Whilst searching through my kayaking literature last week I came across my copy of “Life” magazine from 22nd July 1957. I managed to find a copy a few years ago through the wonders of ebay. A seller in Miami just happened to be selling something which I had been trying to find for years.
He left Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on the 20th October 1956, in his folding kayak, Tangaroa, eventually making landfall 72 later on St Martin.
During the crossing there were numerous incidents, a chance meeting with a cargo ship half way across the Atlantic, capsizing and clinging to the upturned hull throughout the night, another capsize in daylight, hitting a shark with his paddle etc all while fueled with tins of condensed milk and beer.
It really is one of the most significant sea kayaking trips of all time, if you haven’t a copy of Life Magazine then search out a copy of “Alone at Sea” which describes the crossing in some detail, leaving you wondering “why on earth would you do it?”