30.01.2013 Uncategorized 2 Comments

Happy Anniversary!

I have just received a lovely note from Andy and Beryl who have made a pilgramage to La Gomera on this auspicious day when AnTiki set out across the Atlantic!
And just this morning, Anthony rang me with the good news that the book publisher has ( at last) responded with a positive note. Fingers crossed!!
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Hi Robin, It is hard to believe that 2 years ago today Anthony, Dave, John and myself were being towed out from el puerto by the Oceano whale watching boat, followed by our 66 day crossing to Sint Maarten. The 5 months that I was with the expedition seems now such a short speck of time, although the memories are still vivid. Such an amazing group of people who helped get us underway, and the welcome we got in the Caribbean. I would like to thank all of those people, some who I met but also those who worked long and hard but never made it out to the islands. Also our sponsors, few though they were. Plus everyone who contributed to Wateraid, through donations to the website or just dropping a Euro or 2 into our bucket. Our journey was followed by so many people, and I thank them too. I hope a few will still take a peak at the website from time to time to see if there is a book on the way.
Beryl and I got into Valle Grande Rey 3 days ago. This time we have come as tourists instead of as a tourist attraction. The valley is much as it was 2 years ago although some shops have changed and it is much less busy than before. The ferry no longer comes around the island so the long pier is mostly deserted except for an occasional fisherman or cyclist. The fires of last summer may also have put a lot of visitors off. We saw swaths of blackened trees and ground on our bus trip over the top, extending down into the upper part of VGR. Many familiar faces are still here. Bjorn at the internet cafe, the 2 men at the hardware store, the lady who took over our first apartment (who looks even more like her little dog now as she has changed her hair style), some of the waiters, the lady at the supermercado. I even remember some of the older faces, sitting on walls and benches around Vueltas. We haven’t met up with Barbara yet but that will just be a matter of time, we hope.
The weather here is beautiful. I haven’t checked a GRIB to see what the winds are doing offshore but it is pretty calm on land. My plan today is to head down to the harbour and make an offering and thanks to the sea for keeping us safe, just like I did 2 years ago as we untied our dock lines. Then we’ll walk the front and try and find some more old friends.
Finally, Robin (and include this in this blog), I want to thank you for all the amazing work you did to keep the expedition on the straight and narrow (mostly) and for your constant cheerfulness. WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU. Andy
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Received a few hours later…….

PS. Hi again Robin, I’d like to add a PS if possible.
I inspected “our site” this morning fairly carefully. I did find some evidence that we had been there with some blue plastic shavings, a small piece of aluminium and stainless, a couple of rope off-cuts, a few pieces of wood that were ours as well as some scrape marks in the hard ground. I only found this stuff because I was looking. A good clean-up had been done and there was a lot more new littering.
Looking forward to your news. Andy

2 Responses to “Happy Anniversary!”

  1. Dave Hildred says:

    I don’t think I can better your words Andy. You say it all.
    So I will just add my thanks to everyone as well. I spoke to Anthony yesterday about today’s anniversary and we reminisced of the great experience we had due to the many of you who helped and supported us.
    The news with regard to the book is great, here’s hoping to see it in print soon.
    Very best wishes to everyone on the team from Dave and Trish.

  2. John Russell says:

    I didn’t expect to see so much on the Antiki site after all this time, and I must add my two-pennyworth, having spoken with Anthony and e mailed Dave recently, and seen Andy. Before travelling to La Gomera, Andy and Beryl were in Lanzarote and Sue and I went out to spend 6 days with them there. We were sorry we did not have the time to see them in VGR instead. We will get to VGR one of these days to revisit the town and the port, as it is a wondeful place to spend time, particularly in the winter.
    So, thanks from me also to all those who helped make Antiki the success it was; to Robin, to Tony and Adam and all others (some of whom I never met) who put in time building the raft. I am pleased to hear from Anthony that she is still in one piece and has survived the reefs and the hurricanes, and just needs a sympathetic buyer who will look after her and perhaps put to sea in her again. Maybe with a bit of refurbishment she could cross the Pacific, in the metaphorical footsteps of the great Kontiki. Now that would be an adventure !

    John

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