Jackie Parry – author


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Shark Encounter That Changed My Life

Excerpt from This It It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat

Tahanea Atoll is part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. For an atoll, it is large, measuring almost thirty miles in length; the maximum width is just under ten miles. There’s a narrow entrance and a wide lagoon to anchor within. It’s uninhabited but visited occasionally by islanders from neighbouring atolls for fishing.

We anchored in clear, turquoise water a fair distance away from shore and the other three boats already there. We declined the offer of joining the other cruisers on a shark dive in the passageway – sharks weren’t my thing; I noticed Noel wasn’t that keen, either.

‘They won’t hurt you,’ they said. ‘The sharks there have no teeth; they can only suck the flesh off your arm!’

We weren’t sure if this was a joke or reality; either way, the outcome wasn’t endearing.

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

We took time to assemble, pump up, and off-load our large rubber dinghy; we wanted to snorkel on a reef, but first, we had to float our anchor chain. Finding a sandy patch to anchor in was a little tricky; between the anchor and the boat, the chain would snag on coral heads. The sharp coral can wear chain over time but, short-term, the chain causes damage. Our boat fenders were ideal floats. Every five metres, we lashed a fender to the chain to keep it floating above the living structure of the reef and to prevent snatching where the chain had been shortened when snagged. I kept one eye open for sharks.

With that job done, we puttered over to a coral patch, where we thought we’d be safe. This is where I learned I could walk on water.

On our way to dive

On our way to dive

There we were, having a jolly good time drifting along with the gentle current, watching colourful fish flash alongside vibrant coral. Noel swam about twenty metres in front of me, and something made me turn around. As I swung my head over my left shoulder, I practically touched noses with a black-tip shark. A cold rush of terror gushed into my belly as if a sluice gate had been opened.

My mate sharky

My mate sharky

Noting its teeth and bulky length at almost twice my height, I screamed, spun around, and flailed my way towards Noel. Running on pure adrenaline, I didn’t make the decision – fight or flight didn’t cross the wreckage of my mind, but clearly, flight had won the day. I can be calm when in immediate danger; meeting a shark so intimately had proven this wasn’t always the case.

As I thrashed my way towards Noel, I forgot to breathe, but my mind conveniently decided to voice its opinion.

You’re never going to out swim a shark! My thoughts tormented me; they were at odds with my physical emotions as if they were sitting back in a deck chair enjoying the show.

Any moment sharky is going to be enjoying lunch care of your left thigh.

But I couldn’t stop. I had leaped into sheer panic mode. I had no control of my actions, and it appeared that I couldn’t control my thoughts, either.

As I flogged my way nearer to Noel, he was blissfully unaware of my stress as he silently snorkelled in peace. He jumped two foot clear of the water as I grabbed his leg, clawed across his back, and sat on his shoulders.

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

‘What the…. what’re you doing, gerrrooofff!’

He pulled me down beside him.

‘Shark, there’s a shark!’ I scanned the area. Sharky was hiding somewhere, clearly having a good titter at my expense.

‘It grinned at me. It was so close I nearly kissed it!’ I said breathlessly. ‘I think we upset him by not going to see him with the diving excursion, and he decided to pay us a visit.’ Fear makes me ramble.

Noel laughed. ‘It’s okay. Let’s go over there. It’s a bit shallower, and we can regroup.’

We stood on a reef, where the water came to above my knees. I peered at Pyewacket way off on the horizon.

‘At least the dinghy is nearby.’

‘Well, it’s a few minutes swim to reach it,’ Noel said. My heart did a little flip.

‘Will you let go of me now?’ Noel said as he tried to unpeel my arms away from his neck. I’d become a remarkable human form of Velcro.

‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ Noel muttered as he managed to free himself, and I turned to look. I knew his cool demeanour didn’t always mean the situation was cool. And I was right. My mate with the sharp teeth circled us, clearly revelling in our situation. He had us surrounded. Round and around he swam; his black beady eyes watching.

Then he started circling us!

Then he started circling us!

‘Shit!’ I can be so eloquent.

‘Let’s head back to the dinghy,’ Noel suggested.

‘And how do you propose we do that?’ I asked with my knees knocking. I had found the thing scared me silly. I didn’t like any of it – the thumping adrenaline or trembling limbs. Blind panic and tremendous fear wasn’t something I experienced often; now it was becoming frequent!

I searched around the area and found two three-foot sticks to carry. I am not sure what I could have done if the blacktip fancied a munch. Perhaps poke him a bit and give him the hump? But it made me feel better.

My defense!

My defense!

Much to Noel’s amusement, I swam back to the dinghy in circles, so I could keep an eye on anything that lurked behind me.

That moment changed my enjoyment of dipping in the oceans forever, but I didn’t know I’d be gleefully jumping into shark infested water again… soon.


For more stories on our current escapades and more pictures: click here.

Our boat is for sale: click here to have a good look at our 1920s Dutch Barge.

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

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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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Nothing is Impossible!

“Nothing is impossible – the world itself says, ‘I’m possible!'”

Inspiration: The quote above is by the beautiful Audrey Hepburn, and the beauty in life was part of the inspiration for my story: Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman.

Living on a ten metre boat, for nine years, I saw the world and changed from a scared, brokenhearted girl, into a sea-gypsy woman – I figured out who I am. Here’s a brief glimpse into my life…

down wind

Sailing: Traversing oceans is not like a plane or car ride. Nothing is certain except a vast puddle of water and a great stretch of sky. The days pass, measured not in hours but in distance. It’s dynamic, fantastic and petrifying all at the same time. There is rarely pattern or logic; you deal with what’s received, as it arrives . . . moment by moment.

Paradoxical beauty: Pounding waves, great geysers of water, white bubbles chuckling softly amid giant swells. Plunging into the void, pushing away thoughts of what lurks below. The wind from hell. Disgruntled clouds carrying punches.???????????????????????

Reality: Hopping in a warm bunk, trusting my partner with my life enables me to sleep. Malcontent wind and waves provide rude awakenings. The dawn paints the horizon in breathtaking crimson or sadistic black. The crucial burden of stores, lifted with the seas.???????????????????????

A Lesson in Humility: Vivid green phosphorescence streaks behind magnificent dolphins and rainbow reflections of oil. The paradoxical beauty of the ocean.

The result:
“Your book helped me through a recent bereavement.”
“It made me cry, laugh and quake with fear in equal measure.”
“Your insight-fullness and sense of adventure captured me.”
“Beautifully written with honesty, humour and love for all living creatures on this planet.”
“It’s a long while since I’ve so engaged with a book.”
“Once you start this book, you’ll not want to put it down.”
“Moving, rousing, uplifting, stimulating.”
“I loved “Of Foreign Build.” The book is listed as a memoir, a misnomer I believe, as I found it to be much more. It’s really a love story, an adventure story, and a story of personal growth and determination all rolled into a nine year odyssey.”

What inspires you?

Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman

for FB for marketing 5 star sticker


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$2.99 last chance for a bargain

Price goes back up to a massive $3.99 tomorrow!

Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 2.99 cents for 24 hours!

Click HERE to read the 5 star reviews

Click HERE to read more details

Click HERE to order (or other places to order HERE)

Click HERE to see the author being an author!9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED

Click HERE to win….


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$1.99 today! Have your cake and eat it!

Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 1.99 cents for 24 hours! At Amazon.com (your location must be USA – you can set it there temporarily – wherever you are!)

Click HERE to read the 5 star reviews

Click HERE to read more details

Click HERE to order (or other places to order HERE)

Click HERE to see the AUTHOR IN HER PJs! (what again!)

Click HERE to win….

9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED


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99 cents today!

Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 99 cents for 24 hours!

Just think about how many Christmas presents you can buy with $10!

Click HERE to read the 5 star reviews

Click HERE to read more details

Click HERE to order (or other places to order HERE)

Click HERE to see the AUTHOR IN HER PJs!

9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED

oh – and have a go at winning $400 Amazon vouchers HERE


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Save money, win, then lose yourself in another world!

Have you blown your budget on Christmas presents already and want to know why everyone is reading Of Foreign Build?

Of Foreign Build has received rave reviews, such as:
‘I haven’t slept more than 6 hours in two days! Loved both books. Informative, funny, intelligent writing by a talented lady.’

I’d like you to read it too, so TOMORROW – 21ST NOVEMBER, Of Foreign Build is for sale for just 99 cents!
****99 CENTS!****

It’s a perfect Christmas gift . . .

Image courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

HURRY, it is for 24 hours only
Then it goes up to $1.99 for 24 hours
Then $2.99 for 24 hours

A Bargain buy for 3 days….. don’t miss out, see what everyone is saying! Click HERE.

You can also WIN a $400 Amazon spending spree to help the budget
For a chance to win a $400 Amazon Shopping Spree, compliments of The Kindle Book Review, Digital Book Today, click HERE!To order my best-selling book for 99 cents!, click HERE.

ID-10010586

More Reviews:

 I just love how you turn blank sheets of paper into beautiful words.’

‘As always, she writes with honesty and humour to engage sailors and non sailors alike.’

‘A wonderful read. Jackie’s writing style exudes energy and joie de vivre.’

‘I got it this morning and I can’t put it down.. ‘

9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED


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TOMORROW I WILL REVEAL ALL – big announcement

What can it be?…. I can tell you, it’ll be worth a look….

You will have a chance to win, lose and save……

Win…… lots!

Image courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lose …. yourself in another world!

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

Save… who doesn’t want to make a saving this time of year?!

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

…coming up

watch this space….

In 2 days time…. I will announce an… erm….announcement ….. a big one… that is….

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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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.


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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!