Jackie Parry – author


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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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Sunken boats (not ours!)

Fanfare if you please, we’ve made it to the Canal du Midi.

Entering the Canal du Midi

Entering the Canal du Midi

Lake Etang de Thau was welcoming in its expanse. It was nice to see a long watery horizon. We had perfect conditions, the sun bounced off the silken water and reflected the cloudless blue sky.

About to enter the lake.

About to enter the lake, prior to reaching the Midi

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Lake Etang de Thau. It is illegal to traverse this lake in winds in above Beaufort scale 3, (7 to 10 knots).

The Midi has presented its own challenges, round locks, shallow depths, narrow stretches and low bridges. It’s had our adrenaline up at times, it’s tested our boat handling skills and we’ve loved every minute.

Squeezing under bridges, there are lower ones to come!

Squeezing under bridges, there are lower ones to come!

Rouge Corsair's fine bow, slicing through the water.

Rouge Corsair’s fine bow, slicing through the water.

Many plane trees are still left, but more are sadly marked for cutting down. But there’s hope that the beauty will be restored with new trees lining parts of the canal.

The beautiful trees are still in abundance... our first mooring in the Midi - just heavenly.

The beautiful trees are still in abundance… our first mooring in the Midi – just heavenly.

small scale big lake

Frontignan - our last stop before crossing the Lake.

Frontignan – our last stop before crossing the Lake.

The startling array of sunken boats as we entered the Midi was quite astonishing. These few, in the pictures, were in a stretch of half a kilometre, and I didn’t photograph them all… so sad to see…

A useful sunken boat!

A useful sunken boat!

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Floating on a cloud!

Yesterday as we puttered alongside the paprika sprinkled hills showing their Autumn change, we decided it was time to start anchoring each evening.

Paprika coloured leaves showing the on-set on Autumn.

Paprika coloured leaves showing the on-set on Autumn.

While sailing we spent ninety-five percent of our time anchoring at each port. While traversing the Great Loop in America we had vast, stunning bays all to ourselves, as everyone went into marinas. Thirteen years ago, in France on our sailboat, we anchored most of the time.

I love the rituals that go with anchoring, where we both concentre on the sounder, our position and the best place; the finite control to stop the boat just where we want her, before applying astern propulsion so the chain is laid out nicely in a line.

Noel 'coaxing' the windlass back into action.

Noel ‘coaxing’ the windlass back into action.

The boat easing to a gentle stop with the anchor dug in and the chain straight then slack, restful. The anchor light set up for when nature’s light slinks off behind the horizon, and raising the black ball. The noting of position using bearings to know whether we’ve dragged.

A novel idea for an anchor light pole.

A novel idea for an anchor light pole.

On anchor it is softer, there are no lines to pull in one direction then another as the boat shifts. Rouge Corsair is held steady by the catenary in the chain, acting as a soft spring. She moves with the water, everything is so much gentler, while we watch the slowly shifting view.

Not a bad view from our 'island'

Not a bad view from our ‘island’

The new solar panels earn their keep and make it all worthwhile, as now we have our own private island with no neighbours – bliss!

We are where the circle is, off the main channel.

We are where the circle is, off the main channel. The green line is our route line.


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International (Personal) Aid! – Positive Thoughts

It’s hard to have positive thoughts when you’re painting the hull of an 18.5 metre boat; time is running out to complete your tax return and the internet connection is as useful as a chocolate anchor.

However, while painting Rouge Corsair, it gave me time to reflect. Just lately I’ve been thinking about friends. You know, those really close friends that you can ‘be yourself’ with. These particular friends (below) are being an incredible support to me right now, as I take the plunge with publishing my next book.

So for my positive, I wanted to give a shout out for my small, close, group of mates who support me in my many, and varied escapades.

Rachel Amphlett – best-selling author. I met Rachel while travelling, we gelled slowly, but deeply. My questions and pleas for help, on writing (and some technical) questions are always answered with great detail, grace, and patience! She has a full-time job and continually publishes excellent books too. If you like fast-paced thrillers, she’s your gal!

Rachel

Rachel

Carole Eardman Grant – I got to know Carole through a sailing Facebook Group and we’ve actually met. We ‘clicked’ and now we administer a group on FB together – so we chat regularly. Carole has a great sense of humour and like my other friends, she keeps my feet firmly on the ground. She helps straighten me out if I go on a whinge-binge!

Carole

Carole

Anne Norris – retired traveller and woman extraordinaire. Anne came to our rescue when we did our horse-trekking, and so very quickly (and wonderfully) became part of our lives. Anne has had an incredible life travelling and surviving, she should write a book. She keeps me grounded, she doesn’t suffer fools and just knows where I am coming from. She always knows the right thing to say to me.

Anne ('I look demented in this pic - but what the heck!')

Anne (‘I look demented in this pic – but what the heck!’)

Julia Smallbone – spends her time helping people to create home-based businesses for themselves in the health and wellbeing marketplace. I met Julia through work – a long time ago. She always intrigues and surprises me when she reveals more of herself and how smart she is. Julia is always ready to read my emails and laugh at me when I vent, bringing me back down to earth. She’s just there for me. She makes me laugh and seeing an email from Julia in my in-box always induces a smile.

Julia

Julia

These woman are incredibly smart (and often make me wonder why they like me), and strong. They are successful, funny and self-deprecating, but most importantly (for me) not one of these woman JUDGE ME. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done with my life, what I am doing now and what I may do in the future – they’ll smile, support, laugh, cry and pick me up when necessary – and just be there.

I just wanted to say ‘thanks’.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net