Wednesday, January 27

Triathlon around the world: Jonas Deichmann swims 450 kilometers


EIt’s not that he didn’t know what he was getting into. Jonas Deichmann can look back on a long experience with extraordinary endurance performances. A very long experience: He holds the records for continental crossings by bicycle from Portugal to Siberia (14,000 kilometers in 64 days), from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego (23,000 kilometers in 97 days) and from the North Cape to South Africa (18,000 kilometers in 72 days). But even that only helped him to a limited extent. Because in the past few weeks, the 33-year-old adventurer has been out and about in a different way: According to his own account, he swam 450 kilometers along the Adriatic coast, from the Croatian seaside resort of Karlobag, and reached the last Sunday after 54 days, which he mainly spent in the water City of Dubrovnik. He announced that it was a record again – this time for the longest swim route without an escort boat.

Bernd Steinle

Bernd Steinle

Editor in the section “Germany and the World”.

In fact, as with his other long-term projects, Deichmann is on the move without outside help, on his own, “unsupported”, as it is called in the jargon of adventurers. In this case that meant: he pulled his luggage behind him in the water in a specially made raft. In the first week, the supply options along the coast were so sparse that the adequate calorie intake was in acute danger, so he decided to temporarily pull a second waterproof raft with him, in which he had stowed food. Due to lack of space, he did not bring a tent with him. To stay overnight he looked for sleeping places that were as dry as possible and protected from the wind. That worked sometimes well and often not so well. “For many nights I stayed on rocks and in the rain,” said Deichmann after he had reached Dubrovnik.

Always with a raft: Jonas Deichmann transports his luggage himself when swimming.


Always with a raft: Jonas Deichmann transports his luggage himself when swimming.
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Image: Markus Weinberg

He was out in the water for up to eight hours a day, besides the enormous distance, storms, high waves, currents and jellyfish made life difficult for him. Right at the beginning he had to pause for two days because he was barely able to make any progress due to strong south winds. “I’m glad I did that and saw the world from a different perspective,” said Deichmann. “It had its good moments, but I don’t want to do it again. I am and will remain a cyclist. “

That is a good thing, because extreme athletes change saddles in Dubrovnik. In part two of the triathlon he has set out to do, he is cycling around the world, with a total distance of over 40,000 kilometers. He wants to travel to Asia through the Balkans and Turkey, and then to China in the spring. The plan there is to cross the Pacific to San Francisco by sail, walk a good 5000 kilometers across the United States, take a sailboat across the Atlantic and finally cycle the few kilometers from Lisbon to Munich. He wants to be back in about a year.

The important thing is to always stay positive

The most important thing about these trips is: always stay positive. “95 percent of such extreme tours are a matter of the head,” said Deichmann in August when he was preparing for the big round with a triathlon around Germany. It has always been his dream to travel around the world without having to get on a plane. Now he is right in the middle of this dream. His next big challenge will be the Siberian winter.


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