Facts & Figures
- The Banana travelled the full route from Rotterdam to Constanta in water or on board a ship, in the rivers and canals; it was never deflated (punctured once and repaired) or transported on land
- 5.5m long inflatable beach toy, specially designed and made in Germany by Imperial Fishing, from material tougher than white-water rafting pvc
- Actual journey distance 3,200km
- Travel methods. Hitch hiking (towed behind ships; tied to the side or put on deck; driven by a 5hp outboard motor; small battery powered 12v outboard; rowing; towing by hand; towing by German Police
- 2200km with ships, cabin cruisers and speed boats, mostly towed, twice carried by cargo ships
- Routes towed – Rotterdam to Paks, Apatin to Novi Sad, Smederevo to Drobeta – Turnu Severin and the Danube / Constanta canal, last 3km rowed in Constanta harbour.
- Approximately 1000 km with 5km outboard motor
- Approx. 20km sailed around harbours and marinas with 12v electric outboard
- Pulled by hand around marinas and quaysides 5km
- Rowed around marinas and docks 5km
- Out of water. Pulled over land, up ramps (across locks whilst inside the lock) 100m
- On board the Banana whilst being towed approx. 30km (three occasions)
- Two German police officers at Harback Lock pulled the Banana with me on board for 600m
- Back tracking up stream and crossing from bank to bank approximately 5km
- Unaccompanied travel. 8km when taken by Austrian water police. Returned to starting point
- Drifting on river whilst refuelling, filming or with starting problems 2km
- Damage to the Banana. 1) Duisburg water police accidently ripped off passenger handle rings and all security rings on one side when attempting to tow the Banana with a line threaded through the loops and not by the advised tow rope. 2) Tow ropes cut and attempt to push the Banana into the lock approaches at Regensburg. 3) Banana trapped between ship and lock side whilst being towed, grazed and scraped. 4) punctured when beaching on rocks in storm and high winds: five holes repaired successfully. 5) Hydrofoil punctured during several beach landings. There is general wear and tear from oil and exhaust fumes from ships, scrapes from being dragged over rocks, over obstacles onto docks or along quaysides.
- Banana broke free from rope. On the Main / Danube canal the rope splicing came undone (all four at the same time) and the Banana drifted free. By pure chance I turned to see it 500m behind the ship. The ship reversed back along the canal and the captain repaired the ropes in the next lock.
- Banana logo flag base stolen near Frankfurt.
- Oars left on board a ship and brought back to me by lock keeper of the next lock.
- Passage refused for the Banana. Rotterdam Harbour Authority. Several locks, most difficult to pass: Harback, Germany. Many docks refused to let the Banana be moored. Constanta Harbour Authority. Novi Sad municipal beach. Arnhem JB marina was the only place a charge was made for mooring. The marina with the restaurant next to it offered free mooring for several days. Duisburg marina gave one day free so the Banana was moved. Duisburg boat repairs would not let the Banana tie up on its jetty in the lagoon.
- Many thanks to the hundreds of people who showed kindness, hospitality, good humour, time and effort, offered beer and meals, accommodation and sang along with my poor guitar playing, laughed at my jokes and entered into the spirit of the voyage.
- Special thanks go to the ships and boats captains who towed or transported the Banana and put up with hours of my antidotes. I am happily still in touch with many people, and the memories of those I met on the voyage will be with me always.
GoBanana European Journey is completed!
Amazing but true, the Banana has arrived in Constanta, Romania. As the sun set on the 31st of July, exactly four calendar months after the start of the voyage in Rotterdam on the 1st of April, 2016, when in the morning, the Banana was placed in the North Sea harbour waters at the STC.BV Maritime Training Centre, the Banana passed through the final lock into the Black Sea harbour.
GoBanana in Hungary
Les has arrived in Hungary!
GoBanana at Frankfurt am Main
Les has arrived at Frankfurt Am Main, in Germany, on friday May 6th.
GoBanana at Arnhem
Go Banana at the Rotterdam City Marina
Sunday 3rd April the iBanana was on show at the Rotterdam City Marina. We welcomed many people who were filmed as part of of the event.
This was an all-day open event for the press and the public which started at 10am, lots of people came to have a chat to Les, be photographed or interviewed for the television program, which is being filmed along the route of the 4,000 km World Record voyage To Bulgaria on inland canals and the major rivers of Europe.
Stephan Brusche, Rotterdam based Doodle Fruit artist known internationally as iSteef, came among to the Rotterdam City Marina with us, for an interview with the Go Banana Project. He will be demonstrated his art during the day.
Max Nollert came with a display of the iBoat, samples of the fish baits produced by Imperial Baites, plus lots of promotional material for the coming season of fishing. There was live music and free bananas. With the sun shining, the wonderful hospitality of the Rotterdam City Marina and the Allure Restaurant the whole day turned out to be a relaxing day before the start of the Banana Voyage the following day.
Many thanks to all who came and those who contributed their time!
What is Go Banana?
Go Banana is a world first attempt to deliver a large inflated banana from Rotterdam to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. The banana will cross the international watershed between the Rhine and the Danube rivers.
On our website we will keep you informed about all the ins en outs about our project.
You can also be a part the Go Banana project in many different ways! Click here to check all the possibilities.
If you would like to be involved, provide a reception in your city, town or village, be a sponsor, advertise or simply get on board the Banana please use the contact page to leave a message, comment on the blog page or simply use one of the telephone numbers to call or text.
The Idea – Going Banana
From a discussion about making a television documentary about water, the thought came why not make it on the water?
The idea processed to buying a boat and sailing it over the Alps from the North Sea to the Black sea…but what kind of boat? The price, type of boat, length, engine power, cost of fuel, courses to be done, permission to be had, mooring costs, etc. etc. all had to be considered. Strangely an inflatable banana meets nearly all the criteria because it fits none of the criteria.
As the project progresses you will find more information on this site and on the Blog page which will be updated often.
The planned launch of the Banana project is at Rotterdam Marina 1st April 2016 with the actual sailing out of the harbour on the 4th of April.
The first towing of the banana will be by Max Nollert of Imperial Fishing with his 60hp iboat.
The production video of the actual Banana boat is at the right, just click on the arrow.
The City of Linz has planned a reception for when the Banana arrives there and the Majestic Hotel, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria has agreed to be the final destination and have kindly donated a week’s stay there for me to recover from the journey.
If you would like to be involved, provide a reception in your City, town or village, be a sponsor, advertise or simply get on board the Banana please use the contact page to leave a message, comment or simply use one of the telephone numbers to call or text.