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Banana bloke 11-25-2015 01:46 PM

Banana Voyage
To whom it may concern...

I have decided to 'sail' a 6m inflatable banana from the North Sea to the Black Sea then South to Sunny Beach Bulgaria. Its a 4000Km trip over the Main Danube Canal. Naturally, the banana doesn't have an engine or sails and my efforts on the local park lake in a rowing boat doesn't really qualify me to row 400Km up hill so to speak so...I need to hitch hike.

Any offers of a tow will be most welcome. The trip will begin on the 1st April (honest its not a joke) from the port of Rotterdam. I need to cover 33km average per day for four months. There will be a TV HD video made of the trip and a book at the end so any offers will include you being in the video etc. and of course you will get the chance to ride on the banana.

Plans are well under way and some sponsors are in negotiation with me. Water Aid don't want to take any responsibility in the voyage but have agreed to be my nominated charity and you will find a page on my web site - address on my profile.

Any jokes will be posted on the my web site so be careful ! Constructive comments, sponsoring or advertising inquiries will be most welcome, offers of help in all forms would be appreciated...psychiatric counselling has failed; so no offers there please, but I do need to get some sea sick pills as crossing the channel on a P&O ferry is about my limit...

Best wishes,


steve_h 11-26-2015 11:52 AM

I would suggest lots of pratice before you set off. It is hard enough trying to row
an inflatable dingy let alone a banana !
Good luck :)

Banana bloke 11-26-2015 12:21 PM

The banana has not yet arrived, so perhaps I should find an old lorry tire inner tube and have a go on the local fishing lake. Actually the banana generally cannot be manoeuvred, although I will have a go at rowing it short distances. The aim is to find kind souls to tow it, and myself, up the rivers. I am in touch with the port of Rotterdam Authority to set up the launch there on the 1st of April, 2016. They thought I was wanting to dock with a ship load of bananas. I think the fun has already started. Fyffe's are considering being involved and Zodiac boats are also looking seriously at the project. I need allsorts of nautical advice, mostly about travelling international waterways, MOB transponders, GPS devices and satellite telephone stuff. I have a motorhome back up and transport for camera crew who will monitor my progress and RDV at certain stopovers to film and feed me.

I am in a tiny village in central France at the moment...I wonder where I find that inner tube? Thanks for the encouragement.


Banana bloke 11-26-2015 03:12 PM

Quick up date...Rotterdam marina has agreed to let me tie up the banana for a few nights for free...this is the first confirmed positive reply to the planning for the Banana voyage.


haiqu 12-08-2015 06:34 AM

Banana bloke 12-08-2015 09:19 AM

Goon script
Many thanks Haiqu,

I was learning to talk when this was broadcast...which accounts for my strange sense of humour perhaps. Oddly the woman in the tourist board of Koln thought my project was silly...bizarre coming from a rep of a town that has a mad carnival lasting four days. Perhaps I should send them a copy of the script of the Goons so they get the unilateral banana joke...speaking of which you can get the idea of the magnitude of the humorous effect on people if you have a look at - 38000 members in 27 countries... Enjoy!!!

MacroPolo 12-10-2015 04:38 PM

Banana is awesome! I love observing it floating - there is so much fun. ;) Really love it

Banana bloke 12-13-2015 08:50 PM

Balmy banana
Glad you appreciate the banana project, I am back in the office tomorrow and will post an up date then. However if you have a look at my web site you can see the proposed routes etc. and some more info..

Enjoy ^_^

Banana bloke 01-07-2016 02:56 PM

banana progress
Happy New Year,

2016 is a year of challenge for me as the Banana project gets underway. Imperial Fishing, Germany is sponsoring the construction of the banana and will be the first to tow it from Rotterdam Marina on the 4th April after the launch of the project on the 1st. The City of Linz is preparing a reception for when the banana turns up and the Majestic Hotel in Bulgaria have offered a week to recover from the voyage. the back up motor home has been road tested in southern France and northern Spain (good excuse for a holiday) and has proved to be exactly what is required although some small changes will have to be made. The journey along the inland waterways should be easy but finding someone to tow the banana from the Danube / Black Sea canal may be a problem. If you are sailing the Black Sea in or around August please let me know if you can tow me down to Sunny will be in the TV video and book, naturally.


Tom Bunker 01-07-2016 06:05 PM

I don't understand how this works. Do you have a site that explains the plan?

Will you always be towed and/or have a support vessel?

Banana bloke 01-07-2016 11:35 PM

Working Banana
Yes, it has to be towed - basically a sail boat of any kind, cruiser, jet ski or the Oxford rowing team could do the job; It does have rowlocks but they are only for manoeuvring in locks or tying up at a quay side etc.

I do have a web site

Apparently the Banana will be ready in three weeks time thanks to Imperial Fishing...more news on the blog page on the web site.

As to naming the Banana - how about 'Nautical but Nice' ?


haiqu 01-08-2016 04:14 AM

The world needs more mad people doing this sort of thing.

Go ape!

Banana bloke 01-08-2016 07:29 AM

Ape-ple bodied seaman
Me, mad?

I mentioned above (to Tom Bunker) the Oxford rowing disrespect to Cambridge by the way; but both groups of students have their may balls in June - mad . Also in answer to Tom and also mentioned above I do have a back up plan in the form of a motorhome which will follow along the bank of the rivers etc.

... and un-like being on a 40ft yaght in mid Atlantic, I can step off the banana and go and get a big Mac. The fact that the trip will probably bankrupt me and I will finish up on a Bulgarian beach living on a banana; having been dragged 4000km to get there I agree might be concidered a bit looney.

I have just seen the price of decent 4K capable video cameras - Ahhhh

Now I am going ape...


Tom Bunker 01-08-2016 01:14 PM

There were times when I was ready for a big mac. It sounds like a fun project.

It's definitely a different kind of voyage, but what ever floats your banana.

Banana bloke 01-18-2016 12:13 PM

...but seriously
Strangely some have not taken on board the serious nature of the voyage of the Banana??? Yes, the main reason for the trip is for me to have some fun before I get carted off in the van by the people in white coats. The New Year has brought some good news on the planning side. Wageningen University have invited me to film their banana research centre (banana plants are being attacked by a fungus and may destroy the Cavendish, having already caused multi-million damage to the industry and almost wiped out the Gross Michael banana plant world wide), and the city of Arnhem are opening their Operation Market Garden museum for filming - the Banana can sail through 10 countries and be welcomed by all yet only one generation ago my father got a much more unfriendly welcome when trying to cross the Rhine at Rees in 1944. The Banana is becoming a symbol of the unification of Europe, without trying, seriously!!!

Les :rolleyes:

atheneoflymington 01-18-2016 03:44 PM

Banana nirvana
Don't flinch if they call you a nana
For travelling by floating banana
The rest of the bunch
Will be still out to lunch
While you'll be halfway to nirvana...


Banana bloke 01-19-2016 08:59 AM

Thanks for that Gordon,

I can't find Nirvana even with google or my gps. At the moment I would rather be half way to anywhere than here doing the preparations...

Your poem will appear on my web site shortly, with full credits, nautically.


Banana bloke 02-05-2016 07:44 PM

Commitments here in France are done - from now on its go go least for the next nine months.

The 1st April deadline for the trip is too close. I cannot possibly get all the equipment, organise the needs of all the rules of the inland waterways etc., get stores organised, contact publishers, contact sponsors, get the internet to work (my website has stopped being picked up by web browsers even with the correct address), contact the 4 capital cities and 27 cities along the routes, get cameras and drones and learn how to use them, get fit, get the phone deal cancelled, buy a MOB transponder, find someone to look after the cat (her claws on the inflatable not welcome) and find insurance for the banana (classified by the Rhine River Authority as 'floating material' in convoy) not easy and what about correct clothing?.

No chance to get all that done; so I'll just go.

How do you real sailors think of everything before leaving harbour? I mean you can't just nip down to the open all hours for a bag of crisps or a bottle opener can you?

I still need a tow on the Black sea from Constanta to Sunny Beach, ta,

Les :eek:

Banana bloke 02-10-2016 01:49 PM

Google eyed
Some people are not finding my wed-site using google.

So, google either bing, yahoo or ecosia, put in Done.

Less than 50 days before the launch...yeh.

Working on a book deal with a UK publishers...

Les :lol:

Banana bloke 02-10-2016 05:02 PM

google d geek
That last post should have read web site,

The Go Banana boat is an inflatable 5.5m beach attraction. (made to white water rafting specification, I might add)

The officials at the Rhine River Authority in Strasbourg don't see it in the same perspective. Here below is a copy of the email they sent me.
Even though it is bright yellow it apparently has to have lights on it too, even in the day time...also these rules don't apply on the Main River or the Danube / Main canal or indeed the Danube either; all of which have their own rules. Voyaging on a banana could be fun but now I am officially 'floating material' it kind of takes the romance out of it...The official is French by the way...enjoy


You have spoken with the CCNR an I checked the regulations that apply on the Rhine. there is a difference compared to what I told to you. The régulations can find be on Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine in FR/DE/NL

a) police regulation
your banana is a "menue embarcation" -art 1.01 m). If it is towed, you are a "convoi remorqué art 1.01 d)
The police regulation applies (see art 3.13 for instance)

b) Rhine vessel inspection (RSOR)
Reglement Onderzoek Schepen op de Rijn

No requirements concerning the banana (smaller than 20m). But the banana is considered as a "matériel flottant"art 1.01 nummer 25 "drijvend voorwerp":

Your banana will be towed Is it a convoy ?

YES a towed convoy (convoi remorqué - art 1.01 Number 31 can be made of a vessel and a "matériel flottant /drijvend voorwerp":

=> the vessels that is towing the banana has to be allowed to tow something. This is mentionned on its Rhine vessel certificate

c) Lastly, the personnal regulation that defines the crew on board a convoy.
the article 3.16 defines the crew according to the length of the convoy

I wish you a successfull project
and invite you to contact the competent authorities

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