The 60-second Biography
I qualified in horticulture in Durban before going into the real world to put my hard-won knowledge to good use... as a boat boy in Knysna.
Went on to work in restaurants, a timeshare resort and, in the very early days, one of those old-fashioned caravan park/holiday camp places. I then used my grounding in the natural sciences to become a tour guide (the first, mind you, at Featherbed Nature Reserve - now Knysna’s biggest tourism attraction), a ferryboat skipper and, ultimately, the owner of my own business in the Wilderness National Park: a bird-watching concession called the Kingfisher Ferry. Then the floods of ’96 came down, the Touw River was silted up, and my boat and I found ourselves up the creek without an, er, creek.
So I started to write.
I entered the fray as the editor of a newspaper called Cape Tourism Update - which survived for just 21 months. When it closed, I went out as a freelancer (in about ’96), and I now blog (see This Tourism Week), and write feature articles, media releases, advertising copy, commentary, business strategies, textbooks and souvenir books like Ferry Boats & Fossil Fish (20,000 words for Featherbed Nature Reserve); The West Coast Fossil Park (27,000 words); and Now If You’ll Look To Your Left (a 100,000 word guides training manual for Knysna & Plettenberg Bay). And I write fiction, too, of course: my first novel, ‘Belthar’s Garden,’ is available in print or Kindle format from Amazon.
And I’m a public speaker, too - pet subjects: Responsible Tourism and ‘The Social web for grannies’ (see my presentations on SlideShare).
The personal stuff? I was born on 21 October 1958, and I’m the single foster father of two boys (men now, actually) and the grandfather of the world’s most beautiful and talented child - although I’m quite unbiased about him. (We have a pirate ship.)
Telephone: 0027(0)84 951 0574
Skype: Reefgod - YouTube: www.youtube.com/martinhatchuel
63 Wilson Street, Knysna, 6570