The 3rd Transatlantic Expedition « Aleksander Doba

The 3rd Transatlantic Expedition

29.05.2016 – ...

                          The Adventure of a lifetime is happening now …

You can watch Olek’s exact journey on: http://olo.navsim.pl/index.php

(up here you can find the latest news how Olek is getting on)

14th June 2017, Wendesday

Dear fans of Olek! We have good news! Olek’s engineering skills proved successful once again. His innovative way to repair the broken rudder has worked very well and he was able to confirm this in an evening exchange of text messages with Piotr Chmielinski. Now, the only direction is forward to Europe! It couldn’t have been otherwise!
Olek and OLO are already about 650 nautical miles from Barnegat Light, NJ – and only another 2,350 nautical miles to Lisbon! For the time being, the weather is cooperating. Our Kolos feels well. Successful repair of the rudder has given him a huge boost of energy and strength. This is an amazing man. Difficult situations never break him, but they mobilize him to act and immediately look for alternatives and solutions.
Go Olek! We are with you!

12th June 2017, Monday

Yesterday evening, during a phone conversation, Olek informed us that he had repaired the broken rudder. However he still has to test his rather innovative fix. Will it work? We’ll probably find out in 12 or so hours. It is a stressful situation. But our Kolos (Doba) is not loosing his good spirits. He always says, that stress is mobilizing him to action.
He also added that he had fulfilled his “oceanic dream” several days ago. He always wanted to touch … a shark while on the ocean, and he did it! He claims it was: “a lady shark with beautiful black eyes, which for a moment glanced at me curiously”…. Well, that’s how Olek puts it anyway!
We can already imagine listening to all these stories after Olek finishes his expedition!
For now, though, there is still much work to do. From our side we need to continue giving him all kinds of support, keeping our fingers crossed, and cheering him on! Olek has told us that he is sincerely touched by such great support!

11th June, 2017, Sunday

Finally the storm ended. Olek has now beautiful weather. However, the fight with nature/storm unfortunately damaged the rudder. Our Hero does what he can to fix it. Is he able to do it? The continuation of the expedition depends on it now.
Olek is alone there. But on the phone conversation he confirmed that he felt support. This good energy from us is very much needed now. In the evening phone call on Olek and navigator Jacek Pietraszkiewicz discussed the situation after the storm. They exchanged plenty of navigation and technical information. Olek didn’t forget about the fans. He sent the greetings to all fans, friends and everyone who supported him with a good word.
Jacek added that at some point Olek’s voice broke, but after information about the thousands of clicks and fan support, Olek became strong again!

Let’s be with him! This is very important!

5th June 2017, Monday

Olek is about to reach Gulf Stream! Our heroe has come very close to the “ocean river”. Now it all depends on his muscle strength and wind. He still has to “jump” into that river. Strong current has taken him North now. We don’t know whether it’s a huge eddy (current going in the opposite direction as the main current) or whether Olek has just bumped away from the main current. Looking at his current speed it seems that he is in the Gulf Stream. He’s travelling with a speed of 5.3 knots East. That means he’s reached the Gulf Stream.
The West to South West winds are not making it easy for him. Changes in wind direction means difficulties later this night. The forecast is for strong South Western wind of 40 knots That may take our kayaker away from Gulf Stream. Last 4 days has brought good weather to him. Now Neptune, god of the seas will remind him that he’s in charge. Fortunately he’s not that cruel.

3rd June 2017, Saturday

Southern heading has helped! Aleksander is about 30 Nautical miles from Gulf Stream. He will have helping wind for the next two days. If he holds his current heading of 106 degrees he has about 55 Nautical miles to the ocean current. If he can have a more Southerly heading it will be more beneficial. With every hour he gets closer with about 1-1,5 Nautical mile. This means that by tomorrow evening he should have the 3rd force helping him when he reaches the “oceanic river”. He knows all of this already.
To put it in other terms: Right now with helping wind and his own muscle power he travels with a speed of 0.8 – 1.1 knots. Gulf Stream on it’s own at the place wher Olo will reach it travels with an average speed of 3 knots with Easterly direction. Nothing is free unfortunately. Higher speef means more danger, from which it will be difficult to escape. Strong current meeting strong opposing winds will cause high and steep waves. Let’s stay optimistic though.

30 May 2017, Monday

One needs a lot of determination, patience and great personal will power to cope with what’s happening right now at the New York Bay. The boat with Aleksander is being pushed around by winds. After 14 days of travel Aleksander hasn’t moved further East since 19th May. This must be extremely frustrating. Being further South though he is closer to the Gulf Stream. We have considered this situation where Aleksander can reach this ocean current, which will help him cross the Altantic.
The boat is powered by three separate forces: wind, ocean current and Aleksanders muscles. He has one brake, the sea anchor. A combination of all those force can either move him the right direction or not. If the winds and current opose desired direction then Aleksander won’t move forward jsut by his muscle power. All those forces affect where our boater is travelling. The strong ocean current is just 75 miles away. Will he make it?

24 May 2017, Wednesday

Eight day for Aleksander Doba on the Atlantic. The kayaker struggles to leave New York Bay. The boat is designed to self righten in high waves, but winds affect it’s course greatly. Change in wind direction usually means a change in heading for OLO (Aleksander’s boat). Nature doesn’t seem kind to Olek. We can see the effects on Olek’s journey by looking at the map of his journey.
Aleksander has received a storm warning for previous night. Fortunately it has passed away from him. Olek is very good with handling adverse weather. He uses his sea anchors effectively. So when strong winds try to blow him the wrong direction he minimises the impact.

20.05.2017 Saturday

The 3.5 days, which Olek had for distancing himself from the shore has passed. In a few hours a high pressure zone over Canada will change winds in the area. So far Olek had stable winds from South and West. This wind pushed our kayaker North. We might see the “O” we talked about.
[onshore navigator Jacek Pietraszkiewicz]

18.05.2017 Thursday

It seems that the spilled glass of whiskey has helped. Neptune, god of all seas is kinder. Since yesterday Olek has travelled 39.2 nautical miles (72 km). Direction is maybe not perfect, but nobody said it’s going to be easy. OLO is heading 74 degrees, which means North Eastern East direction. Ideal heading would be 145 degrees, The wind is pushing Olek of route. It’s not very strong, but keeps pushing the kayak North. We hope that today Olek will reach better winds and start heading directly East. Today the weather is similar to yesterday. Slightly more clouds, wind speed 14-16 mph, air temperature around 16°C. Tomorrow he will encounter rain and slightly stronger winds.
From Saturday the winds will start to change. After four days it will change all 360 degrees. We might see a large “O” on the map where Olek travels. Maybe that will be a goodbye “O” to the American continent.
You can watch Olek’s exact journey on: http://olo.navsim.pl/index.php

You can see current local weather conditions and statistics for the last 2 days. Yesterday at 9:00 om CEST our server has created direct heading for Olek of 110 degrees to his destination and distance of 2911.8 Nautical miles. With his current speed he will reach his destination in 74.4 days. Let’s he does just that.
[onshore navigator Jacek Pietraszkiewicz]

17.05.2017 Wednesday

Olek has left dangerous path of large ships (the highway for really large ships) around 2:00am local time (8:00 am Eastern European time). He is heading the desired direction East Southern East with average speed of 1.75 mph. Stable weather. Light wind of 3 Beaufort Scale from the South. Air temperature around 16°C. Light clouds and no rain. Sun rose at 5:45am local time
[navigator Jacek Pietraszkiewicz]

p.s.
It’s a shame he couldn’t send us a picture. Apparently great conditions for a beautiful sunrise. Let’s hope he took a picture.

16.05.2017 Tuesday

Finally! This morning 16th May 2017 at 6:47 local time, after five days at rest has departed Barnegat Bay and paddled onto open ocean of Atlantic Ocean. The storm has stopped Sunday noon, but the right weather conditions arrived two days later. Olek needed wind coming from West or North West. We also needed to time it with rising tides correctly. He was supposed to depart at low tide. The local fisherman recommended the same.
Our hero was to enter the ocean at the last phase of low tide, just before it starts rising. That’s when the waters are calmest.
It was very difficult to predict a possible departure with all those conditions. Olek has attempted to leave on Monday evening, but strong winds and high waves has kept him in the port. Next decision was to depart on Tuesday early morning when conditions were stable enough for Olek to leave the bay. Several minutes later he paddled towards the canal leading to open ocean.

The next big goal is to move 120 nautical miles away from shore of USA and reach Gulf Stream. This powerful current is like a river in the middle of Atlantic. It travels about 1-2 miles per hour. It should help our hero  on his journey. According to the forecasts of our onshore navigator Olek should reach Gulf Stream in three and a half days.
Let’s hope this time Olek will have more luck reaching it. According to marine traditions Olek spilled a glass of whiskey to the ocean for good luck. At his destination in Lisbon he promises a whole bottle. Let’s hope it works!

13.05.2017 Saturday

Olek is awaiting better weather conditions in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. He checks his equipment again and awaits.

12.05.2017 Friday

Olek has stopped his expedition due to extreme weather conditions. Continuing had extreme risks of overturning or being blown onshore.
Weather forecasts told about Western winds for 3 the next days allowing our kayaker to reach safe distance of 120 miles away from shore. Actually the wind change after 24 hours, not allowing Eastern or South Eastern heading.

After 3 days he was still close to shore. There was a real danger that the wind from the storm will push him onto shore creating life threatening situation. Olek had a Plan B against the stormy conditions of retreating to safe harbour and waiting for better conditions before continuing.

He has finally decided to take this action and retreated to safety after consulting with his onshore navigator Jacek Pietraszkiewicz. He will be able to continue after the weather becomes more stable. Olek never gives up!

10.05.2017 Wednesday

Today Olek spent fighting with Eastern winds. The weeks weather forecast have not come true. Olek is heading South (that’s the direct route to enter Gulf Stream), but keeping that heading is extremely tiring.
Sunday’s Storm, which is coming fast could be very dangerous if it surprises Olek. That evening Olek was told about the closest harbour he could take cover. That is about 23 nautical miles to the West. Our hero has to make a decision within the next several hours. Maybe he will take another, fresh start with better meteorological conditions and storm will have gone.
[expedition’s main navigator – Jacek Pietraszkiewicz]

8.05.2017 Monday

Morning has started dramatically. The area around Sandy Hook Bay is not accommodating, but actually very perilous. This time the wind direction was perfect. Blowing offshore it was supposed to make easier and hasten going into the Atlantic. Unfortunately this was a very strong Eastern wind. Soon after departure it struck his kayak with force pushing it onto rocks. In these circumstances any kayaker is defenceless. Knowing his risks Olek has asked for assistance. Piotr Chmielinski and brothers Pete and Jeff Patach provided assistance with a power boat. In last moment they have arrived at kayak “Olo”, which was almost by the dangerous rocks and hauled it away.
Travelling towards the open ocean together with Adam Rutkiewicz they all admired Aleksanders incredible skill in righting the kayak against the waves constantly ramming at it. These skills seemed superhuman against the raging obstacles.
Several minutes before 1pm New York time, they haev reached the point on the Atlantic, at which Aleksander (Olek) has pulled back the previous year. So they released the line and let him continue his voyage to Europe.

That evening Olek sends a message that on the open ocean dolphins welcomed him. That could only be a good sign!

7.05.2017 Sunday

On Sunday 7th May at 8:57pm Aleksander (Olek) went ashore at Sandy Hook Bay, at Leonardo State Marina. That’s the moment his 3rd Transatlantic expedition has started! Start had a lot of difficulties.

May 2017 … the continuation

Start: Leonardo State Marine, 7th May 2017, local time (New York) 20:57 (UTC 00:57 and 2:57am Polish time)

May 2016 … time flies

My last years expedition from North America to Europe has ended on 2 June, soon after leaving New York. I didn’t travel far off shore. I didn’t avoid strong winds which are typical dangers for kayakers in that area. At night on 31st May I had an accident. Breakers (waves close to the shore) has hit my kayak damaging electrical equipment.

I didn’t give up though. It’s not the end of my adventure. I want to continue my 3rd transatlantic expedition, which I have started on 29th May 2016. My kayak has been damaged in an accident. We have recovered it and brought back to Poland. We fixed it. Then I brought it back to USA in time to begin my expedition. I aim to finish in 4 months. Planned distance is 3,000 nautical miles (that’s over 5,5k kilometres or 3,452 miles). Wish me luck!

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