We interrupt our regularly scheduled program (Top 10 Non-Hungarian Restaurants) to let you in on some wonderful news, if you haven’t heard it yet… Gábor Rakonczay, the Hungarian canoeist, is alive and well and has arrived in Antigua, becoming the world’s first person to cross the Atlantic alone in a canoe. Contact with Gábor was lost February 6th after his boat overturned twice, soaking his satellite phone. He had no other equipment with which he could make contact or indicate his location.
Gábor was in the cabin when the boat overturned, and climbed out into the water, where the boat was upside down, just 10 centimeters above the water line. He tried to turn the boat back over, and a large wave helped him do that. Then, apparently he paddled for two days straight, without food or sleep, in order to get through the wind and high waves that had threatened his journey and his life, and then continued on, finishing the 5,200-kilometer crossing in just 60 days, compared with the planned 80. His wife Viki, who insisted throughout this difficult period that Gábor was alive and paddling on, just without a way of making contact, received a call from Gábor early Tuesday morning Budapest time.
I wrote about the Rakonczays after hearing them speak about their amazing Atlantic crossing together, also a record, here https://adriknows.com/2011/09/30/carpe-diem/. The news of his boat having gone missing captured the emotion of Hungarians and others like myself, who hoped seemingly beyond hope that he was paddling on. Congratulations, Gábor! Please don’t scare us like that again…
Here is an AP interview with Gábor upon his arrival. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/ap-interview-hungarian-is-first-to-cross-atlantic-ocean-by-canoe-from-europe-to-caribbean/2012/03/26/gIQAjo44bS_story.html