Dave flies out to visit AnTiki
Dave Hildred couldn’t bear the thought of AnTiki sailing so close to his home in BVI without giving them a wave. So he called up some chums and flew out to sea hoping to find them at the last position recorded on the YellowBrick.
Sure enough, there she was bobbing along and Dave called them up on the marine vhf radio and told them to come out into the sunshine and pose for an aerial photograph.
Saturday in a blog I mentioned that I had tried to find, without luck, an airplane to buzz Antiki as she came close to the BVI….. well the wind was very gentle last night and the raft didn’t exactly speed from the area so today I tried again …..and gosh (as Anthony would say) I found a friend, Marshall, who flies for another friend, Bob LeMire, (who owns Island Birds) and they both agreed to get me over the raft ! So thanks for giving up some of your Easter Sunday Marshall and thanks Bob for the friendly rate for the plane!
Along with Ramiz, Francoise, Brian and Eddie, all of whom donated money to Water Aid last year, we flew the 35.6 miles from Trellis bay (where I live nearish to the airport), to the raft, which is now northeast of Anegada and beginning to head away from us.
She was easy to spot, the white sail standing out clearly from the deep blue of the ocean. There were no white caps to hide amongst and as she plodded along at her stately pace she looked magnificent. I managed to speak to Anthony and he sounded well and happy and the crew were obviously having a relaxing time in the calm conditions. Long may that last.
The crew had put up the Water Aid banner in honour of our visit and there was much waving as well.
It was tough not to want to be on board looking down, as it brought back memories of our arrival in St Maarten when we looked up to see a plane circling us.
I said to Anthony as we circled over them, that if I’d only brought a parachute I’d have jumped; his reply of course, in true Smith fashion (one would expect no less), was “why bother with a chute, just jump anyway” !! I hope that was because he wanted me there with him so much…..!
It was a wrench to head back to Tortola and leave the raft and crew to the loneliness of the ocean. However she is in good hands and looks well. Sail on and arrive safe Antiki, our thoughts are with you.
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