An-Tiki and 'mature' crew aims to raise awareness of lack of clean water

A raft made from water pipes has left the Canaries pn her voyage to the Bahamas, to raise awareness of clean water charity WaterAid. 

On Sunday 30 January, the An-Tiki raft slipped her
lines. Her crew, self described as four ‘mature’ and intrepid
gentlemen, aged from 56 to 84 years old, An-Tiki will be crossing the Atlantic
Ocean from La Gomera to Eleuthera, with an estimated voyage time of 70 days.

 After a 2 month build program, An-Tiki was launched at the
end of January and the second deputy Mayor (2º Teniente Alcalde) of Valle Gran
Rey, Nuria Gámez, named the raft in a ceremony completed by the traditional
smashing of a bottle of champagne over the vessel.

 The adventure, spearheaded by 84-year old
broadcaster and author Anthony Smith has thrown up challenges along the way,
but together with his three crew mates, he’s looking forward to life at sea.

 “We’ve got a small library so it won’t all be hard work,
and some little treats such as an odd tot of rum or whiskey for the long voyage
ahead” Anthony told us, and they’re hoping to catch fish and net plankton to
supplement their onboard diet. As Anthony, a zoologist explained, “plankton is
good enough for the blue whale, the biggest creature on earth, to eat, so it’s
good enough for the An-Tiki crew!” They also have games and story telling to
look forward to, as well as music and simply enjoying nature and getting back
to basics.

 After 48 hours at sea the crew reports no issues other
than a little sea sickness.”

To find out more about An-Tiki and to track her across the
Atlantic, visit for
regular progress updates.



The An-Tiki website can be found at: Regular updates from the
team will be posted on the blog.

For more information about An-Tiki, please contact:


Robin Batchelor, Project Director

Tel: +44 7768 206 100


Rachel Smith, Project Advisor

+44 7977 452 337

Images – High resolution photographs are
available on request.

Biographies – Are available for
all the crew on request.

Interviews – The crew will have satellite
communications while at sea and interviews can be arranged, during
and after the voyage.

to Editors – About An-Tiki

  • An-Tiki is the latest project developed by 84 year old
    adventurer, Anthony Smith from London UK.

  • Together with three other ‘mature’ adventure seekers – David
    Hildred, 57, from the British Virgin Islands; Dr Andrew Bainbridge, 56, from
    Alberta, Canada; and John Russell, 61, from Gloucestershire, UK, Anthony will
    sail the 39-foot raft ‘An-Tiki’ across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canaries to
    the Bahamas.

  • So far the voyage has been self-funded but sponsorship
    enquiries are welcome.

  • There are four areas of focus for the voyage:

    • To show that
      with age comes experience and there is no reason why, with appropriate
      consideration, the more mature members of our community can’t enjoy taking on a
      project of this nature.
    • To raise funds
      and awareness for the charity WaterAid.
    • To provide
      baseline data for a research project on the effects of global warming on
    • To remind the
      public of the sacrifices of the Merchant Navy in WWII. Seventy years ago,
      following the sinking of the M/V Anglo Saxon by a German raider close to the
      Canary Islands, the only two survivors landed on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas
      having drifted across the Atlantic in a lifeboat. Anthony Smith tracked down
      the lifeboat and repatriated it to its new home as part of a tribute to the
      Merchant Navy in the Imperial War Museum.

  • The raft is made from polyethylene water and gas pipes. It
    measures 39 feet (11.5m) long by 20 feet (6m) wide.

  • It has a timber deck, 8m mast and a square sail. An
    accommodation pod will provide shelter and space for communications, sleeping,
    and cooking.

  • An-Tiki is equipped with the latest technology to help ensure
    the safety of craft and crew – including an Emergency Position Indicating Radio
    Beacon (EPIRB), VHF Marine Radio, GPS for navigation, a satellite telephone and
    a tracking beacon to feed back position information.

  • Electricity will be provided by four solar panels and a wind
    generator, with a manual generator as an emergency back up system.

  • The raft departed from Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera on 30 January
    2011. Crossing the Atlantic at this time of year minimizes the risk of
    encountering a hurricane and takes advantage of favorable trade winds and ocean

  • The intended route is over 3,000 miles and the team
    anticipates the voyage will take approximately 70 days.