Te Horo Teenager On A Blake Mission

I am raring to go and can’t wait to begin the adventure … Jess Jenkins, talking about her trip to the Auckland Islands

 In the footsteps of Sir Peter Blake

By Roger Childs

Peter BlakeKiwi yachting icon, Sir Peter Blake was tragically murdered in 2001 while doing environmental work on the Amazon River. His commitment to ecosystems, the Earth’s biosphere and sustainability lives on in the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

The organisation sponsors annual expeditions within New Zealand’s territorial waters from the Kerrmadec Islands in the north to the sub-Antarctic islands in the south.

Paraparaumu College Deputy Head Girl, Jess Jenkins, is one of 12 secondary students heading for the Auckland Islands on the 2014 Sub-Antarctic Expedition.

Jess has been selected because of her outstanding leadership and all round abilities, and is a great admirer of Sir Peter.

I feel very proud to be part of the group continuing his legacy… I admire his humility and his genuine qualities. Furthermore there is no doubt that his leadership and messages were instrumental and effective in all that he did.

 The talented Jess Jenkins

 sam_0753 (3)Jess is the daughter of Te Horo Beach identities Kate and Bruce Jenkins. They are both endurance athletes and in 2012 Kate completed the gruelling 100km Tarawera Ultra from Rotorua to Kawerau. Then earlier this year Bruce finished his first Ironman event in Wanaka.

On both occasions Jess was a passionate supporter and invaluable assistant. Kate and Bruce in their turn, have supported their daughter’s many endeavours and achievements with pride and enthusiasm.

Sport has played a big part in Jess’s life and from primary school days emerged as a talented hockey player. She has been in a number of Horowhenua representative teams and was drafted straight into the Girls Hockey Ist Eleven when she arrived at Paraparaumu College.

She is also a very good runner and cyclist.

Academically Jess has always been a conscientious and successful student. Over the last four years at Paraparaumu College she has

  • won many subject prizes
  • been passionate about geographical and environmental studies
  • gained leadership awards
  • passed the vast majority of her NCEA standards with excellence
  • enjoyed taking part in drama productions such as the inter-school Shakespeare competition
  • been involved in a number of leadership courses and forums.

So it is no surprise that from a large group of applicants, Jess is one of the chosen twelve.

The expedition to the Auckland Islands

Auckand Islands The adventure has already begun and Jess and the rest of the crew are on board HMNZS Wellington bound for the southern ocean. The destination is the Auckland Islands which are the largest of New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic island groups. They are —

  1. — 465km south of New Zealand
  • –625 sq.kms in area
  • — have a usual temperature range 7-11 Celsius
  • — and weather which is likely to be windy, wet, cloudy and cold!

A key task for the young adventurers is to set up a research station which will monitor climate and environmental change. For Jess it’s an amazing opportunity:  I feel extremely privileged and appreciative to be part of it… I am looking forward to embracing each and every moment ….

KIN will talk to Jess when she returns on February 24. In the meantime you can follow the progress of the Sub-Antarctic Expedition on