July 2024

Passages: Cape Horn and Beyond

By Lin Pardey



I have lived and breathed sailing for the past two years, not just afloat, but ashore. While David and I were cruising on Sahula and meandering through the 250-mile-long coral fringed lagoon of New Caledonia, I spent several mornings each week writing the first chapters of a book with the working title of Passages.

While I wrote, David enjoyed working his way through an art course to help him negotiate away from acrylics and back to using oil paints (water oils.) My work computer and his easel soon had new storage spots. Instead of being tucked away in the forepeak, they were right at hand in the main saloon. Though other cruisers might have resented the reinforced trades that set in for weeks at a time and kept us from exploring the outer reef anchorages, neither of us seemed to notice. I became so engrossed in the story I was trying to tell, that each day seemed to rush past. When David suggested we climb into the dinghy and find a place to land so we could stretch our legs, I had to spend a few minutes dragging myself away from the people, the places, the by-gone passages I was engrossed in so I could live in the moment.



Even as we were sailing away from the threat of cyclones towards New Zealand, my project added to life afloat.  The trade winds, instead of helping us reach quickly south, now seemed to decide to take “time out.” For seven of the nine days of that passage, we had extremely light winds.  No problem. Out came “the book project” to quell any sense of impatience.  I had brought along several of the logbooks I kept during the later years of voyaging with Larry on board Taleisin plus the several of the diaries I keep when I am ashore. They became my quiet-time reading as I tried to decide what to include in the next chapters of the book. 

When we arrived back in New Zealand, I realized, if I wanted to have this book finished for the Annapolis boat show, I had to work on Passages at least six hours a day, five days a week. David helped tremendously with this. When I seemed to bog down, he’d begin packing Sahula . He suggested we head off for a week or ten days to meander around to some of the islands within a day of sailing from my homebase. We had rendezvous with friends, took long walks along the meandering streams on shore, settled into the cockpit seats to watch the sun go down. But after a day or two of leaving my office, my computer came out and I was back at my “project” feeling invigorated. And even when we flew to Australia for a two week visit with all of David’s daughters and his six grandchildren, everyone generously accepted I would hide away in a quiet corner for several hours each day and keep reliving my past.



Finally, not too long ago, David got out a bottle of our best wine, set out a tray of nibbles then helped me celebrate writing the very last words of the story that now had a full name, Passages: Cape Horn and Beyond. Ever a supporter of my writing habit, he said, “It’s great.” But I reminded David, though he liked what I had written, and I felt I had written something that many sailors would enjoy reading, I had concerns that others might be disappointed because this book is was far different than anything I’d written before.  

Then the outsiders set to work and, emails began pouring in as first the editor, then the proofreader sent query after query – correction after correction: did I want numbers over ten written out; should it be on board, aboard or onboard. I suffered through what felt like a lesson in punctuation and accuracy. A week ago, the book designer took over from the editors. Now the emails asked, “do you have a higher res copy of this photo?” “Who gets credit for that photo?”

I had, as required by the publisher, sent a copy of the manuscript to several early readers. Fingers crossed, I prayed they would like what I have written and offer a short comment for the back cover of the book. I held my breath as I waited for their impressions.

I can let my breath out now. I am thrilled with the initial response to the hardest story I have ever tried to tell.


“Lin Pardey’s new book just may be her best.  It’s a classic Pardey voyaging narrative, but it’s so much more. It’s filled with wisdom and love, as Lin chronicles Larry’s slow decline with perspective and deep gratitude for the life they were able to share. And it’s filled with hope and optimism for the future, a blueprint for how to keep living as we get older.  It’s a terrific story.” — John Kretschmer, adventurer/author, Sailing a Serious Ocean

“… a passionate and well-told recounting of the adventures and triumphs, as well as the trials and tribulations, since rounding the Horn "the wrong way.” It's a remarkable book — fierce, honest, truthful and heartbreaking. And as with every Pardey book, extremely open and well-written. Passages succeeds as a touching memoir and a deep love story (in two parts), but most of all, as a rollicking good sea tale.” - Herb McCormick, author and roving editor – Cruising World

This is a brave book, written by an indomitable woman and sailor. It honors the man with whom she shared more than 50 years of that life voyaging the world’s oceans and inspiring generations of sailors. And though it sails straight on into the hardest of life’s passages, it also celebrates the light that emerges when one has had the strength and courage to endure the storm. - Wendy Mitman Clarke, Editor-in-Chief, SAIL Magazine

 “The title reflects both the thrilling sailing adventures of Lin and Larry Pardey and the profound changes in Lin's life. I absolutely loved this!”

Carolyn Shearlock – Creator of TheBoatgalley.com

“Lin Pardey takes readers on a gripping journey as she herself comes to grips with the inevitable forces that control all our lives. You won't be disappointed. Trust me.” - Elaine Lembo, editor in chief, Caribbean Compass

“Generations of sailors have found inspiration and courage in the voyages of Lin Pardey, whose self-reliant sailor ethos sets her apart in an ocean of sailing stories. Her writing has never been more compelling and speaks to sailors in every part of life’s journey.”- Erin Schanen, editor, SAILING Magazine


So ,what do I do while I wait for Passages to be published? Once again, David is getting Sahula ready so we can head off sailing towards the quiet anchorages at the far end of Waiheke Island to enjoy the  first bit of good weather that comes along. It is blowing a gale right now, heavy rain is forecast, the days are bitterly cold (In New Zealand that means 42 degrees at night, 50 degrees during the day.) But there is a high-pressure system moving towards us from Australia. So next week we should be able to sail and enjoy just messing about in boats.


If you would like signed copies of Passages, click here. Orders for signed copies must be placed before October 10th so I can arrange to sign them while I am in the USA.

The pre-order link is now available here

Passages will be ready to ship on October 15th. I’ll have copies with me for the Annapolis Sailboat show.


                                            


                                    

 

 

June 2024

Winter in New Zealand

By Lin Pardey


Gale force gusts of wind rake across the cove. I dodge a wintery rain squall as I run between the house and my office. Yesterday it was bright and sunny, crisp. David had walked into my office late in the afternoon to say, “I am tired of being inside, can’t stand another minute of dictating into my phone. Want to go out with me for a quick sail on Felicity?”

I was torn. I was within a few hundred words of completing the very last chapter of Passages: Beyond Cape Horn, the book I’d been working on for almost two years. An editor was waiting for it. I was “in the groove.” But….



“I’m going whether you come along or not,” David said. From the moment I started this latest project, he had spent time editing each chapter I’d written, encouraging me, even cajoling me when I thought of a dozen reasons to put off writing. Now he noted my hesitation and said, “I think you should stick at it. You’ll be thrilled when you get that chapter down on paper. Besides, there’s only an hour before it turns dark. Probably only be out for half an hour, so, you won’t be missing much.”

But as soon as I turned back to begin typing, I realized he was wrong. I was missing a lot; a chance to feel the wind on my face, to watch the ever-changing patterns of the water slowly slipping by the side of a lovely little boat, a rare chance to do nothing at all and not feel the least bit guilty.

Then I became engrossed in what I was writing and completely forgot about time. When I finished typing my chapter then read through it one more time before pushing the button that sent it on its way to the editor, I finally looked up. It was dark, too dark to see where David and Felicity happened to be.

I went out onto the deck of my office and could feel the stillness of evening. David’s breeze had dropped off to the lightest of zephyrs. The temperature had dropped precipitously. I quickly walked towards the house to grab a jacket, then head down to the end of the jetty where I planned to climb into my fizzboat to go out searching for Felicity. I could imagine David, who hates being cold, would welcome a tow home rather than sit out in the bay becalmed. Before I reached the house, I heard the scraping sound of our little fiberglass tender being dragged up onto the pontoon and realized David had obviously gotten back on his own just before the wind dropped off. He had secured Felicity on her mooring and rowed ashore.

I went inside the house and set to work building a fire in the wood burner. David walked in a few minutes later. “Perfect sailing. Went right around Goat and Rabbit islands. Would have gone further but knew the wind would drop. I didn’t put the boat cover on because you might want to go out on Felicity tomorrow. How did the writing go.”
 
As usually seems to happen when you miss a perfect chance to head out for a sail, tomorrow became today and today the winds are far beyond the “fun” sailing range. So, though I am happy to have reached a milestone with my book project, a voice inside me whispers, “lesson learned.” There is never a good reason to miss being afloat around Kawau.



Here’s a link to a video with me out sailing on Felicity

https://pardeytime.blogspot.com/2017/06/video-kawau-island-story.html


Passages: Cape Horn and Beyond, will be ready for the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Pre-order page for signed copies will be up in a few weeks.


July 2023

We are anchored in a very quiet spot just 12 miles from Noumea, New Caledonia. After three weeks of great weather, rain has set in. Perfect time to do a bit or writing. Today I finished editing a short story I started when we were preparing Sahula for the voyage away from the New Zealand winter. Hope you enjoy it.



Finding the Balance

By Lin Pardey


Half of each day the boat is afloat, half it is aground, high, dry, steady, sitting right next to my boatshed on a tidal grid. Reason? We are finally finishing a refit that was supposed to take six or eight weeks and has been on going for more than a year. More important, we are on the countdown. Just 10 weeks to get Sahula ready for another ocean passage.

That’s not to say we haven’t been sailing during the past year. We have. We’ve been getting away every second month for a few weeks at a time. My almost 5 decades of life afloat has taught me; nothing helps a refit as much as taking a sailing break. Even if the boat is a mess, even if you have to shove everything into boxes and live a bit rough, sailing away for a few days or weeks helps keep up the enthusiasm. And the bonus, it gives you mental space to sort out the necessities of the next phase of the refit. But now we are on the home stretch – or should I say the true run-away-from-home stretch. 

For the major portion of our refit, we had Mike Hayes, a retired boatbuilder helping for a few hours a day with all the woodwork inside Sahula. David, between times spent being the builders apprentice, took care of ripping things apart, inspecting every crevice and cranny for rust (Sahula is a steel, 40-foot Van de Stadt cutter), then descaling and sealing and repainting the hull surfaces. I did the general dogs body work; sourcing and sorting supplies, sanding and varnishing, painting the finished woodwork, applying bandaids when necessary. But a few months ago Mike realized he had to get back to refitting his own boat. David was okay with the work involved in removing and replacing a large part of the overhead paneling and the majority of the remaining jobs. But, his woodworking skills and the patience to deal with the bits of trim we needed, are limited. All of a sudden, I was faced with a new reality. If I wanted the wood trim to match the work Mike had done, I had to try something new. 

During the years I worked alongside Larry as he built our boats and repaired other people’s boats, he had taught me how to safely use basic woodworking tools and machinery. I’d learned to sharpen a chisel or scraper so I could remove the tops of wood plugs, or clean up pencil marks or sawblade scratches before applying the varnish or paint that made a customer’s boat look good. But up until a few weeks ago the only wooden things I’d actually built were some rickety sawhorses for the shop and a paper towel holder as a gift for a favorite sailing friend. 

Then David came walking up to the house and said, “Lin, the only way I can think of to hide the wire connection for the overhead light in the salon is with a little wooden box. Are you willing to find some time to make one?” 

Talking more boldly than I felt, I said, “Of course.” After all, how hard could it be – a simple little rectangular box just 1-1/4 inch by 2 inches by ¾ inch deep (32mm by 50mm by 19mm). Then I climbed on board the boat and realized, everyone would be able to see the box – everyone who sat at the salon table, or turned on the overhead light!

Slowly, methodically, I set to work; first creating a rough sketch of my project, then measuring, not once but twice before marking a cutting line on each piece of timber (is it correct to call the small scraps I was using “timber”?) As I plugged in the small bandsaw, I remembered the sign Larry had drawn up 50 years or more in the past, just before he let me use a bandsaw for the first time. It read, “Have you ever seen a nine fingered piano player?” Carefully I cut the small scraps into even smaller pieces. Two hours later I had done a practice run, piecing the four tiny sides and bottom I’d cut and sanded together to be sure each one fit correctly then figuring out how I was going to clamp them together while the glue dried. Next I carefully and quickly as possible mixed up some five-minute epoxy, spread it on both sides of each joint just as Larry had always done, then aligned and clamped my miniature project onto a square of baking paper on the workbench quickly together. 

Late that afternoon I set to work sanding off the excess glue so I could finally see if my joints would have met Larry’s standards. I applied the first coat of varnish then ran up to the cottage and urged David to come and see my tiny creation. 

I am quite proud of him. He didn’t laugh. “It will do the job perfectly,” he solemnly stated. “So now, how long will it take you to make the trim for the loo area?” David also didn’t laugh when I put the box in my pocket before we rowed across the bay to have drinks with a neighbor. Nor did he tease me when I carried it around for four days and showed it to other friends. 

Now, two weeks and about three dozen pieces of trim later I am considering buying another chisel to add to my arsenal. For I have found I really enjoy working with wood, figuring out how to cut a compound angle right the first time, now to measure the correct length for a piece of trimming timber that will have to be bent to conform to the underside of the deck. It is like working on an intricate three-dimensional puzzle. But with a far longer lasting sense of accomplishment.  

“Real difference between you and I,” David commented just a day ago. “I think you like working on the boat as much as you like sailing.” 

Looking back over the years I have spent around the marine world, I think he may be right. I am one of those people who not only loves sailing, but enjoys taking care of a boat, making it look tidy, organized, and sometimes even easier to use. On the other hand, I am also aware there is a potential pitfall, the tendency to, as Larry would often say, “trip out on the job.” I have watched a lot of folks get so carried away with trying to make their boat perfect that they actually never got away sailing. I was reminded of this when I asked David to help me secure yet another a piece of trim in place. As the last screw went in, I realized the joint didn’t fit as well as it could. “I’ll take it down and make a new one tomorrow,” I said.

“Come on Lin, it’s good enough,” David stated. “Besides, who is going to sit on the loo and look at the overhead trim joints. Let’s just get this job done.”

He is right. As much as I am enjoying my new-found skill, time is passing, the open ocean is calling and, if I put a bit of putty in the joint before I paint the trim, even I won’t notice the less than perfect fit. 


P.S. Video making, writing, blogging – all have added to my cruising kitty through the years. That is why I was pleased to find a way to share what I’d learned along the way. Now, I am delighted with the comments I am getting from folks who have downloaded or purchased the USB version of Storytelling for Sailors which includes interviews with 12 other sailors who have also found ways to earn from video, Youtubing and writing.


“Inspiring” - Kimberly Ward (She has just finished writing her first sailing sailing book , Three on board)

“Really useful guidelines for building a YouTube audience” - John Creamer, SV Going Too


You can purchase an online streaming version or digital copy of Storytelling for Sailors on a USB thumb drive from my publishing partner, Paradise Cay Publications, on their website here:  

https://www.paracay.com/storytelling-for-sailors-seminar-download/

Previews are available at: 

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/storytellingforsailors/


Latitude 38 Podcast Episode #77: Lin Pardey on Storytelling for Sailors


This week’s host, Nicki Bennett, is joined by Lin Pardey, who returns to Good Jibes for a second time. Lin has sailed over 200,000 nautical miles, 2 circumnavigations, and many more adventures of a lifetime with her late husband, Larry Pardey.

This time around, Lin is talking about her new course, Storytelling for Sailors. Hear how new storytellers can stand out, inserting content creation into your cruising life, how to build and keep an audience, updates from Lin’s life over the past year, and her recent induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

It's Simple

I can’t count the times I’ve been lured into deep water by those two words. It has happened again. A few months back, I was preparing seminar outlines, arranging airfares and travel plans as I got ready to fly to the USA to present seminars at the Port Townsend Wooden boat Festival and Annapolis Sail Boatshow (good excuses for catching up with lots of special friends and family along the way.)  I was zooming a friend, Tory Salvia who runs Sailflix and the SailingChannel.tv about meeting up while I was there.


Tory is always trying to get me to be more of an online person. I am always trying to avoid more reasons to be using computers and phones. But this particular day, I mentioned a note I had received from a Facebook friend. “Can’t get to your writing seminar – how about recording it,” she had asked. This was not an isolated request so I asked Tory how to set up my video camera and record the whole session. His answer, “Really hard to do unless you have two camera operators, good mikes, and ….”  I shut him down. But then he said, “why not just record your program in your office. You have the outline all done. Then I can help by adding the video’s your YouTube friends made, and you can do a few zoom interviews to get more info for people and we have a really useful online seminar for your friends. It’s simple.”

Yes, I fell for it. And at first it seemed simple.

I just set up my telephone on a mini tripod, sat back in my favorite office chair and turned on the record video function.  Then the sun came glaring out and blazed off the glass of the painting behind me.

Start over again after finding sheets to cover the windows. 

Review the video and realize the cabinet behind me looked an absolute mess. Start over again.

Wekas (flightless NZ birds which live under my office floor) start screaming at each other, a noise that can carry for up to half a mile and definitely drowned me out. Start over again.

Then I begin to speak to the camera and my notes fall off the stand I placed in front of me. Start over again.

Recording, and re-recording when I realized I had left something out, slurred something else or otherwise messed up, filled far too many hours when I could have been out sailing or finishing the woodwork in Sahula’s main salon, or…

My sailing storytelling friends didn’t help keep things simple. Any of the 12 could have said no when I contacted them and asked if they would be willing to submit to a zoom interview. But every single one said yes. Then each one added important information beyond the original list of questions I sent them.

No, Tory, this project wasn’t easy. But I am really pleased with the end results. The digital version of Storytelling for Sailors is a vastly expanded version of my all-day writing seminar. It is now available for those who couldn’t attend in person. And, I have gained some new skills and learned some important lessons.

Skills?

  1.  I can now, somewhat comfortably, use zoom for recording interviews.
  2.  I can set up a room and background ready for recording, before I start recording
  3.  I can upload and download big files confidentally
  4.  I am comfortable with editing the final cuts Tory sent me.

Lessons?

  1.    Say no when someone starts a conversation by saying, “it’s simple.”
  2.    Keep all your notes and outlines and number them.
  3.    Be sure to label each take so the video editor can figure out what you were up to.
  4.   Don’t try to record videos without a “do not disturb” sign highly visible
  5.    Do test runs and watch them carefully each time you use a different recording method or  devise, each time you begin another day of recording.
  6.     People who do this full time for a living – such as YouTubers are far more patient than I am
  7.    I plan to cancel my zoom account immediately

 Will I try doing another digital seminar on another subject?  That depends on the response from those of you who decide to sign up for this one. I look forward to hearing your reactions.


Lin


  • The video seminar will be available in December. 
  • Choose on-demand streaming video or a USB drive that will include the complete video
  • Pre-Order the Video Seminar here.




September 2022


Today I enjoyed fun zoom calls with two of my favorite sailing writers, John Kretschmer and Herb McCormick. I am doing research and preparation for the seminars I am presenting over the next weeks, Storytelling for Sailors, writing, blogging, video can they add to your cruising life? (I’ll be doing these at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival https://woodenboat.org/special-events/ and at the Annapolis Cruisers U - https://www.annapolisboatshows.com/cruisers-university-courses-fall-2022/#Writing. I am also working towards having the seminar available online in the not-too-distant future.)

What I found most interesting about these conversations is how much all three of us love sailing. Not just cruising, but sailing in any form it takes, from the lightest of winds to much heavier going, for an afternoon or for weeks at a time. At the same time all of us have a deep desire and take real pleasure in writing about the sailing we’ve been doing.  John said something that had me thinking long after we finished our conversation.  Though I am paraphrasing here as I didn’t write down his exact words, it went something like this; “When I write it down, it seems to clarify and embed the experience in my mind.”

Interestingly, that echoes something another sailing writer said to me a few weeks ago. Behan Gifford was adding her input about why she started blogging, then writing for magazines. “When I am writing a blog, I find I get down to the essence of the experience,” she stated. I had never thought of my writing this way.

But, now as I look back at the thousands and thousands of words that have leapt from my fingers onto printed or digital pages, I see what they were all saying. As I am working to describe a voyage, be it a short and sweet one, a rugged slog or something in between, I get to think back over each incident that made it distinct. Then I have to pick and choose the most important or sometimes the most poignant moments. I have to describe the reasons things went well, or things went awry. This gets me considering the interaction of the crew (Larry and I in the past, David and I now,) the interaction of the boat with the sea and the effects of the weather on all of this.


By the time I am satisfied with the words that are down on digital paper (and occasionally still on actual paper) I have distilled the event to its essence. Yes, though you readers feel I am writing just for you, in an emotional sense, I am doing it for me too.  Once done, I am, just as are these fine writers, eager for another day of sailing, another possible adventure to write about.

Right now, as I am in the USA presenting these seminars and then taking part in the amazing honor of being inducted with Larry, into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, I am two months away from heading back to Kawau where Sahula awaits me.  We already have our sailing plans laid out, plans that will take us towards new destinations, ones that I know will give me plenty of reasons to keep my story telling brain active. But I will stick to the advice I give those who are headed out with the dream of reaching far off destinations. I won’t share our exact plans – that way if we change direction, if the weather gods thwart us, no one will ever say we failed.

I hope to see some of you at the Festival or Sailboat show. I’ll be in the authors booth at Port Townsend, and at the Annapolis Boatshow look for me (and Behan) at booth M5, the fun booth I share with The Boat Galley crew.

Fair Winds

Lin


P.S. There are some entertaining examples of John Kretschmer’s writing here - https://johnkretschmersailing.com/writing/


Herb McCormick was editor at Cruising World Magazine for more than 30 years and has written several books including As Long as It’s Fun, a biography of Larry and I. His latest book is Offshore High, a biography of Doris and Steve Colgate.

Behan Giffords blog can be found at  https://www.sailingtotem.com/