Jackie Parry – author


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Ditch Kit, Grab Bag, Flee Bag

Think Survival At Sea

Cruisers’ Accumulated Acumen is selling incredibly well and has been tagged by a top sailing magazine as, “…probably the most comprehensive reference book designed for preparation for cruising life.”

Here’s an excerpt from our book – which not only includes over 1,800 tips, tricks and ideas for living on board, but also informative and fun articles such as this…

 

Your grab bag, ditch kit, flee bag (sounds like my old dog), jump-and-go-bag should include stuff to measure your own priorities and capabilities. What would you need? Who is on board and where you are going? Does everyone on board know where it is?

Align your inclusions with distance. Seasons don’t count, anyone on the water knows you can experience all four seasons twice in one day. However, thinking about the sea temperature is important; hypothermia has an insatiable hunger. The sea gods also have an unquenchable greed and anything in your boat that you think you need should have a piece of string (lanyard) fitted, to give you a fighting chance of hanging on to it. Common sense, speedy reaction and lack of panic should be mentioned, although I am not sure how to pack those things. The bag obviously needs to be watertight and waterproof, a bright reflective colour is a good idea (boats don’t just sink during the day).

Each to their own; some people include their obituaries – how very odd . . .! Other cruising buddies suggest a book and a mattress! All very nice, but I can think of several more important items. I’d rather have an extra bottle of water than reading material.

The Obvious

At the very least have water, flares and attention grabbers, surviving is nice, but being rescued is even better. The ditch kit should contain items for immediate use and possibly some months. Short-term think injuries, hypothermia and signalling devices. Mid to long-term survival, think water and food. Are you going to make water or catch it? Can you catch fish? Provision for prevention of sun exposure is imperative if you don’t want to end up like a crisp.

How much?

I have seen lists for short-term (minutes to hours), mid-term (hours to days), medium-term (days to weeks) and long-term (weeks to months). All very useful but how do you know which bag to collect when your boat sinks? Do you take all four? Think necessity not holiday!

Can the bag be snatched quickly? Paperwork is a good one, your passports and boat papers have to be somewhere, why not in the grab bag? Add a few dollars (American dollars are the most widely accepted if you are travelling overseas). Think of all the bureaucratic bits of paper that cause major headaches and gnashing of teeth, if you had to replace them.

As terrifying as it sounds, one day you might need it; now’s the time to think carefully about what it should contain. Grab bags provide thought-provoking conversations to all boat people. (Young, ‘Include my favourite toy’, old, ‘Put in the fine Scotch dear’), both would argue that their life depends on it.

Research suggests forgetting everything you have seen in the movies, on TV and in novels. But I tend to disagree, who’s to say what happens – survivors of course, but what of those who don’t. That monumentally dramatised scene could be precisely what happens. We’ve met a survivor whose boat took fifteen minutes to sink. He had ‘all the time in the world’ to grab stuff from cupboards. He now thinks all boats take this long to be swallowed in to the deep. Most of us know a story where a boat vanishes within seconds; those brief moments may give you enough time to grab your survival bag.

Our Bag

We have one big bag on our boat, which ideally should be split in two (1) Absolute necessities and (2) Necessities. However, it’s not and at the time of writing we are firmly welded to a mooring (for now). Our bag includes years of ideas gleaned from chatting to other people on boats as to ‘what’s in yours?’. It has (in no particular order): survival suits, sunglasses, wind up torch, handheld radio (VHF) and spare batteries, Spirulina (nutrient source in powder form), survival sheets (space blankets), hand Watermaker, toilet roll, water, string, fishing hooks/line, signalling mirror, knife, seasick tablets, First Aid with extra strong painkillers, flares, sanitary products, wet/baby wipes, tea towel, plastic bags, sea marker dye, lighter, paperwork (passports/boat papers/money), sunscreen, t-shirts, whistle, barley sugar, handheld GPS and batteries.

Diving into the bag after a year I am surprised to see that the wet wipes are still moist and the Spirulina still edible (mind you, it does look and smell remarkably like mould – even when new). Clearly, batteries should be replaced regularly, as should water in plastic bottles (leeching). Sunscreen and tablets/pills will have use by dates to be aware of too. We have spent over three weeks at sea in one go and been 1,500 miles from the nearest land, hence a fairly comprehensive bag. In compiling our kit, we gave careful thought to all the yummy stuff already included in our life-raft when it was last surveyed. Our EPIRBs are mounted in the boat, perhaps one should have been in the bag. Now, I would also include the Leatherman and some cereal bars. But the bag is heavy already.

Watermaker

Our small Watermaker was purchased in America (US$600). In Puerto Rico we met a guy who spent 66 days in a life-raft, in the Pacific Ocean, with his wife. They were attacked and holed by a pod of whales, ‘they were so lovely, riding alongside us and suddenly they turned . . .’  (Note to self: do not enjoy company of whales, turn on engine and shoot flares into water if same happens). He claims that they would be dead if they had not had the Watermaker in their grab bag. Before setting sail into the mighty Pacific, we purchased one. The emotions of coughing up the equivalent of almost a thousand Australian dollars were an odd mix; unwillingness to part with a large chunk of our cruising budget, conflicting with the thought that should we find our lives depended on it, it would seem a remarkably small amount of money. The Watermaker is still in its bag, unused and lonely, long may it remain so!

Other suggestions from friends: My humble opinion
Chemical heat packs Space blanket is smaller and works well
Petroleum jelly A necessity?
Book to read Really?
Wool and rubber work gloves Maybe one pair
Enema sack for rehydration I’d rather drink the water
Inflatable splints Great idea
Repair kit Already in life-raft
Swiss Army knife, sharpening stone, tube of oil. Make sure knife is sharp to start with
Sextant Way too hard to use in life-raft
Sponges In life-raft already
Chemical light sticks Good idea
Navigation kit Maybe
Sea anchor Good idea
Dried fruit and chocolate I’d never say no to chocolate (ensure fruit is not already in chocolate – this stuff can really go off)
Survival ship’s biscuits Good idea
Multiple vitamins A necessity?
Small plankton net Hmmmm
Photocopies of all essential crew documents Yup(or the originals)
Shore survival items in case you land in an uninhabited island: waterproof matches, flint, wire saw It’s all getting a bit much
Self-inflating foam pad or air mattress What about a snugly blanket and a cuddly teddy bear too – really . . . !
Spare prescription glasses Good idea – these are in our life-raft
Pack all gear into separate waterproof bags Not a bad idea

We hope you found this article useful. It was compiled with ideas from many different cruisers and survivors. They all openly expressed their survival considerations, experience and concerns.

If you’d like to read more, click here.

 

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My Mum – My Self Appointed PR Rep

My mum is Brilliant…

…and probably about to be arrested!

Unique PR

I produced some rather snazzy bookmarks, detailing my books/adventures. My mum hands them out to anyone she meets or whoever knocks on her front door. She’s brilliant – my No.1 fan – and quite passionate!

She has just written me a note about accosting someone famous on my behalf! She’s either brilliant or mad – but probably both. She says:

On the way home Dad went into Sainsbury’s car park to get the papers and a few bits and whilst I sat in the car. You’ll never guess who walked passed, ONLY Paul Young!! I smashed on the window and leapt out of the car and said who I was plus you and ENPC (Enfield Chase Pony Club).  I think he thought I was some mad woman accosting him.  I blurted out your CV and could have kicked myself as I didn’t have any BOOKMARKS to give him. What an absolute chump am I!  Anyway, I mentioned www.jackieandnoelsjourneys.com and think he got it but he was in a hurry and had to get away.”

Mum’s not totally loopy – Paul’s daughter used to be a team member of Enfield Chace Prince Philip Cup Team and my mum and dad used to manage this team – so she did know him (and, I believe, he has sailing on his bucket list).

I was suitably impressed, as the first album I ever purchased was No Parlez. The first time I saw Paul was on daytime TV, after Rainbow, I was off sick from school – I’ve admired his work ever since.

I think Mum deserves a pay-rise, I’ve offered her double what she receives now – I think that’s fair.

ordinary-peopleextraordinary-adventures

I’ve offered Paul an audio, kindle or paperback book – I wonder if he’ll receive my message – perhaps he’s a little scared…..   not from my mum – but selling up and living your dream is a brave step…


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Unhealthy Writing!

Writing and Middle-Aged Spread!

I sit a lot. I have to, I’m a writer.

Coupled with middle age, this is not a good recipe for a healthy life.

So in order to combat midde-aged-spread (how lovely) I have a game plan.

  1. I’ve taken up baking again. Not pastries and cakes, well not all the time. But vegetarian and healthy foods. I have a huge appetite, and eating less is just not going to happen. Here’s one of my favourite recipes.

    Red Bean Moussaka

    Red Bean Moussaka

  2. Painting! Owning a boat keeps you fit, when we move, furling ropes, climbing ladders (for locks) and handling lines keeps me fit. Plus painting is a regular task. We’re thankfully at the point where we just need to touch up our paintwork. Here’s my latest project. I love this anchor winch, it’s functional and beautiful!

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass - after

    Anchor Windlass – after

If you are a writer/author or sit in an office, what are your tactics to stay fit and healthy?


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What I’ve Learned Voyaging Around the World

I’ve sailed around the world one and half times with Noel, I’ve not only grown, I’ve learned so much… here are my thoughts after our second trip across the Pacific Ocean…  some of these learnings I use in talks at schools…

The tough times, make the good times, so much better!

The tough times, make the good times, so much better!

  • Sailing is my drug. When I’m scared, I feel alive; when times are tough, my senses are heightened. Surviving the demands of furious seas enhances calm anchorages.
  • I must feed my addiction of adrenaline-thumping emotions of electrifying fear and invigorating fright.
  • It doesn’t matter what we tackle as long as tension, terror, anticipation, and elation can have a punch-up in my gut and come out battered and bruised – but, still mates.
  • The most important part of seizing life by the scruff of the neck and relishing it is learning to love yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are living in paradise or a shoe-box; if you don’t like yourself, you won’t like your life. You must love the boat you have, and love the body (and mind) you have, too. If you don’t, a trip won’t change that, and it will never be special.
  • We must all face compromises to move forward in life. Many concessions are our own decision, but there are also penalties in how people perceive you, especially if you are a little different.
Being happy with what you have - what you are, and what you are doing - is the secret to happiness... oh, and have a purpose too...

Being happy with what you have – what you are, and what you are doing – is the secret to happiness… oh, and have a purpose too…

Be Different
I urge you to be different; step outside the box; allow your light to shine. We all make career, family, and money decisions. Whatever you do, someone somewhere will judge you.

Have faith, follow your inner compass, and be gracious, because then you can’t fail.

If that means standing away from the crowd and making yourself a prime target for opinionated people, then keep this in mind: those who are ostracised, judged, and questioned are remembered.

Be different (Ecuador)

Be different (Ecuador)

This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat details our two-year trip crossing the Pacific Ocean

Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl To Sea Gypsy Woman details our nine-year circumnavigation on a small boat

A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent details our adventure living with five adopted horses in the Australian bush for several months.

If you want to know what we’re up to right now – on a Dutch barge in Europe, look here.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8

Amazon book links

A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney

Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7157763.Jackie_Sarah_Parry?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jackieparry7543

Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jackieparry

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113148478675680852619/posts/p/pub

Photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2

Photo album of Of Foreign Build: https://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/

Photo album of Cruisers’AA: https://jackieparry.com/pics/

Photo album of This Is It: https://jackieparry.com/photos-this-is-it/

A Standard Journey FB Page: https://goo.gl/uV7NGY

Cruisers’ AA FB Page:  https://goo.gl/2vEnkB

Of Foreign Build FB Page: https://goo.gl/VvLT3M

Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218

 


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Mid Ocean Drama

Excerpt: This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and I boat

Intro: We’re in the middle of the ocean – thousands of miles from land, sailing from Galapagos to Easter Island, the remotest inhabited island in the world….

‘What the f**k!’ I yelled from the galley. My feet were soaking wet. I looked down. Brown, filthy water swirled around my ankles. At that moment, a wave slammed into port side and shoved Pyewacket over and onto her starboard side momentarily. The disgusting water that caused me to pinch my nose gleefully ran to the other side of the galley, washing its mucky trail all over the floor.

Three difficult weeks at sea, living on a tilting vessel!

Three difficult weeks at sea, living on a tilting vessel!

‘What the effing-hell is going on!’ I looked in the sink. Another shot of water came up and over the sink’s edge as we lurched back onto our port side, my feet desperately trying to grip the sloping, slimy floor.

I peered through the window that led to the cockpit and watched Noel merrily chirping a pretty song with a hose in his hand.

‘Whatever you’re doing, STOP!’ I yelled.

I knew we weren’t sinking; the brown muck had come via an internal system.

‘What’s going on?’ Noel sauntered into the galley and sharply stopped. ‘Oh dear.’

‘Oh dear! Oh bloody dear,’ I screeched as the foul water sloshed around the gyrating floor, and I tried to sponge it into a sliding bucket. I skidded on my hands and knees within the quagmire as if on ice, cursing as each bump on Pyewacket’s bow caused the odorous water to leap up and splash the cupboards.

‘It’s from the cockpit drain,’ Noel explained sheepishly.

‘Never mind, help me clean up.’

Water constantly splashed over the entire boat - coating the everything in a fine salt

Water constantly splashed over the entire boat – coating the everything in a fine salt

In the galley floor were four boards that lifted. Beneath the floor were large bilge cupboards, where we stowed items in plastic containers in case water came in. While scooping and sponging up the marsh-like water, we hauled out cartons of pasta and rice and tried to find an alternative place to stow them in the tilting, squirming boat.

Half an hour later, we were drying out; the smell eased back to a wafty pong, and we sat in the cockpit, unaware of the jarring boat, glad to relax for a minute.

‘The rain wasn’t draining from the cockpit, so I connected up the deck wash hose to flush out the drains.’

‘Hmm.’ I allowed myself a small grin.

‘The pressure must have forced all that shit up through the kitchen sink. What a stupid way to arrange the plumbing…  I should have looked at that before we left,’ he admitted.

I wasn’t upset or angry any more. Noel was simply trying to make a repair; he didn’t intend to cause such mayhem. We don’t blame or hold grudges – we’re both working to achieve the same thing: a safe passage. Recrimination is such a damaging emotion; it can follow you around like a shadow, sit with you at dinner, and cast a depressing grey over all you do. We had no room for that in our lives.

We made it! But it wasn't easy - the plumbing problem was minor to the other events en route.

We made it! But it wasn’t easy – the plumbing problem was minor to the other events en route.

Find out what we are up to currently on a 1920s Dutch barge in Europe – here.

Would you like to take a look around our boat – look here.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8

Amazon book links

A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney

Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7157763.Jackie_Sarah_Parry?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jackieparry7543

Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jackieparry

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113148478675680852619/posts/p/pub

Photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2

Photo album of Of Foreign Build: https://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/

Photo album of Cruisers’AA: https://jackieparry.com/pics/

Photo album of This Is It: https://jackieparry.com/photos-this-is-it/

A Standard Journey FB Page: https://goo.gl/uV7NGY

Cruisers’ AA FB Page:  https://goo.gl/2vEnkB

Of Foreign Build FB Page: https://goo.gl/VvLT3M

Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218


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This Is It – Excerpt ….. to be released soon…

This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat

Here’s an excerpt from my new book…  coming soon…

With an intimidating selection of equipment to buy and fit, we found ourselves immersed in several dozen projects at once. With travelling and learning about a new boat, we’d had no time to reflect on our achievements or what we were doing. It’s rare that Noel and I suffer from homesickness; family and friends drift in and out of our thoughts, but the intangible force to move is more powerful; it’s irresistible.

Travelling makes sense to us both. We’re most content when we have a home that can move and relocate anywhere. Entering a new port, we’re filled with the excitement of exploring, learning, and meeting new folk. But when it’s time to leave, we become edgy and fidgety with thoughts: will the weather help or hinder? And when it’s time to go, there’s no controlling the urge – an invisible force pushes us along. On the one hand, we are lucky to have the same drive, inquisitiveness, and sense to explore; on the other, I wonder why we are so unsettled. We are malcontent with letter boxes and a home that doesn’t move. We find contentment in being unsettled, where nothing is the same, where locating the right shops is a skill (and figuring out how to get there), the language changes, the culture challenges.

Being nomadic is not often about being foot-loose and fancy-free; romance plays a minuscule role. Frustrations, costs, and the hardships of uncertainties and fickle weather are all part of the story. But the flip side is immense: a life that’s kindred to freedom, confronting each ordeal to reap the rewards of seeing the world, and meeting people from such far-flung cultures that teach you so much. Luck plays a tiny part – it’s mostly about making it happen. It is an extraordinary life, but it isn’t easy. We split ourselves from our family, friends, and the comfort of day-to-day income and services. We can be up night after night in bad weather, bored listless on anchor watch, petrified of what’s around the corner, and boat bound due to unsafe ports. But that’s what makes it enough. The highs are the foundation of the lows. If we don’t have something to look forward to, something to push our bodies and stretch our skills, complacency replaces joy. We choose this roaming lifestyle because of the challenge and rewards – whatever path we choose, we have to deal with crap; the particular garbage that comes hand-in-hand with travelling is the stuff we can deal with. Noel and I are woven from the same cloth, and I thank my lucky stars we found each other.


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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.