By 8 September 2009 | Categories: interviews



What piece of technology was vital to the success of your journey?

My Garmin GPS. Geez, it still amazes me how they work so effectively in even the harshest conditions. Many times I’d be 10 km out in open sea, on the little 5 m kayak of course, during vicious storms and all I could rely on with accuracy was my Garmin to tell me where I was and what direction I should be paddling in!

“No food for lazy man”. Has this become your motto?

For Sure, it was the number plate for my bicycle that took me around the entire African continent. Nothing has been more important in both my "world first accomplishments" than that of a good attitude. I never expected an easy way to be carved for me by others; but rather expecting myself to create my own good fortune and luck. "NO FOOD FOR LAZY MAN" adds a bit of humour to my choice in attitude I deemed non- negotiable.

What video camera did you use?

Sony South Africa came onboard in a grand way and made sure I had the best HD handycams available. The quality of the footage speaks for itself. The waterproof housings, though, were what Sony really wanted tested. And trust me, they were tested properly. I can break anything! National Geographic are putting together the three part series. HD quality still amazes me. How can things just keep getting more and more real?

And GPS?

Garmin made sure I always knew where I was. I used the blue charts for the Indian Ocean and comfortably planned each day. Unfortunately the huge seas and rough weather didn't always play a part!

How did they perform?

The cameras were awesome. The casualty rate on them was fortunately only one, that I accidentally submerged in water. Sony though managed to get all the footage from the units hard drive, again I was amazed. The cybershot took 8 Meg shots, lasted the entire 5000 kms and is going to make my next book even better.  The Garmin's only had a humidity problem on the screens during the brutal summer heat but otherwise took the abuse with a smile.

On your trip you extracted one of your teeth using your Leatherman. Any tips on doing this?

Leathermans don’t get used properly in my opinion. Stop reading the brochure on where they are best applied. They should be creatively employed in solving the most technical of dilemmas, even if that means pulling a tooth!

You have an excellent web presence. You’re on Twitter, YouTube and you have your own Facebook group. Do you take care of this yourself?

My manager Seamus Reynolds sometimes gets me to dictate a quick update to him. He’s shown me the power of keeping your audience close to you and then how almost accidentally your target market can expand. Grannies in Simon’s Town to Grade 1 kids in New York now follow what I’m up to in my life.

Another guy who has shown me personally what social networking can do is Bob Skinstad. Geez, the guy has a sound, logical approach to using these new modern tools to connect people to his business ideas.  I wish I had more time because I'd respond to every single comment personally if it were possible. 

We see Windhoek Lager is one of your sponsors. Did they at least stock you up on beer along the route?

No such luck, Windhoek Lag
er promote responsible consumption; a guy on kayak, alone out at sea, should not be encouraged to drink!

Seriously though Windhoek Lager has been good to me. Our relationship has developed over the last eight years and we’ll still do lots more work together in the future. I just love the new Draught in the bottle. That’s definitely my style.

Follow Riaan’s on Twitter @riaanmanser.


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