Friday, September 01, 2017

Aleksander Doba Ready to Wrap Up Third Atlantic Crossing

We've been watching the progress of ocean kayaker Aleksander Doba closely this week as he nears the end of his third crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. On Monday I reported that he had spotted land for the first time in more than three months as the Polish adventurer paddled within sight of the Isles of Scilly. But, not wanting to end the crossing in the U.K., Doba decided to press on to the European continent itself. Now, we know where he will make landfall and it could happen as early as today.

When he initially set out from New York City back in May, Doba had planned on paddling his oceangoing kayak to Portugal. But, bad weather and strong ocean currents forced him to alter his course, and as a result he is now much further north than he originally intended. As a result, he has been navigating his way across the English Channel over the past few days and will now finish the ocean crossing in the town of Brest in France. According to his live tracker, Aleksander is currently just off the coast and is making his way to his target destination slowly but surely.

Despite nearing the end of the journey, the past few days have been incredibly difficult ones for the Polish kayaker. He has had very little sleep as he paddled across the channel as he now has to deal with a lot of commercial shipping traffic. His kayak may be large by paddling standards, but in the Channel, it is incredibly small. As a result, he has had to stay vigilant at all times, crossing with very little rest along the way.

Strong winds and ocean currents continue to make the final hours of the journey a difficult one, and at the moment it is unclear when he'll finally step onto dry land again. But, judging from the tracker, it should be today or tomorrow at the latest. Once he does wrap up the journey, Doba will become the first person to kayak across the Atlantic three times, going both east-west, and now west to east. That's an impressive feat indeed, and it appears that he will now finish the trip just a few days before his 71st birthday, which makes the achievement even more remarkable.

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