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30.03.2011 Uncategorized 8 Comments


When I first started helping Anthony with his raft I imagined I would be on board. It was the only way I could learn how life would be and I quickly realised we would need communication.
I immediately joined the Radio Society of Great Britain and started swatting for my amateur radio licence as I imagined keeping in touch with the outside world by radio such as KonTiki did in 1947.
Then I discovered the rowing community, read Rachel’s blog, and learned it’s possible to send and receive EMAILS!
Anthony and I met the guys from mailasail at the London Boat Show and they’ve looked after us well.
You can read John’s latest blog below – with picture taken from where my radio aerial would have been!

Hi Robin,

We are beginning to realise that however hard we try it is almost impossible to get away from or ignore modern technology !

The raft is in many ways a low tech craft, with its big single sail as the only form of propulsion We have no engine, no electronic winches, no fancy steering gear, particularly since we lost our rudders, and that was what we wanted: something simple. However, safety demanded that we have some means of communication with the outside world, and we also liked the idea of a blog to give all our friends and family some idea of what life on board was really like. That meant a satellite phone and a linked laptop.

We keep a communications log, and it is interesting to look back at it. In the early days the laptop was seldom used. For example, I see that on the 2nd February, day 4 of the trip, there was one ‘dial up’ on the satellite phone and 2 emails were dispatched. None was received. A week later, we dialled up twice in the day and 3 emails were sent out and 6 were received. If one goes to later in February, to the 26th for example, we were dialling in 4 times during the day and 5 emails were sent out and 4 came in. By last Sunday, a heavy day on any analysis, there were 8 connections to the satellite for e mails plus 9 additional phone calls and we sent out 13 emails and received 8. Somehow we have gradually allowed ourselves to be seduced into the 21st century and its technology, and the laptop is now in almost constant use from breakfast to supper. If we are not composing or reading e mails, we are downloading pictures or video, or consulting the latest GRIB weather forecast. We are almost forming an orderly queue to use the laptop. It is perhaps just as well that we are unable to access the internet !

Best wishes from us all

John and the crew

8 Responses to “Communication.”

  1. Peter Baker says:

    Reference photograph. John scurries up mast with last bottle of grog. It appears you have him cornered though, no place to “RUM”.
    Any chance of anymore pictures from life below the raft?
    Safe landings

  2. Anthony says:

    Hello to all on board An-Tiki, we met briefly in Valle Gran Rey the day you were “stepping the mast” I had my doubts that the mast would survive the journey but I’m delighted to have been proved wrong!
    I’ve followed your progress and been green with envy.
    Please accept my congratulations on a brilliant trip.
    Have a safe landfall and well done to all involved.

    Best regards,

    another Anthony.

  3. Thanks for picture of 3/4 of you. John enjoys scrambling up that mast! I see its cold enough for clothes. I hope you get some more scorchers to keep that tan up. Your legs still need more sun Anthony. Best wishes for hot sun and strong wind and tides. B XXXX

  4. Trish Baily says:

    And a huge thankyou to Andrew Still who dealt with all the electronics – advice on what to use and setting up for all the installation. Even by August when David and I met up with him to discuss the electronics to go on the raft he had good clear advice on what was required and logistics of how to set it up. Like Penny Tyas who did the food ordering and Alan Patrick who designed the rig – these are the people in the background who really helped make the Antiki raft trip a success – Thank you guys. – Trish.

  5. Primary 6 and 7 Lochardil Primary School, Inverness says:

    Hi Anthony,
    Primary 6 and 7 of Lochardil Primary School in Inverness, Scotland have raised £91.88 by making a ‘Wave of Change’ by bringing in loose change.We made it into a wave shape from the back of p6s class to the front of p7s (including a hallway.) All the money went to Water Aid. We were inspired by your adventure!
    We made rafts in technology time, to see if they would float, and we heard the story of the Kon Tiki.
    Hope your journey is going really well and you reach your total. We had our photos taken with the Wave and it will be going in the local newspaper we will hopefully send you a scan of the picture.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Ben Ferguson
    Euan Wheeler
    Emily Twaddle
    Lauren Mathieson

  6. William F. Russell, Jr. says:

    Just catching up with your progress today – congratulations on your 85th and successful voyage. Good luck for a safe landing. Next year your 86th in a Flarecraft! Best, Wm.

  7. Trish Baily says:

    To the Lochardil Primary School guys – Great work – Wonderful that you are enjoying following the antiki raft and that you have raised money for Water Aid.

  8. Felicia says:

    Hi guys!
    I so admire you for your courage.
    I love reading the blog and seeing the pictures.
    I had my 1st visit to the proctologist, I was nervous and really scared.
    I even thought of all the funny jokes I could tell while he was in there.
    When I first met the doctor, the very first thing he says “if you could do anything you wanted to what would that be”? I would buy a big sailboat and stock it full of rare supplies to deliver to all the little villages around the world. I’m not sure why he asked me this. Thank you for sharing your dream come true. Cheers, Felicia

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