Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

The Bahamas / California, USA

Lo these many years ago, Jessi Johnson (née Hall) was born unto a Californian mother and a Bahamian father, thus beginning the on-again off-again life of an island girl. She had a wonderfully wild barefoot childhood in the Bahamas, then moved to a landlocked farm town in California, where she pretty much stayed until she met her next island man, Dane. Dane reeled (pun absolutely intended) Jessi into the sailing life after a weekend trip to Catalina Island from Southern California. Hooked, Jessi soon met Dane in French Polynesia, where she adjusted to life on a slender sailboat with no shower (that’s what the clear blue ocean is for!) or refrigeration (just makes you drink the beer faster). It doesn’t take long to adjust to cramped quarters when one is looking at a sky full of more stars than you’d ever see on land, swimming with manta rays, and gorging on cheap fresh baguettes with brie and a non-breakable glass of wine. You can read more about their adventures on their blog, Cadence of the Sea.

After a brief hiatus back on the mainland for work and to get lawfully wedded, Jessi went back to the boat and her new husband, this time parked off a different rock, American Samoa. With the original intent of taking a belated honeymoon and traveling on to other islands in the South Pacific, island time soon set in like a thick Mai Tai haze, and several months later, Jessi remains in what one guidebook has described as “fjordlike” and she likes to describe as “stinky” Pago Pago harbor. While waiting for the next puddle jump, Jessi delights at the arrival of the container ships with fresh foods from the US, snorkeling among some of the most amazing reefs she’s ever seen, and tasty sundowners while watching the daily mynah bird commute to the giant banyan tree by her boat. Stay tuned for more rocky adventures from the Friendly Islands of the Pacific!

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Cultural Whiplash

Nine months on a narrow sailboat in the backwaters of the South Pacific has a way of changing you. Other than a Bahamian childhood, that’s the longest I’ve spent in the islands, and definitely the longest I’ve spent away from my friends and family. My husband and I...

Stop and Smell the Umu

Living on the mainland in the Western world, it’s easy to get caught up in the cacophony of city life. Most people, including myself at many times during my life, get consumed by their normal nine to five day jobs. If you’re lucky enough not to have to take your work...

A Brief Survey of Island Doggie Denizens

Island dogs are a breed unto themselves. In the Bahamas, they call the mutts potcakes because you’d feed them the burnt crud at the bottom of the pot. Here in American Samoa, dogs are called maile, but they’re much the same. While they come in all shapes and sizes,...

Keep in touch with the tropics!

Keep in touch with the tropics!


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