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.