‘Aleksander the Great’ Wins ‘Adventurer of the Year’

SPORTS

At 67 years old, a Polish kayaker completed the longest open-water kayaking expedition across the Atlantic in history—and won the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. (National Geographic Adventure)

“If 67-years-young can do it, you can do it, too.” Get started with some great ideas for outdoor activities.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit—including today’s MapMaker Interactive map of Aleksander Doba’s journey across the Atlantic.

Aleksander Doba delivers a lecture months before his second kayaking adventure across the Atlantic. He's planning his third now. Photograph by Kapitel, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-1.0 universal public domain

Aleksander Doba delivers a lecture months before his second kayaking adventure across the Atlantic. He’s planning his third now.
Photograph by Kapitel, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-1.0 universal public domain

Discussion Ideas

 

  • Doba kayaked from Lisbon, Portugal, to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Why do you think he plotted a slightly U-shaped trip, instead of crossing straight across the Atlantic? There are three major reasons, and a look at today’s MapMaker Interactive map might give you help with identifying one of them.
    • It makes for a longer, more challenging adventure, and Doba wanted to kayak across the Atlantic’s widest space.
    • Doba didn’t actually plot quite such a long voyage. According to Nat Geo, “storms and equipment failure threw Doba off course, tacking an additional 1,300 miles and two months onto a journey that already would have broken the record for the longest ever solo kayaking voyage.” Specifically, Doba battled unfavorable winds and currents in the Bermuda Triangle, and was ultimately forced to detour to the island of Bermuda to repair damage to his kayak’s rudder.
    • Overall, Doba’s route was able to follow powerful surface currents across the Atlantic.

 

  • Take a quick look through our encyclopedic entry on ocean gyres. Did Doba’s Second Transatlantic Kayak Expedition take him “turning and turning in the widening gyre”? (Look it up!) Which gyre? Which currents contributed to Doba’s experience in the gyre?
    • Doba’s expedition took him on the southern part of the North Atlantic Gyre.
    • The currents that make up the southern North Atlantic Gyre, which Doba roughly followed, are the Canary Current, which flows from southern Europe to North Africa, and the North Atlantic Equatorial current, which crosses the ocean to the warm waters off Florida’s coast.

 

  • Doba is planning to kayak across the Atlantic a third time! This time, he is planning to depart from New York City and land in Europe. What currents and gyres do you think he might piggyback on? Customize today’s MapMaker Interactive map to help plan the route!
    • Doba may kayak the northern part of the North Atlantic Gyre. He may kayak with the mighty Gulf Stream, a current that runs northward from southern Florida and becomes the North Atlantic Current as it flows eastward to Europe. (The Gulf Stream is so mighty, in fact, that Doba said the most difficult part of his journey was navigating across its choppy waters just days before he reached the Florida coast.)

 

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: Atlantic Kayaker Wins 2015 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year

Nat Geo: “Aleksander the Great”‘s Second Transatlantic Kayak Expedition map

Nat Geo: The Kayaker: Aleksander Doba

Nat Geo: Outdoor Family Fun

Nat Geo: What is an ocean gyre?

2 responses to “‘Aleksander the Great’ Wins ‘Adventurer of the Year’

  1. Pingback: Meet the Adventurers of the Year—and Vote for Your Favorite! | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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