Aleksander Doba on the Gulf Stream!

After three weeks of struggles with the unfavorable winds in the North Atlantic reached the Gulf Stream.

Aleksander Doba on the Gulf Stream!

By Piotr Chmielinski

“First, algae from the Saragossa Sea, an entire algae family began to appear. I paddled in ever deeper waters. The isobars on the map were showing that I was close. Until on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning, the warmest day since the start of the expedition, I finally entered the great ocean current” – reports Alexander Doba (Olek), who after three weeks of struggles with the unfavorable winds in the North Atlantic reached the Gulf Stream. – “This is a whimsical current changing its track, as well as splitting itself. If I manage to stay in the mainstream, it should take me east, in the desired direction”- added the kayaker.

The Gulf Stream is one of the strongest sea currents in the world. It runs at speeds of up to four to five knots (about 6.5 miles per hour). Its water volume exceeds about 170 times the volume of the world’s largest river, the Amazon River, at its mouth in the Atlantic.
The current originates in the vicinity of the Caribbean Sea from the merger of the Florida and the Antilles currents. It resembles an enormous river that bends across the Atlantic Ocean towards the north-east. Somewhere halfway between New York, USA and Lisbon, Portugal, a bifurcation takes place – the current splits into the mainstream of the Gulf Stream that turns south-east and the the North Atlantic Drift that continues the course north-east.

It is precisely this mainstream, in harmony with the favorable western winds, that should help Olek reach the European coast. For the kayaker, this is the main difference compared to the experience he encountered on the Gulf Stream during his Second Transatlantic Kayak Expedition three years ago. Then, it was one of the hardest episodes on the route from Lisbon to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. “The Gulf Stream and the strong, opposite wind! It’s like riding a wild mustang”- he wrote about his fight with the elements. The question is whether this time, the mustang will continue to stand up, or will become a steed, who with a brisk trot will take Olek straight to his goal.

For now, this second option is prevailing. After almost three weeks of struggling with the unfavorable winds, spinning around, backing up, Olek’s journey was gaining momentum. “On the twenty-third day after leaving the mainland in Barnegat Light, New Jersey, the kayaker broke the speed record, moving 105 nautical miles (about 200 kilometers), and achieving a speed of a whopping 4.5 knots,” said Jacek Pietraszkiewicz, navigator of the Third Transatlantic Kayak Expedition. Thus, his distance from the US Coast increased to more than 350 nautical miles, although he actually has paddled well over 300 miles more.

Aleksander Doba’s current trip is certainly more difficult than the previous ones, mainly due to the weather conditions, but it should also be faster. Staying on the Gulf Stream is a great way for the kayaker to accelerate his way through the Atlantic Ocean from the west to the east. It may even reduce the travel time by half compared to the crossing from east to west. This phenomenon was already observed in the eighteenth century by the American statesman, diplomat and scientist, and the first author of the Gulf Steam map, Benjamin Franklin. The Gulf Stream, like it is today, was supposed to contribute to the improvement of communication and trade relations between the continents.

The joys of Olek’s record-breaking distance covered within one day ironically will be disturbed by weather forecasts. ! “Due to the coming low pressure of 990 hPa, Olek will again struggle with the strong opposing wind” – reports J. Pietraszkiewicz. – “The wind will change direction south and then to the west again.


might be the hardest most difficult 24 hours yet. If the kayaker withstands this test, then it will be almost a whole week of winds push him toward Europe. “

We will be reporting on Olek’s progresses on the Gulf Stream and his way towards Europe.

“Go Olek and OLO Go!

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