Smiley, the Charity Clown Boat - Expedition Danube!
Three young men sail 2.200 km down the river Danube on a self-built catamaran. Along the way, they will bring smiles and laughter to children in hospitals. Their goal is to raise awareness and resources to extend C4C's Dr. Clown initiative.
Encourage them with your contribution to make their voyage a success!
They are old friends, their creed is adventure and they are known to insiders as the "Challengers of the East"! In 2015, their last adventure took them in a Skoda Favorite all the way to Mongolia - 22.000 km! They wrote a book about it! Now they're back and ready for a new challenge.
Kicking off their 2.200 km journey down the river Danube in their home-made raft, the team aims to raise awareness and needed funds for the plight of hospitalized children in Central Europe. They have embarked upon on their trip on the 30th of June at Gabcikovo dam in Slovakia and they hope to reach Constanta, Romania, and the Black Sea by July 20th. On their way downstream, they'll be stopping over in major cities hugging the banks of Europe’s second largest river, to bring Dr. Clown's "Smile Therapy" to children fighting against sickness and the "Hospital Blues" - Budapest, Belgrade, Constanta, etc.
To make their journey a success and help them reach their goal of 500.000 CZK to donate to the Dr. Clown initiative, the team is looking for sponsorships and partners. Everyone who pitches in will receive an electronic version of the photo-docu of their trip. All donations, big or small, are appreciated. If you would like to become a Sponsor of the Day, your company logo or name will be displayed on the running map on this site and pictures of this day will have your logo or name on them – for posterity! The team asks a donation of 15.000 CZK for the daily sponsorship.
Day Nr. 19: Our Challengers reached their final destination: Constanta! As they were spreading joy, kindness and laughter on their 2200 km journey down the Danube, in return they also received: The owners of this campground were so grateful for their mission, that they drove them to the Constanta Hospital, where the team had their last and final Dr. Clown visit with resident children. Dr. Clown's Laughter Therapy was enjoyed by all, children, doctors, nurses and parents alike.
Day Nr.18 journey on the Black see: https://www.facebook.com/challengers2018/videos/1103766509772467/
Day Nr. 17: WOW - Our Challengers arrived to the Black see!
Day Nr 15: Our challengers are close to the Black see already. The weather is better, from time to time they need to face some thunderstorms.
Day Nr. 13: Our Challengers are still following the Romanian - Bulgarian border. They will now turn towards the north - to the Romanian inland. The Day seemed to be calm and tranquil - but then an unexpected thunderstorm hit them. As they were trying to escape the storm, one of the banners broke and they hope that the catamaran did not get damaged. We will find out more once they have an Internet connection again.
Day Nr. 12: The Smiley crew was shopping for their supplies in the small city of Corabia - a place with a nice harbor build thanks to European union. A local guy drove Oliver to a gas station nearby - so Oliver didn't have to walk for several kilometers. It was a calm, sunny day and the one thing that made it special was the view of Bulgarian coast and meeting the Rapid Dredger 3 excavating vessel.
Day Nr.10 : Finally, better weather! It's beautiful and warm, so guys managed to finally wash and wash and wash... . But let's stop talking about the weather - they have seen today a very ugly aspect of the Danube. I do not know how this can happen, and let alone in Europe. Almost as if someone just dumped trash on the river bank ... Really very sad look.
Day Nr. 10: Our Challengers spend the day "under the flag" of our daily sponsor, the 3Dwiser company. They successfully passed the Iron Gate #2 Dam. It means, that there is no other river lock in front of them. The weather is a tiny bit better, but still demanding. So, lets hope for better days :-). It looks like the Guys just started the second half of their journey.
Day Nr. 9: The Challenger Team couldn't get in touch with us for a while because of the poor internet connection in Serbia. Here are some updates on their journey. For the first time, the team realized how wide the Danube river really is. We've all been at the seaside, and we all know that it's a lot bigger than a river, but a feeling of three men on a shaggy raft, 20 cm above the water surface with both shores not in sight must be a quite an intense feeling. They are also constantly getting wet, the weather is quite bad. On the other hand, the Serbian hospitality was great. Two brothers with Czech roots did let the guys camp in their garden, also they prepared for them a great goulash for dinner. Yesterday, they got very wet once again. Thankfully, when they sailed through the last river lock, a group of Serbian sailors took them onboard, so they could warm up. They left the Iron Gate lock late in the evening, so they decided to camp right behind the Gate, near Kladovo.
Thanks to company Komix for the Day sponsorship!
Day Nr.8: Guys arrived to the Serbian city Golubac. And they met a family with the czech roots (Kratohvilś). They hosted them as own sons :-). We got a common pictures from Kratohvilś - as our Challengers are short have troubles with internet connection now. So, cross your figures for them to continue meeting nice people and have luck!
Day Nr.7: Smiley with our Challengers are somewhere around Belgrade. The weather changed to rains and storms. So cross your fingers and support them to get better!
Day Nr. 6: By the latest news, guys were getting gasoline, water and food at Marina Apatin. They get rid of the suspicious Croatia on their right bank. By our measurement they already made 470 km.
Day Nr.5: You can spread joy even on the river when you meet whole group of kids on canoes. Our crew had also some small difficulties with authorities on the borders (Serbia , Croatia). As a result they got the police boat accompanying them (not to enter Croatian bank:-))
Day Nr.4: Guys started from Budapest, now they are somewhere in Hungary :-). The Weather is grate, Mood is getting better and better together with improving the Smiley boat :-)
Day Nr.3: Boys successfully arrived in Budapest. They anchored at the Wiking Yacht Club-Minden where the Director treated them like a part of his family. We are very grateful for his hospitality. Oliver with Václav as the photographer visited the local hospital accompanied by the local Dr Clowns. Altogether, they spent the afternoon having fun at the neurological ward. In the evening, the crew had to make a few adjustments to the leaking boats and had to get rid of some stuff, to become lighter and stop sinking. Tomorrow they should reach the Serbian border. Let's keep our thumbs up for them and please help us to support the project Dr Clown!
Day Nr..2: Smiley stopped close to Hungarian city Vac. The Crew was solving technical issues - water inside the boat. There will be necessary some adjustment and tuning. Mood is still OK (if there is no discussion about Titanic :-)). Budapest is 30 km far. Some heavy load will need to travel back to Prague including cameras, generator and other technique, so there will be not so much videos and reporting as we expected.
Smiley, the Charity Clown Boat just before blast-off!
After their visit to the children oncology ward at the Bratislava Hospital, administering Dr. Clown's popular "Laughter Therapy" to their little patients, our three Challengers of the East, are embarking on their incredible 2000 km+ trip down the Danube. Powered by a five horsepower engine, kindly donated for the trip by Marine.cz and on all sides protected by their four horsepower team of inflatable horses, the team hopes to arrive in Constanta at the Black Sea in approximately 20-22 days, weather and conditions depending.
Our Team started during the night towards the Danube with the supporting car following them in the morning:
Smiley the Charity Clown Boat arrived at its launch pad and needs a few last things to be ready to go.
Happy mind-half the health. Slogan known in Czech Republic for a long time. All the clowns whom are visiting hospitals agree. As clowns we are trying to help to the doctors this way. Not only to those here, in hospitals in Czech Republic, but even to those that we will meet in hospitals along the way.
Hand in hand!! That's how we will deal with all the troubles along the way, whitch we are leaving at in 4 days!! We changed our schedule and decided to visit first hospital already in Slovakia, Bratislava. More happines for more kids! Be good hearted and help not onlz all the kids along the way, but even to those hospitalized here in Czech Republic. P.S.: Photo is not related to the comments here, sometimes, zou just find something in the boat, what makes zou smile... :D
Last weekend of preparation is over and our boat is "ready to go". And are few photos from weekend:
New members for the trip, quadruples, they will accompany us faithfully all the way to the sea.
Waterproof cover for the boat, Jakub Stearan Šrein is varnishing it with asphalt, that should do it...
All together, crew, horses, and finished boats. one could say we are done.
What can stop Dr.Clown in his job? Sun? Rain? Oh c-mon, you can't stop clown that easily!! We have cheered up few kids in hospital today, and now lets go build the boat, so they can enjoy us, somewhere else as well. Thanks for foto and cooperation Jirka Majer!!
We started our preparation 4 months ago. (as seen on pictre). We had lot of time back then. That's what we were thinking. Now we have in front of us last weekend for finish our boat and in 8 dazs we are leaving to Slovakia, Under the Gabcikovo dam to be precise, where our trip begins. We already have most important things like clown noses, more or less floating katamaran, and pile of good mood. And what we can't finish , we wont need, am I right? Oliver
Everyone should know, that we are no boring guys, that's why we called our boat Smiley! And to let everyone know, we had to make a sign, Obvious isn't it?
Our Challengers are no "greenhorns". Thay are masters of improvisation, they can solve any problem on the way, as they proofed it on they previous trip to Mongolia:
Some of you may have wondered, how we will communicate in all the countries we will visit. Luckily for us laugh is the universal language. Oliver Ghuli Szabo, as part of his preparation for the trip, attended the Laugh Festival in Warsaw last weekend. He got lot of experience and motivation to spread joy and laugh therapy in hospitals on Danube riversides.
At the weekend we finished our most important work on boat and we are almost ready to go. Boat will be decorated by some clown and advertising banners, name of the boat, and hopefully even a mast.