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June 2004

Dear Friends:

I stood in the whispering majesty of the giant redwood forest, soaking in the solitude, the sense of agelessness, and timelessness. "Aren't they wonderful?" I asked Larry, as I traced the soaring trunks of trees, which had stood for millenniums. "One of them is yours," Larry commented, "wonder which one?" It took me a few moments to process his comment, then I laughed as we continued down the path deeper into the wilderness that is called, the Avenue of the Giants. It was more than 50 years since this amazing stretch of original forest was threatened by loggers. An early conservationist came up with the idea of asking the logging companies how much each giant redwood was worth to them. Then a plea went out to all the school children in California, help save a tree, give part of your allowance money to buy one so it doesn't get cut down. My school put on fundraisers, I baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies, and we bought over a dozen. Somewhere along this stretch of road is a plaque commemorating our small efforts, fore runners of the conservation efforts that have now lead to the woodlands and forests of mainland USA increasing by over 25% since 1900. It was a nice feeling that day, an excellent coda to our seminar tour, which had taken us 14,000 miles around the USA during the previous four months. Now we were headed north to rejoin Taleisin and had detoured from the main highway just so I could take my, once every four or five year, walk in this forest.

Here we are, eager to be gunk holing around the local islands.

Our seminar tour was a complete success, even if it was a bit overwhelming, culminating in Oakland, California at the Jack London Square Boatshow. What a party that was. Friends from all around the world seemed to keep dropping in to see us here; every evening was full of excuses to stay out too late. The days were busy as we were working with Dan Milligan and Fred Meyers plus several other folks from BAADs, (Bay area disabled Sailors) and I would really like to thank the people who donated raffle prizes so we could raise money to help maintain their fleet of boats, Steve Colgate sailing school, UK sailmakers, West Marine books, Clamp-tite, Paradise Cay Publications. Also a hand to Bob Bitchen of Latitudes and Attitudes and Richard Spindler of Latitude 38 who helped with this effort. In all BAADs added over $4000 to their sailing kitty. Special fun is that two of the raffle winners were actually at our booth for the draw and carried their prizes off with them.

Same folks took this photo of Taleisin's galley. Must have been expecting guests for it to be so tidy.

As many of you may have read in previous newsletters. We have a home base in New Zealand, complete with a tiny boat repair yard called Mickey Mouse Marine. Three days after the last boatshow/seminar date, we had to fly there to take care of some legal business. Though we did not enjoy the business part of the month at our home, we did have a grand time catching up with sailing friends culminating in a wonderful three-day party with lasagna dinner for 35 on Saturday night. Special unexpected visitors included Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger who sailed in to anchor Hawk in the middle of the bay. Beth is busy doing a complete re-write of her book, Voyagers Handbook and has chosen to settle in about 15 miles south of our bay for the next six months. This is grand as I can look forward to seeing her when we return to get away from a Pacific Northwest Winter. Also in New Zealand are Deborah Shapiro and Rolfe Beiljk of Northern Light, Alvah and Diana Simon who wrote North to the Night and their boat John Henry. Seems New Zealand continues to lure long-term voyagers with its grand sailing climate and less complicated life style. If Taleisin had not been waiting for us in Victoria, British Columbia, I would have enjoyed settling in to write the last chapters of a memoir I have in progress.

Here's a trip down memory lane - found this photo of Taleisin when she was only six months old in a box at our homebase. She is taking part in the 1984 Newport Beach Woodenboat regatta.

The first of June we rejoined our pick up truck/camper in Sacramento, where we'd unceremoniously dumped her with Dick and Arlett Skaug, and set off north - stopping to visit my favorite forest and Eureka and our partners at Paradise Cay Publications. Final stop before Canada, Port Townsend where Carol Hasse of Port Townsend Sails has upgraded our bonneted jib. This sail was definitely showing signs of wear after almost 30,000 miles of voyaging including two Atlantic Crossings and a trip against the wind around that great rock at the bottom of the world. (You can read about this jib and its connections in our book, Cost Conscious Cruiser). Interestingly, the zipper that connects the lower panel to turn the working jib into a number 3 genoa was the same one we had used on the previous two-part jib. We were surprised to find the fabric of the zipper had not suffered much at all from sun exposure. It was only the coil of plastic that makes up the actual teeth that had worn and no longer stayed together when the wind increased above 15 knots.

Here's another special memory - sitting on board Taleisin in New Zealand, 1986 with the late Susan Hiscock of Wanderer fame and Patience Wales, who was on sabbatical from her position as editor of Sail magazine.

Carol talked us into staying an extra day to take part in a wooden boat regatta on board her beautifully maintained Folkboat, Lorraine. I had a cold - so decided to stay on shore. I think I got the best berth as the day was rainy, cold and windless - typical of this area in June.

We now look forward to about two weeks of work, giving Taleisin her spring clean up. Since she is moored within walking distance (and really easy biking distance) of downtown Victoria, this will give us a chance to enjoy my favorite small city, catch up on some folk music and grand street entertainment. Then we hope to set sail and not cross any oceans, just gunk hole among the hundreds of islands in this beautiful gulf, set our crab trap, our prawn trap and savor the Pacific Northwest and Taleisin's spiritual home all summer long.

Best wishes,
Lin and Larry



POSTCARDS FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD COAST




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