Sailing across an ocean is an adventure often drenched in trial and error. It can also be one of the most rewarding modes of transportation to see our world. However, the sea is unforgiving. You have to navigate the winds, currents, and sharks. Usually you have a large vessel with cabins and a galley. Hopefully you make your crossing with a crew to help you navigate and keep you company. Aleksander Doba is about to finish a roundtrip Atlantic crossing without all of those luxuries.
Aleksander Doba first crossed the Atlantic back in 2010/2011 when he kayaked solo from Senegal to Brazil at the Atlantic’s narrowest point. Still pretty badass in-and-of-itself. Crossing an ocean is dangerous and monotonous. Doing it in a kayak, you have to paddle…kinda crazy.
That wasn’t enough for National Geographic Adventurer. Doba set out for his first roundtrip crossing over the much colder and more tempestuous waters of the mid and north Atlantic in 2013. Doba crossed from Lisbon to Florida between October 2013 and April 2014. That’s nearly six months of solo bobbing on the ocean. That’s just a long time to be alone. That’s an even longer time to battle the sea and her cruel elements to stay afloat and alive.
Doba joins an elite group of madmen/sea-going adventurers. In 1928, German Franz Romer was the first to solo cross the Atlantic in a kayak. Romer traveled from Lisbon to Puerto Rico on favorable currents running east to west. In 1958, another German, Hannes Lindemann, decided to one up his German compatriot and kayaked against the currents from Lisbon to the Bahamas. Hannes chronicled his 72-day journey in the book Alone At Sea. Sleep deprivation, low food and water rations, blistering sun and salt all wore Lindemann down to a shell of a man. It was as harrowing then as it is now.
Yesterday, Doba left Manhattan as a crowd of 100 cheered him on. His last crossing will be a 3,700 mile journey back to Lisbon through intense storms and iceberg filled waters. Meanwhile, I decided against making the trek to the freezer yesterday for that second creamsicle. Now I feel pretty lazy. Doba plans to arrive in Lisbon no later than September 9 so that he can celebrate his birthday. His 70th freakin’ birthday. This dude knows how to party.
Hopefully we’ll all be able to master our fears and crush adventures like this when we’re nearing 70.
Via Business Insider