Pirates’ canal adventure

Addi Man (right) and her nine-year-old daughter Athina.
Addi Man (right) and her nine-year-old daughter Athina.
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A mum and her daughter have travelled almost the full length of the Lancaster Canal on a raft built from recycled material.

Addi Man and her nine-year-old daughter Athina, from Horsforth, took just six days to complete their adventure which spanned 65 kilometres.

Inspired by the story of the Kon-Tiki raft crossing the Pacific Ocean, the self-styled Pirates of the Canal built their eco-friendly vessel from old office chairs, water pipes and cupboard screens.

With an old broom serving as a mast and sporting a pirate mouse sail, the raft drew support from onlookers throughout the journey, as Addi and Athina collected litter from the water along the way.

Addi, 37, who works at the University of Leeds, said: “This summer’s water pipe raft was a massive hit with the locals and in particular with the elderly generation. One day a floating tea room was going past us and the ‘oldies-but-goldies’ were banging on the window for attention, waving, clapping, shouting ‘go pirates’ and taking pictures.

“Others walked side by side to us on the canal inquiring about the make of the raft and where we slept. An 85-year-old even opened the swing bridge for us to get through.

“Later that day an old lady walked home to tell her husband about the raft and he caught up with us soon after to ask us how we take our tea. He returned with drinks, chocolates and his neighbours to admire the raft and hear about mother-daughter canal adventures.

“Once more we feel humbled by people’s kindness. In times when so many terrible things happen across the world we hope to have brought a ray of sunshine, positivity and hope to the lives of the people who met us.”