Lin and Larry Pardey’s cruising credo, ever since setting out aboard their 24-foot Seraffyn lo those many years ago, has been “As long as it’s fun.” But early in April, in a hollow, echoing voice–courtesy of a dreadful Chilean phone connection–Lin described many things about their recent voyage, but a million laughs wasn’t among them. “It was blowing 70 for 12 hours,” her voice crackled. “Blew down a church not far from here. Hove to for 46 hours altogether.” Stop, Lin, you’re killin’ me!
Then again, no one ever said that sailing upwind around Cape Horn–eastabout into the westerlies, the wrongest of all wrong ways–would be easy.
Long before any of the current editorial staff was here, in the very first issue of Cruising World magazine, in late 1974, Lin Pardey contributed a little story (“Two Hearty Soups”) for our People & Food column (which, with further contributions from voyaging legends Miles Smeeton, Blondie Hasler, and Susan Hiscock, was a memorable one). The Pardeys, the article noted, had already been cruising all over creation for the previous six years aboard their engineless little cutter.
In the years immediately following, the Pardeys were regular contributors to this magazine. But its been a while since weve published one of their articles, so its with great pleasure this month that we present the cover story about their first significant offshore voyage in many moons, which begins on page 46. In the Lightning Strikes Twice Department, a previous Pardey cover story ran in February 1977.
The coolest thing about the Pardeys is that they’ve never changed. Not in any significant way. Yes, Larry’s original hair color is a distant memory. And the 24-foot Lyle Hess-designed boat upon which they sailed then has morphed into the 29-foot Hess-designed Taleisin. But otherwise, when you compare those old pictures with the new ones, what you see are two people smiling at their remarkable good fortune: to be in love with one another, intimately engaged with the world and its people, unfettered in spirit and body, and let loose upon the water. The years have indeed passed, but the light in those smiles is precisely the same. There’s no missing it.
Several months ago, we got a phone call from the Pardeys as they were heading seaward from Bermuda. Their very general plan was to sail to a designated Atlantic Ocean waypoint and then make a decision: east or south. What transpired is the subject of this months story. What I remember about that call is Lins barely contained excitement. She was going off on an adventure. What could be more fun?
The key word there is “going,” for if fun was the goal, there was just one way to get there. “Go.” For the Pardeys, that meant sailing a small, simple boat and executing a high degree of seamanship. Its a formula thats taken them all over the planet.
When the Pardeys concluded the trip they describe this month, the phone lines went quiet for a while. And then, bingo, a ring followed by a voice from afar. A new tale, this one from a tired but proud first-time Cape Horner.
The Pardeys have promised to tell that story in an exclusive article for us, so we wont spoil it now. And actually, the destination is in some ways secondary anyway. For Lin and Larry, the act of cruising has always been a subtle means to a glorious end that delivers big dividends. They sail, therefore they are.