Jackie Parry – author


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I choose happiness

I’ve neglected the part of my blog that I dedicate to positive thoughts, so here’s a few…

I could choose to moan about:

  • The weather (it got really chilly today), but the nip on my cheeks is refreshing.

  • The rather large steel water tank sitting right in the middle of our half-demolished boat – but it means we are another step closer to finishing the renovations.

  • The mess I am living in (it’s a work-site) – but its kind-of fun and a great excuse for not doing any housework!

  • The forty-five minute cycle to the supermarket – but it’s keeping me fit and healthy

I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness. Enjoy your day, every day!

Choose happiness and have fun. Learn to laugh at life's little challenges!

Choose happiness and have fun. Learn to laugh at life’s little challenges! (‘Tash, my great friend and I giggle a lot!)

….. and our books are doing rather well….

take a look – there’s chapters you can peruse before you buy….. Of Foreign Build and Cruisers’ AA

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The Midi, perhaps once isn’t enough…

The two days that inspired my last blog, were just two days. Rude visitors on hire boats made the busy stretch an arduous journey. Our patience was tested to the extreme, but it was just two days!

Shower of autumn golden leaves.

Shower of autumn golden leaves.

In the last two days since, we’ve only seen two hire boats on the move and no other boats whatsoever. The tie ups near the locks are easy, quiet and safe.

The autumn leaves shower down on us as we putter through, burnt oranges, flame reds and deep purples. The ducks still laugh at us as we pass by, the Herons flap lazily across our bow and the otters paddle beneath the dappled light.

Dappled light - stunning

Dappled light – stunning

With great tie up places and crisp, blue days of low humidity; no bumper boats (hire boats) and perfect countryside views, the days are a joy.

Helpful lock-keepers together with helpful public that push the buttons on the automatic locks or catch our lines have made  the last few days perfect.

Perfect days

Perfect days


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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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You sexy thing you!

With years of owning white boats (which were very nice) we are having some fun making Rouge Corsair bright and sexy!

At last the hull coat is on for winter.

At last the hull coat is on for winter.

With our official British Registration number on and the name, we are starting to feel like the boat is really ours!

We have something on the stern which is, apparently, ‘illegal’ though… can you spot why? The question is, do we worry about it or not?

I'm very proud to name our boat after my horse, who was amazing and could do anything!

I’m very proud to name our boat after my horse, who was amazing and could do anything!