by Jackie Parry
Jackie and Noel Parry, a well-matched pair of sea gypsies, are at it again. (Parry’s book about their previous circumnavigation, Of Foreign Build, was published in 2014.) This latest, two-year journey takes them (by air) from their home in Australia to California, in search of another boat. In San Francisco, they find her: an Aleutian 51, Pyewacket II. After making her sea-ready, they embark on an epic journey back to Oz, first heading south to Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador (with an overland trip to Peru); to Panama (to retrieve new sails); then west to the Galapagos. They cruise onward across the Pacific, sailing off the beaten path to explore some of the most remote islands on the planet before they point their bow toward home. This is more than a cruising tale; it’s a journal of life well-lived in the present moment. Parry writes with depth, perception and likable humor. An appendix of bonus material full of practical information will be useful for those following in their wake. Warning: Reading this book might lead you to buy a boat, cut your ties to land and follow the author’s advice: “Seize life. … Step outside the box, and allow your light to shine. This … right now … is it.”
(self-published; $19 print, $3 e-book)
–Lynda Morris Childress
by Glenn Patron
There is nothing accidental about Glenn Patron’s path to cruising aboard his own boat. He aspired to sailing adventures from boyhood — exactly where this autobiography of his seven decades begins. The author’s play-by-play structure is tedious, but he recounts his upbringing, romantic relationships and work with a Fatty Goodlander-like sensibility that makes them palatable. The pleasure in this read is delivered in the stories of his realized and unrealized pursuits of boat ownership, sailing adventure and cruising dreams.
(2016; Ventura Publishing; $13)
— Michael Robertson
By John Vallentine and Maxine Maters
In Spitsbergen, at the halfway point of his self-described eastabout “world’s slowest circumnavigation,” it was decision time for retired Aussie physician John Vallentine: Sail his Peterson 46, Tainui, south along the endless Norwegian coast or roll the dice and voyage down Russia’s Volga River to the Black Sea. By choosing the latter, Tainui is thought to be the first foreign-flagged vessel to make the journey in the past century. To make the trip possible, Vallentine turned to the Internet to find local crew, and there he met what would turn out to be his perfect traveling companion, Moscow-based attorney and sailor Maxine Maters. Together, they completed the four-month voyage from Archangel’sk to Asov, and then documented their adventures in a lively and informative combination journal and cruising guide for those who might follow. Whether you’re planning the voyage yourself or just looking for an adventurous tale, Sailing Through Russia is a photo-filled gem that’s well worth the read.
(2016; Maxine Maters and John Vallentine)
— Mark Pillsbury