By Eddie Roberts 27/9/2010
Imagine a white dorsal fin the size of half a tablecloth rising out of the River Mersey off Bootle docks. No wonder the ferry tooted. However, this was no shark, but a giant Finn called Antti Laitinen who was drifting at the mercy of a keen north wind and the incoming tide on a raft. Certainly the oncoming tanker wouldn’t have noticed as the diminutive craft rode its wash. Thankfully the weather conditions were perfect as he headed up river into the brilliant sunshine towards our World Heritage Waterfront.
Antti had set sail at 7.30am from New Brighton and was drawn across to
the east bank down to the Pier Head by 9.30am before successfully negotiating
the shipping lane to reach Cammell Lairds intact, but numb with cold.
This was a brilliantly executed ‘happening’ in an age when ‘risk assessment’ and insurance rates have killed off too many bold adventures. However, it was no Arthur Ransome lark. Antti had already navigated a similar raft across the equally busy Baltic channel between his home town Helsinki and the Hanseatic port of Tallin. On this occasion he sought expert advice from our renowned pilots and was escorted at a distance by a support vessel with a film crew on board.
Hopefully their video will soon accompany the diverse exhibition of Antti’s previous artistic activities which embrace his nation’s concept of ‘eramaa’ or ‘Oneness with Wilderness’. They are currently on show at The A Foundation in Greenland Street (off Jamaica Street, opposite Cains Brewery.)
Eddie Roberts' photograph shows Antti Laitinen's pine bark raft being made. It has returned to the exhibition venue at Greenland Street
Comment left by Mr Darren Herbert on 27th September, 2010 at 14:11
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