Born in France, on a farm in Limousin, Henri Beaudout spent the better part of his childhood in Limoges, where he was raised by an Aunt. As it did for many, World War II marked the end to Henri’s childhood, as the Germans marched in and occupied France. At the age of 16, he joined the French Resistance to fight in the struggle to liberate his country.
After the war, he found himself lost and deeply scarred by what he had witnessed and experienced during the long years of conflict. Years of depression and nightmares followed.
In 1952, a weary Henri, along with his wife, moved to Canada to start life anew in a world he didn’t recognize. He took up employment at Montreal Light, Heat and Power, but he was restless. Henri needed a mission—he heard the siren call of adventure beckoning him and he answered. In 1956, Henri and two friends accomplished an incredible feat in crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a raft made of logs and wood.
The voyage of L’Égaré II was only the beginning of what would become a life full of adventure. In 1967, he led a sailing expedition down the Saint Lawrence River that retraced the journey first taken by Jacques Cartier in 1534. In 1968, he founded the first sailing school in Rimouski, Quebec. What followed were more expedition in 1970, 1982, and 1993.
Currently, Henri happily lives in a suburb of Montreal with his wife, where he spends his retirement writing books about his life experience.
More from Henri Beaudout:
Devoir et Mémoire (2012) by Henri Beaudout
Les Égarés (2007) by Henri Beaudout