With a previous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a 7-metre sea kayak from Dakar, Senegal to Acarau, Brazil in 2010 under his belt, Aleksander Doba made history with a second transatlantic paddle last year. This time the Polish paddler tackled the widest section of the ocean, departing from Lisbon, Portugal on Oct 5 and aiming for Florida – a journey of 5,400 miles.
Paddling a 23-foot kayak known as OLO, storms and equipment failure added to the multiple challenges Doba endured, adding 1,300 miles and a couple of extra months at sea. His route clocked in at 7,716 miles, after he docked OLO at a marina in New Smyrna Beach, Florida on April 19, 2014.
The 68-year-old Doba is planning to cross the Atlantic one more time at 70. He plans to depart from New York and paddle to the European coast, departing in the spring of 2016.
It isn’t any wonder why he was recently awarded National Geographic‘s People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year 2015. “He is one of two people in the world to kayak across the Atlantic without a sail,” according to Nat Geo.
“It was the vote at National Geographic that showed how many known and unknown friends I have all over the world who are fascinated with a 67-years-young adventurer in a kayak on the great ocean. It makes me feel humbled and very honored,” said Doba.
“The First Transatlantic Kayak Expedition was to check myself and my kayak. The second trip was to ‘raise the bar,’” Doba adds. “I have two sons and two granddaughters. I hope they will learn not to be afraid to dream, turn dreams into plans, and bring plans to reality.”