Richard Kohler prepares to depart for Ocean X kayak adventure from Cape Town to Brazil, solo and unsupported

This is a story about endurance, courage against the odds, and the indomitability of the human spirit. It takes a man of unique vision to be the first person to paddle solo on a kayak unsupported for 7 000kms across the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

Richard first attempted the crossing in December 2021 but had to regrettably make a detour to Walvis Bay after being out at sea for more than two weeks. This was due to corrosion in his solar panel wiring and resulted in Richard not being able to charge all onboard batteries, which would seriously compromise his own safety. He is now ready to depart again this weekend on Saturday 17 December at 9am from the Radisson in Granger Bay.

After becoming the first and only person to paddle solo the entire circumference of the South African coastline in 2012, Richard Kohler has been training for Ocean X – his ultimate solo mission. After Covid delayed his departure in December 2020, and the corrosion of his solar panel wiring curtailed his first attempt, the 53-year-old Capetonian is raring to go solo on a kayak from Cape Town to Salvador in Brazil.

Richard is the first person to attempt to paddle a custom kayak across the Southern Atlantic, unsupported, and alone. He will be reunited with “Osiyeza” – his home for the next 60 to 80 days. The name deriving from SA music legend, Johnny Clegg’s 1993 song “The Crossing,” the literal meaning “we are coming”. The song is about a dream that’s within reach, the possibility to cross from darkness and suffering to prosperity and a reminder to Richard that his dream is within reach.

Richard intends surviving his “Crossing” and not just to acquire bragging rights for the latest outlandish watersports adventure. He is motivated by raising funds for charity, Operation Smile, which he has already raised over R112 000 for the charity. His aim is to raise enough money for 70 life changing cleft pallet operations, giving 70 kids new smiles.

To help Richard achieve his goal, please donate to his fundraiser here.

Follow Richards journey on or @richardkohleradventures on social media.