Jackie Parry – author


Writing Competition

Short Story Writing Competition

I won this month!

June’s travel writing competition, that Robert Fear hosts, attracted many talented writers. This morning I received notification that I won this month.

They are all short stories related to travel – some of the yarns will surprise you, all will delight you.

Here’s a copy of my story, click here to read the others, you won’t be disappointed.

“You’re finally settling down?” Friends are intrigued.
“Well, no. We still travel but on home land, not foreign.” We explain.

I’ve discovered that travel is your mind’s view, not just your eyes’. Our own park-land replaces far-flung cultures. We still explore exotic communities, only this location fits better, like a warm, floppy jumper.

Now, the tender whicker from a happy horse saying g’day replaces the mellow swish of parting ocean waves.

The travel-music of boisterous, hull-pounding seas is usurped by sixteen strong hooves thundering against native grasses, feisty back-legs hurled in the air just for the hell of it! Their hoof-beats are my heart-beats.

Before, when watching thick fog roll over the vast plains of salt water to swallow us into its chilly wisps, my shoulders rose up to my ears as I tensed sensing unseen dangers. Now, as the mist claims our valley I calmly ignore the night-time brisk that nips at my extremities, and I witness the white swirls settle as a waterfall would slide into a river.

There’s no town illumination to dampen the cosmic display. The clear nights reveal mystifying galaxies that hang above us with such clarity that a sharp intake of breath could draw them in. The blackness is so silent we whisper, fearful that the glass stars may shatter.

Fragrant black coffee wafts through our tiny, temporary home, the steam rising in sync with the morning mist. The tang of sweet smelling grass, earthy mud, sun-cream, grainy horse feed, burning logs, damp socks – are the aromas of fulfillment.

The mileage may be limited, but not my journey or freedom. Seventy acres of undulating heaven needs care, as do we. The steep-hill-exercise will keep us fit and strong long into our dotage. We take care of the land, it takes care of us.

As I take in the surroundings, I notice the vibrant bush fights for supremacy along the ridges and tall trees become custodian to flitting birds; a playground of leafy limbs for our feathery friends.

Proud gums come alive with squawks and chirps. Rainbow lorikeets flash by, flapping fire-red, ocean-blue and deep-sea green; in a pause between the cacophony the Kookaburras cut the stillness with a hearty cackle, are they laughing at us?

The creek hums a lullaby as it roams along pink and grey rocks painting them a shiny black. The clear icy water strays along the sandy bed carving new paths after flood rain, pushing at reeds that wave a farewell.

We’re creating our own travel history on romantic moors and enticing peaks. I’m awash with besotted intrigue – what’s around the next corner? Is that a new tree? Beautiful weeds are classed as noxious. I fight for control pulling, bagging, burning the grasses that want to take over but are not permitted. It’s hard labour that keeps my butt tight with effort, just like the constant moving on a sailboat during our sea voyages.

On the land, marauding wombats scratch cavernous holes under the cover of darkness, leading into a labyrinth of tunnels, like giant rabbit warrens. Beneath the scorching sun, wedged-tailed eagles swoop on air currents, their splendid tableau unique to them. Ants scurry within their mounded battlefields ready to take on a giant human at a moment’s notice.

Evening comes too fast, but we greet her with a cool beer and dirt-smudged faces. My hands feel the stretch of dryness and the sting of cracks, sore muscles remind me that I’ve achieved middle-age, my torn, grubby clothes don’t matter because I wear a bright, satisfied smile.

Travel changes you. You change while everything back at home stays the same. Here, at our home, there’s a surprising synchronicity – time, place and people are changing together. Noel and I are in harmony. A perfect choir of love.

But as with each journey, my soul is reshaped. I’ve bid farewell to places where I know I’ll miss the people and the lands, but also a part of me because I’ll never be that way again.

I wonder what part of me I’ll leave in which corner of our natural Disneyland. And what new thoughts and outlooks I’ll collect to replace what I’ve left behind; refreshing my layers with a view for every occasion.

Wonderful view

View for every occasion


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

This Is It is now out on Amazon as an ebook.

A5 reduced for web

The paperback will be out in a few weeks. There are a few pictures in the ebook this time, and plenty in the paperback, which means it is a great gift, especially for those who do not use the internet.

Click here for the photo album and the route map.

Click here for more information, to purchase, and/or to read an excerpt.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Leave a comment


Win a copy of A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Standard Journey by Jackie Sarah Parry

A Standard Journey

by Jackie Sarah Parry

Giveaway ends June 22, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

GOOD LUCK! If you are not one of the lucky ones – the book is on sale on Amazon (ebook and paperback) Here: A Standard Journey

Don’t forget I am donating 50% of proceeds of this book to charity – I want to help rescue more horses!


Travel the world from your armchair

Living on board a compact ten metre boat is not for the faint-hearted!


Cruising is not all about calm seas, wind propulsion and dolphins at sunset. For a start moving from land to boat is confusing, frustrating and tough! You have to sell or store all of your belongings and live without ninety percent of what you usually live with!

Here’s more cruising realities you may not be aware of:

  • Flexibility is a must. Even with a large engine room you’ll have to learn to bend yourself into a pretzel.
  • Once in the engine room, you’ll learn how to perform miracles to unscrew, twist, replace…
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  • The top of the mast sways a lot, even at anchor in dead flat water.
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  • Bruises accumulate. The vice in the workshop bit me every time (until I told him to stop!)
  • Finding free WiFi on anchor is incredibly exciting.
  • It’s possible to live cheaply on board (read Cruisers’ AA to find out what I am talking about).
  • While preparing your boat for oceans, riding your bicycle sixty-seventy miles a week while balancing the equivalent of a small truck load, will become perfectly normal.
  • Movies, concerts and shows are replaced by slowly swinging on anchor, devouring the three-sixty-degree moving vista, and watching the sunset.
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  • Just a couple more knots of wind can make the difference between a peaceful sleep and a fitful one.
  • Resourcefulness becomes your middle name.
  • It is a fantastic relief to be cut off from emails and phonecalls (which is how we cruised).
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  • You will never have enough rags on board.
  • The laptop and camera become cherished items, to constantly capture those memories that fade with wine, oops, time!
  • Life on board is hard work, but immensely satisfying.
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Here’s some of our memories of sailing around the world

And here’s the whole story…

Do you prefer to go adventuring, or read about it from the comfort of your armchair?

Leave a comment

$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….


Tackling our Nemesis

It had rained for two nights a bought flood waters.  So, of course, we decided to tackle one of the lowest bridges: The Capestang.

Not helping by raising the water levels and decreasing our likelihood of getting under the bridge.

Not helping by raising the water levels and decreasing our likelihood of getting under the bridge.

It’s not so much that it is low, but the curved arch reduces the height dramatically, the wider the boat.



We inspected the bridge, and there is not one inch of it that hasn’t already been gouged-out by previous boats. More rain was forecast, we had to have a go.



With sweaty palms and flip-flopping stomachs we puttered up to the bridge. The game plan? I was on the bow indicating centre – then watching the stern and pointing in the direction the stern needed to shift to keep us in the centre.

Flip-flop, flip-flop (my stomach!)

Flip-flop, flip-flop (my stomach!)

If we scratched the paint we didn’t care. We went that slow, we could stop, reverse out and go back to our mooring with nothing more than our ego damaged.

My cool cucumber!

My cool cucumber!

Noel, as usual, was great on the helm and cool as a cucumber. I matched his coolness on the exterior but inside my stomach was making its way up to my throat.



With an inch gap each side of our wheelhouse roof we glided under and it was then  that I remembered to breath – we made it!

Farewell to the lovely village of Capestang, and Jane (fellow WOB – Women on Barge member (FB)), (and John and Sophie), hope to see you again when we’re heading north!

Leaving Capestang.

Leaving Capestang.


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


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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