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Bull Canyon: A Boatbuilder, a Writer and other Wildlife

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A life well spent

    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. This intriguing tale of Lin and Larry Pardey's life in Bull Canyon will mesmerize the reader. The soft, gentle way Lin captured the goings on of the Canyon made me feel as if I too wanted to live beyond the sidewalks for a while. This time capsule of the four years they spent building the "Taleisin," even though at one point as Lin said, "the charm began to wear off," gives everyone a nice glimpse into their relationship and life together as they pursued yet another dream. Life in Bull Canyon didn't always prove to be easy and they wondered about their decision . "Had we made a mistake in trading the freedom of our sailing life for the constraints that now molded our days and nights?" I enjoyed meeting their endearing, albeit somewhat whacky, neighbors who were able to make a go at life sans the benefit of telephones and electricity. This is a story of an interlude in the life of the Pardeys, a life well spent. In Larry's words, "I'm the luckiest guy alive. I'm not spending the best part of my life working for 'the man.' I've got a grand partner to share my ideas." Quill says: This lilting memoir will complete those who read the Serraffyn books and send the rest of its readers to them in search of that dream and adventure!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    A great book froma favorite author

    I really enjoyed this book. I have read the Lin Pardey's other books and enjoyed the tales of their travels and sailing adventures. As a sailor, I had some misgivings as to whether a land-bound story would capture me. It turned out to be a great read, I was almost disappointed as Taleisin was launched and the story wound up.

    Lin has done a great job of describing a life lived deliberately. She once again outlines the couple's values and how they have influenced their course in life. After reading about their travels, it was fascinating to read about Lin's background and her coming of age, how she came to choose her lifestyle. The story reveals much about Larry's personality as well. Reading about Lin's evolving relationship with Larry and how they met the challenges of living in a "primitive" canyon was an interesting departure from their previous stories.

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  • Posted March 5, 2012

    As an experienced sailboat racer, I knew a bit about Lin and La

    As an experienced sailboat racer, I knew a bit about Lin and Larry's cruising adventures from their articles in sailing magazines. I was excited to receive this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Lin's engaging story details their life in Bull Canyon as they take a break from sailing to write and to work on building their 29-foot sailboat, Taleisin.

    Bull Canyon is about 50 miles from Los Angeles and subject to long periods of no rain with periodic threats of devastating fires. Lin and Larry's self-reliance shines as we learn of their adventures homesteading in an abandoned stone cottage with no phone, no electricity, and no piped-in water. Their can-do attitude without spending a lot of money reminds me a lot of my life with my husband. Lin has an ease with her storytelling as she writes about their day-to-day life. She shares personal feelings about life-changing decisions, her relationship with Larry, and their life within the small community in the canyon. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Kudos to Lin and Larry for breaking from the norm and living the life that they wanted to live.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    inspiring to women

    Reviewed by Brenda B. for Readers Favorite

    Lin and Larry Pardey lived an adventurous, free gypsy life on the seas for over a decade before deciding to build a new yacht and focus on writing. Their decision to move to a friend's stone house in Bull Canyon, a desolate place without power or telephones, seems absurd to their friends and family but also to the residents of the area. The challenges they face in first making the house livable, rid it of vermin and build a boathouse in which to build would surely cause most to quit altogether.

    The two are a team like most will never know as they persevere through flooding, infestations, fire, theft and then the sprawl of population as a freeway finds its way into their area. Lin pushes for phones and power, her unwillingness to be bullied bringing changes to the canyon that are bittersweet. Lin's writing and Larry's boat building find a parallel path as they strive towards the goal of living on the new yacht, "Taleisin," and once again adventuring the globe.

    When I first saw the title of the book, I wasn't sure what to think; but soon the pages had me drawn in, and when finished, I not only understood the title but felt as though the cover photo was that of a dear friend.

    Lin Pardey captures the essence of her characters, scenes and situations to the point that I felt like I was one of her guests, sitting at her table with a cup of tea and a warm cookie. I find this author to be not only inspiring to women but to anyone who has a dream. From the information in her book, she is a known author of sailing articles and books. I fully intend on finding many more things that she has written so that I can enjoy her tales even more!!

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    good story, by a good writer

    I am about 100 pages into this book and find it a very good story

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