Monday, February 7, 2011

Press coverage

Five days ago expedition was finished. After 99 days of continuous paddling, our hero is resting in the Brazil. Now journalists from all over the world are working to spread this amazing information. I'm not even trying to track all articles, but some of them are distinctive.

In Canoe&Kayak magazine Conor Mihell did tremendous job writing texts about Aleksander's expedition. It's really good piece of journalism.  You should definitely read them:
Also for C&K magazine Dave Costello commit "A rundown of history's great open-ocean kayak crossings": Big Shoes: The Trans Ocean Kayak Club. Actually he is confirming that Aleksander was fourth on the Altantic, but somehow he has forgotten about James Castrission's and Justin James' "Crossing the Ditch" from 2007.

News for wider audience has been published by Pete Thomas for (Yahoo group). Title: Kayaker, 64, completes marathon paddle across Atlantic

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photos of Hindu monk

I saw pictures from landing. Unfortunately all of them are strictly copyrighted an I can't publish it here.

Aleksander looks increadible, like a Hindu monk. Long hairs, dark skin and white smile. He is very slim but muscles are visible under the skin. Surrounded by positive energy :)

I've asked for permission to reprint some copies for you. Lets hope that media representative would like to support funs.

Update 1: There is a leak (low quality, copyright mark):

Update 2: Polish national TV channel (yestarday's evening the main news program):

Update 3: Canoe & Kayak Magazine published photo gallery. Take a look.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


It is officially confirmed now:
The expedition "Transatlatic" by Aleksander Doba has successfully finished yesterday.

Yesterday's evening Aleksander spent with friends, celebrating his outstanding success. In local restaurant he ordered the cold beer and seafoods with fresh vegetables. The Man :)

We also have some official statistics:
  • The first touch to the dry land in Brazil, Feb 2nd, 2011, 2:10pm local time
  • The end of the expedition in port of Acarau: 5:50pm
  • Total distance: 3345 miles = 5384 km
  • Total time: 99 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes
Today Aleksander has medical examination and the press conference in Fortaleza. We are all waiting for photos and comment from Aleksander.

For me this is not coincidence that the polish paddler has such incredible accomplishment. Read more about Kayaking in Poland.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Less that 500 meters to the land! We have a message from guys on the beach that they have already seen him. Problem is that open beach isn't safe place to get ashore.

Aleksander's landing, Feb 2nd, 11am.

He has to find a way through the estuary of small river. Then paddle 5 km against the current to the village Acarau.


Update 1: Team from the beach reports that Aleksander is walking and stretching his muscles 2km from them. Because of tides, water level is very low, and kayak could stuck.

Update 2: Support team talked with Aleksander. Now he is paddling upstream (5km / 3mi) to the Acarau village, when official welcome party is organized.

 Update 3:
  • We still don't have official confirmation, but last GPS position (7pm local time)  is on a port shore in Acarau. He did it ! - Aleksander THE GREAT !
  • Tomorrow the press conference will be arranged in Fortaleza. We all are willingly waiting for photos and some words from Aleksander.
  • What a day :), long, exciting and finished with success! In Poland it is time to have some sleep.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

8 hours left

Only 15 miles (25 km) left to the beaches of Acarau. 15 miles means for Aleksander 8 hours. Now it is 9:30 pm in Brazil, so he should be get to the shore at 5:30am tomorrow local time (Wednesday, Feb 3rd).
Tomorrow sunrise in Fortaleza will be at 05:40, so he will probably wait a little bit, not to risk landing in the dark.

Now we could guess statistics for whole expedition:
 - total time on the ocean: 98 days, 20 hours
 - total distance by GPS: 3320 miles (5340 km)

For the most actual position visit Aleksander profile on Spot service.

Thank to rmati424 we have two very important informations:
 - tides for tommorow: 0100GMT low, 0728GMT high, 1330GMT low
 - forecast for surfers says about 1m waves for this beach.

And finally, in the latest message Aleksander sends greetings for every follower.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm very tired

Today's message from Aleksander:
I'm very tired! I dream to finally finish, wherever it will be. I'm afraid that the south winds push me so I have to paddle for many days. No! I want to the dry land as soon as possible. My aim is Acarau, although it is a small fishing village, shoals and difficult entry to the river. Friends from Poland advice me get to Camocim, where should be more convenient, but I do not have the strenght ...

He has been paddling for 97 days (3260 miles, 5250 km). He has already broken all world records.
For us it's hard to imagine how tired he can be, but we know that the last stage of the expedition is very dangerous. Aleksander keep your concentration, till you will be completely safe.

Map on Feb 1st, 2am GMT

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New landing point

Distance to the coast: 50 miles (80 km)

It is really very close :). On Tuesday, February 1st, Aleksander should get to the shore. There is small change in plans, officially confirmed by him in the last message. Because of strong current and winds, he will land slightly to to the west from Fortaleza.

Adjusted prediction for new get off point.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Three days?

Countdown to Fortaleza: 120 miles (190km)

Yesterday Aleksander did 50 miles (90km), so it is possible that he will be finishing on the beginning of the next week.Tuesday?
Only 120 mi (190 km) to the Fortaleza, Jan 29th.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ocean rowing

Countdown to Fortaleza: 160 miles (260 km)

At the end of next week Aleksander should get to the America. He is paddling for 95 days, he did over 3100 miles (5000 km), alone, without any support - it is just incredible kayak achievement.

But there are guys who are crossing oceans around the world for more than 300 days. The rowers. Comparing to the kayakers, they have bigger boats, and more power in paddles. The longest solo row record belongs to Erden Eruç, from USA to Indonesia, 312 days on the ocean.

The Ocean Rowing Society keeps statistics for all rows. There were plenty of them, over 500. You can even find regular races across Altantic.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For Brazilian paddlers

Countdown to Fortaleza: 190 mi (305 km)

Yesterday Aleksander sent a message for Brazilian paddlers:
My mood depends on the wind. When it blows from north I feel great, when opposite I feel horrible. I should get to the Fortaleza in two weeks or less. I'm wondering if someone will greet me there?
Brazilian paddlers, get ready for welcome party!  
Remember that you can always track actual Aleksander's position on Spot service.
Visit forum Caiaque Brasil.

History (part 2)

Countdown to Fortaleza: 220 miles (350 km)

If you are interested in historical crossings, you should visit page Chronology of Sea Kayak Expeditions. It is the comprehensive source of the history of kayaking.

As a mentioned in previous post, before Aleksander only three men crossed Atlantic in kayak. But as you see on the pictures below, Romer's and Lindemann's boats was rather powered by sails than by paddle. Only Peter Bray's expedition was pure human powered challenge, just like Aleksander's.

Franz Romer, 1928

Hannes Lindemann, 1956
Peter Bray, 2001
Aleksander Doba, 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

History of kayak crossings

Countdown to Fortaleza: 260 miles (420 km)

Aleksander has already a word record in the duration of kayak expedition on open ocean. Today is 91st day of his epic journey. But what were the others?

In 2003 "The Paddler" magazine published article written by Dexter Mahaffey entitled "The 10 All-time Greatest Sea Kayaking Expeditions". Every expedition in top10 is amazing, but only 4 of them are real open ocean long-distance crossings.
  • Peter Bray’s North Atlantic Crossing, 2001 (76 days)
  • Ed Gillet’s California to Hawaii Crossing, 1987 (63 days)
  • Hannes Lindemann’s Atlantic Crossing, 1956 (72 days)
  • Franz Romer’s Atlantic Crossing, 1928 (56 days)
Since 2003 only two important ocean crossings has taken place. Both of them where in 2007 on Tasman Sea. One was successful tandem expedition, unfortunately the other ended tragically:
  • Expedition "Crossing The Ditch" by James Castrission and Justin James (62 days) (watch on YouTube)
  • Andrew McCauley "Tasman Solo" (died 35 miles (55 km) from the coast) (watch on YouTube

 As you see history of ocean kayak expeditions is very short. Aleksander's "Transaltantic" is already part of this history.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Countdown: 350 miles (560km).

Message from Aleksader: Last night I've crossed the Equator. There was a thick line across the ocean, but two strokes and I'm on the other side. Neptune organize line-crossing ceremony for me, 4 hours of storms. Now two birds-hitchhikers are traveling on the stern.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Second trial: Kaylantic 2009

Today only 400 miles (630km) left. 10 days will be enough? we will see.

Aleksander is paddling hard, but let me remind you previous trials to cross Altantic ocean taken by polish kayakers.

The first one was in 2004. Pawel Napierala and Aleksander Doba organized expedition which was stopped after two days because of problems with equipment (read a post: First trial...).

Second trial was in 2009. This time Pawel Napierala build special kayak and decided to paddle alone. Boat was made in laminated wood technology, what give her nice, old fashioned look. On January 2009, Pawel flied to Ivory Coast, where he planed to launch. Unfortunately after spending two weeks in Africa, he caught malaria, and had to cancel expedition.

For more details, visit website Kaylantic 2009.

Pawel Napierala, expedition Kaylantic 2009

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Good winds

It seems that finally Neptune decided to help our hero. For the last week Aleksander is moving constantly in good direction and with impressive daily distances. If he keeps this speed, he will stand on a dry land after 12 days.

But do not forget what was happening with his kayak during second month of the expedition. Weather could stop him for a long time. We also remember how Andrew McCauley died on Tasman sea, only 35 miles (55 km) from the coast. Without any doubts, after 84 days Aleksander is tired. He has to be very cautious not to make a stupid mistake.

Yesterday Aleksader called his wife. We know that he feels fine, good winds are helping to get to the Fortaleza. He said that he suffered some minor problems with skin, and had to spend a lot of time using manual watermaker. He is sending greetings for all followers.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Raw fish and other snacks

We were afraid what would happen if expedition takes longer that 100 days (what is quite probable, today is 83 day, to Fortaleza 580 mi = 930 km). This limit is due to amount of food which were taken on OLO kayak. Recent message from Aleksander is answering for this problem. He told us not to worry about him. The ocean is full of life. Fishes, birds are easy to catch. Especially flying fish is often jumping into a kayak. Our paddler is reporting that they are tasteful when cooked, but also raw.

We shouldn't be worry about drinking water too. Although electric watermaker has broken two weeks ago, often rains allow him to accumulate water. He could also use manual watermaker, but it takes 4 hours to desalinate daily amount of water.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meeting with Dalia

Recently Aleksander called his wife and told a story about meeting with ship "DALIA". Ship crew spotted his kayak, changed direction to be closer (200meters). They waved, took some pictures, and finally gone away. Nice meeting in the middle of the ocean.

It was not difficult to verify this information (Google is your friend :))
Vessel DALIA is registered on webpage. We can find a lot of information about this Japanese ship. Currently she is on a way from SETUBAL, Portugal to CORONEL CHILE. Last position is from January 9th, on the South Atlantic close to Aleksander's location.

DALIA ship, location and course on Jan 9th.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

70 miles (115km) a day

Today I have very good news for Aleksander fans. He finally manages to get to South Equatorial Current. Yesterday the daily millage increased to impressive value 70 miles (115 km) - this is record value for this expedition. But the most important  is that he is paddling in exactly correct direction. :)

800 miles (1300km) left to Brazil, 11 days with yesterday's speed. I'm afraid that it will take longer, but 100 days limit is going to be possible.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Current message from Aleksander:
Confessions of a frustrated (former?). How did the Sisyphus felt rolling boulder up a hill? Such were my feelings when paddling against Current. At night of the 73 day of expedition I passed expedition middle line, now I am closer to Fortaleza than the Dakar. The wind N-E supports me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Good days, bad days

Nothing spectacular has happened during last week. Aleksander has some bad weather days, when he is like a leaf on the wind. But there are also good days when he is paddling to Fortaleza like good-old steam engine ;)

He is slowly moving to the South America. Yesterday he was just in the middle of the ocean. 950 miles (1500km) in the straight line to the nearest continent. So far GPS track has shown 1960 miles (3100km), what means that for sure he will break longest kayak expedition record (3318km by Crossing-the-Ditch).

Today is 76th day on the ocean. He had supplies for 100 days, what means he has food for 24 days more. It won't be easy to get to the Brazil in that time. Of course he could limit his daily consumption, and survive much longer, but it is very risky game.