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VI Virtual Club Night – Dinghy Sailors Run Amok and End Up in New Zealand

Henk and Lisa Benckhuysen share how their plans to cruise the Gulf Islands morphed into a bluewater adventure across the Pacific. Departing Sidney in August, 2016, Captain DIY and Butterfly — aka Henk and Lisa — sailed a reincarnated 1985 Express 37, Harlequin, down the Pacific coast to the Sea of Cortez.

In 2018, they joined the Puddle Jump across to the Marquesas, continuing through the Tuomotus, Suwarrow, Samoa, and Tonga to New Zealand. After land cruising, kiwi style, for the cyclone season, they sailed to Fiji where the coral reefs exceeded their expectations, as did local efforts to save them. In 2019 they returned to Whangarei, NZ, and enjoyed surely the most pleasant pandemic on the planet. In July of 2021, they left Harlequin snug on the hard and flew home for a hiatus.

What can dreamers, doers, and doners expect from this presentation? Tales of ongoing modifications to an older raceboat, pilgrimages to 13,000-year-old cave paintings in Baha, island initiatives in coral propagation, some images from a sketchbook and more. Hank and Lisa’s experience was one of rallies as well as solitude, land travel as well as cruising. They enjoyed other cultures and the support and camaraderie of the cruising community.

While they found the variety of life in the ocean astonishing, they also saw people across the Pacific dealing with the challenges of marine plastic, over-fishing, and climate change. While the adventure started with a sailboat, it turned into so much more.


This will be a Virtual Club Night, on the Zoom platform.  All BCA members will receive an invitation with links to the Zoom meeting and login details.  If you are not a member (or if you did not receive the email) and would like to attend please email Dani, VI Communications Watchkeeper [1]for details.