The reasons for the expedition fall under 4 main categories.
1.Water is of vital importance to life and it is becoming apparent that clean water is available for less and less of the world’s population. We have been accepted by the Water Aid Charity and will raise funds for them (HERE) during the crossing and remind people, whilst we float on salt water, that fresh water is what keeps us alive. As we are using water supply pipes for the basis of the raft it is an appropriate charity.
2. In a world where Global Climate change affects us all it is of concern that we appear not to respect our environment and the intention is to study the sea around us as we pass over it on a stable slow platform ideally suited to such study. It is our intention to study Plankton, the start of the food chain, and see if this has been affected by ocean warming. It will also provide baseline data for future research. It is our intention to provide Satellite links to the school system within the U.K. to make children more aware of the importance of Plankton. It is our intention to concentrate on the five to ten year old age group. This juxtaposition of the age difference of the children and the crew and the respective locations of humans and Plankton on the food chain is of note.
We have arranged for a series of experiments to be undertaken in connection with The Sir Alistair Harding Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) in Plymouth.
3. To show that older persons are capable of undertaking what are considered, dangerous, wrongly in our opinion, and adventurous projects that are normally left to younger persons to fulfill. It is our belief that with age comes experience and that by careful assessment of risk, and minimization of that risk, that age is not an issue in such projects. There is an innate belief that anything “out of the ordinary “, such as a raft, is intrinsically unsafe yet it will become apparent from the risk mitigation and analysis that rafts, if carefully constructed, are as safe, if not safer than hollow hulled vessels.
4. Seventy Years ago this month the M/V Anglo Saxon was sunk by a German raider near the Canary Islands in the Atlantic. Seven persons managed to abandon ship and over the next 70 days the lifeboat drifted across to the Bahamas where the remaining two survivors were rescued. The Merchant navy suffered dreadful losses in WW2 and yet are somewhat forgotten. Our intention is remind the public that the Merchant Navy should not be left out in our remembrance of the sacrifices they made.Mr. Smith has found the lifeboat in question and this now forms part of a tribute, at the Imperial War Museum, to all the Merchant Navy casualties from the Second World War. Read more….
It should be made clear that is not our intention to suffer on this voyage. With the experience of living, traveling and working in more remote parts of the world that we have amassed over our life times, we have all learnt that any fool can be uncomfortable in a camp or more pertinently on a boat. We believe that a stable and well constructed vessel, such as we propose, that has had adequate risk mitigation measures included in the design is certainly far safer than taking a bus to Timbuktu.