Lockdown has left many without their usual go-to activities for keeping busy, but one father and son duo decided to use their spare time to build a raft and take to the seas.

While escaping a deserted island is the usual motivation for building a raft, this Capetonian pair had another goal in mind.

When faced with how to spend his lockdown, local photographer Joshua Rubin decided to get creative.

“During lockdown we had a lot of spare time and even though I have been working and documenting the lockdown, there has still been a lot of spare time. I decided to start a YouTube channel and we were thinking of ideas. My dad loves building and we thought of a project to do together – we thought of building a raft and sailing to Robben Island. At first it was a joke but it slowly developed into something we were very serious about doing. We started to build the raft and after a few weeks of one-and-off building we had completed it and we decided to go to Robben Island,” says Joshua.

Joshua organised all the safety gear needed as well as a boat to follow them to the island and they set off on their journey. It took them a total of three to four weeks of weekend building to complete their trusty vessel. “It was extremely beautiful and definitely something that I would do again,” adds Joshua.

The trip did not come without its challenges, however, Joshua was worried the trip would be strenuous.

“Before we left I was dreading the experience of paddling to Robben Island. I am not very fit but my dad is. Getting over the waves and the first kilometre was extremely difficult but as soon as we got out into the middle of the ocean it was absolutely amazing. We had been waiting for the perfect day for the trip so the swell was minimal and the wind was nothing,” says Joshua.

Overall the trip took them three hours to reach Robben Island but they were out on the water for five, enjoying the view.

The raft itself was a unique work of passion made from a collection of unusual items.

“The raft is made out of random materials, its definitely not proper boating materials or rafting materials. We went to the hardware store and got 1.6ml plumbing pipes for buoyancy and end caps and metal poles that we had bent to make a frame. So the frame was completely metal and that’s what held it together. Metal and wood, there are some wood bars at the top of the raft as well, these were for our feet and our chairs. The chairs were tuffy chairs, plastic chairs that you can find all over the place and we just cut the legs off and put the metal frame on the chairs and attached them to the wood planks, and that’s how we sat. The whole thing is basically a metal frame with wood and a lot of glue,” says Joshua.

See the full video of their amazing journey below:

Picture & Video: Joshua Rubin

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.