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How to survive an Atlantic crossing in the world’s tiniest boat? Eat the walls

Andrew Beswell is planning to consume just 1,000 calories per day on his 90-day journey across the Atlantic - Tom Maddick, SWNS

Andrew Beswell is planning to consume just 1,000 calories per day on his 90-day journey across the Atlantic – Tom Maddick, SWNS

You would expect to pack a lot of food for three months at sea, but one sailor has taken the concept of packed lunch to a new level.

Swashbuckling Andrew Bedwell, 48, will eat the walls of his boat, measuring just a meter long, when he attempts to cross the Atlantic in the smallest ever vessel – named “The Big C”. The six-foot, 11.5 stone father-of-one has designed a cabin with just enough room to wriggle in.

Meals will be in the form of protein bars in bags that his wife Tracey has molded to fit into every crevice of the vessel, likened to a “large Henry Hoover” and “wheelie bin”.

“It’s like I’m eating the boat, but you’ll want to keep the most important bits,” Mr Bedwell, of Scarisbrick, Lancs., Told The Telegraph.

“It might even be molded into the back part of the seat so my seat might be made of food.

“We are having to eat from the outside first to increase the stability of the boat – it’ll picking from the front left then the front right, back left and back right.

“By the end of the passage I will have a fair bit more space.”

Andrew Bedwell's boat is just one meter long and has a top speed of 2.5mph - Tom Maddick, SWNS

Andrew Bedwell’s boat is just one meter long and has a top speed of 2.5mph – Tom Maddick, SWNS

The 1,000-calorie bags will be molded “in every single available space” when he sets off from Newfoundland, Canada, in May next year.

“It will taste pretty vile,” he said, “but it’s just to do the job, basically. There’s not going to be any kind of niceties in there – but my daughter might put the odd skittle in.”

He hopes trade winds will bring him to Cornwall’s Lizard Point within 90 days and soon plans to start trials on the boat in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

The record is currently held by Hugo Vihlen, who made the perilous journey in a 1.6m (5ft 4inch) boat 30 years ago.

Mr Bedwell’s boat, which is half a meter shorter and has a top speed of 2.5mph, is a modified version of a ship designed by another former record holder, Tom McNally.

The record attempt is raising money for Cancer Research in tribute to Mr McNally, who died of the disease in 2017.

He expects the biggest challenge will be muscle atrophy and on calm days he will spend up to 12 hours a day out of his cabin doing exercises - Tom Maddick, SWNS

He expects the biggest challenge will be muscle atrophy and on calm days he will spend up to 12 hours a day out of his cabin doing exercises – Tom Maddick, SWNS

It took more than three years to complete the fabrication work on the boat, which is just 3.5m (11.4ft) tall and has a sail area of ​​eight meters (26ft).

“In rough conditions it will be rolling all over the place,” Mr Bedwell mused. “It will be effectively two days of the worst motion that you can ever imagine on a rollercoaster when you’re possibly 1,000 miles away from anyone.

“In a rollercoaster you importantly know you’re 99 per cent safe, in this you do not. Waves can do awful things.

“I’ve got a helmet with foam in it, my head is banged down on the dome at the top.

“I can brace myself in, I can cross my legs and push my arms out.”

Other modifications that have been made include a hose allowing Mr Bedwell to use the toilet, though he does not expect to pass many bowel movements during the three-month voyage.

Limited to 1,000 calories a day, he expects the biggest challenge will be muscle atrophy and on calm days he will spend up to 12 hours a day out of his cabin doing exercises.

The tiny vessel has been likened to a 'large Henry Hoover' and 'wheelie bin' - Tom Maddick, SWNS

The tiny vessel has been likened to a ‘large Henry Hoover’ and ‘wheelie bin’ – Tom Maddick, SWNS

While he will move too slowly to be of interest to marine life, he fears any encounters with a whale would spell trouble.

“I could encounter a whale that hits me on the boat,” he said. “Life is life.”

He may spend much of the voyage, he admitted, “crossing fingers”.

“I always like to have a real challenge on the go – although my wife quite often feels I’m crackers – but I said before I’m 50 I want to have done something amazing.”

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