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84 y/o sails from the Canary Islands to Eleuthera On A Raft :-)
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Posted by:Feb 3rd 2011, 11:37:38 pm
Fig Tree News Team84 year-old sails to Bahamas on a raft
By Crystal Clarke, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Feb 3, 2011

Anthony Smith, an 84-year-old British explorer and author, is one of a few people with the gumption to sail across the vast Atlantic…on a raft made entirely of water pipe.

Mr. Smith, along with three other voyagers, set sail from the Canary Islands Monday on a water pipe raft bound for The Bahamas. The raft, named the An-Tiki, hoisted its anchor from the seas of La Gomera to begin its epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the island of Eleuthera, where it is expected to dock within the next 70 days.

Smith, leader of the expedition, said that besides raising funds for his charity, WaterAid, which provides clean drinking water to some of the world's poorest communities, he wants to prove that "elderly people can do something interesting" and that rafts can be navigated.

The 40ft x 18ft An-Tiki raft is constructed from plastic water pipes and contains a state-of-the-art navigation and communication system fully powered by solar panels. Accommodations for the crew consist of a single deckhouse that contains two bunk beds, a small library, and a cooking area. While on the voyage, the crew will collect rain water and transform salt water into fresh drinking water as a reminder of the underlying purpose of the trip.

Mr. Smith said the journey is inspired by the adventure of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who used the Kon-Tiki raft to cross the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands in 1947. His aim, however, is to retrace the route of Christopher Columbus who also sat sail from the Canary Islands and presumably landed on the island of Eleuthera after reaching San Salvador in 1492.

At the end of this voyage, Mr. Smith said he hopes to prove to elderly people like himself that "you don't have to be satisfied with a trip to the supermarket. You can do other things."

The voyage can be followed online at http://gasballoon.com/antiki/

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