I (Jess Reilly) grew up on an intertidal river in coastal New Hampshire, and I was always outdoors. After I finished college and two stints abroad, in New Zealand and Chile, I lived for eleven years based out of Moab, UT, where I worked as a guide and field biologist. My work in Latin America, the Balkans, and at the Ivanpah solar project in the Mojave desert made me think we could do a better job protecting rural people and places, and this idea brought me back to graduate school on the west coast, at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. Thanks to the brilliant students and faculty, I came up with this harebrained idea of conducting climate research from a sailboat, and after two years of refining and grant writing, I purchased my Cal 39 and sailed south on a mission to understand the climate challenges–and solutions–on Latin America’s shores.
This is all possible with the incredible skill and support of Josh Moman. Josh grew up sailing and surfing on Alabama’s Gulf shore. After college in North Carolina, he started a kite surfing instruction business (from a sailboat) in South Carolina, delivered boats all over the east coast and Caribbean, taught solar energy installation in the Bahamas, breezed through wooden boat building school in Port Townsend, WA, and earned his 100-ton US Coast Guard Captain’s License. We met the day Far Niente (now Oleada) was hauled out of the water for her purchase survey. The rest is history (with much of our adventures together chronicled on this blog.)
We’re accompanied by Ulysses Cousteau, the sea dawg. He’s even written a few blawgs. Part of the reason I wanted to live and work on a boat was to bring my old dog Keogh with me. When he passed away in 2014, it wasn’t long before Uly showed up in my life, and he’s never known anything but living on a boat with us. Although I wouldn’t say he’s fond of pounding into ocean waves, he loves the water more than any dog I have ever met (phew!), and he keeps us happier and more entertained than we could have imagined. (I named him Ulysses after one of the dogs on the Shackleton expedition to Antarctica. Although it’s an uncommon name in the US, turns out it’s pretty common in Mexico, so his name gets a laugh nearly every time.)
This blog is about the challenges of living an active, simple, outdoor, and adventurous life in pursuit of fulfilling, compassionate, and useful work. Thanks for reading.