Pedal boat setback: adventurer to try again
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Adventurer and explorer Davey du Plessis will have a frustrating wait until November to resume his voyage to Rio de Janeiro after his boat was towed to shore at the weekend.
Du Plessis, 27, and his mother, Robyn Wolff, 50, left from Granger Bay in their pedal boat Herbivore, but because of high winds and heavy seas had to be brought back to shore by the NSRI.
Wolff had been suffering from acute sea sickness and was treated by the crew.
Shortly after the incident, in which they battled 4m to 6m swells, he said: “After eight hours of pedalling from our departure point and becoming very fatigued, trying to get further west, I deployed the sea anchor and was then at the full mercy of wind directions.
“Initially the south-easter wind was blowing us westward out to sea, but the change to a southerly wind began to push us north and towards the coast. After being on sea anchor for the night and following day, all we could do was wait.”
The mother-son vegan duo were expected to complete the 6 450km trip in three to six months to raise awareness for Extinction Six, which highlights the plight of species threatened by human-induced extinction.
Du Plessis said he and his mother had been well prepared for their adventure, but the weather had made things difficult.
“We weren’t in distress or danger. Because the boat is powered just by our movement, if the wind is pushing against us, pedalling becomes a struggle,” he said.
When he takes up the adventure again in November, Wolff will not be joining him.
“She’s very disappointed. She didn’t expect to reach her breaking point so soon. It’s tough,” he said.
Du Plessis has survived even more brutal challenges.
Two months into a planned solo source-to-sea navigation of the Amazon River last year, he was ambushed and shot while in the isolated jungles of Peru. He made his way wounded through the dense jungle, seeking rescue and safety.