Jackie Parry – author


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Ditch Kit, Grab Bag, Flee Bag

Think Survival At Sea

Cruisers’ Accumulated Acumen is selling incredibly well and has been tagged by a top sailing magazine as, “…probably the most comprehensive reference book designed for preparation for cruising life.”

Here’s an excerpt from our book – which not only includes over 1,800 tips, tricks and ideas for living on board, but also informative and fun articles such as this…

 

Your grab bag, ditch kit, flee bag (sounds like my old dog), jump-and-go-bag should include stuff to measure your own priorities and capabilities. What would you need? Who is on board and where you are going? Does everyone on board know where it is?

Align your inclusions with distance. Seasons don’t count, anyone on the water knows you can experience all four seasons twice in one day. However, thinking about the sea temperature is important; hypothermia has an insatiable hunger. The sea gods also have an unquenchable greed and anything in your boat that you think you need should have a piece of string (lanyard) fitted, to give you a fighting chance of hanging on to it. Common sense, speedy reaction and lack of panic should be mentioned, although I am not sure how to pack those things. The bag obviously needs to be watertight and waterproof, a bright reflective colour is a good idea (boats don’t just sink during the day).

Each to their own; some people include their obituaries – how very odd . . .! Other cruising buddies suggest a book and a mattress! All very nice, but I can think of several more important items. I’d rather have an extra bottle of water than reading material.

The Obvious

At the very least have water, flares and attention grabbers, surviving is nice, but being rescued is even better. The ditch kit should contain items for immediate use and possibly some months. Short-term think injuries, hypothermia and signalling devices. Mid to long-term survival, think water and food. Are you going to make water or catch it? Can you catch fish? Provision for prevention of sun exposure is imperative if you don’t want to end up like a crisp.

How much?

I have seen lists for short-term (minutes to hours), mid-term (hours to days), medium-term (days to weeks) and long-term (weeks to months). All very useful but how do you know which bag to collect when your boat sinks? Do you take all four? Think necessity not holiday!

Can the bag be snatched quickly? Paperwork is a good one, your passports and boat papers have to be somewhere, why not in the grab bag? Add a few dollars (American dollars are the most widely accepted if you are travelling overseas). Think of all the bureaucratic bits of paper that cause major headaches and gnashing of teeth, if you had to replace them.

As terrifying as it sounds, one day you might need it; now’s the time to think carefully about what it should contain. Grab bags provide thought-provoking conversations to all boat people. (Young, ‘Include my favourite toy’, old, ‘Put in the fine Scotch dear’), both would argue that their life depends on it.

Research suggests forgetting everything you have seen in the movies, on TV and in novels. But I tend to disagree, who’s to say what happens – survivors of course, but what of those who don’t. That monumentally dramatised scene could be precisely what happens. We’ve met a survivor whose boat took fifteen minutes to sink. He had ‘all the time in the world’ to grab stuff from cupboards. He now thinks all boats take this long to be swallowed in to the deep. Most of us know a story where a boat vanishes within seconds; those brief moments may give you enough time to grab your survival bag.

Our Bag

We have one big bag on our boat, which ideally should be split in two (1) Absolute necessities and (2) Necessities. However, it’s not and at the time of writing we are firmly welded to a mooring (for now). Our bag includes years of ideas gleaned from chatting to other people on boats as to ‘what’s in yours?’. It has (in no particular order): survival suits, sunglasses, wind up torch, handheld radio (VHF) and spare batteries, Spirulina (nutrient source in powder form), survival sheets (space blankets), hand Watermaker, toilet roll, water, string, fishing hooks/line, signalling mirror, knife, seasick tablets, First Aid with extra strong painkillers, flares, sanitary products, wet/baby wipes, tea towel, plastic bags, sea marker dye, lighter, paperwork (passports/boat papers/money), sunscreen, t-shirts, whistle, barley sugar, handheld GPS and batteries.

Diving into the bag after a year I am surprised to see that the wet wipes are still moist and the Spirulina still edible (mind you, it does look and smell remarkably like mould – even when new). Clearly, batteries should be replaced regularly, as should water in plastic bottles (leeching). Sunscreen and tablets/pills will have use by dates to be aware of too. We have spent over three weeks at sea in one go and been 1,500 miles from the nearest land, hence a fairly comprehensive bag. In compiling our kit, we gave careful thought to all the yummy stuff already included in our life-raft when it was last surveyed. Our EPIRBs are mounted in the boat, perhaps one should have been in the bag. Now, I would also include the Leatherman and some cereal bars. But the bag is heavy already.

Watermaker

Our small Watermaker was purchased in America (US$600). In Puerto Rico we met a guy who spent 66 days in a life-raft, in the Pacific Ocean, with his wife. They were attacked and holed by a pod of whales, ‘they were so lovely, riding alongside us and suddenly they turned . . .’  (Note to self: do not enjoy company of whales, turn on engine and shoot flares into water if same happens). He claims that they would be dead if they had not had the Watermaker in their grab bag. Before setting sail into the mighty Pacific, we purchased one. The emotions of coughing up the equivalent of almost a thousand Australian dollars were an odd mix; unwillingness to part with a large chunk of our cruising budget, conflicting with the thought that should we find our lives depended on it, it would seem a remarkably small amount of money. The Watermaker is still in its bag, unused and lonely, long may it remain so!

Other suggestions from friends: My humble opinion
Chemical heat packs Space blanket is smaller and works well
Petroleum jelly A necessity?
Book to read Really?
Wool and rubber work gloves Maybe one pair
Enema sack for rehydration I’d rather drink the water
Inflatable splints Great idea
Repair kit Already in life-raft
Swiss Army knife, sharpening stone, tube of oil. Make sure knife is sharp to start with
Sextant Way too hard to use in life-raft
Sponges In life-raft already
Chemical light sticks Good idea
Navigation kit Maybe
Sea anchor Good idea
Dried fruit and chocolate I’d never say no to chocolate (ensure fruit is not already in chocolate – this stuff can really go off)
Survival ship’s biscuits Good idea
Multiple vitamins A necessity?
Small plankton net Hmmmm
Photocopies of all essential crew documents Yup(or the originals)
Shore survival items in case you land in an uninhabited island: waterproof matches, flint, wire saw It’s all getting a bit much
Self-inflating foam pad or air mattress What about a snugly blanket and a cuddly teddy bear too – really . . . !
Spare prescription glasses Good idea – these are in our life-raft
Pack all gear into separate waterproof bags Not a bad idea

We hope you found this article useful. It was compiled with ideas from many different cruisers and survivors. They all openly expressed their survival considerations, experience and concerns.

If you’d like to read more, click here.

 


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Where in the World do you Write?

I can write anywhere

Over the years of travel I’ve always made time for writing.

At school I wrote, through jobs – I wrote. Then I started writing for myself – there’s much more motivation there!

Here are some of the places where I’ve made camp and tapped away (‘thumped’ Noel says) on the keyboard.

Isla de Cocos - note the wet trousers (from knee down) we were anchored out and dinghied in avoiding the sharks nipping at our feet!

Isla de Cocos – note the wet trousers (from the knee down) we were anchored out and dinghied in avoiding the sharks nipping at our feet and stepped out of the dinghy too early!

 

Magdelana Mexico

Magdelana, Mexico

 

In a TSR (Travelling Stock Reserve) while trekking with our 5 adopted horses - just Noel, me, our 5 boys and the occasional bit of writing!

In a TSR (Travelling Stock Reserve) while trekking with our 5 adopted horses – just Noel, me, our 5 boys and the occasional bit of writing!

 

One of my favourite pictures - sailing (and writing) in my slippers along the NSW coast. On board our first boat Mariah II

One of my favourite pictures – sailing (and writing) in my slippers along the NSW coast. On board our first boat Mariah II

 

Renovating a 1920 Dutch barge in France. In the background was welding, grinding, hammering etc - it was bedlam and very hard to work/live in the same room as the renovations!

Renovating our 1920 Dutch barge in France. In the background was welding, grinding, hammering etc – it was bedlam and very hard to work/live in the same room as the renovations! (Love the jim-jams!)

 

On board Mariah II again, traversing The Great Loop - a year long adventure through the USA and Canada that I still miss today!

On board Mariah II again, traversing The Great Loop – a year long adventure through the USA and Canada that I still miss today!

 

 

On board our Dutch barge again - with Lily the cat who adopted us! And we're still renovating.

On board our Dutch barge again – with Lily the cat who adopted us! And we’re still renovating.

In NSW, Australia - we are dismantling an American Barn - so part of the way through the process.... I tap away!

In NSW, Australia – we are dismantling an American Barn. Part-way through the process…. I tap away!

Where do you/can you write?

 


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My Mum – My Self Appointed PR Rep

My mum is Brilliant…

…and probably about to be arrested!

Unique PR

I produced some rather snazzy bookmarks, detailing my books/adventures. My mum hands them out to anyone she meets or whoever knocks on her front door. She’s brilliant – my No.1 fan – and quite passionate!

She has just written me a note about accosting someone famous on my behalf! She’s either brilliant or mad – but probably both. She says:

On the way home Dad went into Sainsbury’s car park to get the papers and a few bits and whilst I sat in the car. You’ll never guess who walked passed, ONLY Paul Young!! I smashed on the window and leapt out of the car and said who I was plus you and ENPC (Enfield Chase Pony Club).  I think he thought I was some mad woman accosting him.  I blurted out your CV and could have kicked myself as I didn’t have any BOOKMARKS to give him. What an absolute chump am I!  Anyway, I mentioned www.jackieandnoelsjourneys.com and think he got it but he was in a hurry and had to get away.”

Mum’s not totally loopy – Paul’s daughter used to be a team member of Enfield Chace Prince Philip Cup Team and my mum and dad used to manage this team – so she did know him (and, I believe, he has sailing on his bucket list).

I was suitably impressed, as the first album I ever purchased was No Parlez. The first time I saw Paul was on daytime TV, after Rainbow, I was off sick from school – I’ve admired his work ever since.

I think Mum deserves a pay-rise, I’ve offered her double what she receives now – I think that’s fair.

ordinary-peopleextraordinary-adventures

I’ve offered Paul an audio, kindle or paperback book – I wonder if he’ll receive my message – perhaps he’s a little scared…..   not from my mum – but selling up and living your dream is a brave step…


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Inspirational Gifts

It’s not just a book.

There’s a message.

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific - I dare you to travel with us?

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific – I dare you to travel with us?

“The words are inspirational.”

“These stories will make you think.”

Colour pictures included in each book.

Make this year’s gifts special, thoughtful…..  be unique!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

Best places to purchase the colour paperbacks:

UK/USA (and most other places): click here

Australia: click here 

Available in kindle format and audio: click here

Suwarrow - no strangers here....

Suwarrow – no strangers here….

Follow our escapades here: are we on a boat? On land? Or on a horse or camel?…. who knows what will happen next!


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A Christmas Gift

Win a Christmas Gift

If you’d like to win a free audio copy of This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat, just share this blog post on Twitter or FB and make sure you copy me in:

Twitter @nandjjourneys

FB: Jackie Parry or Noel and Jackies Journeys

On the 11th November I’ll number each share and ask someone to randomly pick a number.

A5 reduced for web

Here’s the blurb:

“We are from Australia, we have cash, and we have jet-lag and a desperate stare in our eye. In short, we are mugs ready to be led down the path of nautical slavery. If you can’t sell us a boat, there is something very wrong.”

The pull of the ocean was too strong to ignore any longer. Four years prior, they’d circumnavigated the globe on their 33-foot boat, Mariah. Now they wanted a new challenge.

So they sold all their belongings and flew to America from New South Wales in search of a boat.

Then Jackie and Noel set sail south, meeting descendants of the Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn, taking in the grand statues of Easter Island (the remotest inhabited island in the world) and making lifelong friends in Suwarrow.

Along the way, they lost a friend and came nail-bitingly close to losing their new boat. But they gained so much more.

This is a story of storms of emotions and oceans, travel, love, and relationships, and two people figuring out life and fulfilling their need to move and be challenged.

©2015 Jackie and Noel Parry (P)2016 New Street Communications, LLC

This Is It - a new cover too!

This Is It – a new cover too!

 

 


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Amazing Audio Books

I love audio books.

You can be whisked off to Easter Island, Suwarrow, and Pitcairn while driving through rush hour traffic, relaxing on the lounge, or working on a mindless task.

How? By clicking here.

I am proud to announce that This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat is now available on iTunes or Audible. (Also available from Amazon on Kindle and paperback)

This Is It - a new cover too!

This Is It – a new cover too!

Not only does this book have a new narrator, but a snazzy-new cover too. My publisher, New Street Communications trawled through my photos and came up with the perfect picture of me doing what needs to be done to boats!

Narrated by the wonderful Caroline Doughty, you can join me onboard our sailboat Pyewacket II as we traverse the bejewelled Pacific Ocean, riding the troughs and peaks.

With six-and-a-half-hours of breath-taking adventures – you can indulge in storms of emotions and oceans.

Do let me know what you think.


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Interview on WriterStory!

Addicted to travel, adventure, and writing, Jackie doesn’t sit still for long. Originally from the UK she is now an adopted Australian. She’s sailed around the world one-and-a-half times and trekked in the bush with five rescued horses for months. She has trained as a professional maritime captain and teacher. Currently she is exploring the European canals on a 1920s Dutch barge with her Australian husband, Noel. She’s written about her sailing and horse trekking escapades, and is an encourager, ‘there are far too many critics in the world already!’

  1. What inspired you to start writing?

I was first inspired when I was about nine years old – I just loved writing stories. Also, not long after that I remember starting to read adult books and feeling the rush of adrenaline, the prick of tears, the clutch of stomach laughter – all from a book!

That amazed me.

At school I loved English lessons (my friends ribbing me endlessly about being the teacher’s pet!). Then, at work, I joined the team that wrote the bi-monthly company magazine. I progressed to writing destination and technical articles for sailing magazines all over the world as I sailed around the world – to help fund the trip. It felt a natural progression to write books about what I knew – inspirational travel and living life to the full!

  1. What did you like to read when you were a girl?

Ironically, it was mostly the school books that I read. I grew up with horses and being outdoors was more important than anything.

But I enjoyed most of the books I had to read for English lessons. At junior school I could hardly wait for our weekly session of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Later, in senior school Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck really stuck with me. I can’t say I enjoyed Shakespeare’s Macbeth, however, the story and the pictures I conjured in my head by the words (once I had worked out what they meant) were vivid and really got me thinking about how black words on white paper are so powerful.

  1. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

Every part is a challenge, but what struck me most was, that on completing my first book, the next challenge commences – getting it seen!

As for ‘writing’ the book – for me it is the sequential part. I tend to jump in here and there within the story when I am drafting. So, to jiggle the contents into a meaningful and true timeline is a task I don’t really enjoy. My brain jumps from subject to subject (often driving my husband nuts!) and that’s how my initial draft of the book is written!

Funnily enough, I enjoy the editing process. Working the bulk of the book into order, initially, is a lot of work – once that is done I feel great pleasure from manipulating and massaging the paragraphs.

  1. How much research do you do before writing the book?

So far my books have been about subjects I am fully acquainted with – non-fiction books (1) “A Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen)” a book with over 1,800 tips, tricks, and, advice on living on board a boat. (2) “Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea Gypsy Woman” a nine-year odyssey sailing around the world (3) “A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent” we adopted five horses and trained them (they trained us) as one team. We all set out into the Australian bush together for several months – an extraordinary story of 5 horses and 2 people becoming family and relying on each other. (4) “This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat” Our two-year escapade, buying a boat in San Francisco and sailing back across the Pacific, via Easter Island, Pitcairn, etc, to Australia.

So, I knew my subjects inside out. I am, however, planning a fiction book. The research so far has been immense. For me, the actual writing will not start until I have most of the research completed – several more weeks, maybe months to go! And then I am sure there will be more.

  1. What motivated you to write the book “This Is It: 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat”?

It was an extraordinary adventure. We’d previously sailed around the world for almost nine years. So, one would think that a two-year voyage across the Pacific Ocean again (albeit a more southerly route), would be an easier trip.

It wasn’t.

The journey was tough but dappled with extraordinary events. I wanted to show that our life of travel (Noel and I have been travelling most of our 18 years of marriage), is not always fun! It’s okay to have difficult days. I wanted to show my theory on why some ordinary days are so difficult but extremely important.

I worked especially hard on the ending, which is a culmination of the theme throughout the book, which summarises why people do what they do – why we did what we did. What makes a good/happy/successful journey (and it isn’t about good weather and nice people!). How you have to be happy with yourself – that’s the first step in the adventure, no matter what you are doing.

I’ve received many personal letters from all over the world thanking me for highlighting the positive and negatives of a travelling life. My words are ringing true for a lot of people, who couldn’t figure out where they were going wrong, or what was tarring their experiences! I’ve helped them in a little way – so it’s been a complete success!

  1. Can you tell us more about your latest book “This Is It: 2 hemispheres, 2
    people, and 1 boat”? 

This Is It is a story to show that although journeys can be hard, they should still be appreciated – This Is It – right now, we all have to appreciate, more, what we have and make the most of it. That’s the underlying premise and from the letters I regularly receive the story is inspiring people to do what they’ve always dreamed of.

I reveal the marvellous and rarely visited destinations we sailed into (Suwarrow for instance) and how the mind plays tricks at sea, how we dealt with filling with water 2,000 miles away from the nearest land – and a couple of terrifying incidents of wild weather that tested our resolve and fortitude to the limit.

We are two ordinary people living an extraordinary life. Our story shows that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. Living on your terms is within reach and you can ‘survive’ when you make every aspect of your life an adventure – and fun – even the bad bits are important! For we all need those struggles in life because that’s what makes the good bits even better!

It’s about life and the reason we do things. What scares us silly, what makes us feel alive. Deep fears, dynamics of a close relationship – how we turned our lifestyle into our work, so we make a living doing what we love.

It features a bit about sailing, but it’s not a technical book for only those who enjoy the water. It’s a book for adventure seekers, or those who are just happy to live vicariously via others’ adventures. It’s also inspirational, an eye-opener and quite often funny! It’s a real look at life.

  1. How did you come up with the idea of writing adventure fiction genre book?

My books appear (and have been noted for) reading like fiction. But they are non-fiction. Every event in those stories happened, getting run over in Paris, sinking, pirates, whale collisions, man-eating crocodiles, working in a Barbados brothel, muggers….

Initially, I wanted to have a record of our adventures, just for Noel and I. Then my stories started taking shape and my dream of publishing a book became reality with a lot of hard work. Initially, a publisher was interested in my first two books – however, I chose independent publishing to maintain control of my life’s story. Since publishing four books, three have now been picked up by a publisher who is producing audio books for my stories. (Of Foreign Build is already available in audio).

Actually, I am still amazed at the things I’ve witnessed, the places I’ve been and how much my life changed when someone very close to me died. I wanted to show everyone that there are alternatives to the 9-5 trudge – there really is, if you really want it.

  1. Who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot of fiction. My favourite genres are thrillers and historical fiction. Favourite authors are Albert Facey who wrote A Fortunate Life, Dick Francis, Steinbeck.

Also, I have joined a wonderful FB group called We Love Memoirs (WLM). It is a group of both readers and writers – and many of the authors there are becoming firm favourites too. Anyone can join – it is one of the friendliest groups on FB.

  1. How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?

I am not that organised! I travel, almost constantly and most days are unplanned.

Noel and I currently live on a 1920s Dutch barge in France. If we are moving I maybe busy working the lines, or on the helm, in and out of locks, or just watching the world putter by at five knots. If we are in port, we maybe bike riding to the shops, keeping on top of boat maintenance or taking shelter from the rain.

Rainy days can give me time to write, but there is a compromise. Take right now for example, as I write. We thought we’d be moving today, but the rain over-night has added to the flood rains (of two days ago) to cause the canal to rise again. So we are stuck on a floating jetty in the beautiful green countryside near Ypres. It is all very nice, we have everything we need, but little power. Boats are a mini village, with their own power, water, heating etc, but our solar panels do not work very well when it is so overcast. (Actually, they work surprisingly well, but struggle with TV and two laptops and a fridge running!) We can tap away on our laptops but then, at some point, we’ll have to run the engine.

It’s a wonderful life, but with few certainties, (except adventure), which is just the way I like it.

I snatch time to write: Early in the morning, late at night – or when stuck in a port due to weather. It really is as and when for me.

If I have moments of planned days, I will try 1-2 hours per day. But that never works out! I’ve been known to write all day long.

  1. What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. Keep going. That sounds over simplistic, but let me explain a bit more.

It’s not until you’ve tried to write a book that you have any inclination how hard it is – it is tough. Most writers start okay, then reach the stage where it becomes tricky and you need to find real resolve and fortitude to continue – most writers stop there.

Those that get over that ‘hump’, acknowledge it – work through it – go on to finish their book. Each day (if possible) work on what you can. Some days you will feel able to tackle the tough parts, other days you won’t. On those days that you can’t face the tough bits, work on something easier – a different chapter, the contents, spelling, front cover, back cover blurb, research, marketing plan – anything – as long as you are moving it forward, somehow, each day.

If you keep going, one way or another, you will get there – I promise. It is tremendously tough, even once you’ve completed your book too, but all so worth it.

Best of luck!

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse blog: 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