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Lin Pardey's"BULL CANYON',building the sailboat Seraffyn

Updated on January 2, 2015

Bull Canyon

Bull Canyon Memoire
Bull Canyon Memoire
Larry and Lin working on Taleisin in Bull Canyon workshop 1980
Larry and Lin working on Taleisin in Bull Canyon workshop 1980 | Source
Larry working on boat building Taleisin early 1980's
Larry working on boat building Taleisin early 1980's | Source
Lin and Larry at Taleisn's launch.
Lin and Larry at Taleisn's launch.

Bull Canyon

BULL CANYON A Boatbuilder, a writer and other Wildlife

The title says it all. Enter the world of Lin and Larry Pardey, adventurers extraordinaire as they set out to build their famous off shore cruising sailboat Taleisin.

The neighbours think they must be crazy.

Lin and Larry plan to homestead and build a large sailboat on an abandoned property belonging to friends. The "Homestead" is located way up Bull Canyon in the mountains of Southern California. It is in a dry steep rocky area far away from paved roads, electricity, telephone. Also a long hard way from the ocean. The house on the property is ancient, tumbling down and rat infested. There is no good water supply. The neighbours in the canyon think Lin and Larry are just another couple if Hippies with wild dreams from smoking too much dope. But this unlikely boat building location has one major advantage. It is rent free, and they have no money.

The book is a voyage of the heart. It tells the true story of the young Pardey couple who persevere despite: pack rat attacks, floods, mudslides, forest fires,cougars and armed robbers. It is an engrossing often humorous exploration of human foibles, frustrations, and near genius problem solving.

After years at sea the Pardeys can adapt to almost anything. They fix up the ancient stone cottage, make friends with wild animals and a wide assortment of neighbours. The reader is right there looking over their shoulder as they navigate their intense relationship with each other, and navigate the long difficult roads to get groceries and building supplies up the canyon. Lin manages to find time to coax vegetable out of the arid soil and find a rubble and dirt free corner for her typewriter. There she writes her articles and books in order to bring in enough money to keep them going. They help push the district to improve road safety. They push the district to bring in phone and electric lines which is a mixed blessing and curse.

They are also sociable friendly young people and the steady stream of visitors and occasional troublemakers interfere with their work. So they must limit time spent on their gigantic Thanksgiving parties and socializing. They focus on their boat and manage to build it and launch it.

You will enjoy reading this book.

I could not put this book down. I loved the descriptions of characters and animals. And I was impressed with Lin's honesty about her feelings and struggles. The sense of place she describes,the quiet rocky mountainside home, is lovely. The book is simply and clearly written which makes it an easy book to read. The Pardey sailing fans love it. However non sailors I have spoken to also enjoyed reading "Bull Canyon."

Lin and Larry 2009

Larry 2009
Larry 2009 | Source
Lin and Larry at Larry's 70th birthday
Lin and Larry at Larry's 70th birthday | Source

Lin and Larry Pardey

Taleisin | Source
Larry inside Taleisin 2009
Larry inside Taleisin 2009 | Source
Larry shmoosing with his buddy 2009
Larry shmoosing with his buddy 2009 | Source
Boat detail
Boat detail | Source
Looking down on Taleisin
Looking down on Taleisin | Source
Larry and buddies outside his  boatworks 2009
Larry and buddies outside his boatworks 2009 | Source

Bull Canyon and other books

Lin Pardey is a world famous off shore sailor

Lin Pardey, author of "Bull Canyon" is a very famous sailor and writer. She and her husband Larry Pardey have built two sailboats:Seraffyn and Taleisin.

They have also wriiten 10 books and produced 4 CDs. look on their sites if you want more info on their publications..

When Larry build Seraffyn he wanted to be able to fix everything himself even if they were far offshore. So he built it with no motor nor electrical devices which could break down.They lived on Seraffyn for 11 years and sailed more than 200,000 thousand miles around the world, across the world's oceans. Lin and Larry Pardey's books about off shore cruising in Seraffyn have been must reads for generations of off shore sailors.

An off shore sailor is one of the rare breed of people who enjoy sailing alone for months across vast reaches of the worlds oceans surviving isolation, tiny living quarters, hurricanes, pirates etc.

In 2009 I was with Lin at a boatyard in New Zealand. A beautiful young woman approached me:

"Is that woman Lin Pardey?" she asked.


"Oh my G-d," she said. "Lin Pardey changed my life. She is my ideal woman."

"Well go and tell her." I said.

Later Lin told me that young people were always running up to her telling her she had saved their marriage, saved their lives in hurricanes at sea, or given them courage to seek adventures. Lin Pardey has done this with her wonderful books which explore areas of offshore sailing as diverse as feeding the sailing crew and saving the marriages of sailing couples.

Larry Pardey has also written a beautiful detailed book about boat building. It is a popular classic for sailors.The couple is in demand world wide as guest speakers at Sailing Conventions and workshops.

Links to Lin Pardey's Bull Canyon Book site or


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    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 6 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Many thanks Fay Paxton.This review gives just a hint of their remarkable adventures.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      I love people who have the courage to carve out their dreams. Excellent review.

      voted up/awesome

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 6 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Thanks for reading the hub Will. The Pardeys are true adventurers.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great review of amazing people and their story.