Antonio de la Rosa doesn’t take it easy on his vacations. The Spaniard spent his summer mostly standing up and paddling his way from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.
It took de la Rosa 76 days to paddle 2,500 miles while standing on a submarine-shaped craft he calls a paddleboat. This vessel is more complex than the standup paddleboards that are showing up along seacoasts and seen navigating lakes, rivers, and marshes recently. De la Rosa’s 21-foot paddleboat has a small sleeping cabin where its operator rested after putting in eight- to 10-hour days working his way west. It also has space for storing food and gear. But all power for moving across the waves came from its human operator.
The vessel endured rough weather along the way, including a near-miss by Hurricane Flossie. The storm passed within 60 miles of de la Rosa, stirring up some challenging swells.
The adventurer celebrated his 50th birthday at sea. He didn’t report any birthday cake but says he ate dehydrated food, using heated water to restore it, and sometimes he fished. It’s just the kind of adventure he loves. “I like it because it’s hard,” he said in Spanish last week from Honolulu. Past adventure-vacations for de la Rosa have included paddle-surfing the 2,175-mile coastline of the Iberian Peninsula—a trip that took 141 days. He also once rode a fat-tire bicycle over Alaska’s ice-and-snow-covered Iditarod route.
When he’s not off seeking adventure of his own, de la Rosa runs an adventure tourism business in Madrid with his sister, Vanesa de la Rosa. The siblings also operate a small hotel for athletes.
Though he enjoys working with his sister and the athletes who come and go through their businesses, de la Rosa says he enjoys his solo-ventures too. When asked by reporters upon his arrival in Hawaii if the trip was lonely, de la Rosa replied, “Going alone does not mean being alone.”
He was referring to the many supporters cheering for him on both sides of the journey. But Christians know that truth in a much more personal sense. God spoke to Jacob in Genesis 28:15, saying, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.” Jesus echoed that promise before He ascended to heaven. He told His followers to wait for the coming of His Holy Spirit to all believers: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
(Antonio de la Rosa stands upon his 21-foot-long paddleboat somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. He paddled from California to Hawaii over 76 days. Image from a video by Antonio de la Rosa)