Man crosses 3,000 miles of Pacific Ocean by paddleboard and sees plastic pollution 'every day'

Endurace athlete believed to be first person to paddle from San Francisco to Hawaii

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 27 August 2019 16:01
Comments
Man on paddle board crosses 300km of Pacific Ocean

An adventurer has completed a 2,951-mile solo paddleboard voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii, a feat of endurance which lasted 76 days.

Antonio de la Rosa travelled alone across the Pacific Ocean without supporting boats. He braved choppy waters and glimpsed whales – as well as a constant stream of plastic pollution.

The Spanish endurance athlete is believed to be the first person to have completed the journey on a stand-up paddleboard.

He set off from San Francisco, California, on 9 June and reached Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday, after paddling up to 10 hours a day on a specially designed craft fitted with a sleeping area and a desalinisation system for drinking water.

The 50-year-old, who documented his journey on Facebook, said he saw fishing nets and other plastic debris daily during his voyage.

“I keep seeing every day some plastic packaging and remains of fishing nets,” he wrote in a 7 August post. “Although it is not much, there is no day that I do not locate some plastic floating. We need to change things as soon as possible.”

Mr de la Rosa’s vessel had no engines and fitted with solar panels to power his GPS, radio and computer, which allowed him to monitor his location and keep in touch with his family. He was forced to wake up every hour at night to check he had not drifted off course.

He packed three months’ worth of freeze-dried food onto his seven-metre boat, which weighed more than 680kg when fully loaded. Although he a caught some fish to vary his diet, he said he had lost 12kg of weight by the end of his voyage.

Antonio de la Rosa’s paddle boat after docking in Honolulu (Hawaii News Now )

After arriving in Hawaii, Mr de la Rosa said he felt “tired but very satisfied”.

He added: “I had to overcome some difficult currents when I left San Francisco, wind sources that pushed me south, several hurricanes that have passed me close, great waves that shook my small boat as if it were a washing machine, sleepless nights, heat and humidity. But I am here, I have succeeded, I almost do not believe it.”

It was not the adventurer’s first endurance challenge at sea. In 2014, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 64 days, winning a race against 17 other competitors. Two years later, he paddleboarded through the Arctic Circle.

“I love this kind of life,” he told Hawaii News Now. ”I saw the curve of the world. Every year I think, ‘Okay. What I do next year?’”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in