On Location with Jess and James: Landed.
We have been living the nautical life vicariously through our intrepid friends, Jess and James and their darling daughter, Rocket. And now, we’re pleased to report: they’ve reached the shore!
“We’re safely sat happily at anchor in Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, French Polynesia, having made the crossing in a very respectable 26 days. We could have done it faster but we decided not to motor in the ITCZ (International Tropical Convergence Zone, aka the doldrums) as the sea state there was calm so we weren’t too bothered about going slowly.”
A Balanced Life on the Pacific
Many parents would be hesitant to travel with a young baby across the Pacific Ocean for even a mere day’s worth of flight time. But this family goes boldly forward, babe in arms, on the calm and bumpy seas.
“We’d had quite a frustrating time in the lead up to the big off; the trade winds weren’t yet that well established and we needed just the right forecast to be able to sail from Banderas Bay to even get out to the trades. There was a lot of “maybe this day, maybe that day” from the resident local weather forecaster and, in retrospect, we really should’ve left a bit later and we would’ve had a better run at it.
We did have quite a lot of rolly and uncomfortable seas, which were particularly hard for little Rocket, bouncing about in our cabin. But she’s really taken it on like a trooper and learned how to balance really well, propping her hand out to hold on to the boat and leaning forwards and backwards with the rocking of the waves. We also took a break from solid foods as it wasn’t really practical with a bouncy sea trying to get a spoon to her so I was extra grateful for the g disposables that we did!”
Jess let us know that they used the disposable inserts while they crossed the sea, which can definitely be a bit easier to use when your little one is experimenting with solid foods and you have limited washing facilities at your disposal. Though Jess does have a pretty great system going for washing cloth diapers on board the boat.
“Now that we’re nicely tucked in at anchor in the Marquesas we’re back using cloth and using the local water for our laundry. This involves using water fill taps when we go ashore to fill 20 litre / 5 gallon jerry jugs which we ferry back in our dinghy to the boat. We’ve made a huge number of trips already as we used up quite a lot of our water on the crossing but we’re all nicely topped up now. Plus we can add to these holdings with rainwater catchment.”
When the Rocket Gets Growing
Last we heard, little Rocket was pushing the edges of her medium gPants, and Jess was wondering just how long they’d hold out!
“Much as you advised us the little Rocket seems to have slimmed down and we’re doing up her medium pants a bit tighter now that she’s so mobile. And her newfound movement really is amazing to us. She now wriggles, squirms, flips, pulls herself up to standing, bounces like a frog on all fours and even manages to do a plank, which I can barely do myself! She also looks very very pleased with herself whenever she’s showing off one of these new skills. She’s fast too which means that we need all eyes on her all the time. Plus, all that activity can make for some pretty challenging changing situations; just picture a squirming, grinning baby, wriggling her little bum away from you while you’re swinging from side to side with the motion of the boat!”
You can follow along with Jess, James and baby Rocket as they journey through the waters of parenthood on their website, water-log.com.