Even the Gulf Stream Was No Match for Rowers

Riaan and Vasti crossing the finish line. Photo courtesy of Riaan Manser
Riaan and Vasti crossing the finish line. Photo courtesy of Riaan Manser

During their next water drop, off of the Delaware Bay, they used a different approach. The crew of Mearsk Elliott dropped the supply into the ocean as Riaan and Vasti paddled harder than they had throughout their journey to retrieve the gift before it disappeared below the surface. After a successful retrieval the Captain of the Mearsk Elliott radioed the couple. “The crew wanted us to know how inspired they were to play a small part in our journey,” Riaan explained.

As the lights of Atlantic City came into view Riaan and Vasti made a selfish decision to head closer to shore to have an Internet connection for that much needed contact with the outside world. However, with that selfishness they gave up the security the ocean provided. “The open ocean provides sheer comfort. You take what it gives you. Land however, makes you so vulnerable.”

On Friday, June 20, with helicopters overhead, what started as an off-the-cuff comment to visit New York City became reality. As Riaan and Vasti crossed the finish line, a quietness came over them. The culmination of the past five months filled their bodies with emotions. With 3.6 million strokes between them Riaan and Vasti shared a hug and a kiss, knowing that they would not have completed the journey without each other.

Nothing stood in Vasti’s way to see New York. After all this trip was her idea. She fell in love with Grand Central Station and enjoyed meeting people in the vast communities surrounding the city. The pair went cycling through Central Park, stopping on a pier to watch tourists rowing on the lake. In unison they shared a laugh simply saying, “We’ll pass on this tourist attraction.”

So what is next for these two adventurers? Marriage and children of course. “But trust me when I say that I will discourage our children from taking up my chosen career,”  Riaan stated.

“People say say to me all the time ‘Man, I would love to do your job,’ but they have no idea what they would be getting into. I often say, ‘Here, you can have it,” he joked.  One Twitter follower on Take Me 2 NY wrote, “You have unlocked the secret to life.” For Riaan, that is what his job is all about.

Once back in South Africa, Riaan will begin speaking engagements around the world. Corporations are lining up to hear about their journey. To learn more about Riaan and Vasti or to see a schedule of speaking engagements go to their website. http://www.riaanmanser.co.za/