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Baby born on sailing boat

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 19 May 2012
Kitty Hawk, photo by Jack Midence SW
If the cruising sailor parents of newly arrived baby Jack Benjamin Midence wanted an all natural birth, they probably never imagined they'd get it at sea.

Sailing off the east coast of the USA near Charleston, South Carolina, one night this week, long term cruising sailors Nicole and Jack Midence with their 18-month-old daughter Marietta, found themselves in a bit of a surprise when Mrs Midence went into labour.


Rather than battening down the hatches and preparing an at-sea medical rescue the couple docked at Ashley Marina and called their midwife who arrived at 1.30am to prepare for the delivery.

Baby Jack Benjamin Midence was born at 8:01 a.m. weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.


The elder Jack Midence said he 'got to catch the baby on his way out' and his daughter greeted her new brother with hugs and kisses. 'All is well and we are all delighted, better yet, elated with this baby boy´s arrival,' said Mr Midence.

The Midences have lived aboard their 44ft sailing boat, Kitty Hawk, for the last four years since being married. Their one and a half year old daughter Marrietta has lived on the boat since birth, although she was born on land in a hospital in Honduras. The boat is all she knows. Mother Nicole says, 'She doesn't know that most kids don't go to the beach everyday, or fish to get their dinner. It's normal to her.'

Home birth tradition calls for the placenta to be buried under a tree in the yard. Since there are no trees surrounding Kitty Hawk, the Midences have decided the water will do. 'The sea is our backyard so we thought it would be appropriate to bury it at sea.'

Their unusual lifestyle just part and parcel of who they are. 'We just take our house where we go, so really it's a wonderful lifestyle.'

Mr Midence said he entered the event in the ship's log.

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