It hasn’t been an easy start to Aleksander Doba’s third expedition across the Atlantic by kayak. After first embarking from New York City back in early May, he soon found himself pushed back ashore in New Jersey a few days later. The 70-year old Polish adventurer then waited out poor weather before returning to the water once again, only to find himself struggling to make much progress. Eventually he paddled south to reach the Gulf Stream waters, which he had hoped would push him on towards Europe, only to have another challenge arise in the form of a damaged boat, which once again created some setbacks.
A few weeks back a massive storm hit Doba’s position, tossing his boat about in the heavy waves. The poor weather conditions caused severe damage to his rudder, which became entangled in the boat’s sea anchors. With no rudder to help keep the boat steady forward progress became very difficult. In fact, the kayak actually lost ground and was pushed back towards the coast of North America for a time. In the first few days following the storm, it looked as if expedition might be over.
Fortunately, Aleksander is a resourceful man and he was able to find a way to fix the rudder even while he was at sea. Few details have been provided on what exactly the repairs entailed, but it seems that Doba has been able to right the ship so to speak, and continue to press onward once more.
According to the last update on his website, the Polish kayaker is now about 650 nautical miles (748 miles/1203 km) off the U.S. coast and 2350 nautical miles (2704 miles/4325 km) from Lisbon, Portugal, the eventual destination for this kayak journey. If successful, it will be Doba’s third crossing of the Atlantic in a kayak, although the previous two journeys he traveled east to west, while this time out he’s headed in the opposite direction.
Originally it was believed that Aleksander would reach Portugal sometime in September of this year, although that now seems unlikely. Progress has not been as quick and easy as he had originally hoped, so unless something dramatic changes, its going to take longer than originally planned. For now though, he is happy to have a fully functional kayak once again, and continues to make his way back across the pond.
I’ll continue to follow his progress and post updates when important news arises.
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