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Friday 13th – part 2
17.04.2012 Uncategorized 5 Comments

Friday 13th – part 2

I can almost taste the relief on the raft since the winds have abated a little, the sea has settled down a bit and they have achieved great success in steering upwind! When Anthony writes a blog, you know he’s happy.
All in all I feel as though the crew have taken AnTiki by the scruff of the neck and shown her who’s boss. (I hope I am not tempting fate!)

From Anthony…..

Dear Robin

Since Friday the Thirteenth we have been doubly inundated, firstly from very bouncy weather and, secondly, from ‘friends’ saying we were a bit of a lost cause. Well, now that it is Tuesday the 17th, we are not exactly on calm waters but we have laid much criticism to rest because, wait for it, we are SAILING UPWIND. That means some 200 degrees of direction are available to us. To a raft! Or rather to our raft. Or, more properly, to our fantastic crew, notably Bruno Sellmer, the Brazilian Mr. Fix Anything That comes His Way. The sailing books don’t even think of mentioning the rigging he deploys, such as having the main sail fixed at one lower end to an outer nose cone.

Bruno attends to the rigging

For some frightening moments this man sat astride the aforesaid cone yelling with glee as if winning the Grand National or sitting astride the H-bomb in the last moments of Dr Strangelove. He did all this to tweak our direction of sail just a few more degrees, this proven by our masthead arrow indicating a wind coming from an alien direction. ‘Bloody well done,’ wrote a previously stern but friendly critic from somewhere named Bentley Street, this message giving Bruno (and the rest of us) particularly great cheer.

But we are not out of the wood yet, to use an old nautical phrase. We have to go as north as possible in order to head west for our planned destination on Eleuthera (of the Bahamas). This will demand much freshly learned expertise, and I am now terrified to hear of Bruno’s next plan for gaining a couple more degrees (and thus gaining yet more praise from that street in Australia.)

Who knows what will happen? The weather gods may be rolling up their sleeves to send more mayhem in our direction just as Antiki’s crew is poised to do whatever is next on our extraordinary agenda. More news soon, whether good, bad or downright unbelievable.


Anthony received an email from Brian Smith, the original designer of AnTiki in Australia ( mentioned above in A’s blog) and he has asked me to copy it here for you. Brian is truly a rennaissance man who will happily turn his hand to anything that interests him. Click HERE to read about the unique pioneering pressurised balloon he built which was the first to cross Australia.
Here’s Anthony aboard Brian’s raft in Australia enjoying being convinced of the wisdom to use polyethelene pipes for construction.

Brian Smith's original raft built in Australia

From Brian…..

Dear A,
Your progress and more to the point your apparent ability to steer has me intrigued. When I wrote that email on sat you were at a stage where you had to do something or with a week of 20 -25 kts from NE you would be too far S and the trip would be over.
Within a few hours you were heading around fifty deg off downwind . I assumed you had the anchor out and were crabbing with the eggwhisk. However your course since has been absolutely consistently 50 off downwind . I can’t believe you could stand the sound of a twostroke this long (or have that much fuel on board) and I don’t believe you have the political clout to have organised one of HM’s subs to pop up and give you a tow…………
So what’s different ?
My final suggestion which I didn’t make because you obviously had the situation under control was to fold the squaresail into a triangle , effectively halving the area then tying the top 45 deg point to the masthead , the bottom 90deg corner to the foot of the mast and the other corner to the back corner of the raft. This would put the centre of effort of the sail more equally between the fore and aft Guaras and enable you to reach comfortably at 90 deg to the wind.
So ,how did you do it ? bloody good effort anyway. b.

5 Responses to “Friday 13th – part 2”

  1. Hello Anthony, Ali, Bruno, Leigh and Nigel,
    Yes, indeed – we were all desperately worried when the winds turned – and hour after hour we watched as the raft headed west. Then there was that terrible hour when the Yellowbrick just showed a blank page. (It appears that it was just my internet connection)
    I’m so proud of all of you for the way you’ve turned the raft back north.
    Anthony and Ali, your posts (Friday 13th) are so courageous and positive…..even though you must have gone through absolute hell! You are a wonderful team of winners and ingenious raft sailors.
    Hats off to all of you!
    I’ll be waiting in Eleuthera – nothing will stop me.

  2. John Russell says:

    Well done Anthony and fellow rafters ! We are following your progress with great interest and wishing you well on your exciting voyage to Eluthera. Anthony has of course experienced adverse winds before and is an old hand at watching the deployment of the sea anchor and the yellow brick turning through 180 degrees….it’s all in a day’s work ! Sue and I are pleased to see that you are now in better weather and heading once more in the right direction. Long may that continue.

  3. David Hildred says:

    Excellent ! As I said in an early email to you tie the ropes to anything! Tweaking is fun and you have raised the course the raft will steer to a new high, I am totally impressed. Best Dave.

  4. Andy and Beryl Bainbridge says:

    So impressive, your team-work and resilience under stress. Congrats. on the handling of Antiki. May you now have time to once again enjoy fair winds and calm seas;
    Warmest wishes, Andy and Beryl

  5. David Hildred says:

    Just wanted to add to what Petra said about the corageous and positive attitude of the crew. We never had bad weather from “in front” only light head winds on the nose. We could get Antiki onto a beam reach, but to get her to sail forward of the beam in strong NE winds ( we had 25 knots here on Saturday from the same system) was a magnificant effort indeed. I wonder what Antiki is capable of with further trial and error !

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