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.

Read more about Doba’s latest 2017 launch of the New York-to-Lisbon expedition, as well as his weather-bound setback.