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February 26, 2011 10:57 AM   Subscribe

On October 26th 2010 64 year old Aleksander Doba of Police, Poland set out from Dakar in his custom 23' kayak OLO paddling into the Atlantic. After 99 days and 3352 miles alone at sea Aleksander made landfall on February 2, 2011 in Acaraú, Brazil becoming the fourth person to cross the Atlantic via kayak and joining the exclusive Trans Ocean Kayak Club. Throughout the voyage Doba updated his progress using gps, twitter and his own website. posted by the_artificer (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I, uh, raked the yard today. Was 10 minutes faster than usual too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:13 AM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm very impressed!

In case you don't find it, here's a link to a photo of the "kayak" he used.
posted by tomswift at 11:14 AM on February 26, 2011


This deserves more than just a favourite.
posted by infini at 11:18 AM on February 26, 2011


Impressive voyage. I didn't see on a quick read; why so much backtracking in the middle?

It looks like he used a Spot PLB to do the position uploads. But how'd he do the status updates? Spot doesn't allow meaningful amounts of data.
posted by Nelson at 11:19 AM on February 26, 2011


In terms of long paddles, Verlin Kruger's 28,000+ mile trip is probably the record.
posted by tomswift at 11:19 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


why so much backtracking in the middle?

Since apparently kayaking across the Atlantic just wasn't enough of a challenge otherwise, he did the trip against the goddamn current and spent about a month going around in circles fighting it. No word yet on whether he also tied one of his hands behind his back.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I just noticed Google maps doesn't have those tongue-in-cheek directions for crossing the various oceans anymore. A pity, I'd think that'd be relevant in this case.

More seriously, this is really cool. I'm glad he made it.
posted by majonesing at 12:43 PM on February 26, 2011


From the OLO link: number of spare paddles: 2, sailing equipment: none

Wow.
posted by zippy at 12:51 PM on February 26, 2011


Nelson, here's his communications equipment:

The craft has a satellite tracking system, which sends a signal every 10 minutes of the exact position. Aleksander also has a satellite phone. In emergency he has a floating radio signalling device EPIRB. He navigates by GPS and an onboard compass. With nearby crafts he will use Short Wave Radio.
posted by zippy at 12:53 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This kind of stuff blows my mind. I picture myself sitting alone in a small vessel in the middle of the ocean at night, and it freaks me out.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 12:54 PM on February 26, 2011


So I just noticed Google maps doesn't have those tongue-in-cheek directions for crossing the various oceans anymore. A pity, I'd think that'd be relevant in this case.

Yes it does; they just took out the Atlantic one for some reason. See steps 19, 34, and 95.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:59 PM on February 26, 2011


I picture myself sitting alone in a small vessel in the middle of the ocean at night, and it freaks me out.

AN hour before sunrise something hit my rudder, a 3 metre shark! I hit him a few times with my paddle and he went away
posted by the_artificer at 1:12 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a very young paddler who made an Atlantic crossing, and the account of the small boat being bumped by sharks in the night while they huddled in the hull positively chilled my blood, but I am failing to find an account online (read it in print some years back). But here's the top ten kayak expeditions, and more about fatal shark attacks than you want to know.
posted by vers at 2:11 PM on February 26, 2011


Where does he store enough food and water for 4-5 months on something that size? Even if you're sure you'll do it in three months, and catch rain water it seems just too small. But then the smallest sailboat to cross was shorter than my height.
posted by sammyo at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2011


sammyo, here's information on OLO's food and water.

Some of the biggest challenges were very little propulsion efficiency, distribution of space to fit necessary equipment, all the food resources and leave living space in such a small and light craft. All that had to include the sea craft characteristic and most of all it still had to be a kayak!

There is a solar panel fitted, which charges the battery for automatic water desalting and giving navigational light. Food is kept in the rear hold and drinking water is underneath the seat. It holds about 120 litres. In the front there is a sleeping cabin which contains additional food and clothing.

posted by zippy at 3:03 PM on February 26, 2011


And he did this in WINTER. Dear God. Just think about getting sprayed by ocean water in January.
posted by orange swan at 3:20 PM on February 26, 2011


The climate so close to the equator he did this in do not really have winter and summer.
posted by Catfry at 4:16 PM on February 26, 2011


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