Mother Earth – she needs you!”


Love Your Ocean – Treasure the Whales (and all the marine life)

judyIt is possible to standup paddle all the way from Maui to the Molokini “seems like a crater but isn’t” area off the coast, but the weather and your paddling buddy need to be spot on. So we were fortunate to get aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation’s boat, Voyager, for a snorkel trip with entertaining and so capable, Capt Doug Hunt. The day dawned sunny with barely a breeze. Whales were breaching and rolling, nursing their young and putting on a show all the way out. (Learn more here)

boatThe snorkeling was great in spite of hundreds of people in the water. Once eyes were aimed at the reef and the antics of the wide variety of tropicals it seemed like we had the area to ourselves. On board, we were served fresh fruit, breads, juices and coffee by highly experienced crew, all with degrees in some form of marine biology and environmental studies. They were personable and shared information in the most engaging manner. download

ornate-butterflyHuge mahalos to Emily, Karin, Mel, Liv, Jamie and Mariah!!! After our second dive at Turtle Arches (wow, even cooler diversity of tropical fish) we had the best cookout! Veg burgers, ballpark steaks (beef hotdogs) and grilled chicken – with sides … and there were cookies! Can’t get all that on a SUP!

The best part of the experience was the knowledge that more than 80% of our ticket price goes directly to the Pacific Whale Foundation, everything we purchased in the store and our membership dollars all support dedicated people serving the source of “every second breath we take” – the Ocean.

If you love watching the whales of Maui at play – or wish you had…. go ahead and learn more about the Pacific Whale Foundation>


Kindergarten: A Standup Beginning

Zane Schweitzer released his first book (yes, more to come in 2018) in November of 2017. In spite of a competition and travel schedule that fills most of 10 months of the year, he is actively adding one more “podium” to his quiver – that of being a speaker sharing the same energy and spirit that flies off the pages of his book, Beneath the Surface. (Available on Amazon )

IMG_0941 (2)kkiiiWhile on Maui this week I had the great pleasure to hear Zane and Kimberly Yap, Miss Hawaii Filipina 2017) speak at King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina. From the first moments there the experience was full of great memories, the warmth of the Lahaina community and inspiration for all. While Zane was visiting the class that his own former kindergarten teacher has this year.

She was thrilled to share this story of Zane at age 5, “There was a student who cried each day at school, saying he didn’t want to be there. Finally, one day Zane told him that he was going to be here in school every day anyway, he might as well be happy about it. Another time that same boy forgot his sandwich for a school trip. We had made some extras, but when he got it he proclaimed that he didn’t want peanut butter and jelly. Again, Zane gave him this advice, ‘You for got your sandwich and now you have a sandwich. Be grateful that you have a sandwich.’ That’s the kind of boy Zane was, from the beginning. We are so proud that he has come back now to share inspiration with the students.”

As the entire school gathered on the playground, with their own chairs and so much respect and orderly behavior, Zane and Kim began to speak. For nearly an hour, students from kindergarten to grade 5 listened with rapt attention. The stories and questions around the themes of discovering personal heroes, valuing personal dreams, abilities and passion and reflecting with gratitude daily seemed to touch each student with a personal impression. kkiiiiiii

Kim was elegant, beautiful, articulate – and funny. She connected with the audience through her zesty, yet humble, approach to important life lessons. Zane shared some adventures encountered through surfing and other waterman experiences, but his main theme included the importance of every person doing their part to develop a personal “Blue Life.”

The health of the Ocean, our playground and the source of every second breath, is the responsibility of each of us. Respect for the Ocean, the land and each other was shared in a manner that invited each student to see themselves in the story. The impact Zane and Kim had on the students was evident when their time to speak was over. A huge ovation was followed by the students returning to class. But they did not stay in class.

Many students had brought their copy of Beneath the Surface  and wanted Zane to sign it. Others came with paper, notebooks, shoes and even their shirts to be signed by Zane and Kim. Their message had resonated in the hearts of these children.

I know that Zane will be visiting many schools and speaking to groups of young people around the world. He and Kim just recently returned from a humanitarian trip to the Philippines. Hosted by local Rotary Clubs, Zane and Kim became immersed in local culture while sharing their energy and spirit.

Our Ocean will be the healthier for the inspiration Zane will share as he spreads the message of ways we can all live a “Deep Blue Life.” (Check out the VIDEO by Starboard and Sustainable Surf here). At schools and events around the world, individual children will be the wiser for the advice woven into a powerful invitation to discover a personal mission and path, to look for mentors to inspire, and to find the ways that each child can inspire others – all while practicing gratitude daily.

It might sound like a tall order. I believe that today’s young people are seeking exactly the challenges and reinforcement that Zane has to offer.

If you would like to book Zane for a speaking engagement, use the CONTACT form on his website.

For more, see the Sustainable Surf Page




Beneath the Surface – With Zane Schweitzer


Photo by Matty Schweitzer – Mat5o Media

It’s almost like having a visit from Zane on Christmas morning, Your favorite paddler, surfer or Ocean Enthusiast will dive right into this first edition book before the last piece of pumpkin pie has been served.

Click below and get ready to be the most popular Santa on the beach! (Sold on

I know it seems impossible to imagine InZane (Zaniac) Zane Schweitzer sitting down long enough to wrote a book. The truth is in the title, BENEATH THE SURFACE! Because Zane has been keeping a daily journal since was 13 years old, all of his adventures, challenges, journeys, travel, friends and family stories were there – ready for this incredible collection of life stories. journal write zane

Enjoy this video while you wait for your books to arrive.

Surf’s UP: Hampton Inn PDX

Flying to Mexico, Hawaii, California or points more exotic for your standup paddle or surf adventure. Traveling with a SUP or longboard is an adventure (not always a good one) in itself. We had to drive from Bend to Portland in order to catch a plane that would carry a board longer than 115″ (LXWXH). Rather than have the drive and negotiate the timing to make our morning flight, we decided to come in the night before and stay somewhere that would safely keep our car for a good value price.

Imagine our delight at the experience we had at the Portland (OR) Airport Hampton Inn. We checked in about 6 PM (using the Stay and Fly process found online) and were delighted at our clean, modern, large room. Before crashing for the night we decided to drive the short distance to the north side of the airport to enjoy the view, the beer and the grindz at The Deck. It is a unique “secret” place well worth the hunt.

Back at the Hampton we had a nice cup of tea and enjoyed a movie on the flat screen television. Wifi is free so we did some Facebook updates then off the sleep. We had time to hit the clean, well-equipped fitness room for an hour of cardio, catch up with the news and some balance and strength training with the kettlebells and medicine balls. By then we welcomed fresh fruit, coffee, eggs and sausage for the complementary breakfast. The waffles looked great but we had beaches waiting for us.

We arrived at the airport easily 90 minutes before our flight – rested, exercised and well fed. Consider the Portland Airport Hampton Inn when you fly to your SUP or surf destinations.

A Sense of Wonder: Joyful Ripple Efect

Every day we wake up one day older – physically. Each day we have an incredible choice- to be a kid at heart, weaving wonder and joy into simple, ordinary moments. Last December, I had the opportunity to meet a woman whose personality, generous heart, wise spirit and open heart has changed and inspired the lives of her family and hundreds of others. I had a chance to chat with Carolyn Jackson for a few hours.

Carolyn’s life was too short, she passed on while surrounded by the love of her family just last month, but her spirit and energy remain alive – rippling out through the people she touched. Last night at her celebration of life her daughter, Shawneen Schweitzer, shared parts of this blog article written by Carolyn over nine years ago. One line resonated back to my heart this morning as I set out on a short walk along the beach on Maui.

“Come for a walk with me as I envelop myself in the abundance of Maui. Take a deep breath and see yourself cavorting with nature. This is the most wonderful way to start my day.”

The first thing I spotted along my walk were many joggers collecting their miles – and I wondered if they were collecting their smiles along the way. So I did what many friends of Carolyn’s mentioned last night, “Smile first.” So, I did. Soon we were all collecting smiles.

I was  dressed in shorts and a shirt, planning a calm walk along the shore. I recalled some questions Carolyn asked in her wonderful article, “How many of us are that capable of being true to our own inspiration. Should I do it? Should I get dressed [as Mary Poppins with her umbrella] and dance on the boardwalk? Should I completely embarrass my family? mmmm I think I should. What do you think?”

I felt pulled into the crystal clear water and stood knee deep watching the shore break swell cascade from my left toward me. Mesmerized, I watched it growing in size until I was eye-level with deep blue as the wave crashed at me waist-high, dousing me with kid-like pleasure. Normally, I would have jumped out of the way (keep your clothes dry, grownup). Not on this morning. I felt Carolyn there being an anonymous player in the sea with me.

ionsHer grandson, Zane, shared some facts I hadn’t heard before. If you stand with your feet sinking into the gooey, soft sand at the water’s edge, positive ions will flow from your body and you’ll receive energizing negative ions. Ions or not, as my feet sank deeper, to calf high, I just grinned. Now I was stuck and the waves played tag with me. My grin couldn’t have been bigger. A fresh spirit washed over me along with the salty water.

My day began in a wonderful way. No matter what your current sense of wonder or your existing spirit of presence and loving kindness, I invite you to let it expand even more by sharing this blog, “Clarity with Carolyn.” Begin your own ripple effect. The Blue Life Journal is my method of sharingIf you have thoughts on the subject or blogs/articles from which you glean inspiration please feel free to add them in the COMMENTS.




SUP Surf Photography: Maui

launiupoko217Sometimes I wish we had a drone with a great camera – and of course, some sweet editing skills to really document the fun we have had on knee to chest high waves on Maui this week. The zoom on our iPhone can’t quite capture the take off, far out from shore. Sometimes a still shot catches the wrong image. The videos show a small dot moving across a sweet wave. What can we do to really grab the most amazing images from a special trip?



This image was taken by Dennis Oliphant from the water at a spot in Mexico, no zoom needed.

So, I have no great pictures from this week, but I do have a strategy. I have a collection of images captured in my mind. It is a skill I learned from my son about 15 years ago. I requires an active and vivid reflection on the experience you want to save as an “image in the mind.”

I was out at Launiupoko and it was bigger and different than it had been the past few days we’d been there. I got some rides and I got hammered some. To be 68 and to get pounded is cool in itself. Anyway, I was taking my last wave in and I caught a chest high glassy swell. It was a right (my fav) and the wall held up so that I could carve up and down the face of that beauty.

I can feel my feet on the my board, the rail responding to shifts in weight bring me from the left angled take-off, to a bottom turn toward the right. I see the green blue of the wave face shimmering ahead of me. I usually find a breaking wave in front of me, but on this ride the wave held up and I carved toward the top, then slid smoothly back down. There was time to do this twice, so rare for me. With very little effort i can bring the image to my mind at will. I believe that ride will stay with me for a long time.

The funny thing is, the ride is a lot more beautiful and extraordinary in my mind than it likely would have been even if the best videographer captured it. I invite you to hone your mental-image photography skill.

I cut out of the wave, went in and now we had a Big Swell IPA while watching the US Open at a bar on the beach. Life is so good.