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Tuesday, October 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spanish man paddles his way from California to Hawaii

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater, and high-rises are seen in Honolulu on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Antonio de la Rosa doesn’t take it easy on his vacations. The Spaniard spent his summer paddling his way from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. (Audrey McAvoy / AP)
Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater, and high-rises are seen in Honolulu on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Antonio de la Rosa doesn’t take it easy on his vacations. The Spaniard spent his summer paddling his way from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. (Audrey McAvoy / AP)
By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher Associated Press

HONOLULU – Antonio de la Rosa doesn’t take it easy on his vacations. The Spaniard spent his summer paddling his way from California across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.

It took de la Rosa, who is from Valladolid, Spain, 76 days to paddle 2,500 miles while standing on a submarine-shaped craft he described as a paddleboat. The 21-foot-long vessel endured rough weather, including when Hurricane Flossie passed within 60 miles.

He ate dehydrated food, using heated water, and sometimes fished. He paddled eight to 10 hours daily and slept every night. But 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 on Monday from Honolulu.

His past adventure-vacations have included circumnavigating the 2,175 miles of the Iberian Peninsula coastline by paddle-surfing for 141 days and crossing Alaska’s Iditarod route for eight days on a bicycle with oversized tires made for snow and ice, according to his website.

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.

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