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67-year-old kayaker completes historic and record-breaking Atlantic crossing

alexander doba

Sexagenarian Polish adventurer Aleksander Doba proved age is just a number by completing an awe-inspiring six-month, 6,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean last month, alone in a kayak. His paddle from Portugal to Bermuda is believed to be the longest open-water kayak in history.

Setting off from Lisbon in October, his trip took over six months, and he was joined by a flotilla of fellow kayakers as he approached the New Smyrna Beach Marina in Florida, to the cheers of crowds of supporters.

In December last year, he encountered difficulties and issued an SOS signal about midway across the Atlantic, after his satellite equipment failed. But when a commercial tanker came to his rescue he refused to leave his 21-foot kayak, telling the rescuers he was proceeding anyway.

Apart from a five-week stop-over in Bermuda, where Doba was forced to pull in for repairs to his rudder, the Polish glider pilot said the most-difficult part of his trip was navigating through the choppy waters of the Gulf Stream, just days before he reached the Florida coast. In this stretch of water, northerly winds fight with the current and you get choppy, breaking waves which can be treacherous for such a small craft.

Doba started paddling at the age of 40 and, according to his son, lived by the motto: “It’s better to live one day as a lion than a thousand years as a lamb.” He completed his first trans-Atlantic expedition in February 2011 when he kayaked 3,900 miles from Senegal, Africa, to Brazil — which itself was a 99-day journey.

To find out more about his epic adventure, see his riveting Twitter feed from the journey @aleksanderdoba

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