Pam Wall: a biography
Pam was brought up in a sailing family. Her young years were spent sailing on Lake Michigan with her Father. It was this up bringing on the water that gave Pam the desire to find an adventurous husband who would sail her around the world.
Besides the studying at the University of Wisconsin, Pam was the president of the Hoofer’s Sailing Club for two years. Her years in college also gave her more opportunity for inland lake sailing on Lake Mendota.
After four years in the snow of Wisconsin, Pam made a move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she “could sail year round” and live with palm trees! It was this move that gave Pam her opportunity to become part of the large and growing Marine Industry of Florida.
Andy Wall, a young handsome sailor from Australia sailed into her life. Andy had built his own 30 foot sloop and had sailed it across the Pacific Ocean. He departed his home in Sydney, Australia and sailed his little sloop, CARRONADE, to the United States. From San Francisco he sailed to Tahiti and then the 4000 miles non stop to the tip of South America and rounded Cape Horn. Andy was the first Australian yacht to” round the Horn” and in the mid 1960’s this sailing adventure was accomplished with NO electronic navigation equipment, no radios, and no fanfare.
Pam and Andy met in Fort Lauderdale and began a truly unusual adventurous life together.
It’s not every woman who can say she had her honeymoon aboard a tiny thirty foot sloop crossing the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale to England! Yet Pam recalls this first passage across an ocean as “the happiest time of my life!” Three years were spent sailing around Europe and then the two sailed back across the Atlantic Ocean to build a new larger boat and a crew to sail with them!
For the next ten years Andy had the easy job of building a larger 39 foot sloop, and Pam had the difficult, but successful, job of building the crew! While Pam was working at the local Mack-Shaw Sailmakers, she not only helped Andy with the building of their new sloop, but happily provided a lovely daughter, Samantha and four years later a strong and jolly son, James.
The Wall Family set out to circumnavigate our globe in 1985. The vessel, KANDARIK, was their home built 39 foot sloop, and the crew of Andy, Pam, Samantha (8) and James (4). Six and half years later they sailed back into Port Everglades after sailing together as a family around the world.
It was upon the return to Florida that Pam began her career with West Marine in Fort Lauderdale. Here she became the “go to” person for anything to do with sailing, cruising, outfitting, and presenting lectures. There are so many people that have been helped by Pam. Her knowledge of sailing and foreign countries, her passion for the right equipment while outfitting yachts, and her wonderful enthusiasm for helping others gain knowledge and confidence is what Pam has for the sailing community not only in South Florida but in every harbor around the world!
Pam goes around the country giving lectures at boat shows, schools, hospitals, yacht clubs, and other organizations. She talks about sailing, about responsibility, about empowerment, and the necessity of having dreams to work towards. Pam Wall has become a byword in the community for smiles, laughter, and the joy of passing on information and encouragement to so many people.
There is an event in the British Virgin Islands called WOW, or Women on the Water Week. It is here at the lovely Bitter End Yacht Club that Pam has been a sailing instructor for women for the past ten years. This yearly event has women from all over the country come to learn how to sail from women instructors. Log onto the web-site: www.beyc.com to read more about this event
If you asked Pam what has been her greatest accomplishment, she would not hesitate to say, “Andy and I gave our two children, Samantha and Jamie, the eyes to see the world, to meet and accept and make friends with all people, and to think with compassion about how lucky they are to have grown up on a small boat circling the world when so many are not as fortunate”
Pam is so very lucky to live in South Florida, and South Florida is lucky to have Pam living here!
Andy Wall: a memorial
There are many people in the sailing community who have never heard of Andy Wall, CARRONADE or KANDARIK. That is the way Andy lived, privately, quietly and modestly and always keeping his family and his boat the most important part of his life.
This gentle giant, for he was a big and extremely tall man, was so shy it was almost painful for him to speak of himself. He was born with the spirit of adventure coursing through his veins. He should have been the captain of a China Tea Clipper in the days of those magnificent sailing vessels. His innate and instinctive knowledge of the sea and of sailing ships gave him an uncanny edge when in command of any vessel under sail.
Andy Wall sailed from Australia as a young man. He built a small 30 foot timber sloop with 32 inches of freeboard aft. This tiny sailboat, CARRONADE, was a huge part of his life and together they roamed the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The good looking young sailor had a girl in every port and the desire to see the next anchorage. What mattered most to him was the joy he earned from sailing his own little sloop across the oceans. Together they made their landfalls with the help of the stars and the sun and moon. Andy navigated without anything we know to day in this modern electronic sailing world. CARRONADE never had anything that would aid navigation aboard except for a sextant, nautical almanac, tables and the Zenith Trans Oceanic radio for the necessary accurate time ticks for celestial navigation. Andy used his innate instinct and the arts of sailor to keep his neat CARRONADE in perfect seamanship sailing condition.
Andy never told anyone where he was going, or when he was going. He sailed because he loved it, he was the most professional sea man in every manner and form. His heroes were Captain James Cook, Alan Villiars, Bernard Moitissier, Earnest Gann, and Naomi James and Miles and Beryl Smeeton and Bill Nance. While Andy never thought of himself as someone like these invincible people, he greatly admired their knowledge and modesty and purpose; to sail their own boats without the assistance of anyone or anything. They all carried the same resolution to get where they were sailing on their own and to be totally responsible for that accomplishment.
When so many were watching Sir Francis Chichester making his epic passage around Cape Horn in the mid ‘60’s, everyone’s eyes were watching the newspapers for this great man’s accomplishment. What no one knew was that the little 30 foot CARRONADE was also out there just to windward of GYPSY MOTH V. Andy Wall and his two good friends, Des Kearns and Bob Nance were just behind Sir Francis in an unfriendly ocean, miles from land, using only the sextant and the compass to find that famous landmark at the tip of South America.
Without any fan fare, with no one knowing where Andy and Des and Bob were, and even Andy’s mother had no idea where her son was, they rounded Cape Horn after a wild passage where CARRONADE was knocked down, pitch poled, and in her gallant way she popped back up, full of the Southern Ocean, but with that strongly rigged mast still in place. Andy, Des, Bob and CARRONADE were prepared for anything King Neptune would throw at them, and that bond of great sea men, sturdy well rigged craft, and Andy’s innate knowledge of the sea, gave them an edge that made a very difficult passage an adventure of a lifetime.
Des Kearns wrote a book about that heroic passage. If you want to find this book, “World Wanderer, 100,000 Miles Under Sail” it can still be found on Amazon.com.
CARRONADE was such a small and simple, yet well put together little ship. The three young adventurers were not out there to make history or be heralded by the press. They rounded Cape Horn because it was there and they knew it was the ultimate sailing challenge!
As I was growing up in Chicago, I dreamed of meeting a young man who would sweep me off my feet and sail me around the world with him. Never did I ever think that dream would become a reality. Surely it must have been magic that brought us together. Our magical lives together for so many wonderful years of traveling, was the fulfillment of a girlhood dream. Our adventures on CARRONADE and later on the gallant lovely lady KANDARIK became a reality of what fairy tales are made of. Our miles spent sharing the seas and our lives with our two children, Samantha and Jamie, can never be painted as vividly as they occurred.
Andy was a soft force, a cheerful, blue eyed genius for telling stories, a father that passed on his knowledge and skill for life and for being a good honest person. Andy’s wife has always KNOWN he is a hero, the man of her dreams who will continue to be with her.
Andy and CARRONADE took me across the Atlantic for our honeymoon! Sailing back through the Trades to the West Indies in 1974, we met Hum and Mary Barton on ROSE RAMBLER. Oh the stories that CARRONADE listened to those lovely evenings with the four of us laughing together would make enchanting stories!
I shall share them with you someday!
KANDARIK was the big sister of CARRONADE, a thoroughbred with a background bred from the great FREYA of the Sydney Hobart races! Andy and I built KANDARIK and sailed her around our globe. Our children, Samantha and Jamie, were the best crew a ship could have. After four more Atlantic crossings for KANDARIK and her crew, we were getting KANDARIK ready for the next adventure. Without any notice or ruffled sea, Andy all too suddenly quietly cast off on his final voyage.
Like “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, I know Andy is waiting for me and we will once again be sailing together. “Full and by” Andy Wall, your new voyage must be the most beautiful.