Lin and Larry Pardey did not set out deliberately to circumnavigate the world twice, nor to become a pair of well-known and authoritative authors of books and articles on sailing, nor to live aboard, earning their living for more than 30 years as sailing writers, delivery skippers, and maritime “tradesmen.” Knowing who the Pardeys have become today (and acknowledging the grace with which they handle this success), it is particularly enlightening to re-read Cruising in Seraffyn, their first book, now republished as a 25th anniversary edition.
Before they were halfway around the world, these two innocents had discovered their ability to market their written words, the joy of living simply, and a love of travel that would propel them from milestone to milestone even when no master plan laid it out in advance. While young, they were never foolish. More than two decades later, they realize the wisdom of choice in the boat they selected and built and the simple lifestyle they adopted. They have matured, honing skills and gaining experience, but they have retained their positive outlook, love of sailing, and amazing energy, all of which shine through in their first book.
Can a book that has been in print for 25 years have anything worthwhile to offer today’s sailors, beyond an introduction to these 20-somethings who set off from California to see the world in a 24-foot boat they built themselves? Can it offer more than a reminder that even Lin and Larry Pardey were once beginners and that we all must start building skills by first raising the sails? Yes. This book is as worthwhile now as it was then. This new edition of a book first published in 1976 reminds us that cruising has not changed significantly in 25 years. All you need is an affordable seaworthy boat and an adventurous spirit. With this, and the other books and articles that followed, Lin and Larry are said to have inspired 50,000 sailing dreams.
A good book, even if there had been no changes whatsoever, this edition has been made better with the addition of the Pardeys’ contemporary perspective on the years they’ve spent sailing, their thoughts about their two Lyle Hess-designed boats, and musings about the changes that have taken place in the cruising scene since their first voyage in 1969. They’ve also included many photographs that haven’t been published previously (found, Lin says, in the bottom of a box of photos).
A rumination on the past 25 years, a bright ray of inspiration for would-be bluewater cruisers, a cheerful, delightful look at Lin and Larry Pardey at ages 24 and 29, still imbued with that marvelous passion they possess today . . . all this is contained in a bright new package, one that is just as relevant today as it was a quarter century ago.
Cruising in Seraffyn by Lin and Larry Pardy (L&L Pardey Books, 2001; 224 pages)