As a child, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I couldn’t help but answer, “a pirate.” Now in my mid-20s, I decided to make this dream a reality.

After cycling from the UK to Slovakia (on £30 bicycles), myself (a Brit) and three good friends (a Slovakian, an American, and a Dane) went in search of discarded materials close to the Morava River. We managed to salvage several discarded billboards, nine 200-litre barrels, and from them, we made a ‘pirate ship.’ After constructing a crude shelter to sleep in aboard the ship, we set sail and headed out onto the mighty Danube.

This was a truly one-directional adventure with almost no budget or experience and certainly no looking back (except when searching for passing freighter ships that threatened to shatter us). Nothing in the world could stop our adventure…except maybe the police. But even that took a couple of hundred kilometres.

0:00 The idea and construction of the pirate ship
0:30 Where the materials came from
1:05 The testing of the raft’s float-ability (followed by a celebratory dance)
1:29 Setting sail
2:25 Freedom
2:35 Day 3: Entering the Danube
3:16 Moving the raft overland
3:41 Day 5: Entering the lock of a dam
4:36 The problem with wind
5:03 Rain
5:20 Climbing an abandoned aerial structure
5:40 The idea of the raft: Anything is possible
6:00 We encounter the police (with an unpleasant outcome)
6:54 The funeral
7:17 Reflections on broken dreams and solitude

Feature image by Christina