Couple Travels from Morocco to Manhattan in a Rowboat, Report Being ‘Relieved’

Vasti Geldenhuys and Riaan Manser traveled from Africa to New York City in a rowboat.
Vasti Geldenhuys and Riaan Manser traveled from Africa to New York City in a rowboat. –PIX11

When most couples want to travel to the Big Apple, they book a flight or plan a road trip.

But Riaan Manser and Vasti Geldenhuys, from Cape Town, Africa, hopped in a rowboat — and rowed for 133 days. When asked how they are feeling after the journey, Geldenhuys said in a PIX11 TV interview, “Relieved. It was a long way.’’

That might be the understatement of the year. The couple, who have been together for 14 years, spent more than four months at sea. Manser, 40, who calls himself “a professional adventurer,’’ is used to epic trips — he says he once spent two years bicycling around Africa. Geldenhuys, 36, a lawyer, was tired of being left behind. She asked to join him on an adventure and the couple decided to travel to New York City by boat. They claim to be the first to row from mainland Africa to mainland North America, reports The New York Times.


They traveled 6700 miles, spending 133 days at sea (74 of those days with no land in sight). Sure they capsized at one point. And their satellite phone broke. And they kept company with sharks. But one of the biggest challenges of the trip was “having to deal with each other,’’ Manser said.

“We couldn’t even speak to anyone else,’’ said Geldenhuys. “We could only speak to each other.’’

At one point, they stopped speaking entirely. They didn’t say one word to each other for more than two days, said Manser. When asked what their next adventure will be, Manser told The New York Times, “Maybe get married and have children.’’

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