East Pier Adventurer

Lia in her element  |  photo courtesy of Lia Ditton  |  post by Claudia Kelly and Larry Clinton

The newest world class mariner among our floating homes community is Lia Ditton. Originally from England, she has sailed 150,000 nautical miles, an equivalent of 8 laps around the globe! Her newest adventure involves rowing in a 21’ ocean rower from Japan to San Francisco. This 5,500-nautical-mile run, over 6 months, will add another challenge for her. She has sailed single-handed three times across the Atlantic, including the 28-day run from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island and the celebrated single-handed La Route du Rhum in the Carribean: 3,542 nautical miles, or to us land people, 4076 miles.

While MRE (meals ready to eat) may be necessary to maintain her 4,000-calorie a day burn rate, she has added chocolate and cheese to her dining regimen. Look for her colorful vessel out in the SF Bay because she has chosen our locale for its winds and current conditions since they are similar to the rough ocean experience. As a tuneup, she plans to row from here to Hawaii in 2018, with the goal of setting a new record, completing the voyage in 50 days.

During her training, Lia has determined that she’ll actually have to have a new boat, with a different design, for the Japan-to-SF passage, so she’s actively raising funds on her website.

With the experience of facing down a hurricane and other scary situations while crossing the Atlantic, Lia will row solo—no crew or supply boat. Her craft will be solar powered with its own desalination system.

Lia with Yacht Club member Marcy Taylor | photo by Claudia Kelly 

A dynamic and engaging speaker, Lia recently wowed the members of the Sausalito Yacht Club with insightful, inspirational, informative and humorous accounts of her life ashore and at sea. Lia captured the imagination of the audience, retelling pivotal moments in her off-shore and artistic career: participating in some of the world’s toughest ocean races and transforming those experiences into contemporary art installations. Always passionate about art, she plans to make art about the experience. Look for her masterpieces of ocean treasures, or such, at the Venice Biennale that will take place from May 26th to November 25th next year in various venues around Venice. That’s been a longtime dream of hers. Lia inspired the yacht club audience to maintain resilience in the face of adversity and to find the positive side of the worst situations.

Her landing in our community is similar to many of our stories; she visited a friend’s floating home, got enraptured and scored a rental on Craig’s list. She is happily docked in Sausalito for her rigorous ocean training. But she did confide that she keeps storage units on 6 continents, so she unanimously wins the most storage container award.

We all look forward to her newest sea adventure.

Lia has also written a book, with a little something for everyone—from the Boatload of Books:

50 Water Adventures To Do Before You Die, Lia Ditton. Lia, who is training to row from Japan to San Francisco, inspires with practical and armchair advice for water fun from paddle-boarding the Mississippi to big game fishing off Mexico, from floating in the Dead Sea to sailing non-stop round the world. (Adlard Coles, 2015)