SA adventure couple paddle out on the toughest honeymoon ever...

2016-05-16 14:20 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - It's not what your typical honeymoon dreams are made of... But they aren't the typical cookie-cutter couple either... 

Together Riaan Manser and Vasti Geldenhuys conquered what many deemed impossible - a world-first row from the African Continent to North America, which also marked Vasti as the first woman from the African Continent to row across any ocean.

And now, as if they haven’t tested their relationship enough, the couple will climb back onto a 7m ocean rowing boat and cross the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii - in celebration of them tying the knot.  

The couple got hitched over the weekend, on 14 May, at the Table Bay hotel in Cape Town. In accordance with the post-wedding tradition, a honeymoon will follow. But for the Mansers, the only thing traditional about their honeymoon will be the boat, aptly named “Honeymoon”, which will be their life-supporting vessel for their grueling 4 000km journey. 

"It’s not that dramatic,” says Riaan, “we’re just going on Honeymoon, nothing special."

This is all relative, of course. Manser rose to prominence by completing four unchallenged world firsts - cycling around the entire perimeter of the African continent, circumnavigation of Madagascar by single kayak, circumnavigation of Iceland with a handicapped partner in a double kayak and, of course, his latest feat which included his then girlfriend, Vasti, rowing from mainland Africa to mainland North America. 

Vasti, an advocate by profession, set two world firsts in one go during the feat - she became the first woman from the African continent to row across any ocean of the planet and, together Riaan, became the first ever in history to row from mainland Africa to mainland North America.

The couple departed from Agadir, Morocco on 30 December 2013 and arrived in New York on Friday, 20 June 2014 after a torturous 10 765 kilometres of ocean rowing. 

Sun International will be backing the couple in their new honeymoon expedition.

“We are doing this so we one day have amazing stories to tell our children and grandchildren” says Riaan. “Leaving a legacy of love and adventure” adds Vasti.

How will they do it? 

As per the last expedition, they will once again burn huge amount of calories per day (sometimes in access of 8000 Kcal) and will replenish their energy with high calorie freeze dried foods. If it’s fresh produce they are after, they will have to keep their fishing lines wet at all times.

As to fresh drinking water they will rely entirely on their Schenker desalinator, which turns salty ocean water to pure drinking water. Ablution facilities will see the return of their trusted blue bucket system... 

On the technical side of the expedition the boat has been equipped with a Ray Marine chart/map plotter, which indicates the boats exact and current position, an integrated weather station and communications  VHF Radio.

Solar power will be the entire form of power supply to the electronic equipment. Two 40 watt solar panels charging two 100amp/hour deep cycle batteries. 

To stay in touch with people back home the pair will have a satellite phone on board as well as a Yellowbrick satelite tracking device that will allow the public and media to follow their progress.

The two most vital pieces of equipment, should an emergency arise, are the personal locator beacons (PLB) and emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).  These portable devices emit a satelite signal for up to 48 hours, setting an official rescue mission in play.

The Mansers will complete the expedition without support crew. But who needs that if you have a shiny new marriage certificate to boot?  

You can follow their expedition here.

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