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The tale of An-Tiki - One raft, four ‘mature’ adventurers and a very big ocean!
The journey is over 3,000 miles and the team expects it to take around 70 days before they arrive in Eleuthera, Bahamas in March 2011.
Anthony Smith is no newcomer to adventure, his life has been filled with incredible challenges and after 84 years he shows no sign of stopping. An-Tiki is his latest project.
Together with three other ‘mature’ and intrepid gentlemen, this inspiring British octogenarian is planning to show the youngsters how it’s done and cross the Atlantic Ocean on a raft made of water pipes.
Tired of the public perception of a ‘pensioner’, Anthony aims to show that with age comes experience and there is no reason why a group of more ‘mature’ individuals shouldn’t take on a project like this one. Their risk assessment for this project incorporates the experience of a lifetime of expeditions and adventure. They also put the adage of ‘any fool can be uncomfortable’ to the test and intend to make sure their crossing is as comfortable and risk free as possible.
The project started with an advertisement in the Telegraph which read “Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveler requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only.”
Since then, it’s taken 5 years of preparation to get to this point, and as the adventure starts to turn into reality, Anthony told us “I’m thrilled to see the last parts of what’s been such a huge task fall into place at last. There have certainly been times when we doubted whether it would happen, but thanks to the hard work of the team, An-Tiki will be setting sail for the Bahamas in just a few weeks time. We’re really looking forward to the voyage and all of the new experiences it will bring and I’m particularly excited about seeing some of the wildlife out at sea.”
The An-Tiki team relocated to the Canaries in November to assemble the raft components and put the finishing touches to their preparations. This includes testing the equipment onboard and loading up over 800kg of provisions – and a few of life’s essentials such as 120 rolls of toilet paper, over 2,000 tea bags, and 100 tins of soup!
There’s a serious side to the adventure as well, and the team are very aware that while they float across the Atlantic on salt water, much of the world’s population lacks access to the most basic commodity, clean drinking water. So they’re fundraising for Water Aid to help provide fresh water supplies to some of the poorest communities, and raise awareness of Water Aid’s work around the world.
The project has been self-funded so far, and the team is looking for sponsors interested in becoming part of this unique adventure. To find out more about An-Tiki, please visit www.an-tiki.com for regular progress updates.