Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only. In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.
This story began when the late explorer, writer and journalist Anthony Smith placed this advertisement in the Telegraph: ‘Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires three crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only.’ In 2011, the octogenarian embarked on his voyage with three men, on a raft called Antiki. This was both a tongue-in-cheek reference to the crew’s combined age – it was 258 – and a tribute to Thor Heyerdahl’s legendary raft Kon-Tiki. Smith was inspired by Heyerdahl, and by two sailors who survived seventy days adrift in the Atlantic before reaching Eleuthera in the Bahamas. His dogged perseverance is impressive, his team ethic less so, something exemplified by his annoyance when shipmates insist on maintaining contact with home. A great storyteller, Smith gives a memorable account of his experiences. When T S Eliot said ‘Old men ought to be explorers’, he clearly had this sort of adventure in mind.
Publication date: 26/02/2015
Publisher: Constable an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||26th February 2015|
|Publisher:||Constable an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, The Real World,|
Anthony Smith began life as a cartoonist - working for Marvel Comics, Knockabout and various other publishers before getting himself a BA Honours Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design from Bucks University. He writes and illustrates the ‘Learn to Speak Cat’ cartoon for the Metro newspaper.More About Anthony Smith