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Isla’s baby stages were long and hard for us, coming to terms with everything, getting used to living with PWS. Our dear little bundle of joy, Isla who we adored, was very slow developing.

We were living in Cornwall, in the UK at this point, with family spread all over the world, with very long winters limiting our lifestyle.

We had worked our way through all the challenges so far and we’re told that when Isla’s 5, things might change, and not for the better. This will be when her insatiable hunger starts, which could lead to other complications. So not knowing what the future had in hold for us, we decided to grab life by the horns and do something adventurous while we still could.

So when Isla and Lola were 3 and 6 we moved into fulltime living aboard our classic boat ‘Spirit of Mystery’ as a family, feeling like we needed to make the most of what we had, and grab the opportunity.

We had had our boat since Isla was 6 months old, enjoying summer days together around the cornish coastline, Scilly Islas with friends, and classic boat regattas, but the summers were just never long enough!


Having made the decision to take to the high seas we sold our chalet, reduce our living expenses, and moved aboard our boat, in fact, it was just before we left the UK, sailing south to Portugal that we had the photographer of the magazine “Classic Boat” visit us, to photograph and start an article, about our plans of living aboard our beautiful wooden lugger, sailing yacht “Spirit of Mystery”.  Now, just recently published in the latest March 2019 addition, it was also a nice surprise to be on the front cover too!

We cruised up and down the Atlantic coast, following the seasons, chasing the sunshine really, visiting most ports, of France, Portugal, and Spain for 2 years, making the most of family time, homeschooling as we went, and meeting endless interesting people. The girls enrolled in a  Spanish school which was a wonderful experience for them, for only 5 months during one mid-winter, and Lola, at the time picked up the lingo fast. So we’ve already had a taste of traveling as a family – on the water.

It was while we were in Portugal during the second year, that we received an Email from Isla’s pediatrician in New Zealand informing us that Isla could then receive her growth hormones here in New Zealand.


So then we’re able to return to NZ, where we felt we’re happiest, therefore making it easier to get through the hard times, balanced out with the good times, making life easier to manage.

This time we felt drawn to the far North of New Zealand – Known as the winterless north. We had visited before and loved the people and the small communities, the beaches, and the weather. Leading a subtropical lifestyle appealed to us, so this was a great option that felt right, as we felt in our hearts that we couldn’t move back to Christchurch due to the Earthquakes.

We planned to sail back to Cornwall, sell our boat, and return back to New Zealand. Shipping some of our belongings from the UK, along with some other things from Christchurch, up to the far north. Emigrating back was a very busy time for us, with a lot of loose ends to tie up – too many to even mention, but we got there in the end.

Isla struggles with change; it heightens her anxiety and takes a long time to settle down again. But we feel, if we make more changes, it helps her to adapt to change. As you’ve probably gathered, we’re a family that likes adventure, travel, and change, so we couldn’t possibly stay in one place because it’s easy, even if the change is hard!

I guess, the not knowing what the future holds continues to drive us to really make the most of life.



If you would like to get in touch with us, share your experience of PWS, ask us questions about how we manage in such a small bus, or even arrange to catch up with us at some point as we travel around New Zealand please use the form below and will get back to you as soon as we can.
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