Jackie Parry – author


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2 Hemispheres, 2 People, and 1 Boat!

In January I will be launching the Pyewacket story. In 2009 we flew to San Francisco, purchased a sailboat and sailed back to Australia via Easter Island, Pitcairn and many other wonderful, far-flung places – over two years.

It sounds so simple when I write it now, but it wasn’t – it was a tough and emotional journey. When I trawled through my notes and logbooks and pulled the story together we were both surprised at the magnitude and variation of events – some were hair-raising!

I will be placing a full photo album on this website when I launch the book (as per usual there will be additional colour photos in the paperback edition), for now, though, here’s just a taster….

Down there is Peru!

Down there is Peru! Tristan Jones inspired us to visit Lake Titicaca. From Ecuador we rode on a bus inland. This was our galley and our host!

 

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca – we learned fascinating information of how they ‘make’ their islands on the lake

Samoa - during a week long festival - so many naked bodies, so little time!

Samoa – during a week-long festival – so many naked bodies, so little time!

Suwarrow - no strangers here....

Suwarrow – no strangers here…. A place where we picked up the threads of our previous voyage; a place where it all began to make sense….

I had a terrifying shark encounter!

I had a terrifying shark encounter, which I am still trying to recover from!

The adventure begins in Pitcairn!

The adventure begins in Pitcairn!

 

Salt encrusted lines, close to sinking en route to Easter Island, then even closer to losing the boat at the Gambiers!

Salt encrusted lines, via strong head winds day after day, week after week! We were close to sinking en route to Easter Island, then even closer to losing the boat at the Gambiers!

Guess where?

Guess where. The remotest inhabited island in the world!

A heavenly place we were blown to during a gale... a place we never planned to visit - heaven!

A heavenly place we were blown to during a gale… a place we never planned to visit – heaven!

The book, (title to be confirmed) will be launched in January. It’ll have you gripping the sides of your armchair with fear, and clutching your stomach in laughter.

Follow this blog for updates or on Facebook here.


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Where Is The Best Office In The World?

Here of course….. sailing along the NSW coast in Australia, on our way to our next adventure.

Sailing (and writing) in my slippers along the NSW coast

Sailing in my slippers! And Writing – this was the beginning of Of Foreign Build… Note the bikes (bike wheels upside down outside the stanchions), the outboard is under the blue canvas by my head. We were on our way!

 

Perhaps in a TSR (Travelling Stock Route) on the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) with 5 horses and a tent…

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Somewhere nearby there are five very happy horses, gallavanting, galloping, and rolling in the creek! Meanwhile, notes on the horse trekking book A Standard Journey started here….

 

What about on a 1920s Dutch barge in France? Not bad, but we were (and still are) renovating – it’s a noisy, dusty, and messy place to live and work.

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Magdalena Bay, Mexico – the cafe was closed but wifi was on!

In beautiful locations the work doesn't stop!

We’d recently purchased Pyewacket in San Francisco and were on our way to La Paz… but plans changed rapidly. We spent two years sailing back to Australia via Pitcairn and Easter Island, etc…. a tough journey – detail of which in my next book This Is It, out January 2016.

 

On a barrel in the boat yard in Panama?

The dinghy dock payment each day was good fun too!

Well at least I got to stay relatively clean!

 

Puttering along the Intracoastal Waterway of America. Near South Carolina on our 10 metre sailing boat Mariah II.

I make time to write anywhere/anytime!

Flat water sailing – yippee!

I’m a travel writer – literally. If you want to travel and work you can – you just have to make it happen.

Where’s your favourite office? Where’s the most exotic, fun, extreme place you’ve worked?

 


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Famed Yachting Authors

Many authors dream of a publishing contract. Knowing what I know now, it’s no longer my priority – although it is definitely up for discussion.

Image courtesy of phasinphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alongside famous authors
However, I’ve recently signed a publishing contract that will place Of Foreign Build alongside famous authors.

pic for audio book

Who?
New Street Nautical signed me up a few weeks ago saying, ‘we’d like to do an audio version of your wonderful book.’

Research
When one receives a fantastic offer it’s prudent to make some enquiries:Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • You check out the company – TICK
  • Check the contract thoroughly – TICK
  • Check the company background again – TICK
  • See who else they’ve published – TICK (and smile)
  • Read contract again and do a happy dance – TICK!

Famed Yachting Authors
My book will be alongside famed yachting authors such as Callahan, McCormick, Lin and Larry Pardey, and Cornell!

It’s all happening!
A professional female voice artist has just been hired and in mid-July the audio version will become available via Amazon.

There’s more… !
What’s more “A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people and 1 tent” will be out in June.

A Standard Journey front cover v2 reduced

Ohhh, I feel a giveaway coming on…. watch this space!


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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!

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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?


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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.



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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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?


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“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!)