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Transatlantic Expedition

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Transatlantic Kayak Expedition

6pm sms from J Arsoba

1:00 pm local time Doba came into the mouth of river Acarau. 1:30 pm we made first close contact, when he went past our boat just 5 metres away. We greeted each other. Now he has another 5 km into land to a small fishing harbour where we will await his arrival.

 

4:00 pm sms from J Arsoba

Water levels are very low. Just above ankle high by the boat. Aleksander came close. He's about 2 km in a straight line. We see him coming out of his kayak. He's either excersizing or he's pulling his kayak on the shallows. Extreme heat from the sun. Maniana!


31st Jan 2011 10:00 pm
I am very tired! I want to be finally on the ground, wherever it may be. I'm afraid that Southern Winds push me away from shore which will make me paddle for many more days. No! I want to land as quick as possible. I am aiming for Acarau. It's a small fishing village with an unwelcoming coast line, sands and difficult entry to river's mouth. My Polish support team tell me to go to Camocin. Where apparently it's easier to land, but I've got no strenght ...

30th Jan 2011 4:34 pm
I am now passing Fortaleza by 127 km. I received wind forecasts; E, N-E, NN-E and also the wonderful N-W. Unfortunately the winds together with the current are now pushing me N-W. Despite my hard work of paddling towards land.
I received an offer of flight back home. I declined, mainly for health reasons. The time for me to get adapted to tropical climate was long and painful. I was close to having a heat stroke while trying to paddle in the heat. Flying now to a cold Europe - no. Greetings.

29th Jan 2011 3:00 pm
It's sad to watch the map when the wind and current push me N-W. My resistance is the only other effect. I paddle West. I'm dividing my last part into two:
1. Paddle to South American Continent as close to Fortaleza as possible
2. I get to Fortaleza along the coast, maybe being towed

29th Jan 2011 11:00 am
More and more birds sleep on my kayak. This night five. In the evening there was a fight between them for a good spot on the stern. The loosing one flew slowly and landed on my hand. He started cleaning his wings. These visits are nice, but I am the one cleaning afterwards.
My toilet is at the stern. I hold on to the railings and reach outside. This personal activity can be very stressful when there's ten barracuda watching. Barracuda change, but they are always with me. Two of them are with me for a month now.

28th Jan 2011
What do I miss most:
- family and the presence of other people
- normal food, sweets
- normal sleep (I now sleep only 2 hours per day)


27th Jan 2011 0:02 am

Three months have past since my departure from Dakar. This could be my longest trip ever. Maybe 102 days? :-) My longest trips: "Kayak round Denmark, from my home town Police to Police" 55 days, 2714 km (1686 miles), "Kayak round the Baltic Sea, from Police to Police" 80 days, 4227 km (2627 miles), "Kayak past the Polar Circle to Narvik from Police" 101 days, 5369 km (3336 miles)


Thirteenth Week

Total: 2750 km (1709 miles) 88.3% of total distance approx in a straight line

That week: 377 km (234 miles)

Average for the Week: 2.22 km/h (1.38 mph)

25th Jan 2011 12:30 pm

I feel generally well, it varies depending on the wind direction and speed. I believe I can still make to Fortaleza, despite the winds. Maximum in two weeks. I use a lot of the time on hand desalinating. I catch rain water, but that is not always possible. I'm hoping I can get a new electric desalinator from my sponsor.  When I come to Fortaleza there's a lot of cleaning work to be done. During the last three months a lot of mussels and other sea life got stuck to my kayak from underneath. I will need to get more supplies and batteries for all my communication and navigation electric devices.

I plan to have a rest in Brazil for two weeks and then I'll start the next part of my voyage towards Washington DC (USA) through Antilles and Barbados. I have about 6000 km (3730 miles) of lonely paddling ahead of me. Distances are big. The winds nor currents shouldn't be so distracting. This should take me another 2 - 3 months.


Now everyone up North please blow hard so I could get to Fortaleza quicker.

25th Jan 2011 1:32 pm

New birds (American) have surprised me. They look a bit like a gull, One came very close to my kayak, when I was hanging me raincoat non the panel.


24th Jan 2011 6:38 pm

I have a new hitchiker. Three days ago while cleaning the rudder I noticed leech look alike fish, about 60 mm long. I couldn't get it off.


21st Jan 2011 7:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday my emotions were peaking. 5 hours of heavy storms, waves 7 metres, strong winds. On Monday the winds calmed down. Winds are helping now. I managed to gain some distance.


21st Jan 2011 4:09 am

Yesterday at 11:03 pm I crossed over to the Southern Hemisphere. 10 years ago while I was paddling to Narvik (Norway) I went past the North Polar Circle. There was no problem. On maps this is a dotted line, I must've gone through the middle. The equator on the other hand is the longest Latitude it's the thick line.

I had full moon, covered with clouds. GPS is telling me I'm getting close. Then the moon got uncovered and I saw something dark in front of me ... directly across my path there was a dark line coming through the waves - The Equator! How do I go over? I saw the waves going over, so I followed on top of a wave straight over.I patted it with my paddle and there I was on the Southern Hemisphere. Straight after a round of storms welcomed me for another 4 hours with rain and strong winds. Two birds hitch hiked a ride on the back of my kayak.


19th Jan 2011 3:50 pm

My general well-being is congruent with the winds: wind coming from North - feeling great, winds from South - feeling bad or worse. In the morning a young bird flew by. The size of a seagull, a great glider. It flies just over the waves, using the wind uplift energy forming behind the waves.It landed near my kayak several times making circles.


18th Jan 2011 7:30 am Aleksander went past 75% of the way!


17th Jan 2011 6:10 pm

The winds help me keep direction for Brazil. I am hoping the winds allow me to reach Fortaleza. I still have food. I loose a lot of time for hand desalinating water. I could have spent that time for sleep or paddling. My health is great. Only some minor blisters. Greetings to everyone following.

Eleventh Week

Beginning of the week seemed really hard, but straight after Aleksander has raised almost all  of his previous speed records.

Total: 1892 km (1176 miles) 61% of total distance approx in a straight line

That week: 637 km (396 miles)

Average for the Week: 3.79 km/h (2.35 mph)


12 Jan 2011 4:28 pm

I went past Longitude 30 W. The Current pushes me West, but winds push me North. If the winds don't start pushing me South I will have no chance to hit Fortaleza. I might miss it by few hundred kilometres. Will I make it to Brazil before my supplies dry?

10th Jan 2011 7:40 pm

On the 30th December happened something I was most afraid of before departure. The Electric Desalinator has broken down. I try to switch it on every day with no success. Therefore I spend about 4 hours daily pumping manually water to get my daily amount of drinking water.

After the adventures with currents I am heading the correct Southerly direction. I might reach a different to Fortaleza harbour, I'll do my best to reach my planned destination.

For 3 days the sky has been completely overcast. I can't see sun at all. Storms and heat are still here. I met with a ship called "Dalia". They saw me and came closer to about 200 metres. They seemed very curious. They waved and took pictures.

My companions: One bird after being reanimated flew away, the other didn't make it. It received a sea burial. During the night about 20 barracuda during the day about 10. They keep picking on me. A flock of small birds flew above and  two beautiful butterflies. How did they make it so far on these tiny wings? Flying fish that keep popping into my kayak turned out to be quite tasteful raw and in a fish soup. There should be enough food then.

Soon I should be passing the uninhabited island of St Peter and Paul, It's apparently very rocky. I have to be careful not to hit upon it in the night.


All the best wishes to readers and those wishing me luck from my Mid-Voyage Point!


9th Jan 2011 9:44 pm

Until now I put all my work to move South, strong current and winds were pushing me North. Right now I paddle in the part of Equatorial Counter Current moving West.


8th Jan 2011 9:41 pm

Confession by a (formerly?) frustrated man. How did Sisyphus feel rolling the boulder up the hill, when it quickly came tumbling down? This is how I felt fighting the Current. During the 73rd night of my expedition I crossed half way. Now it's closer to Fortaleza than Dakar. The North Easterly wind is helping me now.


5th Jan 2011 8:30 am

Every few days I am passed by ships. Yesterday I saw a tanker. The Equatorial Counter Current still holds me. I paddle hard but can't get through. I need helping wind. Which was with me for few days pushing me West. But the wrong winds came again, storms and the wrong current. When the rain weakens I collect drinking water. I can't do that in strong winds. The kayak might capsize. The barracuda shoal is with me constantly. Beautiful fish but terrifying as well.


30th Dec 2010 11:49 am

Yesterday, was stormy. I managed to leave The Current. During the night two flying fish have broken on my boat. In the morning I found a bird as big as a raven in my cockpit. I dried it, warmed it up. It doesn't want to leave. It jumped into my cabin and lies there. Together with barracuda and small fish I am escorted by a tortoise.


Ninth Week

First four days great direction with 70 km per day average. The rest not as good.

Total: 1389 km (863 miles) 43.7% of total distance approx in a straight line

That week: 434 km (270 miles)

Average for the Week: 2.58 km/h (1.6 mph)


26th Dec 2010 8:00 pm

Equatorial Counter Current is pushing me North. Southerly Winds are also pushing me North. Christmas was quite stormy.


24th Dec 2010 2:00 pm

Best wishes to everyone interested. Thank you for sending good thoughts. I promise to paddle better after Christmas. The Mountain Range were being difficult. Now it's better. I'm on the final straight.


22nd Dec 2010 6:54 am

Yesterday two storms. Each lasting for 2 hours with about 15 minute apart. They took me South. Waves reaching 8 metres (26 Feet) high. At the beginning  of second storm there was a tornado from water all the way up to the clouds about 30 metres (100 Feet) away from me.


Eight Week

Bad weather conditions. Pushing North. 2.1-2.7m waves, 25-30°C

Total: 1252 km (778 miles) 37.7% of total distance approx in a straight line

That week: 293 km (182 miles)

Average for Week: 1.74 km/h (1.08 mph)


Last Updated (Thursday, 31 March 2011 08:38)

 
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