“People ask me how old I am, and I say, ‘I am not old! I am only 67 years young!'” laughs intrepid kayaker Aleksander Doba.
On April 19, 2014, Doba, who is now 68, paddled the final stroke of his 7,716-mile transatlantic journey, docking OLO, his 23-foot kayak, in a marina in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The Polish native had departed from Lisbon, Portugal, on October 5, 2013, with the intention of paddling 5,400 miles across the Atlantic's widest point and arriving in Florida in mid-February. But storms and equipment failure threw Doba off course, tacking an additional 1,300 miles and two months onto a journey that already would have broken the record for the longest ever solo kayaking voyage. He is one of two people in the world to kayak across the Atlantic without a sail. No one had ever kayaked across open water for this many miles before his journey.
Doba traveled an average of 30 miles a day, often paddling at night, when the temperatures dropped. He slept no more than six hours a day in multiple installments, crammed into his cockpit on his side among five months' worth of food and equipment. Once he got far enough out from the shore, he spent most of the trip naked, deciding it was more comfortable.