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Toadhall 09-14-2017 04:02 PM

Bittersweet the right word?
Many of you, especially those that came over to the dark side from sail, may know of Lin and Larry Pardey. The pardey’s have written many books over the years about their sailing adventures and I have read every one.

From the early 80’s on, I have spent hundreds of hours with them. I have been part of their adventures and have traveled the world with them. All through their books.

One of my fondest boating memories is when our paths crossed one day and we dropped anchor next to each other. We spent several hours over dinner just talking and dreaming the evening away. It was…… delightful.

I was at the Port Townsend Wooded Boat Festival this last weekend and Lin was manning a booth there. We talked for a few minutes and then I asked “So where’s Larry?.”

There was an awkward pause……then she said “Larry is in a nursing home, he has many health issues.”

I cannot even begin to describe the effect this had on me. For Larry, maybe bittersweet is the right word. Here is a man that lived a life that most only dream of. And like all things, it appears that this awesome life may be winding down. But wow! What a life!!

I am not a world cruiser, but I have been lucky enough to take several yearlong coastal trips and many more month-long trips. Of the 37 years my wife and I have been married, the first 10 and the last 2, we were (and still are) full time live aboards. We have been truly blessed. BUT….When the words “nursing home” sunk in……well you start thinking. Like, I’m 60, just how many more years do I have.HOW MANY MORE SUMMERS DO I HAVE!!? 10? 15? None?

So what’s the point of all this? Don’t know.

But today, here in Pacific Northwest, the sky is blue, the sun is hot, the breeze is a little cool and feels like Fall is not far away, and on our slip finger, Sebastian James (Sebastian James is the seal that has been hanging out since he was a pup) is sunning himself.

I love waking up on a boat. Life is sweet, I will worry about the bitter part later.

See you guys out there.

markpierce 09-14-2017 06:10 PM

Have several of their books since decades ago. Enjoyed sharing their adventures.

MurrayM 09-14-2017 06:29 PM

I've always felt that memories banked are more important than monies banked. Sounds like your friend has a bunch.

Nobody knows how their circle of Life will close. It was a beautiful day here as well :thumb:

TOHO! (Today Only Happens Once)

Turner 09-14-2017 07:14 PM

The point of all this is to enjoy the PNW, the blue sky, the hot sun, and the cool breeze , with Sebastian the seal sunning himself! Make another deposit in the memory bank!

healhustler 09-14-2017 07:16 PM

Toad: I'm a few years ahead of you and I avoid contemplation of enevitablilty. We don't know what will happen tomorrow and the only thing we have, whether we are 22 or 92, is now. Your descrption of waking up on a boat and loving it so is now. The smell of fresh coffee brewing is now. Now is the fresh breese when you step out of the pilothouse and the feeling of satisfaction that flows over you when the machine beneath your feet is performing so well. They may be only moments but the occasional ones we actually live are our "nows". I think the reason that the plight of Larry Pardey is so important to you is because he and Lin were a conduit of many moments of now for you.

One of the things you may want to consider is that the moments with the Pardey's that were so impressionable were likely moments of now for all of you, and while he might be suffering a lesser frequency of consciousness in a nursing home, those moments you chose to live with him are likely moments he lived equally with you. Those moment have become ever so much more important in his limited recollection.

For my money, sharing "nows" are is good as it gets, and the recollection of nows are the greatest comfort for those in nursing homes. Knowing Larry's writing, I think he'd not only agree, I think he would thank you for the comfort.

Art 09-14-2017 07:24 PM

Ask for what you need

Work for what you want

Don't be upset if either ever seems hard or impossible to attain

Never look back for too long

Consistently look forward and move forward the vast majority of your time!

Pack Mule 09-14-2017 07:56 PM

I read most their books . They were a big part in keeping my dream alive. I'm so glad that we all have this thing called life . Even with all that it throws at you.
I know deep down inside I will never go much further than the Tennessee River, but if I didn't allow myself to dream I wouldn't be sitting here in the wheelhouse ready to head out on our little cruise tomorrow. It's only 80 miles round trip but it's around the world to me . Thanks for dreams Lin and Larry .

Bruce B 09-14-2017 08:27 PM

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Saw them years ago in Block Island. Larry was on the bow of their boat watching us as we left the mooring and as we slipped by he gave us a big smile and said "outstanding!".
One would assume he was referring to our little Able Whistler 32 sailboat...
That moment was incredible.
I am sorry to hear that he is not in good health.

koliver 09-14-2017 09:16 PM


I hear you.
When I was starting my boating life, Lin and Larry were already out there, publishing their regular articles in Sail magazine, which formed a lot of my yearnings towards sailing. Sure, I switched over to the dark side many years ago, but I never forgot them, their wanderlust, their insistence on "Go early, but Go".
Last winter, in the Motorhome park where I now spend my winters, I bought a winch from a neighbour. When he asked what I wanted it for and I told him for the davits on my trawler, the conversation quickly turned to sailing, and inevitably to Lin and Larry, as he is Lin's brother. Man, did that pull me back!
All the best to you Lin, you will need lots of support as you deal with Larry's failing condition, and a huge thank you to both of you for your encouragement in years past.

Al 09-14-2017 10:53 PM

I have no knowledge of LIn and Larry, reading this thread supports that they are two outstanding individuals with a huge following. What a reputation to have!! I am impressed with the depth of legions offered to their history. Thank all for the kind words to this pair, pleasure to read the thread.


Drake 09-14-2017 10:58 PM

I've read every book they've written, some more than once. I sailed thousands of miles with them before I ever left the shore.

Moonfish 09-14-2017 11:05 PM

I hear what you're saying, Toadhall. ALL of life is so precious...

One of my favorite memories from my time making our Latitudes & Attitudes TV show was when we did a "Share the Sale" in New Zealand. I had met the Pardeys through my partner, Bob Bitchin. He had been friends of Lin and Larry's for many years, so when they heard our flotilla (8 boats and 48 people) was coming their way they invited us all up to their house on Kawau Island for a party. We had an incredible barbeque and pot luck, which included many of their island neighbors. Probably close to 70 people at their place! Eric Stone played a live music set in their living room and had everyone dancing. The evening ended with Lin and Larry serenading us with their favorite sea shanties. Everyone on that trip agreed that was a most special day! Out of the 65 half-hour episodes I made, that one was one of my favorites.

That was back in 2008, and Larry was still sharp as a tack. I saw him last at the 2013 PTWBF, and at that time it seemed like he was starting to slip away. I hadn't known him that long, but even so, it was hard to reconcile. Having spoken with Lin a few years later it was apparent he was deteriorating rather rapidly. Even now, it's still hard to accept.

But you're right: Wow! What a life!

denverd0n 09-15-2017 08:00 AM

Yes. What a life, indeed.

dhmeissner 09-15-2017 08:16 AM

Sorry to hear about Larry. Here's wishing him and Lin the best.

Art 09-15-2017 08:34 AM

Don't know Larry or Lin

Can tell form the many positive comments they are a great pair to draw to.

I wish Lin strength and composure with better days ahead. I pray for Larry's travel to be smooth as possible.

Montenido 09-15-2017 10:24 AM

Like many of you who have posted above, I have read their books and sailed oceans with them in my mind. I always envied their freedom, and admired their sharing nature. As has been stated, we don't know what is headed our way. We can only make short-term plans that give us joy.

I will be heading back to my beloved La Paz, BCS, in November to enjoy the Sea of Cortez on my newest boat. I hope I can keep at it for a long time. My wife and I have met many couples older than us out cruising, with the oldest being somewhere around 80 years-old. (I am 59, she 62).

Let's keep living our dreams for as long as we are able. Lin and Larry, thanks for the great memories you have given all of us.

Cheers, Bill

Sparks5501 09-16-2017 05:17 AM

That IS a life well lived. I bought my first boat this year. I pray I will have stories to tell also😆 Normal people are in awe of those of us who step off the everyday beaten path. I am praying for Lin and Larry in the days ahead.

Wxx3 09-16-2017 05:51 AM

Thanks for sharing.
When I first got the boating bug big time, it was only 10 years ago.
In the first 6 months, I'd read everything I could find about crossing oceans under power.
By the time I'd read all three e-books and blogs by Nordhavn owners, I was a bit bummed out at the expense and requirements they seemed to require.

Finally, I realized I had to start reading books by sailors, as there were 1000x more.

The Pardley's were one of the first books I read and over the next few years, I read most of their books, as well as so many others.

They made me realize I could travel the world on trawler, as long as I found the right one.

I hope things go well for them.

Richard on Dauntless

Joebad 09-16-2017 07:34 AM

Nice story!! We just started 2 years ago, at my age of 60(when we bought our boat) looking forward to winter #3. We live in Indy but spend 5 winter months in Florida on our little 34 Beneteau Trawler. We love it and usually anchor out up and down from The Dry Tortugas to Tampa and our permanent slip in Ft. Myers City Dock (Yacht Basin) houses many friends and protects our boat during the off-season. We are getting psyched for this coming boat season!!! Waking in the AM yo find a place to take the doggies is a great way so start the day!

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