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Bull Canyon: A Boatbuilder, a Writer and Other Wildlife by [Pardey, Lin]
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Bull Canyon: A Boatbuilder, a Writer and Other Wildlife Kindle Edition

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In 1980, after eleven years of sailing around the world, Lin Pardey and her boatbuilder husband, Larry, needed time-out from the life aquatic. The couple settled in Bull Canyon, California, a rural locale that featured open spaces and wildlife galore but no electricity or phone service. For four years, Larry and Lin stayed in one place. Lin Pardey's memoir of that time offers a straightforward, bittersweet account of two seafaring soul mates adjusting to life on land. The reasons for choosing the barely- there community, located sixty miles southeast of Los Angeles, are basic. Thanks to their landlord friends, the Pardeys pay no rent for their stone cabin. There is ample space for Larry to build a boat that when completed would take the couple on another nautical sojourn. Lin, meanwhile, can focus on her blossoming writing career, which includes working on a book and regular articles for sailing magazines. Though Bull Canyon isn't as exotic as the couple's books about sailing on their beloved cutter Seraffyn, land life provides its own set of challenges. Lin and Larry have to adjust to a world surrounded by others nosy neighbors, wave upon wave of rodents, and impromptu visits from fans, friends, and family. This is not ideal for two people whose work relies on uninterrupted concentration. As Larry's boat nears completion and the Pardeys' stint as landlubbers winds down, Bull Canyon's bucolic quaintness evaporates. The state builds a freeway nearby, which gets real estate developers interested. In between writing assignments and errands, Lin spurs a movement for her rustic neighborhood to finally get electricity and phone service. Jealousy and bitterness increase among the residents. The one challenge the Pardeys can't meet is the unanticipated ravages of time. The primitive yet peaceful marvels and special intimacy that Lin once adored become inconveniences. After the utilities arrived,this intimacy, along with the camaraderie of the canyon folks seemed to disappear she writes.. . . I realized many of the original charms of canyon life were now just a nuisance. Through out this unusual but appealing story Lin remains a forthright and authentic narrator. And she learned an invaluable lesson: In taking their own rugged approach at domesticity, Larry and Lin Pardey discovered that the sea was where they always belonged. - --Midwest Book Reviews

Soon after meeting, Lin and Larry Pardey , two free and kindred spirits, set sail in Seraffyn from California,ultimately spending 11 years traversing the globe, writing articles about sailing to supplement their income. Back in southern California, their lives took a dramatic turn when they decided to take root in dry, brush-filled Bull Canyon, in a region prone to wild fires, and build a new boat--out of very flammable wood. With a cat named Dog to help manage their rat problem and a dog named Cindy running security, the Pardeys spent three years building the 29-foot sailboat, Taleisin, selling off Seraffyn, which had taken them around the world, to buy time. But Lin immediately felt cheated; was $40,000 enough to compensate for the freedom I'd given up? This idea of freedom vs. security is like fuel for Bull Canyon; it practically runs on it. Their first two years in the canyon Lin spent countless hours getting phone lines installed a crucial stepping stone toward electricity, which she achieved in their third summer (it too brought some regret). Their accomplishment is significant, highly Romantic, and admirable. With many homespun snapshots included, readers may feel as if they're following the fantastic adventures of an old friend. --Publishers Weekly

There s something for almost everybody in the memoir Bull Canyon by Lin Pardey, who is very popular among readers of a nautical bent. Pardey and her spouse, Larry, lived on a boat for 11 years, sailing the world, but decided to live on land for a couple of years while they built a larger and better boat. They rented an almost-inaccessible stone cottage in Bull Canyon, 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The house had been abandoned for eight years, except by rats and bees. So first, they had to make the place livable. Pardy writes about everyday life at home; hard times battling rattlesnakes, frogs, thieves, allergies, rain, wind, threats of fire and a lack of electricity; and thoughtful topics such as Lin and Larry s relationship, wondering whether to have children, and even whether to adopt a pet. The book reminded me of Under the Tuscan Sun as Lin and Larry mingled with the people nearby and as they struggled to fix up the old place, which had a personality of its own. This is a kind of reflective domestic adventure. It is also the story of a woman who discovers she can make a living as a writer and a good writer, at that. Her phrasing is just smooth and easy to read: I settled under the limbs of the diadora pine and swept my eyes around the homestead we d repaired and built up together. As I sat there, I began to marvel at the flexible and strong partnership we d formed, one that had been built piece by piece, then shaped slowly and carefully. In the end, she and Larry went back to the sea aboard their new boat: I d come to the canyon thinking I d wanted ... a home, a sense of belonging after years of being a foreigner. But I d left knowing I am and always will be a foreigner wherever I live, for I am addicted to change. The challenge of new projects, the quest for new beginnings, is as necessary to me as food, as sleep. It is a warm and wonderful book. --The Record-Courier, Mary Louise Ruehr

About the Author

Lin Pardey is internationally famous for her sailing and boatbuilding expertise. With her husband, Larry, she has sailed more than 200,000 miles and has won many awards. She is the author of eleven books and has created several instructional videos on sailing. The Pardeys make New Zealand their home base, cruising on board Taleisin part of each year.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2759 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Paradise Cay Publications, Inc. (April 22, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 25, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XRC1L2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,615 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Book Review - Bull Canyon: A Boat Builder, A Writer and other Wildlife
by Lin Pardey

In a foreword to her new book -- Bull Canyon: A Boat Builder, A Writer and other Wildlife - Lin Pardey asks fans of her sailing adventures aboard Seraffyn to hang in with her through this transition book, the story of Lin and husband Larry's four years ashore during construction of a new boat -- Taleisin. Her fans should not be worried. These four years in an out-of-the way canyon in California, immersed in the strange culture of rural iconoclasts, trying to do their own thing, their own way, for as little money as possible, is as much an adventure as any they have had in foreign waters.

And, Lin and Larry, endeavoring to build a new boat from scratch and doing it the hard way - far from boatyards, without even such fundamentals as mail, phone and electricity and in the face of adversities like flood, fire, and packrats - in their own fashion fit right in. A cruiser's openness to the other ways people choose to live, their readiness to band together to help neighbors in need, their gameness to throw together food and music to celebrate, well, just about anything, their focus on getting done what needs to be done, makes them good neighbors in the unusual community of Bull Canyon.

But this is a transition time for Lin and Larry in more ways than one. In addition to stepping up from a smaller boat to a larger one, it is a time set aside for Lin to step up to challenges she has set herself as a writer. Her goal is to actually support them with her craft while Larry exercises his in the boat shed. Lin explores those challenges - the doubts, the thrills, the ego bruises - with great honesty.
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By Jim on March 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am concerned for those who read this and fall for the traditional boat building argument that a lot of people will see as a good thing. Today, (and in the time they were building their boat) you cold have taken your money to any number of places and bought yourself a really able cruiser, made from superior materials, for far less money and effort than they spent. Fiberglass and aluminum is far better than wood in every possible way.

I see a Tahiti Ketch in someone's back yard someone started on many years ago that will never be finished, although for the last 10 years it appears to be almost finished. You can buy a far better boat for less than what it would cost to truck it to the water and rig that thing, and, while it may have been a good boat 40 years ago, today it isn't. You want to go cruising? Go buy an Eriscon 29 and go. Forget building your own boat for ten times the cost, no matter how romantic the notion is.

I was disappointed with their property development efforts, but when their real beliefs took over they cured the disappointment. My experience is that property developers want to build things they want to move away from when they are complete. I think they realized this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I first read Capable Cruiser and Self Sufficient Sailor many years ago I for a time assumed Larry the author. It must have been the chauvinist in me. Gradually I became aware that Lin was the wordsmith.

It took a little bit but the clearness and simplicity of Lin's writing prevailed over the content I searched. She is just a good, plain, clear writer which makes it a delight to read her work. I am part way into the book. I do not expect to find Steinbeck or Fitzgerald. But I will find a pleasant and informative read from a woman's point of view.

Let's not forget Larry. I have many books on boat building but none as detailed and illustrated as Details of Classic Boat Construction. It takes a technical mind like that of the character of the carpenter in one of Faulkner's books to read it and some degree of perseverance but it is all there. The reader's perseverance is however negligible to the craftsman who wrote it.
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Format: Hardcover
Lin was a Southern Californian girl who was swept up in the dreams of the freedom she'd have when she was old enough to leave home. When she finally did leave, it was one of those `don't let the door hit you on the way out' moments, but she was determined to make her way in life on her own terms. Working as a "glorified accounting clerk" and taking on other low level jobs to maintain that hard won freedom gave her a good dose of reality. It was a busy life, but there was no dreaming to be done until a twenty-six-year old Canadian unexpectedly waltzed into her life regaling her with tales of cruising around the world on a sailboat he was making. A whirlwind courtship and the lure of the high seas was the elusive dream she had been searching for. Lin had met Larry Pardey and with the announcement to her family that "I'm going to grab hold of my own life with this Canadian yacht skipper and see the whole world full-time, not just on two-week vacations," she was on her way.

They worked hard building the twenty-four foot "Seraffyn," the boat that would cement their lives together. "She'll take care of us if we build her tight," Larry would tell Lin. Marriage vows, with the word `obey' included, sent them on their way. The "Seraffyn" would prove to be their home for eleven adventurous years, years in which Lin would begin writing about their lives as they sailed the world. Toward the end of their time with the "Seraffyn," during a gale south of the Aleutian Islands, Larry began to dream of another boat, an interlude in which the "Taleisin" would be born. Larry's "dreaming and scheming" soon brought them to Bull Canyon where they set up shop in a little stone cottage Old Man Payonessa had built many years ago.

The cottage was not silent nor were they alone in the beginning.
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