HONOLULU (AP/Log News Service)—Antonio de la Rosa doesn’t take it easy on his vacations. The Spaniard arrived at the Waikiki Yacht Club on Aug. 24 after spending his summer paddling across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco.
It took de la Rosa, who is from Valladolid, Spain, 76 days to cover the 2,500 miles of open ocean alone, using wind, currents and the power of his arms to paddle while standing on a platform amidships the submarine-shaped craft he describes as a paddleboat.
The custom built 24-foot vessel, which he named Ocean Defender, endured rough weather, including when Hurricane Flossie passed within 60 miles.
The vessel, which he describes as a combination paddle board and small boat, has a sleeping cabin forward and another cabin aft with storage bins, desalination unit and solar panels for powering electronics including a computer, phone and satellite internet.
He ate dehydrated food, using heated water, and sometimes fished. He paddled eight-to-10 hours daily and slept every night. But he said that he was always tired because he woke up hourly to check on his gear.
It’s the kind of adventure he loves. “I like it because it’s hard,” he said in Spanish Aug. 26 from Honolulu.
According to his website his Pacific crossing is not his first adventure at sea. In 2014 he won the Rames Guyane, a rowing race across the Atlantic for single-handed boats and in 2016 he circumnavigated 2,175 miles of the Iberian Peninsula coastline by paddle surfing for 141 days.
He celebrated his 50th birthday at sea, his sister Vanesa de la Rosa explained from Spain. The siblings run an adventure tourism business in Madrid and a small hotel for athletes.
He said he was disappointed to see fishing gear refuse every day of his voyage – including nets and line.
He used a tracking device to record every minute of his journey and called it a record because he believes no one has ever done what he accomplished. It’s a record because “I certify it,” he said with a laugh.