According to journalist Richard Conn, Polish kayaker Aleksander “Olek” remains determined to complete his 4,500-mile voyage from Lisbon, Portugal to New Smyrna Beach, Florida despite the numerous setbacks he has encountered.
On 24 Monday 2014 Conn wrote that “Interrupted but unbowed, a 67-urear-old Polish kayaker resumed his potentially record-setting Trans-Atlantic journey Sunday and hopes to reach New Smyrna Beach by the end of the month.”
Initially, Mr. Doba planned to arrive in Florida by mid-February. However, he encountered severe storms, equipment failure and in February in had a broken rudder, which caused him to dock in Bermuda for repairs. Nevertheless, Mr. Doba remained determined to complete his journey under his own power.
Journalist Richard Conn has followed Mr. Doba’s journey from the initial launch in Lisbon on 5 October 2013.
“Aleksander “Olek” Doba, a retired engineer, began his solo expedition to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 5 in Lisbon, Portugal, and paddled some 4,500 miles before the rudder fell off his 21-foot-long kayak on Feb. 13 in the Bermuda Triangle. He made it to Bermuda on Feb. 24 on his own power and the rudder was repaired”
“The ship, “The Spirit of Bermuda,” a replica of a 19th century Royal Navy warship, took Doba and his kayak on Sunday back to the location where he was Jan. 10 before a series of storms pushed him hundreds of miles off his original course, said Doba’s friend and fellow Polish explorer Piotr Chmielinski.”
Mr. Chmielinski informed Richard Conn “He (Doba) wants to her to the same point, so in some way (to) continue his voyage (to) New Smyrna Beach.”
Chmielinski also announced, “New Smyrna Beach was chosen as the destination because Chmielinski and Hugh Granger, who are partners in a Virginia-based environmental consulting company, own a condominium off North Atlantic Avenue and plan to take care of Doba once he arrives.”
According to Andrzej Arminski, who designed Mr. Doba’s kayak and is now the official “strategist of the expedition” Mr. Doba 900-miles more miles to paddle. This means he should arrive in New Smyrna Beach by the end of April.
“Chmielinski relayed the words of Doba, who speaks little English: “I think to myself that even to Bermuda it’s been a long way ... a long distance has been covered. In the past, no other kayaker has paddled this route. I began to treat it as a success already on Bermuda when I heard the words of full recognition and congratulations from journalist(s) and Bermudians. For me I had achieved success at 75 percent. But still, I’m satisfied. To achieve full success I need to get to Florida.”