Home » BLOG » Archives for Jody - Where The Coconuts Grow

By Jody - Where The Coconuts Grow

Jody lives compactly aboard a 42' sailboat with her fiancé Peter and their furry four-legged little girl, Betsy. She traded in the corporate conundrum for a life less ordinary and is now island-hopping around the Caribbean. Between a quirky obsession with organizing, capturing pretty pictures, diving with turtles and burying her toes in the sand, she feeds a passion for writing by blogging about their adventures in search of surf, sun, sand and serenity Where The Coconuts Grow.

What Do We Buy For A Boat Baby?

Now that I’m half way through this pregnancy I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of things we’ll need to buy. Obviously living on a boat presents some challenges that most first-time-moms will never have to consider. Not only do we have a very limited amount of space inside our 42′ sailboat but we also have to consider the climate we live in.

Do we really need baby blankets in the Caribbean? 

Will our baby need pajamas?

We don’t wear socks. Will our baby need them?

If I need to use bottles, can I clean them without a dishwasher?

Are cloth diapers even possible with limited access to a washing machine? Where do we put dirty diapers in the boat?

What kind of baby-proofing do we need to do to make our boat safe?

How do I make a nursery out of the v-berth? 

How will I get myself and our baby in and out of the dinghy?

What kind of sunscreen is safe for infants?

If I order everything online, where can I have it shipped to?

The list of questions goes on and on…

 

Anyone can guess the internet is overwhelmingly full of baby registry ideas. I started by asking a few of my boat-mama friends what their must-have picks are for living on a boat and I made a short list. Eventually I decided to create a baby registry online to make it easier to save all the specific links for the products I liked.

Though I won’t be having a baby shower due to geographical limitations, a few close friends and family members back in the states have asked me what we need for the baby. Having a registry has turned out to be a very helpful planning tool to simply see what we really need and what we don’t, as well as how much it’s all going to cost.

We’ve already been given quite a few super helpful things from near-by boat mommas which helps tremendously! There are a lot of things we’ll still need to buy though.

Any gifts we do receive from family along with the items we buy ourselves will need to be shipped to a few different locations and brought down via pack mule (aka my mom, my dad, Peter’s dad and Peter’s Aunt Lucy when they come to visit and meet the baby this July). Baby supplies are few and far between here in BVI and shipping them in is no easy feat. Things often get lost in transit or held up at Customs, with no idea when you will actually be able to pick them up. It’s way easier to just have someone bring an extra piece of luggage for us.

My mom will actually be making a preliminary trip to visit us in March and help me get the baby’s room ready while I’m still able to get around so hopefully we’ll have all the basic necessities shipped to her by then ;)

There are probably a bajillion stores to create a registry at but I had seen another friend using BabyList and I really liked how it looked and how easy it was to use. You can search for any product from any store on the internet and by using a button in your favorites bar similar to the “pin it” button for Pinterest, it quickly adds whatever item and webpage you’re looking at to your registry. You can edit the display picture, the price, the description, add a note, and even select or create a custom category from a drop-down menu. The best part about it is that you’re not limited to one store. The possibilities are endless for shopping at any online store you like. If you or someone else ends up purchasing one of the items on your list, they just mark it as “reserved” on the registry and make the actual purchase on whichever website is selling the product (ie. Amazon, Babies R Us, Target, etc). It may seem like an extra step to manually mark it as reserved in a different place than where you purchase the item but this way I’m able to pick the things we really need. I mean, I’m not going to find lifeline netting at Babies R Us! 

For all of you experienced mommas and poppas out there, what were your favorite (read: must-have) items? Which things were not helpful at all?

Can you think of any boat-specific baby items that we should have? 

If you have a minute, take a look at what I have on the list so far and let me know what I’ve missed :) There’s two ways to view it… you can filter to see Available items, or those that are already Reserved, unfortunately not both at the same time.

Our BabyList Registry: Baby Pieschel

Adventures in Guadalajara

Catching up on our adventures from this summer…

After spending some time with family in San Diego and LA, we bought flights to visit Peter’s grandmother in Guadalajara, Mexico. It had been a very long time since he had seen her last and we didn’t know when we’d get the chance to do so again. His Aunt Lucy had been there many times before and speaks better Spanish than Peter does so we were relieved to know she would come with us ;)

The easiest way to get there was to walk across the boarder in San Diego and fly from Tijuana to Guadalajara. Peter’s cousin Kayleigh dropped us off so we wouldn’t have to leave our car there. We tried out the new Cross Boarder Express (CBX) walkway and it was a breeze! It took us right into the airport in Tijuana. Super easy and we didn’t have to go through the mess of traffic that you can find in Tijuana while trying to get to the airport.

The flight wasn’t bad, though it was a whopping three hours. We arrived in Guadalajara and instead of hailing a taxi we decided to rent a car instead. The best part about our whole travel experience was finding out that our AT&T prepaid Go-Phone plan worked like normal in Mexico too! I couldn’t even believe it! We could make phone calls and text, and even had 3G internet the whole time! That was a HUGE relief to find out we could rely on Google Maps to get us around. I had actually been a fan of Apple maps before, but in Mexico I immediately realized how much better Google Maps was when it showed us what each lane was going to do before we got there. If you’ve ever been on a highway in Mexico you know that the roads the signage there sucks. If you think you want to stay in the slow lane, be prepared to end up exiting onto a different freeway with no idea where it goes to! I don’t think I’ve ever loved Google as much as I did during those four days.

Peter’s Grandmother SO excited to see us! We took her shopping at the mall, and went to lunch.

Peter’s Tio Marco knew we were deeply deprived of some real Mexican street tacos so he took us to his favorite spot. We ate them so fast I couldn’t even get a picture!

Driving around in Guadalajara was easier than in the islands. We were deep into mainland-Mexico and it was surprisingly pretty nice there! No hills, traffic lights, functioning blinkers, and everyone drives on the right side of the road ;) There are sidewalks and even ATVs sharing the lane.

Commercial driveways were a bit funky.

Many residential garages and driveways are short carports that extend into the front of your house.

Lots of one-way streets.

One of the days we took Grandma into the historic town of Tlaquepaque for a little sight-seeing and lunch.

We don’t go anywhere without our Yeti’s! (Thank you Jack and Nikki!)

Saint Peter:

Grandma’s caretaker came with us to help her get around and we all had ice cream after lunch!

A traditional Mexican novelty here is to have your fortune told by a little bird that picks several fortunes out of a little box. Grandma really wanted to do it. They were very long to read and didn’t translate well so she said she would read them when she got home and tell us what they said then. She never did tell us what they said.

One of the best meals we had was that afternoon in Tlaquepaque. It doesn’t get more authentic than this!

There was even an all-female Mariachi band that came in to sing for everyone.

Peter and I had been running every evening for exercise and we were super excited to find this awesome park very nearby to where Grandma lived. It was huge! And super safe. There were lots of other people out here every day to get exercise too.

Our trip was short but we were happy we were able to visit Peter’s Grandma and take a little vacation from our vacation and explore somewhere new :) We’re always looking for a new adventure!

It’s A Boy

At the last ultrasound appointment (about a week ago) we anxiously waited for the tech to confirm our suspicions. Peter had been calling this baby a boy from the first day we found out we were pregnant, and I had a strong feeling it was a boy the whole time as well. Motherly instinct? Not sure. Lots of other moms claim they just knew in their pregnancies too. I made sure our intentions to find out the gender were known as the appointment started and it didn’t take long for the woman to smear the gel across my belly with just a few passes of the wand and suddenly announce, “OHH! It’s a boy!” She couldn’t have sounded more convinced.

Though I wasn’t exactly surprised, it was still a very real and monumental moment. A moment that would forever shape my view of this child for the rest of our lives. Whether it’s a boy or girl doesn’t matter – we would love them all the same – but my mind immediately started to validate the visions I’d had of what our life would be like with a little boy by our sides. Peter on the other hand, was absolutely elated ;) Finding out he’s got a little boy on the way called for a night of cigars and celebration with our buddies from Sunkissed Soeters!

I was 18.5 weeks at the time (as I write this it’s just one week later). We’re pretty much at the half way mark and it’s just now starting to feel more real. I’m slowly tackling projects and cleaning out the forward cabin of our boat to turn it into the baby room.

A few days ago we used up a roll of isinglass that had been stored in the v-berth for a good year’s time and finally fixed two panels of our cockpit enclosure. The sun’s UV rays had completely destroyed the zippers in two places so Peter helped me take the panels off, replace the isinglass and zippers, and reinstall it all. If I didn’t have my most awesome LSZ-1 Sailrite machine it probably would have cost us anywhere from $500-$1000 to have those repairs done in a sail loft. We’re both super happy to have saved the money as well as to have made a dent in the “garage”. There’s still a ton to clean out but it was a good start.

Just yesterday in fact we got rid of another large roll of material we’d been lugging around for the past three years. During our first year aboard we had replaced the carpet in the walk-through between the galley and the aft cabin, and ended up with enough for a second piece, though we knew we’d be storing it for quite awhile. Getting ready for a baby definitely sparks the desire to do some deep cleaning – including carpet replacement! I mean, three years aboard with dogs that both thought that was the most comfortable place in the boat will eventually render any material un-cleanable. On a nearby dock we carefully laid both new and old pieces face down, tracing with a Sharpie onto the back of the carpet where we needed to make the custom-shaped cuts.  This time I was able to use my Sailrite Edge Hotknife to make a WAY cleaner cut! I was a little worried about burning the edges but it melted perfectly and sliced through like butter.

I’ve got a ton more nesting – i mean sewing – projects to tackle over the coming weeks. It sure is a good thing babies take a whole 9 months to make their arrival! I cannot WAIT to set up the new crib. It was a gift from Brittany and Scott, now that their girls have gotten bigger and modified their sleeping arrangements. The best part is that it’s an exact fit for our boat (even though it was custom made) since the interior layout of our boat is almost identical to Asante’s. More on this exciting project later!

16 Weeks and Growing!

This baby coconut is growing faster than I could have ever imagined. I mean, 9 months seems like such a long time to be pregnant for… but the days and weeks really do go by fast.

It seems such a short time ago I walked into the doctor’s office for the first time with no idea how far along I really was. My guess was about 5 and a half weeks but the doctor decided to do an ultrasound that very day just to be sure since there was a possibility I was actually 9 and a half weeks. My mom knew it and the ultrasound tech confirmed it – 9.5.

I really thought the first ultrasound would have to be scheduled for another day so Peter wasn’t even there to see our little one for the first time with me. I looked up at the screen and was amazed at how much this little fetus was already so much more than just a little blip on the screen. There was a real baby inside of me. I saw the heart beating and I saw tiny little legs and arms stretch out in quick jolts. It was incredible.

We had been quietly sharing the news about our new little coconut with family and our closest friends and were even more excited to share the first ultrasound picture!

All-day nausea had set in around 7 weeks and continued all the way through the 11th week before tapering off. I never threw up but definitely felt nauseous and survived almost completely on crackers. My appetite had vanished and I had also become aware of my strong aversion to coffee – something that should have been an obvious sign for this Seattle girl.

Everyone wants to know if living and working on a boat makes morning sickness worse. Truth is, I actually felt better while we were sailing. When we came back into flat waters my nausea kicked back in.

At 12 weeks we got another ultrasound to make sure baby was growing properly and all was well. So much bigger already.

Fast forward to now.

At almost 17 weeks my baby bump has definitely started to look a little more obvious. I’m starting to feel less fat and more pregnant though its still hard to distinguish the difference. My energy level has not really resumed as most people say it’s suppose to in the second trimester, though my appetite is returning to normal. Orange juice is pretty much flowing through my veins and it seems hard to start the day without yogurt or some other kind of dairy. Sleeping through the night is already a distant memory and I can feel my belly starting to stretch even more.

Everyone around West End knows I’m pregnant so they constantly remind me to slow down and take it easy ;) I think about the days when getting on and off of our boat will be a challenge. I think about how we’ll prepare the forward cabin for our little one. I think about how our life is already changing and how blessed we really are. Our home is filled with love and the excitement that Peter and I share is growing stronger every day <3

In case you were wondering… we will definitely keep living on our boat. There are zero plans in our foreseeable future to move back to land. We love the life we’ve chosen and will do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Thanks to all the other amazing boat mommas out there I am absolutely 100% sure that we can do it too. Its an incredible and fortunate way to raise a child.

P.S.

In just two more weeks we’ll hopefully find out if its a boy or a girl! 

Any suggestions for names?

 

We Eloped!

Most of you have already seen our social media posts but if you haven’t… SURPRISE! We eloped!

Though we’ve been together for years already, on December 16th Peter and I made it official. They say that one year living on a boat together is like 7 years on land. Ha! If we’ve made it this long together in such a tiny space there’s no doubt in our minds that we’re destined to share many more wonderful years to come.

We’ve been so busy with work that we originally thought we’d make wedding plans for the following summer to give our families plenty of notice to arrange flights, lodging and time off work to be there for the big day. We also knew that we’d have a few more days off to spend with them when the charter season slows down a little. Although I love to plan things out, our lifestyle is much more focused on going with the flow and being adaptable to change. The original wedding plans of course didn’t stick for long…

You guessed it… We recently found out we are growing a baby coconut of our very own! Our little one will be arriving sometime around June 2017 :)

We both decided to have the wedding sooner rather than later. It made the most sense to just elope, keep it simple and small, and not have any family come down for the wedding since quite a few of them will be coming down to see the baby in July anyway.

After choosing a wedding date literally less than two weeks away, the clock was ticking to get it all arranged. On a random day off, Peter and I went into a little shop near our boat where I found a flowy and casual beach dress and Peter found some new surf trunks and a new button up shirt. After a quick google search I was up to speed on the requirements and procedures for getting married in BVI and made a couple phone calls to secure an officiant. He and his wife took care of their part of the marriage license application and Peter and I went into town to submit the application. Luckily Brittany and her mom were going to be in town as well and were able to sign as witnesses, a crucial part of the submittal requirements.

Thanks to our friend William at Mango Media, his friends at Surfsong allowed us to use their gorgeous beach both on the public side of Well Bay on Beef Island (East end of Tortola) as well as the private portion of their property for our ceremony. I couldn’t think of a more perfect location for our special day!

We had only a few of our closest friends that were already in the Virgin Islands attend the ceremony. It was important to us that someone was there to help celebrate even though our family was far away. Even though I had no decorations, arch or even chairs, Brittany surprised me with an incredible bouquet of flowers!! It was more than I could have dreamed of and a perfect finishing touch.

The best part of all is that I had asked Genevieve to capture the photos, and she said yes! I absolutely love her eye for photography, especially of people and magical moments. Plus of course that meant they would be coming to visit us in BVI after taking a ferry over from St. Thomas! It wouldn’t have been the same without them there.

After the ceremony we all drove back into town for dinner and drinks at Island Roots, hosted by Xtian. It was a lovely evening. Scott even surprised us with a few extra days off!! Thank you Scott! And a HUGE thank you to everyone that was a part of this very special day!! xoxo

 

It’s taken me a little while to get around to posting these, but I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! Take a look… 

Pictured above:

Bride, Groom and Betsy – Where The Coconuts Grow
Genevieve, Eben, Arias and Ellia – It’s A Necessity
Brittany, Scott, Isla, Haven and Mira – Windtraveler
Darcy, Luuck, Stormer and Rio – Sunkissed Soeters
Rebecca and Brian – Summertime Rolls
Kara and Todd – B&G Yacht Management
Clare and Blade – Voyage Charters