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Captain Liz Clark is something of a loner — after all, she's spent the decade of her life sailing around the world on her boat The Swell. But she hasn't always been alone, thanks to a lovely cat named Amelia who climbed onboard in 2013 and never left (well, hardly ever).
Clark has an enviable life on the water, covering over 18,000 nautical miles since she set sail from Santa Barbara, California in 2005 to see the world. Over the years, she has journeyed along Mexico's west coast and along Central America, and even sailed into the South Pacific.
An expert sailor (as she explains on her web page) since age 10, Clark clearly feels the voyage is enhanced by having Amelia, aka "The Tropicat," along. (The cat was named after another great female explorer, Amelia Earhart.)
"She always had a wily, determined look in her eye — as if the world was out to get her, but she was going to get it first. She was the star of her own mystery film — a sexy, heartless secret agent always on a mission," Clark wrote on her blog in February.
That was right after a small tragedy befell Amelia and Clark. While visiting an island, Amelia went walkabout and didn't show back up, despite Clark's desperate searching. So, reluctantly, the Captain returned to her ship.
"I knew there was a cute little bed & breakfast on the island, I figured she would be happy chasing rats and lizards for the night, and could go see the people there if she was lonely or hungry," wrote Clark.
But after 42 days, Clark learned that her "Tropicat" was seen wandering around by the B&B manager, and she appeared healthy. Clark returned to the island to see if Amelia would rather stay on land or return to the boat.
"[W]hen I went to leave, she followed me all the way out the little dock," Clark wrote in another post. "I got in the boat then looked at her and asked her if she was sure she wanted to come home. She looked at me for a moment, then casually stepped into the boat …"
Since then, Clark writes that they spend a little more time on land so she can work on her book and Amelia can "climb trees and chase chickens. The more freedom I give her, the more she seems to trust me."
Clearly, things will be smooth sailing from here on out.
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