Jackie Parry – author


9 Comments

Barge Renovations Update

We’re still buried in the bowels of our little ship – renovating away, only popping up for air when we need feeding.

Below are galley progress-pictures from a month or so back (where has the time gone?). Some people liked the painted cupboards, but we changed them for several reasons:

1) The photos looked so much better than the real thing.

2) My eyes couldn’t stand all the hectic patterns and clashing of colours, stripes and frills (frilly net-curtains, red curtains, striped curtains, and the stencilled flowers on the sky-hatch windows) – something had to give!

3) I like fresh, simple decor that creates the feeling of space.

4) We didn’t like them!

Getting ready to sand

Getting ready to sand

Some of the paint was very thick (dobbed on!), I was glad we had the electric sander!

Some of the paint was very thick (dobbed on!), I was glad we had the electric sander!

I couldn't wait to lighten this lot up!

I couldn’t wait to lighten this lot up!

First coat - there were five coats in total!

First coat – there were five coats in total!

DSC_0538

Sitting on the stove top!

 

Much better!

Much better! (Ignore the timber door on the right, we currently have a vagrant door just sitting there in the way!)

That's better on the eyes!

That’s better on the eyes!

This one?

This one?

Or, this one?

Or, this one?

Currently, we are finishing off the front cabin and that is the end of the renovations for now.
Photos appearing soon-ish!

What are your renovation success stories?


4 Comments

Hot Spring Deal – Virtual Travel & Adventure for 99 cents / 99 pence!

I’m rich – that’s what people think.

While I may not be driving a Rolls Royce (yet), I am enjoying best-seller rankings with my recently published book – “Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman”.

Reality
Few authors make ‘good’ money – that’s the reality. For me, my sales graph provides great pleasure as it snakes across the page continually placing “Of Foreign Build” in the top ten rankings (and often at No. 1). Yes, I am quietly satisfied with my achievements. The reviews say it all.

“Resolute” “Stimulating” ”Rousing” “Moving” “Unconventional”

An orangutan 'moment' in Borneo

An orangutan ‘moment’ in Borneo

Marketing can be just as hard as writing a book!
If people don’t know that your book exists, they aren’t going to buy it! This has become the little mantra in my head that keeps me going. Marketing costs money and time – lots and lots and lots of time!

FREE!
‘Give your book away for free’ is the advice these days. I am uncomfortable with this for several reasons:
1) How many other industries do people slog away for years and produce a product that people expect you to give them?
2) My work has value!

We experienced the world

We experienced the world

I won’t disregard all my options, maybe by my twentieth book I’ll consider a freebie to the masses. I have held (and will hold) many giveaway competitions, but they’ve all been within my control – so far. Keep an eye on my website and sign up here to be the first to know about freebies.

Promotions are important
I do understand that due to the vast choice readers have, it’s important to promote, and I am really excited about this promotion!

We made beautiful friends

We made beautiful friendships

My Promotion
This week (7th March – 14th March) I am reducing the Kindle version of “Of Foreign Build” to 99 cents/pence (for the UK and USA).

mock cover book image

That’s just 99 cents or pence for over 400 pages of:

  • Adventure
  • Fear
  • Love
  • Storms
  • Pirates
  • Finding out why my husband worked in a brothel!
  • Whale-smash!
  • Abduction
  • Redemption…
    … a nine-year odyssey

Experience the world right now from the eyes of a corporate girl that morphed into a sea-gypsy woman!

All for 99 cents / pence. Not convinced yet? Read an excerpt here.


** New Release ** May 2015 *** A Standard Journey ***

**5 horses, 2 people and a tent **

50% of proceeds going to help rescue more horses! Details here.



4 Comments

Yo Ho Ho & A Bottle of Rum!

A little while ago I wrote about the mysteries of the maritime world and how to get through your first few times on a boat at the helm.

I received many great comments – one, in particular, is important:

“Great encouragement and advice, Jackie!
Also, want to toss in the thought that not all women are the ones being persuaded to go sailing/cruising! While most sailors are super friendly, etc. it really does bug me when I run across people who just assume that I’m only there (or any woman is only there) because her husband persuaded her to be!”

Thanks Ellen You are right. It isn’t always the man’s dream to sail off into the sunset. Women are leading the way too and taking their partners or single-handing.

???????????????????????????????

Ellen goes on to say, “It’s a lack of recognition of the fact that I am (or other women are) realizing dreams that we’ve had since childhood, and the sense of accomplishment that it gives us. So my bit of advice is, when you meet people in an anchorage, to wait and hear their story before jumping to the conclusion that Girl is valiantly supporting Boy’s dream :)”

Pink and Blue Jobs
Well said! And leads me nicely into blue/pink jobs. I can understand some jobs fall to the woman and some to the man. But on our boats both of us could and can handle every job necessary, from every aspect of maintenance to navigation. For us it was the safety aspect, for me it was independence. That’s just our choice; many couples have wonderful years on board with defined jobs.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Ellen adds
“That’s not to discount the bravery of those who do fit that narrative, just to point out that it’s not the only one! E.g. we met the skipper and cook on a luxury chart yacht where she was the captain/engineer and he the cook!”

Men vs. Women
A recent FB post on a sailing group made me smile, the magnitude and range comments that followed this question were hysterical, some thoughtless, but many were thoughtful:

drinking bottle

Image courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

“Sailors, what do you say to a woman who gives you lip about drinking rum on your boat before noon, and then also tells you that your plan on someday circumnavigating is ‘scary’ and ‘inconceivable’?”

Responses varied from “throw her overboard” to “go to AA!”

ID-100251603

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

My response was along the lines of, “I wonder why so many men tell us their partner won’t sail with them? How about showing her how conceivable your plans are and proving they are not scary…. as for the rum, well, sometimes it is important and sometimes not, however – never at sea!”

What do you think?


9 Comments

“This is a man’s world, but….

… it would be nothing, nothing, without a woman or a girl…”

Thank you James Brown – you hit the nail on the head in more ways than one.

WARNING – THIS BLOG IS FOR WOMEN ONLY!

As a woman sailor, maritime teacher and commercial boat skipper, I’ve come up against plenty of prejudice. I fought the testosterone-fuelled nautical world and won.

You don’t have to go to the extremes I have. But I can help you take your first steps into solving the mysteries of the maritime world. If this thought scares you silly, don’t worry, I WAS TERRIFIED!???????????????????????

First Four Lessons
When we purchased Mariah, I didn’t know the front-end of a boat from the back-end. But Mariah felt ‘right’ to me. Lesson number one, trust your instincts.

The ropes and winches were a complete mystery, the boat’s behaviour an enigma. Lesson number two: don’t try to learn how to sail from a book. Step on a boat, any boat, as much as possible, be instinctive, it’ll make more sense than text (that part can come later).

Taking the helm was enough to turn me into a gibbering wreck. Lesson number three: Women are often better at the helm. During my experience of practical teaching, women listened to my instructions, many men had been ‘taught’ via mates and erm, supposedly knew it all already.* (Women are often exemplary at navigation too!)

Practical exercises on police boats, while training others

Practical exercises on police boats, while training others

I felt alone, lost and way out of my depth. Lesson number four: SO DOES EVERYONE WHEN THEY START. Persevere, chat to other women. FB groups such as Women Who Sail and Women Who Sail Australia are amazingly supportive, with zero judgement and zero tolerance for those who do judge! There are women here at every level. (If you join quickly, there’s a chance to win lots of goodies, WWS are celebrating reaching 5,000 members!)

In summary
• You can become a sailor!
• Persevere.
• Remember it takes time (but not as long as you think).
• It’s a brave move to step away from ‘normal life’.
• Ensure/remind/beg your spouse to be patient with you – I’ve seen so many men yell at their partner and then wonder why they are left alone on the boat!
• You are both working towards the same goal – when something goes wrong, you or your partner are not sabotaging it! Work together.
• Don’t panic – deal with the situation first, then panic if you must!
• Shouting and anger can be born from fear. Talk about it, work it out.
• Be buddies on the boat – that’s important, really important.

I used everything I'd learned on Mariah and studying, while skippering ships in PNG

I used everything I’d learned on Mariah and studying, while skippering ships in PNG

The outcome
Okay, sailing and cruising is not for everyone but if it is for you, you will find:

  • A life you’ve always dreamed of
  • Freedom beyond your wildest dreams
  • Kindred spirits
  • Help in the most unexpected places
  • Resourceful skills you never knew you had
  • How to live on next to nothing
  • An enormous back yard, aka ‘the world!’
  • You’ll release it’s a waste of time and energy to ‘sweat the small stuff’
  • … you will always wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Do you agree? Ladies, what have you found once you stepped into the cruising life?

Gentlemen – if you’ve read this far without flicking off an angry email to me… well done and thank you! If you want to go sailing with your partner… buy her this – it’ll help – honest!

for FB for marketing 5 star sticker

*Noel adds that it isn’t always a male/female distinction of who listens and who doesn’t. It was, for him, the person with the most experience that didn’t usually listen or wasn’t very good at taking advice/tuition. Maybe the women I taught had less experience, but this is what I encountered. (And, yes, Noel does receive special dispensation to read this!)


Leave a comment

Passage Plan – Lyttelton to Waikawa

Viki Moore from Astrolabe Sailing prepared a fantastic passage plan for a recent voyage…. This is how it should be done! Thanks for sharing Viki!

Astrolabe Sailing

We are currently preparing Wildwood for our delivery trip North. We are taking her up the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand from Lyttelton Harbour – where we live – to Waikawa Marina, which is nestled in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds.

Our aim is to take her up early December on the best weather window and then drive home to do the last couple of weeks at work and then drive back up again on boxing day for some holiday fun!

Last year I attended a passage planning session at the yacht club run by David Kennett who has done the trip many times and he had some good tips to share. I am now going over my notes again to make sure we have got all our ducks in a row for the upcoming voyage.

Weather

A couple of weeks out we start looking…

View original post 2,561 more words


2 Comments

Cruisers take note – Your feet change size!

Announcement – ‘Little Toe Day’

“Did you know, the average women walks three miles a per day more than the average man?” I said to Noel.

“Walks or talks,” says Noel!

Aside from my humorous husband, I’d like to make today, Little Toe Day.’

Those little, wiggly, appendages on the edge of our feet need some recognition.

The little toe on your foot has many names. It is known as the little toe, baby toe, pinky toe, and the fifth toe. But its real name is Digitus minimus pedis. I refer to mine as Pinkies.

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We are bare-footed a lot, especially when sailing and cruising. Our little toes have taken some severe bashings over the years…. rigging, stanchions, anything solid really.

Basically they are strong little critters and very tolerant – so let’s say a big ‘Yay’ for our little toes and learn a bit more about them:

Interesting facts

  • Toes can be used to replace fingers
  • Stalin’s were webbed
  • You can wrestle with them (and there you were wondering what you were going to do tonight!)
  • When walking, each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight
  • Butterflies taste with their feet (imagine doing that!)
  • Gannets incubate eggs under their webbed feet
  • Elephants use their feet to hear – they pick up vibrations of the earth through their soles
  • The average foot gets two sizes longer when a person stands up
  • Mmmmm yummy flower!

    Mmmmm yummy flower! Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I talk about shoes and ‘spreading’ feet in Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen). Over the years of being bare-footed on our boats, my feet spread and changed size.

Click here for more information (No.5 bestseller)

If you like our blog/waffling, there is more here (No.1 bestseller)


Leave a comment

There’ll be days like this

Van Morrison sang about it and I could relate to those words today.

“When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there’ll be days like this”

Noel and I have been quite anti-social lately, what with trying to get the outside of Rouge Corsair painted prior to winter setting in.

So, a shopping day with our friends, Kim and Lorna from MV Sunflower, was just what we needed to re-connect with civilisation again.

Aiguillon is a little over seven kilometres away. So, after a shaky start, (bike tyres….grrrr), we set off on four bikes of differing vintage, wrapped in hats and scarves, blowing fogging breaths.

On arrival, to get our bearings we sipped a delicious coffee watching the French-way unfold around us. The barman serving wine at 10 am with a cigarette in his hand. The impassioned shouting was just part of everyday conversation, and welcoming smiles.

Smart shopping
Noel and I had several items to find, which of course, meant the hardware. But, this time was different. I’ve never had so much fun in a hardware shop.

The 'hooks'

The ‘hooks’

We needed some L-shaped doohdads. Basically, metal hooks to hold up timber rods. Our curtains are going to tuck into these rods, at the bottom.

We could buy four in a packet for 5.55 (Euros) per packet. As we needed twenty-four we started to think of other solutions.

With Kim, Noel and I, scratching our heads, things started to improve. We found a packet with more hooks in them. They were a different metal, but useable, for 3.55 Euros. But then we spotted the pick ‘n’ mix.

The items were in baskets, loose, individual. I found a guy to help, as there were no visible prices, and he explained. There were three sized bags and each bag had its own price – the smallest bag was 2.55 Euros. We could put anything we liked in the bag, as long as it seals, all contents would be 2.55.

At this point we all grinned, rubbed our hands together, and said, ‘They have no idea what we are capable of!’

???????????????????

“As long as the bag shuts – it will cost 2.55 (Euros)”

We packed the bag with enough hooks and spares, to do several boats.

What was going to cost us around 35 Euros, ended up costing 2.55 Euros! (Plus extras!)

Rewards
With fresh baguettes, ham and cheese we lunched in the town square. The smoking cafe owner offered us a table and chairs; everyone who passed-by smiled, ‘Bon Appetite.’

Loaded up! Great fun!

Loaded up! Great fun!

With a cheap supermarket, a charity shop and a hardware, all visited (some twice!) with loaded bikes, and big grins we cycled back to our boats. The cooling afternoon and falling winter leaves accompanied us home. The sweet smell from the apple orchards and the sounds of humming tractors was carried along the breeze to round off a perfect day.

Van Morrison – Days Like This Lyrics

When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like this
When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this
When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like thisWhen you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this
When you don’t meet a chancer there’ll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they f it
Then I must remember there’ll be days like thisWhen everyone is up front and they’re not playing tricks
When you don’t have no freeloaders out to get their kicks
When it’s nobody’s business the way that you want to live
I just have to remember there’ll be days like thisWhen no one steps on my dreams there’ll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there’ll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this

Oh my mama told me
There’ll be days like this
Oh my mama told me
There’ll be days like this
Oh my mama told me
There’ll be days like this
Oh my mama told me
There’ll be days like this

Songwriters: V. MORRISON
Days Like This lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

If you enjoy our blog and like our writing – take a look at our books – here (under ‘our books’). No.1 bestseller and No.5 bestseller.


4 Comments

‘Of Foreign Build’ WHY?

A few people wanted more background on the title of my book Of Foreign Build.

Firstly, I felt very foreign (in every aspect) during the first part of the book – as you will see (hopefully!).

Secondly, we received a lot of checking in and out paperwork in different countries for Mariah, and for us.

My favourite is from Niue, and the words are perfect…..

‘…..one female, foreign built…..’

Presentation1


2 Comments

Navigation: great links and me!

I love navigating, whether by stars, chart or GPS. Usually, on a voyage we navigate via GPS but back-up this wonderful device with good old chart work. On occasion we do sun-sights too.

Here are many diagrams on good navigation skills. Both recreationally and commercially, Noel and I have used every single one of these methods.

For example:

Parallel indexing in fog

range rings single pics

DR when the GPS has lost its signal (or as back-up)

9 nautical miles (DR)

Set and drift when heading to GPS co-ordinates, on an urgent rescue

course to steer (finding) single pic

Always learning

A few years ago I was a skipper on different ships in Papua New Guinea (Noel had his own-different-ship), with thirteen local men as crew. The charts were out of date, there were chart errors* and GPS errors. I HAD to rely on my navigation skills. This wasn’t easy, I was in new ports, fast currents, narrow channels and a boat with its controls labelled in Japanese (plus 300 passengers).

Coupled with all this fun, some of the boats were air-started… use too many forward and astern manoeuvres when docking (on a busy commercial wharf), and you run out of air, run out of….. engine!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

My skills
I was told today that I don’t have enough skills to be a trainer – which is my job in Australia. Assumptions were made after reading my blog. So I’m giving myself a shout-out today.

Proud
I am proud of my skills, they have been earned. I’ve not only been a commercial skipper on the high-seas, but busy inland waterways and canals too. As a commercial skipper (up to 80 metres) I have had, not only, to sit tough exams (written and verbal and practical), to gain my tickets, I have to prove my commercial sea-time and prove my skills and experience by signed reports by Captains of a higher level. My qualifications were only granted after the assessments were done and, in some cases, years of sea-time had to documented.

So, yes, this is a shout out for me! …and…

By the by, combining Noel’s experience with mine, both recreational and commercial, into a book isn’t easy (it’s a big book) – but it is amazing value at $4.99! – more pictures here and here. Plus another great resource here.

9780987551504 - Copyreduced

  • Cruisers’ AA contains details on all the errors that can occur, and how to deal with them – some may well surprise you!


2 Comments

Lightning At Sea Tips – Precautions

It’s one of my biggest fears at sea…. streaks of electricity aiming for the highest thing in the ocean – our mast!

Here’s some tips to help prevent damage and other precautions to take:

Your *oven (or microwave) is a good temporary *‘Faraday cage’ for protecting equipment during a lightning storm. (Faraday cages shield their contents from static electric fields.) During a lightning storm ensure you disconnect your equipment, flicking off a circuit breaker is not enough if you are hit. If you have put your equipment in the oven, don’t forget to remove it before next using the oven or microwave!

In a serious electrical storm, the following is recommended:

Stay below decks (bear in mind to keep a good watch if at sea; the regulations state that ‘Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision’).
Stay away from the mast, boom, shrouds, chainplates, the mast compression post and mast below decks.
Plot your position and turn off all your electronic equipment.
Be aware of the set and drift so you can do a DR (deduced reckoning) if you have to. (See Navigation section.)
Do not operate radios unless in an extreme emergency.
Lightning storms are usually short lived.

ID-100130887

Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you suffer a strike:

Check your through-hulls (if they are metal) for any discoloration in the fibreglass or other signs of damage associated with the strike.
Check for electrical damage and check your rigging. Double check your compass, it may have been affected.
Protection: There are lightning protection devices which some people like and others do not. Research your circumstances and see what suits your situation and set up best.

Indirect hit: A lot of damage can be suffered from an indirect hit; a nearby boat or buoy could be hit and the charge can transfer through the water to other vessels.

No GPS or Radio: It will pay to be able to navigate by chart and deduced reckoning; you may have no electronics and no way to radio for help.

Insurance: If you are insured, after a lightning strike call your insurance company at the first opportunity and follow instructions. It will probably mean a haul out and/or inspection.

Excerpt from Cruisers’ AA – now available for around $3.99 (US) on Kindle!

*A Faraday cage is a metallic enclosure that prevents the entry or escape of an electromagnetic field.

*The oven needs to be the type without glass (ie all metal, so a metal door). Please note, this is advice we have taken, and have no actual ‘proof’ it works! – It certainly made us feel better during a lightning storm.