‘An-Tiki – Drifting Across the Atlantic on a Raft ‘ – A Talk by John Russell
The Ad in the Telegraph simply read: "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only”
Writer, sailor, balloonist and former Tomorrow's World television presenter, Anthony Smith, had wanted to cross the Atlantic by raft for many years and, in 2011, at the age of 84, he recruited his crew of 3 volunteers, which included solicitor, John Russell. They departed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, having constructed a custom-built raft, with the intention of crossing the Atlantic Ocean within three months, eventually arriving in Eleuthera.
The raft was given the name An-Tiki, in reference to the Kon-Tiki raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition from South America to the Polynesian islands, but also in acknowledgment of his crew’s longevity as, together, they had a combined age of 258 years!
The 40ft xx 18ft raft was made out of pipes and a telegraph pole from which the single sail billowed. It was assembled during November and December 2010 and they set sail in January 2011, relying purely on wind power and the sea currents to make their way.
Join John as he shares his fascinating story about his transatlantic sailing trip in a garden shed on a raft!