Meet the Coconuts: With a Sailing Boat to Norway

Jay, Natasha, Sol, Luna, Caribe & Ártico Thompson González are a family of six who lives aboard sailing vessel Messenger traveling the world, living a Green and off-the-grid nomadic life. The father, Jay is the sailor, professional rigger, boat builder and consultor for all things related to sailing. The mother, Natasha is the media-person onboard working with photo and video to document their travels. And the children, the youngest of whom was born in Iceland this year, live by the motto “life is the lesson”, they are taught through experience-based learning.

Jay has lived onboard sailboats since 2006, he traveled single-handed throughout the Pacific coast of North and Central America. His sailing career started at an early age, when most teenagers are saving up their money to buy their first car Jay instead bought his first boat. He’s owned numerous boats since then, always fixer-uppers which have given him vast exposure to a large number of products and techniques for nautical remodeling and design. In 2010 Jay rescued and completely refitted Messenger, a 1982 German Frers race-boat, on which he has raised his family and sailed extensively throughout the Caribbean and North Atlantic. His experience covers a wide spectrum from working in different countries on one-design inshore boats, offshore cruising and racing yachts to managing the refit of multimillion dollar yachts. Jay is “a man of many traits”, other than a professional shipbuilder and rigger what he enjoys most is professional sailing, racing high performance dinghy’s as well as off-shore racers. But his endeavors aren’t only nautical, most recently he’s taken up marketing and knitting.


Natasha was born and raised in Costa Rica, as the daughter of an amateur photographer, she began taking photographs and making home-movies at an early age. After obtaining her Bachelors and Masters degrees she taught film at NYU and later founded her own production company in her native country. Natasha not only has experience behind-the-camera, she has appeared in numerous TV commercials and was a model in NYC. Natasha had little sailing experience before meeting her husband and becoming a permanent stow-away. The dream of one day living on a sailboat and traveling around the world was introduced during her summer trips to visit her Grandfather in Florida. There she would go sailing on her Grandfathers day sailboat and when she was a young teenager he gave her a copy of the book who has inspired many to take to the sea, The Dove. Life onboard Messenger has combined all her dreams and passions. She has naturally become the onboard media-person, recording her family’s adventures with photography and video.

Faroe Islands to Bergen, Norway

The family has sailed into the fjords of Bergen very recently. Photo:

After their first departure in August 2014 from Newport,  this adventorous and skillful couple and their three children sailed to Lunenburg, Saint Pierre and Saint John’s, Newfoundland before their epic passage to Iceland where they arrived in October.

The Coconuts spent the winter of 2014-2015 in Iceland where their fourth child was born, a son named Ártico. While in Iceland they signed on with ISNIC as their title sponsor. After experiencing long winter nights and endless daylight summer days near the Arctic Circle, they set sail again in August 2015. 

The family set a goal to sail to the Faroe and Shetland islands, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and France, where they plan to stop for the winter before continuing on a new sailing schedule in 2016.

After their brief Fareo Islands stay, they have arrived in Bergen last week and are currently in Leirvik were they participated in the Windjammer 2015 regatta.

To learn more about them visit their website, you can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram (there are links on their website).

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