Portuguese Man Crosses Atlantic Ocean Using Kites

    01 January 2022

    A Portuguese man has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat powered only by the sun and wind. He used kites to move the boat and solar power to use lights and equipment on the boat.

    Francisco Lufinha arrived on the island of Martinique on December 20. He hopes his trip will earn him a Guinness World record for Fastest Solo Atlantic Crossing by Kite Boat. He also hopes his trip will help people understand the need to protect the oceans.

    The kite-powered boat reached top speeds of over 30 kilometers per hour. Lufinha traveled 6,400 kilometers in 25 days. The 38-year-old set out from Cascais, near Lisbon, Portugal on November 3 and arrived on the Caribbean island of Martinique on December 20.

    Portuguese Man Crosses Atlantic Ocean Using Wind Power
    Portuguese Man Crosses Atlantic Ocean Using Wind Power

    Lufinha was not at sea for all that time, however. He made a planned stop at the Canary Islands on November 8. He had to stay longer than planned because of strong winds. He remained there until November 30.

    Lufinha made the crossing completely alone in a 7.2-meter-long and 5.6-meter-wide trimaran. This kind of boat has three long, thin parts, with a small room for sleeping and shelter.

    Making fresh water

    Lufinha used a hand pump to produce water for drinking and cooking.

    He said, "To produce water, I need to use this water maker. I have two of these, which I can pump and every hour I can make around four liters of water."

    The water pump has a special filter to remove salt from the sea water. Lufinha used the water to add to dried food he carried with him on the boat.

    A ‘learning experience'

    He called his trip "a big learning experience."

    "It was a big test of my resilience. I learned a lot. I learned most of all to look at my problems relatively. I had so many problems all of the time, kites getting torn, kites exploding. And the only way to not suffer was to think, 'it could be worse.'"

    Supporters followed Lufinha's trip on his Facebook page. The main sponsor that supported him during his trip was the energy company EDP.

    He said his way of thinking during the difficult crossing helped him, "to get through it hour by hour, day by day, week by week until I got here to the Caribbean and finished this EDP Atlantic Mission."

    I'm Jill Robbins.

    Kurt Michael Hall produced this story for Reuters. Jill Robbins adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.


    Words in This Story

    kite – n. a device that is made of a light frame covered with cloth, paper, or plastic and that is flown in the air at the end of a long string

    trimarann. a yacht with three hulls in parallel.

    filter – n. a device that is used to remove something unwanted from a liquid or gas that passes through it

    resilienceadj. the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

    sponsor – n. an organization that gives money to an athlete for training, clothes, equipment, and the like in return for the right to use the athlete for advertising

    mission n. a task or job that someone is given to do

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