Jackie Parry – author


“This is a man’s world, but….

… it would be nothing, nothing, without a woman or a girl…”

Thank you James Brown – you hit the nail on the head in more ways than one.


As a woman sailor, maritime teacher and commercial boat skipper, I’ve come up against plenty of prejudice. I fought the testosterone-fuelled nautical world and won.

You don’t have to go to the extremes I have. But I can help you take your first steps into solving the mysteries of the maritime world. If this thought scares you silly, don’t worry, I WAS TERRIFIED!???????????????????????

First Four Lessons
When we purchased Mariah, I didn’t know the front-end of a boat from the back-end. But Mariah felt ‘right’ to me. Lesson number one, trust your instincts.

The ropes and winches were a complete mystery, the boat’s behaviour an enigma. Lesson number two: don’t try to learn how to sail from a book. Step on a boat, any boat, as much as possible, be instinctive, it’ll make more sense than text (that part can come later).

Taking the helm was enough to turn me into a gibbering wreck. Lesson number three: Women are often better at the helm. During my experience of practical teaching, women listened to my instructions, many men had been ‘taught’ via mates and erm, supposedly knew it all already.* (Women are often exemplary at navigation too!)

Practical exercises on police boats, while training others

Practical exercises on police boats, while training others

I felt alone, lost and way out of my depth. Lesson number four: SO DOES EVERYONE WHEN THEY START. Persevere, chat to other women. FB groups such as Women Who Sail and Women Who Sail Australia are amazingly supportive, with zero judgement and zero tolerance for those who do judge! There are women here at every level. (If you join quickly, there’s a chance to win lots of goodies, WWS are celebrating reaching 5,000 members!)

In summary
• You can become a sailor!
• Persevere.
• Remember it takes time (but not as long as you think).
• It’s a brave move to step away from ‘normal life’.
• Ensure/remind/beg your spouse to be patient with you – I’ve seen so many men yell at their partner and then wonder why they are left alone on the boat!
• You are both working towards the same goal – when something goes wrong, you or your partner are not sabotaging it! Work together.
• Don’t panic – deal with the situation first, then panic if you must!
• Shouting and anger can be born from fear. Talk about it, work it out.
• Be buddies on the boat – that’s important, really important.

I used everything I'd learned on Mariah and studying, while skippering ships in PNG

I used everything I’d learned on Mariah and studying, while skippering ships in PNG

The outcome
Okay, sailing and cruising is not for everyone but if it is for you, you will find:

  • A life you’ve always dreamed of
  • Freedom beyond your wildest dreams
  • Kindred spirits
  • Help in the most unexpected places
  • Resourceful skills you never knew you had
  • How to live on next to nothing
  • An enormous back yard, aka ‘the world!’
  • You’ll release it’s a waste of time and energy to ‘sweat the small stuff’
  • … you will always wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Do you agree? Ladies, what have you found once you stepped into the cruising life?

Gentlemen – if you’ve read this far without flicking off an angry email to me… well done and thank you! If you want to go sailing with your partner… buy her this – it’ll help – honest!

for FB for marketing 5 star sticker

*Noel adds that it isn’t always a male/female distinction of who listens and who doesn’t. It was, for him, the person with the most experience that didn’t usually listen or wasn’t very good at taking advice/tuition. Maybe the women I taught had less experience, but this is what I encountered. (And, yes, Noel does receive special dispensation to read this!)



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Writer’s Blog Tour – July 2014

Thanks to fellow author and blogging buddy Rachel Amphlett who invited me to join this blog tour. I have to answer four questions posed by her, and tag three more writers to answer the same questions on their blog or FB page.

What are you working on?

Of Foreign Build which is about sailing around the world on a 33 foot boat for nine years. It is not just about the journey on a boat. It is also about the journey of life and how I changed from a corporate girl into a sea gypsy woman, and how I did battle with the testosterone fuelled nautical world to become both a professional captain and a qualified maritime teacher. Of Foreign Build is a deeply personal account. Currently I am at the editing stage, while working on designs for the front cover.

How does your work feel different to others in its genre?

I write about stuff I am passionate about. It flows that way, it is completely honest and, I think, more natural. Of Foreign Build peels back layers of a women’s character that you rarely see. I had to think carefully about whether I wanted to publish this manuscript which contains so many raw emotions.

Why do you write what you do?

I enjoy writing about life transformations. It is as simple as that. When I am asked to write articles about subjects I am less zealous about, I have to work harder. The subjects that I know about and love just flow out through my fingertips. I have no control, I just HAVE to write.

How does your writing process work?

I’m afraid it’s just as and when. My life has no order in it at all. Currently I am travelling on a boat – that’s the way I like it. However, as far as writing goes I would love to be more organised and have a plan. I plan to have a plan – one day!

When I am at the editing stage, I do become a lot more organised. I have to. My manuscripts go through several editing stages, husband, beta readers and then a professional editor.

Thanks for visiting, now the baton goes to . . . .

Captain Larry

Author of The Frugal Marina & Creaky Dock Lines – a book of funny nautical poems.

If you are interested in boating, The Frugal Mariner has something for you. Whether you are a new boater, an experienced boater, a weekend boater or a full-time cruiser, there is information here you can use. Saltwater Suzi and Captain Larry, the authors of the Frugal Mariner, have lived aboard for 15 years and cruised many thousands of miles.

Linda Frylink Anderson

Sailing around the world was a dream Linda and Bill had for 30 years. They achieved their dream. Sailing in my Sarong written by Linda describes building their yacht Valiam and their epic voyage, with 400 images. $39.95

Hetti Ashwin

‘As a writer I do my best. I write for magazines, radio and fun. I have a healthy ego, and a fertile imagination which combines with a robust work ethic to make me a well rounded individual. As the proud possessor of an enlarged funny bone I’m bound to say it has a marked influence on my writing style and my life in general.’ Purchase Hetti’s books here.

Please stop by at their Facebook/blog/website, they’re worth a look . . . and don’t forget to write!