Meet-n-Greet: Expedition Kayaker Aleksander Doba (Olek) & Olo

  • May 1, 2014 · 5:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Who are they?   Recently,  Kayaker Aleksander Doba (aka "Olek") made a historic 167 day trans-Atlantic journey aboard his expedition kayak, the 'Olo'

Photo posted with permission through Piotr Chmielinski.

And they'll be in town next week!   Understandably their schedule is very busy and limited, but through a friend at Nat'Geographic and a friend of Olek, together we've been able to arrange a special Meet-n-Greet with Olek & Olo.   They've offered to meet their paddling fans in the DC Metro area next Thursday (01-May) at Columbia Islane.d Marina. Kudos to anyone who kayaks and speaks Polish!  Let's help make him feel at home.

Olek's kayaking journey lasted almost 6 months, so we hope that you can  arrange 1hr to attend this special occasion; and acknowledge this heroic individual and athlete for his historic accomplishment to promote the sport we enjoy greatly.

UPDATE 3: Be sure to check out these great articles on Aleksander Doba, which were written by Piotr Chmielinski for National Geographic. Piotr is Olek's US host and an adventure kayaker himself. Both will be present at this event.

http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/11/67-year-old-transatlantic-kayaker-nearly-300-miles-from-florida/

http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/19/67-year-old-transatlantic-kayakers-goal-achieved-expedition-continues/

http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/67-years-young-kayaker-finished-transatlantic-crossing/

Additionally, check other ones:

http://www.canoekayak.com/touring-kayaks/doba-paddling/

http://www.canoekayak.com/photos/deeper-doba/#4728c56b5f

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140420/NEWS/140419342/0/search

UPDATE 2: This is getting exciting! These guys a fun to work with! :) Olek and his friend Piotr have offered three INCREDIBLE 'gifts' to those able to attend. You must be present at the event in order to win. Unfortunately, I can't reveal or hint what this prize is, but it's just amazing! The first is exclusive to CPA members who RSVP at CPA's forum or FB page.

The second prize will be offered exclusively to Washington Kayak Club members who RSVP. So if you're members of both, you improve your chances!! However, you cannot win twice. The third prize will be own by lottery to non CPA and non WKC members who are present that day.

So far the chances winning at WKC is 1:4!! Not bad!! ;)

Directions from the American Legion Bridge (Rt495) VA side:

• George Washington Memorial Parkway Southbound.

• Turn RIGHT into Marina after signs for Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove/Columbia Island Marina (Note Park entrance ramp is located before the Humpback Bridge.)

• In marina, proceed straight, past the Stop Sign.

• If you do not plan to paddle with the Pirates of Georgetown (separate event) please park at right side of marina's large parking lot to allow CPA members to launch close to the  marina buildings/boat ramp area.

"Nie mogę się doczekać, aż cię zobaczę!" :)

SPECIAL NOTE: This is not a paddling or kayaking event with Olek. However  this meetup date does coincide with the season opener for CPA's Pirates of Georgetown (PoGs).  So you still wish to  paddle, the opportunity exist.  CPA's policy will apply: ie. PFD, whistle, spray skirt, pump and paddle float are required. They plan launch at ~6:30pm. If interested, please contact PoG Captains Jesse Aronson or Tom Heneghan at CPA for more information.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    great article! He talks about Kayaking Naked which is my motto. lol "Regarding technical apparel, Doba says he's not a good source. "I didn't bring any shoes, and for most of the time, probably 164 out of the 167 days I was at sea, I was naked," he says. "It's really the best way to prevent the rashes that come from being wet." He did wear a hat – either a sombrero or a baseball cap, depending on his mood."

    1 · May 10, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Last week, Olek and Piotr granted several kayakers the special privilege to paddle the OLO. Here's an article that details the design of this transoceanic expedition kayak.
    http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/watersports/extreme-gear-what-you-need-to-kayak-across-the-atlantic-20140508

    1 · May 10, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Revised version: (... + less grammar errors): http://animoto.com/play/pXIOmO2HP1G7FYtJQ1XqCQ

    May 4, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    To view more photos, please check out my Flickr album at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXRdBjx

    May 3, 2014

  • Claudine M.

    Thanks D.J. for working this all out for us. Hope it was thrilled with our river and city also.

    May 2, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Unforgettable. Really amazing experience to be w/them. Olek and Piotr are each very humble and giving individuals. Everyone at WKC certainly made them feel welcome to the US; but somehow, they made us feel more welcomed, as Polish! :)

    I'll be able to post pics later today, but it'll be similar to the album on my FB page, which is public: https://www.facebook.com/domj.manalo.1/media_set?set=a.1428292180760164.1073741845.100007381865361&type=1

    May 2, 2014

  • Erik B

    Once in a lifetime experience (unless Doba crosses the ocean again...)

    1 · May 2, 2014

  • Becky

    How exciting to meet someone who has spent 99 days paddling his dream .... For the second time. DJ thank you for organizing this event!

    May 2, 2014

  • Becky

    How exciting to meet someone who has spent 99 days paddling his dream .... For the second time. DJ thank you for organizing this event!

    May 2, 2014

  • Andy

    Amazing! I am still in awe. How could Olek paddle a 600-pound kayak across the entire freakin' Atlantic Ocean? This may have been the coolest kayaking event ever. Thank you, DJ, for organizing this.

    May 1, 2014

  • Aneta

    This is shaping up to be a great event, please take lots of pictures for those of us who can't attend!

    May 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    i an sad and sorry but i cant make it.

    May 1, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Sorry to hear that Hector. That's like having Peanut Gang show up without Charlie Brown. :(

      1 · May 1, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      "Good Grief!" :) lol

      May 1, 2014

  • Claudine M.

    I would like to meet up and paddle before unless it's pouring.

    April 28, 2014

    • Ryan

      I'm new to the group. Do you guys mind if I come paddle with you before the event?

      May 1, 2014

    • Becky

      See you there!

      May 1, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    According to Gina at NG, there will be another surprise that involves some type of musical entertainment, as well.

    May 1, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Olek will also invite you to sample his food. The Olo stored up to 3 months of food supply. A spoon will be provided to those so one bite might just cover your daily nutritional allowances for dinner. ;)

    May 1, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    PFDs will be available, and winners will be possible to board the Olo from dockside w/o getting their feet wet. :)

    May 1, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    SPECIAL UPDATE

    Given the nature of the 'prizes', which I regard as 'gifts', we're requesting that you prepare to paddle should you be chosen in the lotteries. The Prizes
    Olek has offered a very special gift, as an extension of his goodwill and for his deep appreciation to his fans in the kayaking community. When I heard it l, as conveyed by Piotr, I actually had to have him repeat it a few times, just in case I misinterpreted his accent; but Olek wanted a lucky few of us to experience his joy in paddling aboard his expedition kayak, Olo', solo.

    April 30, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Starting at 6:30, they hope to launch her by the ramp, then allow each winner to paddle the Olo, in turn from to 10-15 minutes, ... even in the Potomac. Well, we'll have to see about that, river conditions permitting. In the very least, the winners will be able to paddle it within the shelter of the marina, which has got a lot of open space. Still we'll have some very skilled kayakers in the water to offer any support, if necessary. And if you're thinking about taking off to Lisbon,Poland, you'll have to deal with PoGs co-Captain Tom. And you definitely don't want to mess with Tom. ;)

      I'll also be taking photos of the winners, as the winner attempts to paddle this historic 23' kayak, the Olo, that someday could very well be displayed at the Smithsonian.

      April 30, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Here's a new article on Aleksander 'Olek' Doba by Jayme Moye of the Men's Journal, based on interviews with Olek and Piotr Chmielinski: http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/watersports/a-record-breaking-atlantic-crossing-by-kayak-20140429

    April 29, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Fyi: Depending on interest and activity, 'unofficially' they may be able to extend their appearance until 7pm. But imo, please try to arrive during the 'official' time, as scheduled.

    Olek would be happy to sign autographs and pose for pics, ... especially if you greet him in Polish. So I'm going to freshen up on my Polish, too. Only, I first need to figure out how to enunciate what I wrote above.

    Pozdrawiam!

    April 28, 2014

    • Pete H.

      Are you coming Aneta? You are the only Polish paddler I know (and a wonderful one at that!)

      1 · April 28, 2014

    • Aneta

      Thanks Pete! I have a deadline coming up so I will be working late.

      April 28, 2014

  • Erik B

    Google translate app does polish - with pronunciation.

    You can even do full sentences if you dare...from my experience in the classroom, the translations don't always convey correct connotation or tone (warning).

    However, single words or phrases are usually more consistent.

    2 · April 28, 2014

  • Marc

    Oops. I have a conflict. Unless my schedule changes, I probably won't make it. :(

    April 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would have loved the opportunity to meet him but I can't get out of work that day. :>(

    April 26, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm going to make the effort to see this amazing gentleman.

      1 · April 27, 2014

  • Erik B

    "Dad, this guy paddled across the Atlantic Ocean - that's impossible!" "Well, if you don't believe me, why don't you come with me and ask him yourself...

    Hoping that Kai and I will be able to make it on time for meet 'n greet.

    April 27, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    UPDATE 2: This is getting exciting! These guys a fun to work with! :) Olek and his friend Piotr have offered three INCREDIBLE prizes to those able to attend. You must be present at the event in order to win. Unfortunately, I can't reveal or hint what this prize is, but it's just amazing! The first is exclusive to CPA members who RSVP at CPA's forum or FB page.

    The second prize will be offered exclusively to Washington Kayak Club members who RSVP. So if you're members of both, you improve your chances!! However, you cannot win twice. The third prize will be own by lottery to non CPA and non WKC members who are present that day.

    So far the chances winning at WKC is 1:4!! Not bad!! ;)

    April 26, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Update: If anyone works close by, Olek's agent just called and mentioned that Olek and the Olo will be featured at the National Geographic Courtyard (17th Street access) in DC from approximately 11am-2pm that Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Aneta, I'm forwarding this link to Olek's friend (agent) who will be able to read your comments and will likely share/read it to him. While it's unlikely that Olek will reply, directly, I'm sure that he'll appreciate your (and anyone's) kind comments.

    1 · April 26, 2014

    • Aneta

      Thanks DJ, I'm very proud of Olek's accomplishment!

      1 · April 26, 2014

  • Aneta

    I would love to meet Olek and chat with him in Polish but may not be able to get out of work in time. To Olek - gratulacje i pozdrowienia! :)

    1 · April 26, 2014

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