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Book Reviews

Taleisin's Tales

Sailing towards the Southern Cross

Reviewed by

Their first voyage, on the 24’4“ Seraffyn, took them on an eastward course around the world, but avid cruisers, boatbuilders, and award-winning writers Lin and Larry Pardey had never ventured south of the Equator. They wondered if, years after that first journey, they would feel the same sense of adventure and wonder and still find welcome from islanders. Could they still dive into the sea “clad only in sun-tan lotion” despite more crowded seas?

Their adventure on board the larger, and also self-built, Taleisin was marked by freedom, a kind of madness, and immeasurable joy. They sailed from California to the Sea of Cortez, across the Pacific to French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Tonga, and on to New Zealand, reveling in their teamwork on board, their encounters with fellow cruisers, and in meeting locals along the way. In a dusty Mexican village, a woman gifted Lin with her only treasure: every bloom from her exuberant garden; Polynesian, Tongan, and Pitcairn islanders offered community feasts and introduced them to a way of life in which no one went hungry, was left an orphan, or sent to an old age home. There were near misses with whales and fishermen, battles with stormy seas, and white-knuckle passages to find safe harbor. They found adventure, welcome, and wonder, but also change: indigenous people were demanding recognition, were concerned for the environment, and were aware of the problems they faced as small island nations.

Taleisin’s Tales, along with stories of high adventure and peaceful nights under star-filled skies, also has enough technical sailing talk to inform and inspire fellow cruisers. Best of all, it’s the story of two people in love with the sea and with each other, who, sailing a relatively small, engineless boat, created bonds of love and friendship that circle the globe.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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