Leg 2, Day 84 – No Danger Diaries

Lizanne Van Vuuren By

Leg 2, Day 84 – No Danger Diaries

I think the last section of a journey is always the longest. Ticking off the same miles that we have been counting since day one now seem to take longer. Our destination is so close the sense of accomplishment is tangible, yet not realising how this last bit might stretch and moulds us to new proportions; as always the ocean seems to be challenging us by keeping our expectations in check. We have found that suddenly we are allowing ourself to project; mentally parts of us are already at our next destination.

Over the past few days, we have loved asking each other questions like “what are you looking forward to most when we get to Samoa?”, “what is the first thing you want to drink when we get to Samoa”, “what do you want for dinner the first night in Samoa?”. Alas, it’s a dangerous game to play as anything can still change… We know this all too well.

As I mentally start to prepare for life back on land, I found that during some reflection on the oars recently something struck me…. There is a striking similarity between the three ladies I am currently spending every waking and sleeping moment with, and the three guys that I live with in Cape Town. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people at home who inspire me and adds copious amounts of flavour to my life.

On the boat we have always said that the key to the success of this team is the diversity of its counterparts… Everyone brings something new and different which means that the total is always going to be greater than the parts added together separately. This also rings true for my housemates and I. Just like on the boat we have become each other’s family. Laughter and jokes are prevalent and when one person is down the others will pull them up. So without further ado, meet the male versions of my three rowing sisters:

Emma = Grant aka Future man. An adventure racing machine. If you ever do a race with Grant he will ride up alongside you on the mountain biking section and push you up the hill; you will subsequently feel like you’re riding on clouds, flying up that hill. There are hills out here on the ocean too, and Ems has pushed us up all of them. Both of them also have a smile that will light up a room.

Natalia = Dan aka Avatar man. Dan and Nats both have a contagious amount of energy. The thing that bonds these two is their interesting minds, the ability to make anyone laugh and they can lift the mood in any situation. They are the “games master”; a sure winner to have at your dinner party.

Laura = Bast aka 5th Gear. Bast is called 5th gear for a reason, full speed ahead… all the time. These two are the powerhouse of the team, I sometimes wonder where they get their stamina from. Perhaps because they both eat more than anyone I know…

Along with another friend of theirs; Travis, aka Comfy, these four guys started a non profit organisation called No Danger Diaries that is based on a progressive principle; making a difference in their community by sharing the joy (imagine taking chocolates to grannies in retirement homes on Valentine’s Day). They aim to create an inspiring way of giving back in the 21st century. They have an ever growing “Living list of Tasks” (as opposed to a finite “Bucket List”) which is the foundation of NDD. They want as many people to get involved as possible, to #sharethejoy while making a difference. Examples include;

– Cycling the Argus cycle race with a blind child

– Take a homeless person to a sit down dinner

– Find a dog a home

– Abseil down the Red Cross Children’s Hospital dressed in superhero outfits

– Grow an organic garden

pic 3

All of the tasks are recorded and made into a short video. They are not bound by borders, and have developed the organisation over the last year by seeing where the need is and thinking outside the box. The No Danger Dreamer Project for example supports people by helping them achieve their dream if they do not have the means to do so themselves. Amazingly a group of students In the UK were so inspired they got in touch with the boys and started No Danger Diaries Manchester. A question I have been asked on the boat was “if you could choose three friends, other than us to row an ocean with, who would it be?”. Without a doubt I would choose these three.

Needless to say, with people like this around me I can’t help but have fun and be inspired; They were paramount in my decision to do something different and row across the Pacific. My advice to anyone would be to surround yourselves with your own Grant, Dan or Bast, get involved in making a difference in your community and remember….. Always #sharethejoy


As we ate dinner tonight Nats and I mourned the absence of Shepherds Pie, so we composed a tribute song to the tune of “Bye Bye Miss American Pie”

Bye bye Shepherds Pie
I’m gonna miss having you on the menu tonight
And as I look at my options I sigh It’s gotta be Beef Curry and rice
Any other option would have been nice….

Love Liz aka Doots x



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Very well written Lizanne and a great way to compare your current companions to your inspirational friends back home. I think I also understand the underlying excitement regarding your imminent arrival in Samoa, prematurely surfacing, then the realisation of the distance still to do, knocking it back down again. Yes you have a lot more work to do, but, you are going in the right direction and your progress will once more improve. Then before you know it, you will be waving your inspirational shipmates farewell, as they embark on the final and for the battle hardened three, hardest leg, of this epic journey. You are all such amazing individuals. But what a team! Stay safe. XX

  2. DanCam says:

    oh DOETS. U are so RANDOM! Love the kudos, maybe us and the girls can switch places for a while? Not scared for a row . See you Samoa soon ! Also, Samoa is very close to Samoosa so maybe eat a Samoosa in Samoa? Just a thought . JOKES. UnJokes. X

  3. What a beautiful blog today. It is such a privilege to have such inspirational house mates and to be part of an amazing rowing team. It is getting ever so close now , but please keep your focus. It is not over until the fat lady sings. I love your bye bye shepherds pie song and it just shows that your attitude is right because you see the funny side of it. Samoa is getting ever so close now. You deserve a good rest
    Stay safe XXX

  4. JG says:

    Community living has clearly equipped Lizanne with the ability to blend seamlessley into the Coxless Crew. I hope that Meg will find it just as easy from Samoa. Fingers crossed for her – I dont know any of you so I can’t really comment. Spirits are clearly lifting as Samoa draws nearer. Keep safe

  5. 5th gear says:

    Dhuts you biscuit!
    What an awesome blog post. I said to you that I was looking forward to getting to know the ‘new’ Dhuts when you return, but now I’m looking forward to meeting the whole crew! Food – no doubt it’s gotta be anything that Mum cooks! Biiiiig love

  6. FutureMan says:

    Ah Doooootles!

    Ha haaaaa… How epic are you being in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Think a fat BRAAI on your return is in order.

    How we miss you so! Come back now:)

    So stoked about your adventures!


Leave A Reply