Henk is from the Netherlands and has been living in New Zealand for the past 16 years.
Together with his partner Bunny and their daughter, Ruby, they operate Tiama as a charter vessel.
Henk has nearly 20 years of sailing experience in different parts of the world from Antarctica to the North Sea, in different sailing vessels from 100-year-old traditionally rigged Baltic traders to purpose built ice expedition ships. His sailing experience began as an engineer and deckhand on board the "Fri", a 150ft Baltic trader.
After working for six months replacing the timber decks on Fri, he sailed across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean doing charter work in that region and up and down the coast of Central America for several years.
FRI worked as a charter vessel for groups involved in development, peace and social change projects. While FRI was based in the US, Henk worked as delivery crew on-board vessels in the Caribbean region.
From there, Henk joined Greenpeace as engineer on the first Rainbow Warrior. Six months of work saw the boat turned from a motor vessel to a sailing vessel and ready to start her voyage out across the Pacific to the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu and New Zealand.
She was to go on to Tahiti as part of a protest flotilla against the French nuclear testing at Moruroa, but on July 10th 1985 she was blown up by the French secret service, killing the ship's photographer.
Henk continued to work for Greenpeace on board its ships as engineer and bosun and as action co-ordinator for a number of projects in the Pacific, the US and Latin America. He worked for five years as the logistics and re-supply manager for the base camp Greenpeace established in Antarctica.
He sailed to Antarctica four times in this period, in large icebreakers as well as small, purpose-built sailing boats. Henk continues to work part time as a logistics consultant to Greenpeace specialising in Arctic and Antarctic operations.
From 1991 until 1998, when not at sea, Henk built TIAMA himself, to enable him to combine his practical and logistical skills with his love for adventuring and visiting remote places, while at the same time to pursue worthwhile projects that would add to the wellbeing of our planet.
TIAMA was designed by well-known New Zealand naval architect Alan Mummery to Henk's requirements in 1991.
It was during a South American motorcycle trip that Henk met Bunny. She sailed on board Fri for three years as a deckhand and in 1984 was also part of the Rainbow Warrior crew.
Since 1987 Bunny has worked full-time for Greenpeace as the South Pacific Regional Co-ordinator and has been responsible for the work that Greenpeace does in the Pacific region. She has spent three years establishing and running a regional office in Suva, Fiji.
Prior to going to Latin America, Bunny lived and worked in the US and Europe. She has a degree in Political Science and English. She has a strong interest in community development issues and likes to stay active on local issues of human and civil rights.
Since 1998 Henk and Bunny together with their daughter Ruby have been sailing and chartering Tiama to the New Zealand offshore islands, the great Southern Ocean, Cape Horn, Antarctica, the Chilean channels and Australia.