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As Long as It's Fun, the Epic Voyages and Extraordinary Times of Lin and Larry Pardey by [McCormick, Herb]
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Editorial Reviews


After nearly half a century of adventures in small boats on big oceans, sailing legends Lin and Larry Pardey have hung up their sea boots and retired to Kawau Island in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf. You'd think that would provide time for Lin, who had a busy career writing about their exploits, to sum it up in a tell-all autobiography. For reasons unknown, the Pardeys, who have done everything their own way since first laying eyes on each other in California nearly five decades ago, farmed their last big job out. "If they told me once, they told me a hundred times, 'We want it warts and all,' " says Herb McCormick, the author of the easy-reading treasure "As Long as It's Fun." This isn't to belittle Lin Pardey's writing. Her books and articles were informative and readable. They left readers lusting after the moonlit shores, the trade winds and secluded anchorages. Yet hardened seafarers knew something was missing. What about the puking? The threats and fights, the hurricanes, the dragging anchors? As their editor for close to 30 years at the magazine Cruising World, Mr. McCormick had heard plenty of Pardey stories that didn't make it into print, and he scatters enough around the book to make the narrative downright lively. Like the time Lin spilled bottom paint all over Larry's hand-hewn teak flooring, and he threatened to kill her, then settled for just throwing her overboard. Well, what do you expect when two people spend 24 hours a day, cooped up together on a 24-foot boat with a bucket for a toilet, no electricity, no engine, no modern navigation gear and a living area about the size of a bathroom? Given all that, what the Pardeys accomplished isn't just remarkable; it's unbelievable. They started with nothing in 1965. Little Lin Zatkin, all of 4-foot-11, was doing accounting in the headquarters of Bob's Big Boy restaurants, and Larry was roaming Southern California looking for a job on a sailboat so he could gin up the cash to build a boat of his own. The attraction was mutual. When Larry took Lin to his workshop and showed her the bones of his dream, a 24-foot Lyle Hess-designed cutter he wanted to build of wood with his own hands, she bought into the whole package. Four thousand work hours later, in 1968, they launched Seraffyn, a pocket yacht so finely crafted that she carried them safely around the globe and back again and still sails today. The Pardeys left with two guiding principles, Mr. McCormick reports: They would keep going "as long as it's fun" (hence the title), and they would "go small, go simple, go now." Mr. McCormick's narrative follows their tracks and what a ride: first in Seraffyn to Mexico, Panama, the Chesapeake, trans-Atlantic to the Baltic, down to, Gibraltar, the Mediterranean, North Africa on a modest smuggling mission, the Suez Canal, Japan and back across the Pacific to America nonstop in 1978. There, Larry found a parcel of land in the California hills where he work on Seraffyn's successor, 5 feet longer but still with no engine, electronics or toilet. It took three years to build Taleisin, which carried them everywhere a sailor might aspire to go over the next quarter-century. The Pardeys reckon they put 200,000 miles under the keel, a bit more on Taleisin than Seraffyn. When they visited the Chesapeake Bay in 2000, I got the VIP tour. It was like a Steinway grand piano, so flawless was the detail, so fine the finish. Surrounded by perfection, it was tempting to imagine nothing but bliss aboard the Pardeys' pretty boat. What it really reflected, Mr. McCormick makes clear, was hard work and steely resolve, some times of terror and a lot of fun. Glorious, in the end, but not always pretty. --Angus Phillips, Wall Street Journal

I'm a sailor, I've read all their books, I thought I knew most of it. But Herb McCormick s story of the extraordinary life of Lin and Larry Pardey blew me far away. While inhabiting our world, the Pardeys discovered another one for themselves that may be the stuff of all our dreams, but is beyond the grasp of most of us. They told us that we could get there ourselves by doing as they did, but the Pardeys are hard-working, Houdini-calibre escapologists from the world the rest of us have lived in. This is in fact the rarest of tales, a story of the life two people lived that is as fabulous as the Arabian Nights, as Stanley in Africa, as any exploration of the Right Stuff in Space That s one part of this book. The other is the Pardey s singularly qualified biographer. Herb McCormick has written professionally about the sea and cruising sailors for forty years; he has sailed the globe from Polar icecap to Cape Horn, in every kind of boat and weather. No one not even the Pardeys could frame this story as clearly and contextually as Herb McCormick has in this magnificent book. This is a life story to set alongside Slocum, Scott, Amundsen, Lindberg, or Odysseus. --Peter Nichols, author of international bestsellers, Evolution s Captain and A Voyage for Madmen

Every story needs a storyteller. The fascinating tale of Lin and Larry Pardey stretches across nearly half a century and touches much of the earth and its oceans, shared lives pulsing with adventure, creativity and passion. Herb McCormick navigates the Pardeys sprawling journey like one of their own cutters skimming along the surface of a calm sea. They lived in many worlds and McCormick s prose slips seamlessly among them, whether describing the complexities of boat construction, the breathtaking beauty and harrowing danger of global navigation or the economics of life on the fly. Lin and Larry thrived in an esoteric life of their own making; McCormick is a genial and informed guide with an insider s knowledge and a poet s voice. In his hands, their journey is ours. --Tim Layden, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated

Opening at an anxious moment in Taleisin near Cape Horn, Herb McCormick insightfully and vividly tells the fascinating story of the active lives and always challenging times of the most famous couple afloat. He makes clear not only how but why the Pardeys remain as colorful, controversial, and influential as ever.. --John rousemaniere - Annapolis Book of Seamanship

Ask any sailor about the names Lin and Larry Pardey and you'll receive instant recognition: they are the couple best known for their sailing exploits, their long list of popular sailing books, and a marriage that has lasted nearly fifty years. Despite all the books and DVDs and recognition, many a sailor might not know the specifics of their lives and choices: enter As Long as It's Fun, a humorous and involving biography that recounts their sailing career using interviews with families, friends and critics. It's an adventure story, it's a love story, and it will prove engaging to any who love stories of the sea. --The Midwest Book Review

About the Author

A sixth-generation native of Newport, Rhode Island, author Herb McCormick has been racing and cruising from above the Arctic Circle to Antarctica and chronicling his adventures and travels in magazines, newspapers, and online for more than three decades. The former editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine and yachting correspondent for The New York Times, McCormick has notched more than 75,000 offshore miles in his sailing career. As an award-winning journalist, he s been honored with the National Marine Manufacturers Association s prestigious Directors Award and the BoatUS Monk Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary. His stories and articles have earned numerous first-place prizes in Boating Writers International s annual writing contest. He is also the author of Out There (with George Day), an account of the first BOC Challenge solo around-the-world race; Gone to the Sea, an anthology of his best profiles and sea tales; and One Island, One Ocean, his first-person account of the historic 2009 2010 Around the Americas expedition via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn.

Product details

  • File Size: 3803 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Paradise Cay Publications (December 31, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HQ6Q3WU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,006 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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