Sponsorships

Posted: August 31, 2020 in Uncategorized

The Row2rio2020 project took a lot of effort, time, planning and execution.
It is important never to under estimate what it takes to get a project like this of the ground. There is an impact on family and social life, and whatever you think the project budget might be…. Double that amount.

Which makes a project like this near impossible without sponsors, unless you managed to win the lottery.

Thank you to juwi Renewable Energies, who came to the party as the primary sponsor.
Without juwi I would not be able to get to the starting line.

But, the supporting sponsors have all played critical roles as well.
Aerontec, Bulwark, Saertex and NovaMarine as product sponsors.

Thanks to the Simon’s Town Marina Company for giving me mooring space!

And finally Boock Sign writers who did an amazing job with the branding on the boat and SAMTRA for getting my marine qualifications in date.
Role on 1 December

Live a great Adventure!

Row2rio2020

Posted: August 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

It’s been a while since my last Blog update, but with the Row2rio2020 Campaign on the horizon, it’s time to share some thoughts.

Not today tho.

Please stay tuned

Delta SUP Expedition

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I don’t know who it was that first said “Life’s a journey, Enjoy the ride” but he sure had a point. And since I’ve come to realize that the odds are against me to win the lotto, I’ve decided to make mine an adventurous one.

Image

I guess that is what caused me to end up in the Okavango Delta with three friends and a Stand up Paddle Board, but since every adventure starts with an idea, I have to take a few steps back in time.

Shortly after I had done a review of the adventures on my Bucket List in early 2012 I was offered the position as First Officer for the delivery of a luxury yacht from Fort Lauderdale to Palma. From here flowed the decision that on my return to South Africa in mid 2012, I would be heading off to the Okavango for a week exploring the Delta on a Mokorro.

Whilst in Palma, I was introduced to Stand up Paddle Boarding and the Okavango Delta Stand up Paddle Board Expedition idea was born.

Image

The Engineer onboard for the delivery trip across the Atlantic was a Fijian, temporarily based in Cape Town, by name of Andrew Cochrane. When Andrew heard that I was planning to do an Okavango Delta Expedition he immediately opted in.

Back in Cape Town, one of my first steps was to invest in a 2nd hand Stand up Paddle Board, or SUP as it’s more commonly known. The Naish Glide is designed to be a touring board and was great for my objective of becoming the 1st person to transit the Okavango on a SUP.

Image

Realizing that this would be a memorable occasion I decided that the Expedition would have to be captured on video. The problem was that the amount of footage necessary required a back-up power supply to charge cameras. After doing a fair amount of internet research I found the Voltaic website. Their solar panels and back-up batteries was ideal for our Expedition and fortunately Jeff Crystal at Voltaic agreed to sponsor me with the required gear.

A week before our designated departure date Andrew send me a message from the Transkei wild coast where he was on a surfing holiday with his friend Grant, a New Zealander, to ask if Grant could join us. Without hesitation I said absolutely and our expedition had grown to three.

This would grow to 4 two days before our departure when another friend of Andrew’s, James decided to also join us. I met James for the first time at the Cape Town International airport on the morning of our departure and it turned out that this would be the best group of adventurers that any person could hope to travel with.

Image

Travelling in the company of great guys is a plus when things go wrong, as it would even before we departed from Cape Town. Somehow the wires between the various Air Botswana had gotten crossed and the aircraft designated for the Cape Town – Maun route on the day did not have a cargo hold large enough to accommodate my SUP. Even the captain came aft from the cockpit to try and help, but alas, it wouldn’t fit.

Fortunately the ground crew agreed to freight my SUP to Maun, via Johannesburg, at no cost to me and we were cleared for take-off 45 minutes behind schedule. The flight was a great opportunity to chat and I realized how fortunate I was with my expedition companions. During the trip I would wonder a few times if they were getting frustrated at the delays that resulted from my SUP arriving a day later in Maun and then being impounded by customs owing to improper import documentation.

Our accommodation at the Old Bridge Backpackers, just outside Maun, was top notch and the staff went out of their way to assist and make our stay pleasant. They also booked our Mokorro guides at the Kopano Community initiative and ferried us by power boat upstream to be transferred to the mokorros. I had decided that I would spend the entire 4 day transit on my SUP and whilst being anxious about crocodiles and hippos, my strategy would be to stay between the mokorros.

Image

With our bags transferred to the mokorros and Andrew, Grant and James in their seats, I led our flotilla of watercraft into the Delta. Andrew had agreed to be the video camera man for the expedition and he captured the facial expressions of the community members gathered at the launch site. I guess it was a good thing we couldn’t understand what they were saying.

It was late afternoon on our first day, just before we arrived at the overnight island, that we saw our first game in the distance. A huge elephant bull was pulling down trees on the island next to ours, which fortunately was reasonably distant. On arrival our guides unpacked the mokorros and pitched our tents. A fire was lit and we enjoyed a scrumptious meal before hitting the sack.

Image

We set out early on day 2 for a game walk, but only saw a few zebra in the distance. We returned to camp for a quick breakfast before packing up and heading deeper into the Delta.

Day 2 proved to be a challenging day in many ways. Not only would it take 4 and a half hours of paddling to get to our next island, but where I had managed to pass over the swamp grass the day before, patch a thick grass stopped the SUP dead in the water. I continued moving forward and fell on the camera mount fixed to the front of my SUP. The palm of my right hand was badly cut to the point of requiring stitches. James had a disinfectant liquid which he had previously used for an injury which I applied and deciding to re-assess at the end of the day I strapped my hand and we continued our journey.

Image

We also started making sure that the Voltaic solar panels were connected to the back-up battery at all times when not charging my Nikon or GoPro batteries.

Setting-up camp mid afternoon on the island that was to be home for the next two days, prompted James to get his fly fishing rod out whilst Grant tried his hand at SUP boarding and Andrew to pole a mokorro. Both Andrew and James proved to be fairly proficient at poling, but opted to leave this task to our guides.

After a quiet night James and I briefly explored our island before we headed out mid morning to search for game deeper in the Delta. To this point we had only seen 3 elephant in the distance and we were hoping for more close-up encounters. After a lunch stop we turned around and headed back to our camp without any success.

We headed out on foot to a waterhole on our island where James intended setting up his GoPro to capture the sunset and hopefully some game. On the way we saw zebra, and various Delta buck species. Whilst James was setting up his GoPro we noticed a herd of buffalo crossing from another island onto ours. Shadreck, our lead guide, agreed that we could track them and try to get closer.  It was only later that I would realize why he was more interested in scanning behind the buffalo with his binocs than looking at the herd itself.

Image

After we managed to get quite close, we realized that the herd was busy moving into the area between ourselves and our campsite. Shadreck told us to find a tree which we would be able to climb should the need arise, as he started pounding a tree trunk with a stick. The idea was to cause the buffalo to run away from us, but buffalo is known to also charge in similar situations.

Fortunately the buffalo turned tail and ran off, leaving us a free passage back to camp and an opportunity for a last Frisbee game before sunset.

James considered leaving his GoPro out for the night, but Shadreck was worried that hyenas might get to it and chew it to pieces, so they set out just before sunset to collect the camera. The idea was to get there fifteen minutes after sunset and then head back. On arrival James thought that it would be good to leave the camera running for another 10 minutes. As he said this to Shadreck, a roaring lion, apparently no more than 300 metres away made him rapidly change his mind. They grabbed the GoPro and tripod mounting and “hot footed” it back to camp.

We realized that this was a serious matter when Shadreck, who’se tent had been off to the side, moved it closer to ours and the fire as soon as they got back to the campsite. Throughout the night we could hear the lion (s) roaming on our island. It would be difficult to say how close they got to our site, but is sounded like 150 metres at times. Needles to say, I was awake for most of the night.

 

Early the next morning, our final day on the Delta, we headed out to search for spoor. We found the lion tracks and those of a lone elephant bull that had crossed over the island during the night amongst those of numerous buck, buffalo and zebra.

ImageIt was time to pack up and head back to civilization and the real world. With an anticipated 5 hours of paddling I expected it to be a tough day on my SUP. We paddled into a headwind for most of the day and if it wasn’t for the excitement of seeing 2 elephant bulls right next to the river, the day would have been a lot tougher.

With sadness we got back to the Kopano Community launch site at 3pm and after a quick beer with our guides at their bush-pub we transferred onto the Old Bridge Backpackers boat for the hour passage downstream back to the back packers lodge.

Image

Our trip ended with the proverbial cherry on the cake when we were welcomed back at the backpackers by a hippo grazing in the shallow water no more than 30 metres from our tents. The crew at Old Bridge once again went out of their way to make our stay pleasant and after watching the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony we crashed.

Unfortunately I had to leave my SUP behind as there was no way of getting it back to Cape Town. I would have to go back, flying via Johannesburg in order to be on an aircraft with a cargo hold large enough for my SUP. For now, it’s my reason to go back.

This Expedition would not have been so amazing was it not for my travel companions Andrew, Grant and James. I’ll go anywhere with them.

A special thank you and acknowledgement to Andrew (Andrew “Cocky” Cochrane for the record) who took the pics and video footage.

On a final note I have to give credit where it’s due – I have to recommend the Old Bridge Backpackers in Maun should you ever be passing through or heading into the Delta and thank Voltaic for their sponsorship.

 

Every so often we come to a point in our lives where we realise a fundamentyal truth about ourselves.

My realisation is that i am addicted to adventure. Nothing else will do.

Is that good or bad? Does it matter? It just is! 😉

The Forever Sabbatical

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Motivation
Tags: ,

How are you coping with your daily challenges?

Does the thought of a sabbatical for 6 months or a year appeal to you?

How about Forever?

Hang with me for a moment, or two.

Why do you want to go on a sabbatical?

Is it because you want to recharge your batteries and get new energy for tackling your daily task and challenges?

I have to be honest and confess that I have a major beef with modern media and technology. Everybody is selling the dream of being rich or only working 4 hours per week as the ultimate solution.

No, I have no problem with being rich, but I do not believe that to be the solution.

I love reading books and blogs of guys giving up their day jobs and taking on a huge 6 month adventure or going on a sabbatical to do the hobby that they never had time, or money to do. They have saved up for years to be in a position to go off into the wild blue yonder and do the thing they love.

Escape from reality for 6 months, just so you can report back to the grind for another 10 or 20 years.

Life was never intended to be lived this way!

No I am not a guru, on the contrary, the opposite would be the case. But that is the point exactly. We are all equal human beings on the first level and on the second very complex human beings. Why then are you molding yourself to Bill Gates,  Bono or whoever?

What might be good for them most definitely will not be good for you. That’s a fact! And is where modern media is trying to sell us a $%%^& utopia.

When you start analyzing what makes you happy it has very little to do with money. I say very little because money facilitates food and shelter. The rest of the elements on your hierarchy of needs have absolutely nothing to do with money.

I’m ranting, but my point is that it is not about your income, it’s about your actions. The things that you do every day that gives you pleasure. Your happiness and motivation in life is a direct result of doing things that make you happy.

Do you know what makes you happy?

How can you ever be happy if you don’t know what makes you happy.

And here’s the thing, What’s wrong with working a 8-hour day, 5 days a week if you’re doing something that you love and makes you happy?

 

So, the Purple Cows bit have given this away as a post influenced by Seth Godin. I was considering the title “Green Kangaroos and Puking Cats” to make a power statement but that type of title is exactly what this is about.

Seth has been a great influence on my understanding of Social Media and the process of building a digital identity. If it wasn’t for the insight I got from reading his books and posts I might have taken things personally.

In the movies it used to be said that a star will always be out shined by babies and animals, but how is it possible that Puking Cats gets thousands of hits on YouTube and I am battling to get 5?

YouTube and the Puking Cat Phenomena

What has become of mankind? Are we slowly but surely sinking down the slippery slope of predictable mediocrity?

How else is it possible that the most watched videos on YouTube daily features inconsequential crap such as Puking Cats and Farting Donkeys!

The Purple Cow

I guess Seth saw this coming when he penned the Purple Cow. But did he realise that it would get completely out of control?

Here’s how it goes; allowing me free interpretation; Owing to modern media and the daily bombardment of our senses, Seth identified that to get noticed, you have to be different. Just sticking with the Status Quo would not do it.

We’re a few years down the line and the Purple Cow has come full circle. The lines of what is normal have been shifted so far to the right, or is it the left, that Purple Cows are no longer good enough to get attention.

Negative Networking

So if Purple Cows won’t sell your idea, surely you can fall back on your network.

The gizzilion Friends, Fans and Followers must be the ones to rely on.

Sadly, just as video killed the radio star, Facebook and Twitter massacred the network. With the value of networks measured in Klouts rather than how often they actually read and respond to your posts, you might feel great having a 1000 Friends, but you might want to slit your wrists if you checked your stats on Facebook.

Oh, and don’t confuse the issue by having a Profile and a Page with the same name. Suggesting to your friends that they Like you, smacks of desperation.

Green Kangaroos

Nothing personal for or against Kangaroos! I am still planning to take a holiday down under at some stage.

Have you watched any programs about the Australian Outback? They always allocate a fair share of air-time showing Kangaroos.

I’m sorry, but they look okay from a distance but close-up doesn’t work for me. With the flies buzzing around and the saliva dripping off their paws in the process of cooling themselves down I can imagine the smell.

Like a green, rotting smell…

Green Kangaroos. Good from far, but far from good.

It’s like the Secret. Can’t believe it went viral like it did. It was good from far but far from good. Did you really think that you get get rich just by believing?

The problem with something like The Secret is that there is just enough truth in it to make it sell able; and off course the fact that we’d love to believe it!

Radical Realism

I guess it all boils down to the requirement for Radical Realism. That’s a concept by Robert Greene of “48 Laws of Power” fame.

Accepting things as they are and playing in the rules.

Any Ideas?

Please comment…

 

Mediocrity Sucks

Posted: July 24, 2011 in Motivation
Tags:

Living day to day, merely surviving, hoping for something better to come along.

Conforming to the expectations of society to fit in and not to make any waves.

Afraid to stand out and be noticed because someone might have something challenging to say.

Mediocrity Sucks

We have not been put on this planet to just get by. The entire object of the exercise is to become more and to have a bigger influence.

Look at the trees around you. They grow every day; maybe not a lot, but little by little they do. A tree that isn’t growing is busy dying!

In growing that tree throws a larger shadow. Bit by bit it’s increasing it’s area of influence.

It’s part of nature’s blue print that you should be growing and expanding your area of influence.

I’m guilty of that life of mediocrity, of not growing, of going nowhere slowly. … Are you?

Can I challenge you by asking, “What have you done to make a difference today”?

If you don’t make a difference you don’t matter!

I would like to matter, How about you?

Challenge the Status QuoHave you ever considered how the environment that you grew up in and the friends and colleagues that surround you today are impacting on your being?

If you haven’t noticed, we live in a world of complete contradictions.

The schools, colleges and religious institutions that we associate with are doing their best to put us into neat little boxes. Complete with nice wrapping that defines who we are and what we are supposed to do, both daily and in life.

Most often, our friends and colleagues take their cues from these formal bodies, repeating a vicious cycle that started a long time ago.

On the other hand, you will find coaches and alternative thinkers that will do whatever they can to encourage you to not confine yourself to the identity prescribed to you.

Most everything that were pushed down onto the “masses” have been proven to be nonsense. Starting with the Earth being Flat and the Earth, rather than the Sun being the centre of our Universe.

It is when you start researching the origin of the modern educational system and the financial system that you start realising that we have been hauled around by a psychological nose-ring for our entire lives.

It is only when we break free of the societal Rules for conforming that you can live up to your full potential. Make no mistake, you have been created to achieve hugely. Your failure to live up to your potential is an insult to your Creator!

So it’s time that you challenge everything that would prescribe behaviours to you. It’s time that you question all the BS that you are been fed and exposed to on a daily basis.

When you meet someone, like a manager, boss or even a friend, that’s not prepared to be questioned, tell them to “Get Lost”

Should you meet someone that tells you that you are not able to do something, be my guest and throw in a few profanities.

Whatever you do, Challenge the Status Quo and aim to achieve something HUGE and INSPIRING.

Anything less is an insult to yourself!

How many Motivational Blogs and Websites do you think you could find on the Internet? Do yourself the favour and Google “Motivation”

Next, apply the principles on the ones that are the most appealing. Share your results; On second thoughts, don’t bother….

I know it’s bad taste, etc, etc, to rant in public, but sometimes you have to have the guts to stand up and call a spade a spade. In E-Politics that’s sort-off acceptable, I think and since this is my Blog I make the rules.

Most people wouldn’t even know what it means for them to be happy. Do you know what it means to be happy?

So, if you don’t know what makes you happy, how can you ever know how to get motivated.

I’ll tell you. It’s not complicated. Nike has been saying it for years; Yes, to get Motivated, Just Do It!

Most people believe that when they get Motivated, they’ll take action; and that’s why they never get there (Motivated) To get motivated, you have to take action, as in putting the horse back in-front of the cart.

Don’t believe me? Try it!

Find something that you used to enjoy, but just don’t feel motivated to do; get of your a**e and do it for 30 minutes. then tell me I’m wrong.

The more you do it, the more you’ll be motivated. That’s when you get around to set the BIG Inspiring goals; not before you have motivation.

I know, I have stacks of goals and business plans that never came to fruition simply because I didn’t have the motivation. Thought I was visualising and affirming wrong, but all I needed to do is “Just Do It!

Do you know of anyone that has ever felt motivated after a performance review? They are few and far in between.

Here’s Why

1. Performance reviews are about company objectives.

2. Performance reviews are done by superiors using corporate measuring criteria.

3. the superiors are using their a) opinions and b) corporate results

That sounds reasonable considering that corporates pay individuals to perform and thus they have the right to set the criteria.

But shouldn’t performance reviews also take into consideration

4. How well the company empowered the individual to meet the measuring criteria and the targets set.

5. The individuals personal objectives and how well they are aligned with the corporate objectives. Might sound over the top, but it costs both the company and the individual financially if the individual is employed in a position they are not motivated to be in.

6. The superiors performance. Shouldn’t the subordinates performance be mirrored against that of the manager. What is the collective opinion of the managers ability to manage and to empower sub-ordinates.

Motivation is 100% about Feedback. The question here is if a Performance Revue serves any objective; or is it an archaic and out dated measuring tool?