Welcome to our blog. We are the Hendersons and we have decided to do something interesting for a few years. Our family is made up of Stewart and Louise, both ex-Army, Eleanor, aged 11, and Hannah, aged 9.
In 2004 when we were living in Married Quarter number five of eleven in Warminster, Stewart came home with a book called ‘Living and Working in New Zealand’ from the Warminster library. I think he might have had a bad day!
We had never really discussed doing anything like that but it was certainly food for thought. Moving to New Zealand just seemed a little permanent and a little too far away so I was none too keen. I love living in Great Britain, on the doorstep of Europe and in the same hemisphere as family, but we do love travelling so we started to think of a way to get a little adventure in our lives. As we had met whilst sailing in the Canary Islands on a military adventure training exped, our shared interest seemed to combine both a way of seeing the world and pacifying Stewart’s determination to leave the country. The only downside at this point was that we were both some way off our pension point which would go a long way to finance the trip.
Two children, several tours and a few years later, the plan started to really take shape as I planned to get out of the Army in May 2014. Our timing seemed good. The kids were at an age to really enjoy it, to be able to help and an age that we would be able to cope with the home schooling requirements.
After a great trip to Croatia with our friends the Thomas’s on a Lagoon 400, I set the yacht requirement – a catamaran it was to be. All of our sailing to that point had been on monohulls and the extra space and stability was wonderful. We also realised that the shallow draft of a catamaran would perfectly suit the type of sailing we wanted to do, particularly in the Caribbean.
We quickly realised that to find a yacht up to what we wanted, we need to look beyond UK and Europe where there are so few catamarans outside the hard charter life circuit.
After several false starts, we found SKYLARK in Fort Lauderdale in Florida and finished purchasing her mid 2014.
She is a FP Lavezzi 40 and she is our home.
Afternote – we found the ‘Living and Working in New Zealand’ (still on loan from Warminster library!) while packing. We left it in storage as a memento to the birth of this adventure.