An 85-year-old British sailor who dreamed of crossing the Atlantic on a raft as a young boy has completed the journey in 66 days with three friends. The 2,800-mile crossing to the Caribbean, led by Anthony Smith of London, took about two months and was generally smooth except for damage to two rudders on the large, sail-powered raft.
“Some people say it was mad,” he told the AP when he arrived in St. Maarten Wednesday. “But it wasn’t mad. What else do you do when you get on in years?”
The jovial crew said they wanted to raise awareness about the environment and prove that the elderly are capable of embarking on adventures that are mistakenly considered dangerous. They also aimed to raise money for the British nonprofit group WaterAid, which provides potable water to impoverished communities.
A stroke of bad luck paid for the trip, courtesy of Smith, who was hit by a van and broke his hip. “I got some compensation money,” he said. “So what do you blow the compensation money on? You blow it on a raft.”
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