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A simple desire to visit New York forged the journey of a lifetime for Riaan Manser and his longtime girlfriend, Vasti Geldenhuys - a five-month, 5,000-mile long journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a small but high-tech rowboat.

"You have to be willing to give everything, and that even includes your life," Manser said.

"After the first day of rowing, I collapsed in that cabin, and I thought, I can't do this. This is too tough," Geldenhuys said.

With no support staff and no rescue crew, the couple set off in December from Agadir, Morocco, CBS News' Vicente Arenas reports. Three weeks later, they reached the Canary Islands. From there, it was nothing but the vast, blue sea for two and a half months until docking in the Bahamas, the last stop before Miami.

"Nearly a million strokes we took to get over here," Manser said.

Blog entries along the way detailed what they said was the scariest moment of the trip and their lives.

"The capsize on the 20th of February was without a doubt a wake-up call. Vasti got stuck under the boat, and I was thrown out," Manser said.

They say, however, the bulk of their journey was less harrowing and more life changing.

"You get this quiet time, and the sun is setting, and there's like pink and blue and white fluffy clouds, and it's just so quiet," Geldenhuys said.

In the final stretch, the couple of 14 years shared a hug and a kiss before landing in the record books as the first couple to row from mainland Africa to mainland North America.

"If Vasti wasn't with me, I wouldn't have been able to have this moment," Manser said.

Their trip is far from over. After a few days in Miami, the couple will load back in their boat and set sail for their final destination: the Big Apple.

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