McKayla Bower Pursues Adventure

Throughout her life, McKayla Bower has been in pursuit of adventure. At a young age, she could be found playing in the forest, climbing the rocks in the front yard, or 40ft up an oak tree. So, it was only natural that when she was offered a boat in 2020, she dove head-first into sailing. Now, McKayla aims to be the first openly trans and openly gay person to circumnavigate the globe. On the Transgender Day of Visibility, we are highlighting McKayla’s efforts to break boundaries and blaze a trail in the sailing community.

After acquiring her 1977 Clark San Juan 30 in January of 2020 and renaming the boat to the S/V Swirl, McKayla delved into cruising. With some quick fixes to make her livable, McKayla put nearly 1,000 miles on the S/V Swirl in the summer of 2020. With many of the kinks worked out on her initial cruise, McKayla hauled the boat that fall and spent the next six months completing a full refit, from the interior to the technical systems, getting the boat ready for an ocean voyage.

Taking the equatorial route, McKayla aims to depart for her history-making run in August of this year.

With this circumnavigation, McKayla hopes to bring attention to issues transgender and gay people face on a daily basis, especially with the recent wave of anti-trans legislation sweeping the United States. “I have a unique skill set, a nearly ideal boat for a quick circumnavigation, and the drive for adventure. What’s a better way for me to use my accumulated skillset to better and further the movement of trans safety, acceptance, and inclusion?” she notes.

You can support McKayla on her website and on social media: @svswirl ⛵️