This week I had the honor and privilege to interview Pam Wall for my website. I have heard Pam speak before at Strictly Sail in Chicago and just loved hearing her stories and enjoyed her sparkling personality. So when I found out she was going to be the Keynote Speaker at this year’s 4th annual Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference I reached out to her to see if I could interview her. My interview with Pam is on iTunes and you can link to the interview here.
As you may recall, I interviewed last year’s Keynote Speaker, Betsy Allison, for my site as well. The conference attracts these really amazing women sailors every year and the conference is well-organized, informing, and well just plain fun!
Pam has been so gracious about granting this interview. I can’t wait to see her both in Milwaukee at the Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference as well as, the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show Cruiser’s University where Pam will be teaching a two-day course on Women Cruisers. I am terribly excited about both.
Pam Wall Consulting:
Pam just started her sailing consulting business. She can help you find a boat, outfit a boat, tell you about a port or what transiting the Panama Canal is like. So be sure and give her a call or email her if you need any help with all things sailing.
Pam Wall The Early Years:
Pam Wall is originally from Chicago where she began sailing with her father and family when she was a child. Her dad was a racer and Pam said she was really the sandwich maker in the beginning. Not too long into her youth, Pam began to daydream of far off lands to visit by sailboat with an adventurous husband tagging along. This was a dream she did not let go of as she grew into a young woman.
Pam attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison and was not only a member of the Hoofers Sailing Club, but was their President for two years. What is the Hoofer’s Sailing Club you ask? I asked that too. 🙂 The Hoofer’s Sailing Club is an organization established in 1931 to “foster interest and participation in outdoor activities by providing and developing leadership, instruction, programs, services, and equipment”. The club not only teaches sailing lessons, but maintains a fleet of boats so that every member is exposed to every aspect of boat ownership.
Pam Wall The Circumnavigator:
Once out of college, Pam decided that she wanted to live somewhere where she had the ability to sail year round; so off to Florida she went. This is where her daydream became a reality. She saw a very tall handsome man walking on the dock one day and she decided she just had to say hello. This quiet and reserved Australian fell in love with Pam just like everyone does, and off she went with him, on the boat he built, across the Atlantic. They sailed in Europe for three years and then returned to the US to build a new sailboat and start their family.
They had two children and in 1985 started their seven-year cruise to all parts of the world on the second boat Andy built for them, the 39 foot sloop, Kandarik. For nearly seven-years Pam and her family sailed all over the world with each of them jotting down their version of their experiences along the way. The differences in their perspectives is one of the features of Pam’s upcoming book, Like Mother Like Daughter. Sadly Pam lost her daughter Samantha to cancer in 2013 and I know we all send her our sympathies.
I was interested in the name Kandarik and so I asked Pam about the name in an email after our interview and here was her response:
I wanted to name our boat “Pamela W” but Andy was from Australia, the Freya 39 was an Australian Design, and of course Andy was the Australian who built our boat! KANDARIK is the mythological kangaroo that taught the Australian Aborigines how to Dance. The Kangaroo man, KANDARIK, is found on many wall paintings of the ancient aboriginal caves. Our friend, Bill Nance who lives in Port Townsend, Washington, a fantastic sailor, gave us the idea to name our boat KANDARIK, and Bill and Andy won!!!! Although I had the champagne bottle at her Christening, Andy knew I would do the “right thing!”
Attached is a picture taken in Horta, Azores, of the original Kandarik that my daughter and son painted on the sea wall!
Love this story on how their boat was named.
Well I have rambled on and on and you should spend time listening to Pam Wall’s story in my interview with her in her own voice. So check out the Podcast here.
See you on the water,
Sail Away Girl