Ocean Kayaker Aleksander Doba Struggling with the Atlantic


Polish ocean kayaker Aleksander Doba is struggling to make headway in his attempt to across the Atlantic Ocean for the third time in his kayak. According to ExWeb he has spent the past couple of weeks going in circles not far from New York City, as adverse weather and powerful currents keep him from moving forward. But, he is hoping that a new course will aid his efforts, allowing him to truly get underway at long last.

Doba has successfully crossed the Atlantic on two other occasions, both times paddling from east to west. For his third attempt, he decided to travel the other direction, going from NYC to Portugal instead. The first attempt at this crossing was last year, during which he was unceremoniously smashed against the rocks within hours of his departure, causing damage to his kayak. That set him back a full year, but he tried to launch again this year in early May, only to be pushed back into shore a few days later. He relaunched later in the month, and had made good progress for the first few days, but then went into a holding pattern on the water a short time later.

This past weekend the 70-year old Pole began heading south where he hopes to catch the Gulf Stream, which will aid him in the crossing. Right now, he needs all the help he can get, as his support team reports that so far he has paddled 380 nautical miles (703 km) but is still less than 100 nautical miles (185 km) from the coast of the U.S. This has of course caused frustration, but Doba remains committed to completing the expedition, and hopes that he can drop down to the 37th parallel where the Gulf Stream can help push him along.

When he initially set out, it was believed that it would take about four months to complete the crossing. Now, unless something changes dramatically, that time will obviously be extended. He still has an estimated 5000 nautical miles (8046 km) to go before he reaches Europe, and so far the weather, winds, and ocean have not been very cooperative.

Kraig Becker