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Even the Gulf Stream Was No Match for Rowers

Vasti Geldenhuys is all smiles approaching New York City. Photo courtesy of Riaan Manser
Vasti Geldenhuys is all smiles approaching New York City. Photo courtesy of Riaan Manser

 “I am scared. Don’t know what to expect from the Gulf Stream, especially in a row boat! The best thing for my nerves is to get into the boat and just row. Giant seas or not. It still feels unreal, the fact we have done this amazing journey successfully. Well almost, just another 960 nm to go! What a privilege.”

– Vasti Geldenhuys

Vasti Geldenhuys was ready to complete the journey from Morocco she and her boyfriend, adventurer Riaan Manser, began December 30, 2013. They had been in Miami for nearly ten days catching up on some much needed rest and waiting out a strong northerly system. Finally, on May 23, the pair headed to the safety of the ocean to ride the Gulf Stream’s northerly flow to Cape Hatteras before turning straight for New York Harbor.

“When you are on a motor boat or even a sailboat going with the Gulf Stream you can not truly appreciate the power of this phenomenon,” Riaan explained. “On a completely calm day, with the sea as flat as I have ever seen, it appeared as if we were not moving. Our GPS said we were moving at 5.2 knots.”  At one point the rowboat reached a max speed of 7.5 knots over the ground–faster than hull speed of many sailboats. But as serene as this may sound, there was another side to the mighty Gulf Stream that was about to add miles to the pair’s journey.

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