Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Adventure: Aleksander Doba, the Polish Kayaker Who Crossed the Atlantic (three times!)

I love stories of (some would say) crazy adventurers who take on, and often accomplish, goals so daunting it makes my longest paddles seem like a walk in the park. They harken back to days when famous explorers took on life threatening conditions because they didn't really have any other way to gain fame and fortune. We live in a modern world that has many advantages of comfort and relative safety, but sometimes I wonder if we've lost some of our vital spirit along the way. Fortunately, there are a few individuals who remind us by their epic adventures that the marrow of life is still available for those willing to risk and suffer to get at it.

Aleksander Doba appears to be one such individual. I read a post on Men's Journal from 2014 that recounts Doba's paddle across the Atlantic from Portugal to Florida. This was his second crossing, and he estimates that, due to his drift in currents, he paddled some 7,000 miles - this from a 67 year old man sporting a long, grey beard.

Now, I have no intention of embarking on anything vaguely close to the challenges Doba takes on (for example, he's the first person to paddle the length of the Amazon). However, he does inspire me to push my boundaries, and not to use the passing years as an excuse to grow ever more tentative. It reminds me of a great Anthony Hopkins movie, The Edge , where he tries to build Alec Baldwin's confidence for a looming battle with a predatory grizzly bear by repeating "What one man can do, another can do". Certainly not without preparation and training, but theoretically, yes - what what man can do, another can do.

Take a look at the Men's Journal post here:

Men's Journal - A Record-Breaking Atlantic Crossing by Kayak  

**UPDATE** He has now crossed the Atlantic solo THREE times - now at the age of 70. Read the story here Canoe & Kayak: 70-YEAR-OLD KAYAKER CROSSES ATLANTIC, KEEPS GOING   

Aleksander Doba transatlantic kayak
Aleksander Doba -  Nicola Muirhead/@nicolaanne_photo 

Keep your spirit of adventure alive, and push your boundaries - no matter how close to home they may be.

- TB on the Water



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