Monthly Archives: December 2018

Enter Chadman.

 

Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Mama told me when I was young
“Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you some sunny day”
“Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You’ll find a woman and you’ll find love
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above”
“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”
“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”
“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”
Oh yes, I will
“Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied”
“And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can”
Baby, be a simple, really simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple, kind of simple man

As you know I have been doing some swimming as well as my walking. My two goals are starting to take shape. However, as I find myself training, walking in the desert and swimming in these exotic locations I am really surprised at the amount of damage that we as humans are doing to our home. The oceans are really becoming dirty and if there are any humans in a particular area of the desert they just trash it! I see this week there has been a conference on global warming. The earth is warming faster than expected and they need the worlds countries to work together to keep it at the current 1.5 Deg and if it gets warmer we ( or should i say our kids and grandkids ) are in for a tough time. They will never know the earth as we do. I spend a lot of time in nature and have realized every insect, plant, animal and organism is working towards the survival of our planet. Except humans! Yet we claim to be the superior beings????? Maybe not hey!!!!! Douglas Adams does say (in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) that we are only the third most intelligent species after dolphins and white mice. He may actually be onto something there 😉  Instead of raping the planet to feed and fuel the population maybe it is time to cull the population to save the planet?

Recently I have been inspired by a few individuals that have stood up and have decided not to go down without a fight. They are not all conservationists but they do give a shit what happens to you and your loved ones.
Lewis Gordon Pugh. One of the first books I read after putting the cork back in the bottle. This guy has just swum 350 miles from Lands End to Dover to draw the worlds attention to ocean pollution and hopes to have 30% of the world’s oceans protected by 2030. As you sit there at your computer try and process that. 350 miles, 500 km, 17 deg water, currents, hectic weather, stinging jellyfish and God knows what else………all in 50 days……just so your grandkids will know what an ocean should actually look like.

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Ross Edgly is trying to inspire the lazy people we have become to get our asses out of the bar and go do some exercise. This guy just swum around mainland Britain. Yes, that is right, 3 200 km in 150 days. Let me spare you but check it out on https://www.redbull.com/int-en/ross-edgley-great-british-swim. All to try get you not to die from obesity.

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Jean Craven and his Mad Swimmers who have swum all kinds of crazy swims (including a 1 km swim at -1 deg in Antarctica) all in aid of children’s charities.

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Here in Namibia we have many conservationists and some who have devoted their lives to saving a species or area.. I salute you.
So with that it is my privilege to tell you that our attempt to help in our small way in definitely happening. We have got the go ahead to do our walk through an awesome area and it is all a go go go. Myself and Stephen van der Schyff will walk from the Ugab river to the Hoanib river in support of desert lion conservation.

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This area is one of Namibia’s gems. Most visitors won’t see it as it is too far off the beaten track. So you ether visit one of the remote lodges that you fly into or you self drive parts of it. Besides its natural beauty that needs to be protected, this is the area you find the desert lions, elephant and rhino. It is an area I have fallen in love with. It is going to be a hard walk. Mainly due to the temperature. April/May is the only time I will have chance to do it this year. There are huge portions of it with no trees. 21 days is a long time in 40 deg heat never mind being directly in the sun. Hopefully I will be able to rig up something with shade netting but to pull that out you would need zero or no wind. The prevailing wind off the ocean could give us some relief from the heat but that would be mostly in the late afternoon.

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All that I can tell you is we are hugely excited. We are still little boys at heart and the thought of having an adventure like this is unbelievably cool.
This is our route.

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So how about supporting us????? You won’t have to do a thing except send the desert lion conservation some much needed funds. Whatever you can afford will do. Really!!!! Whatever you can spare. It’s your chance to start change. Why not? It will give you a warm fuzzy feeling. We will do the hard work of walking but we would really appreciate your support. DO NOT SEND US ANY MONEY. Wild Cherry Adventures and myself will totally fund this adventure. Just click on the link in the top right of this page and the DLC bank account details are there. Send them something and e-mail me for us to keep track with your name or company logo and I will put you on our sponsors page.

We would like to thank Desert Lion Conservation, Palm-Wag Lodge and conservancy, Wilderness Safaris and Desert Rhino Camp, Wereldsend Research Station, Save The Rhino Trust and all the anti-poaching units in advance for not shooting us 😉

Steve and I have known each other for over 20 years and I consider him one of my closest friends. He has also walked with me before, where we walked from the Hoanib to the Kunene rivers to try raise awareness for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Just like me, Steve loves this kind of adventure. We stroll around admiring the beauty and solving the world’s problems. He is probably the only person I could do this long walk with as he is an easy going and likable character with a great sense of humor.

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Here are a few of his paintings and check out his Facebook page at … https://www.facebook.com/artiststevevanderschyff/

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Stephen van der Schyff has spent 30 years working prodigiously as a full time artist. Highly acclaimed and collect able, His work has been commissioned for private and corporate collections both abroad and at home.

Although classically-trained and a lifelong student offline art ,Stephen’s primary mode of expression was self -taught during an extended period of living “rough” in the forests around Knysna.

Nowadays he lives and works in his studio in the lush coastal town of Salt Rock in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and travels extensively to restock his imagination and inspiration.

While the majority of his work is oil on canvas and ranges across a broad spectrum of Impressionism , he regularly returns to the discipline of wildlife and landscape art in mediums like water colour, Indian ink, as well as acrylics.

Today I have been sober for 3 years. Time sure flies. It was the best decision I have ever made. I am on a beach in Vietnam, I have just swum 4,1 km, I am drinking the water out of a fresh coconut, I have a wonderful girlfriend who cares for me and I have a future. To top it all though I am going to eat seafood tonight………whooooowhooooo ! – that’s a big one for our hero as I am mostly a meat and potatoes kinda guy. Maybe I go really big and try a tomato…………yeah, right!…let’s not overdo things.). I really do realize how lucky I am to have been given a 19th chance but now it’s time to rock. Enter Chadman………..


Not that life is now all rosy. I have had the toughest year of my life. However, I took it head on, I had the clarity to make the right decisions and I worked hard at solving all the problems. When I look back the highs and lows seem huge but they made me so much stronger and I learnt a lot of lessons. I am pretty sure I will finish this life looking much like a prize fighter. All scarred and rugged but I am adamant to still be holding that championship belt high above my head!
My swimming has been sporadic over the last 5 months. I was under immense stress between Ingi’s and my operations, two businesses to run, one trying to get off the ground and with not having booze to “help” me through it, I stared eating. That with the lack of exercise has caused me to put on some weight. In the past I would have got depressed about this and just eaten more but the “new Chad” has been empowered by the last 3 years and I realize I am in control of this. So I am back in the water, gone onto a training diet and the weight is coming off. I have a goal. The Robben Island swim is going to happen. Of that I am sure! On the graph below you can see i started the year well and then it dipped while Ingi and I had our operations and then i started to climb again. Next year the distance covered will be much higher.

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This year started with the New Year’s Day swim off Clifton beach (the polar bear swim), I then swam with whale sharks in Tofo, Mozambique. I did an amazing weekend swimming camp with Derrick Frazer in Langebaan Lagoon. When we got to Vietnam it was paradise.

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The water was crystal clear and warm. The water was very still.

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I did some snorklling and saw some pretty coral and a Mascobe duck even swam past 😉

 

I managed to do a personal best continued distance swim and a total of 17 km for our stay there. I really enjoyed it.

So my swim as part of the (Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap) triathlon team with my mate Roger at the Sandman in Swakopmund has been a huge anticlimax. I got here on Wednesday to acclimatize to the cold water after the very hot water of Vietnam. Thursday was great and a good start, 1,5 km in 16 deg and no probs. Not even cold afterwards. However, Friday was a clusterfuck. The water was rough and temp again 16 deg. I swam for 30 min and did 1.2k m then saw someone I knew on the beach. As I stood there and chatted with him I started to feel a bit odd. By the time I got to the hotel I was shaking like a leaf. At first I was really bummed as I thought I had lost my tolerance to the cold. I had 2 x 30 min hot showers but was under my blankets all day just shivering. Then I realized I had a fever and it was not the cold. I was having a reaction to a sting. My leg was aching and as I looked down I saw this red cobweb of blotches heading down my leg. The gland by my nuts was really swollen……..bwhaaaaaaa. So it turns out I was stung by something while swimming and have now been in hospital for 5 days. What a drag. It’s December FFS and I am in hospital again. Between Ingi and I we have had an extended stay in hospital 5 times this year. It’s a good life if you don’t weaken. But faaaaark, cut a man some slack!
What is making me weaken though is at 3am this morning some dude has been put in my ward that clearly decided he was not just going to a braai yesterday, but to eat the whole freaking braai. Woman and children included. He has been farting, burping and shitting his way through the last 4 hours. At 6 am I was woken to his whimpering cries as they gave him an enema. I still have not gone into the bathroom and certainly won’t until the folks in Hazmat suits go in and hose it down. If I was not such a positive guy I would think this could be the start to a shitty week. 😉

So once again this sport has taught me that anything can and will happen. That I will have set backs due to health and injuries caused by the unknown and unforseen. As you can see from the graph below I was steadily increasing my monthly distance and thought I was going to have a bumper month in December only to hit a jellyfish along the way. So I now recover and start again. The swim is currently on target for Nov 2019 and I have a plan. In fact I have several plans. I am putting everything into place that ultimately is going to help me achieve my goals. Walk, swim and the new Mark 5 version of Chad Wratten. I am excited and I am ready to stand tall and fight. And I am going to learn and have fun and love every moment of it 😉
If you feel like smiling do the following. When you are on your own watch the music video below and dance just like these brothers……..;-)

So the next 4 months are going to be training, diet, training……….on the 15 April 2019 Lindy and i will be swimming the Robben island crossing in a relay team. We will both do 3,9km. Then on the 19 April myself and Steve start our walk. Wild cherry adventures is in the building stage so lots to do but i am enjoying it.

Thanks for reading and i will write again before all of this happens. I hope 2019 be a good year for you all and may you achive your goals 😉

Chadman…….out!

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