UPDATE: Aleksander Doba has completed his transatlantic journey; paddling a kayak from New Jersey to the mainland of France.
After 119 days at sea, Doba reached Le Conquet, which sits on the coast of France. A Facebook post loosely translated from Polish to English says Doba will come ashore Sunday, September 3.
“It was a very exciting and difficult to predict the final part of the trip,” the Facebook post reads.
“The weather, the strong currents and the winds that pushed through the Rocky Islands, did not help Olo [Doba’s boat] in reaching his chosen destination… The most important thing however is that for the third time he crossed the Atlantic!”
The post goes on to call for followers to help celebrate.
“If any of you are in Brittany somewhere, we are coming to Le Conquet tomorrow at noon. We will celebrate this great, historic moment!”
“A few photos of Olka from a few moments ago!”
Previous Story: 8.31.17
After more than three months of paddling, a Polish adventure junkie has crossed the Atlantic in a 23 foot custom kayak.
An August 31 Facebook post on Doba’s official page reads, “Olek is so close to the continent of Europe! He is just about to finish his Third Transatlantic Kayak Expedition.”
With the proper winds, it appears that the mainland of Europe is within Doba’s grasp.
Remarkably, this is Doba’s third transatlantic expedition in a Kayak. He was 64-years-old during his first voyage and 66 during his second. But this third voyage has proven to have major hurdles.
Doba’s voyage began May 7, 2017 at the Leonardo State Marina in New Jersey, but he wasn’t able to break free from the pull in Sandy Hook Bay until May 16.
After that, stubborn weather patterns blew Doba in circles for a few weeks. Doba was finally able to break free, but in June his rudder broke. With Europe still 2,300 miles away, Doba thought it was time to quit. In fact, his support team was making plans for a rescue.
Incredibly, a nearby merchant repair ship, came to his aid. The Baltic Light was able to divert toward Doba, hoist up his kayak, repair it, and send Doba on his way.
Doba has now been paddling for just over 100 days. As a crow flies, his starting point in New Jersey is 2,800 nautical miles away. However, it’s estimated that he’s paddled more than 4,000 nautical miles fighting adverse conditions.
The challenge of getting to the mainland of France revolves around the difficulties of navigating the English Channel. Winds in the channel are fluid and shipping traffic is hazardous.
Publicly, on Facebook, his support crew says they’re not sure when he’ll take the shot at the mainland. We have our fingers crossed that Doba will make it by his 71st birthday on September 9th.