"I saw the curve of the world. Every year I think, 'Okay. What I do next year?’. I love this kind of life.” — Antonio De La Rosa, Spanish Endurance Athlete
This week, 50-year-old Spanish endurance athlete Antonio de la Rosa became the first person to paddleboard across the Pacific Ocean after completing an epic 2,950-mile odyssey from San Francisco to Hawaii. For 76 days, five hours, and 22 minutes, De La Rosa lived on his 24-foot-long custom-made paddleboard equipped with GPS and a computer for communication, eating nothing but dehydrated food reserves as he navigated across the Pacific. Naming his boat “The Ocean Defender”, the goal of De La Rosa’s journey was to raise awareness about protecting our oceans from human-made pollution. Paddling for an average of nine hours a day, De La Rosa faced extreme weather conditions and even came eye-to-eye with whales and other sea life on several occasions. De La Rosa described his two-month voyage as a test of absolute loneliness and self-sufficiency, though he always found a way to stay cheerful — “Going alone does not mean being alone,” he said.