Vasti Geldenhuys

Filed in Adventurers by on January 1, 2014 • views: 4026

Vasti Geldenhuys

A World’s First Rowing Expedition! :: Successfully completed! :: From Morocco, Africa to New York, USA by South Africans Vasti Geldenhuys & Riaan Manser
Intrepid travellers Vasti Geldenhuys & Riaan Manser have rowed their way into the history books by successfully traversing the Atlantic ocean from Morocco to New York in an epic 10-and-a-half thousand km journey over a mind-boggling 133 days at Sea
Cape Town, South Africa – November 28, 2013 – It all started with a seemingly innocent request for a holiday to New York, but never in her wildest dreams did Vasti Geldenhuys think it would take 10 765 kilometres of ocean rowing to get her there.Vasti, a lawyer by trade, has always been the support structure of South Africa’s pioneering explorer, Riaan Manser who rose to prominence by completing three unparalleled world firsts; cycling the entire perimeter of the African continent, circumnavigation of Madagascar by single kayak and Iceland with partner Dan Skinstad by double kayak.Riaan has always vowed that he would never expose Vasti to the dangers of his world, but now they are taking on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean with no support boat in sight. Alone and unaided they will endure a 120 day row from Agadir, Morocco to their destination; New York.The couple, who met in Cape Town in 1999, will put their fourteen year relationship to the ultimate test, by first heading toward the Canary Islands and then down to Cape Verde. The hope is to sort out any issues they might encounter, because once they leave Cape Verde, they leave civilization until they hit the coast of Barbados. No support boat, no ablution facilities, no luxury. Just Riaan, Vasti, their combined determination and a seven meter rowing boat with their supplies.

The boat has been equipped with two plotters, which indicate the boats position on a nautical chart, a weather station and VHF Radio. A solar power regulator will supply power to the technology on board as well as a salt water converter which, if all goes to plan, will turn salt water into drinking water by desalination. The final two pieces of equipment, probably the most vital, is the personal locator beacons (PLB) and emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). “If something goes horribly wrong, at least the closest ship will get the signal” says Riaan.

On the mental and physical side of preparation, Vasti and Riaan have trained daily on a stationary rowing machine and spinning bike and did a great deal of research to arm them with knowledge about the Atlantic Ocean and the vessel they will be calling home. But you might be shocked to find out that they will not set foot on the actual boat to practice till they arrive in Agadir, Morocco. “We will have just over a week to practice and educate ourselves with the vessel,” says Vasti. They plan to row 20 hours of the available 24 per day, taking 2 hourly shifts at a time and the average speed they are aiming for; a hopeful 3 knots.

Burning huge amounts of calories per day, Riaan and Vasti will have to replenish their energy with high calorie freeze dried foods. If they have the urge for fresh food, they will have to do it the old fashioned way by wetting a line in the big blue ocean.

“Let’s just hope Vasti doesn’t teach me a thing or two about fishing” Riaan chuckles.

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