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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    Why he kayaked across the atlantic at 70







    When Aleksander Doba kayaked into the port in Le Conquet, France, on Sept. 3, 2017, he had just completed his third — and by far most dangerous — solo trans-Atlantic kayak trip. He was a few days shy of his 71st birthday. He was unaccustomed to wearing pants. He’d been at sea 110 days, alone, having last touched land that May at New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. The trip could have easily ended five days earlier, when Doba was just a few hundred feet off the British coast. But he had promised himself, when he left New Jersey, that he would kayak not just to Europe but to the Continent proper. So he stayed on the water nearly another week, in the one-meter-wide boat where he’d endured towering waves, in the coffinlike cabin where he spent almost four months not sleeping more than three hours at a stretch, where he severely tried his loved ones’ patience in order to be lonely, naked and afraid. Then he paddled to the French shore.


    Kayaking is an absurd form of long-distance ocean travel. All the big muscles in the body are useless. “A real katorga,” says Doba, who is Polish — katorgabeing the Polish word for forced labor in Siberia. But by katorga, Doba does not mean an activity he does not wish to do. What most of us experience as suffering he repurposes as contrarian self-determination, and that gives him an existential thrill. Among Doba’s bigger regrets in life are the times when he has succumbed, when he has perceived and reacted to suffering in conventional ways — for instance, the night in April 1989 when he built a fire in order to make tea and dry his clothes while paddling on the Vistula River near the city of Plock, in central Poland. Or the afternoon, a week later, on that same river, when he succumbed to the temptation of eating pancakes, tomato soup and rice at the Milk Bar restaurant when he should have been at his campsite, by his kayak, eating cold canned goulash in order to condition his body for arctic temperatures. Doba had promised himself he would be tougher than all that.

    Doba maintains that his need to cross the Atlantic in a kayak did not originate within him. “With my hand on my heart, it wasn’t my idea,” Doba told me when I met him in Poland in January. (Doba doesn’t speak much English, so we communicated through a translator.) “I was infected with a virus.” In 2003, when he was already the most seasoned kayaker in Poland, a Polish professor approached him to get advice on his quest to kayak across the Baltic Sea. The professor eventually persuaded Doba to cross the southern Atlantic with him from Ghana to Brazil in separate one-man kayaks, lashing those kayaks together at night to make a platform on which to sleep. The trip was a fiasco. Forty-two hours after leaving, they washed up back on the beach.

    Too long to post all of it.....https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/22/magazine/voyages-kayaking-across-ocean-at-70.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur



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    Last edited by uncle junior; 23-03-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Last edited by uncle junior; 23-03-2018 at 02:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Balls. Big big balls.
    And core strength.
    And a touch of madness.
    Respect.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Balls. Big big balls.
    And core strength.
    And a touch of madness.
    Respect.
    Yeah, all that to do it once...doing it three times is yuuuge.

  5. #5
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    The hazards of drinking piss or having a terrible partner



    Quote Originally Posted by uncle junior View Post
    in order to be lonely, naked and afraid.
    Such opps readily available here if you book a balcony room with optional fun before you're robbed or tossed orf

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