His entire life has been linked to nature and the sea. While in the military in Morocco, he read a book about the Kon-Tiki, the expedition that Thor Heyerdahl conducted on a raft on the Pacific. Reading this account led to his interest in duplicating the feat.
Ecuador to Australia, La Balsa
He made a second attempt in 1970 on a new raft, La Balsa. This expedition was successful, and ended at the Australian port of Mooloolaba. The trip lasted 161 days and covered 8565 miles. Many attributed its success to chance.