Unfortunately, the Third Transatlantic Kayak Expedition of Aleksander Doba had to be prematurely terminated. The crash, Olek suffered in the waters of the ocean, forced him to resign from further travel.
– At 1 AM, I saw a wave forming at my left side. It wasn’t even very big, maybe one meter high, but it was growing rapidly. In a moment it struck the kayak causing it to capsize. After that, came the next one and it turned my kayak again. During the first wave I fell off the kayak, the second wave was pounding at me already under the boat – Aleksander Doba recounts his welcome to the Atlantic. Welcome and … farewell at the same time.
After many hours of waiting for even a small window of opportunity and improvement of the weather conditions allowing to enter the open ocean, in the late evening on Tuesday, May 31st, Olek left from his foothold in the Gulf of Lower Bay, past the peninsula of Sandy Hook, and finally found himself in the waters of the Atlantic. Unluckily, he did not have time to get away far enough from the mainland to avoid the threat posed to boaters in the area of adverse winds.
– It’s the end of my expedition – Olek told me on the phone, speaking in a sad, lifeless voice. – Please, come to pull me out of the beach in Sandy Hook Park.
A few hours later, along with my son Alex, we arrived at the Park entrance, where my friends from New York, Luis Muga with his wife Dorota waited already for us and together we got to the crash site. We found Olek working intensely on the removal of water from his kayak, so focused on the activities that actually absent. At the same time he looked subdued, shrunken, and probably bruised, but not even noticing it. Most important for us, however, he seemed not injured.
With the help of a group of students, a police officer Richard Reagan and, the owner of a construction company John Wylie, who lent us his “Bobcat” we loaded ‘OLO’ on a trailer and returned to Washington, DC.
During our trip from New York, recovering slightly from the accident, Olek had hoped that maybe in a few days he could go back to the ocean after making repairs of several damaged pieces of the equipment and drying everything soaked during two flips of the kayak. Now it is known that this will be impossible.
However, it does not mean that Olek gave up on his expedition. He intends to cross the Atlantic for the third time next year and to celebrate his 71 birthday in Lisbon.
Washington, June 2, 2016