Photography by David Jackson
Last May 29, 2016, Aleksander Doba, at age 69, set out from New Jersey’s Liberty Park in his custom super-kayak and paddled past the Statue of Liberty trailed by a fleet of well-wishers including Polish television, a documentary crew and a sizable component of New York’s Polish community in hopes of successfully launching his third paddle-powered crossing of the Atlantic Ocean (his first from west to east). C&K contributing photographer David Jackson was on hand for the media send-off. Unfortunately, The wind and currents in New York Harbor exposed the vulnerability of the custom-built kayak he fondly calls Olo. The craft is built to withstand ocean storms and has kept Doba safe and relatively comfortable for more than three-quarters of a year at sea, but with a full load of provisions it weighs 1,500 pounds and is about as aerodynamic as a garden fence. Two days after his festive sendoff and still within sight of Lady Liberty, Doba and Olo went aground at Sandy Hook, cracking the kayak’s hull in several places.