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By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea

A FIVE DAY CRUISE AROUND THE BALTIC SEA AT 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SOLIDARITY

By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea
By a RHIB around the Baltic Sea

A FIVE DAY CRUISE AROUND THE BALTIC SEA AT 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SOLIDARITY

Nobody has ever attempted such a thing before. I thought that such a voyage could be a good practice and test before some bigger expeditions: sailing around Spitsbergen or crossing the Atlantic. However, I didn’t want this to be only an attempt to break another record. I managed to attract the representatives of NSZZ Solidarity with my project. The 25th anniversary of founding the Union and signing the August agreements was just approaching. A cruise around the Baltic Sea could be an interesting way to celebrate the anniversary and promoting the idea of the Union outside Poland. I wanted to invite the citizens of the Baltic Sea countries to Gdansk festivities – I was to hand in the letters signed by Lech Walesa, the President, and Pawel Adamowicz, the President of the City of Gdansk to the representatives of Polish embassies and the city authorities while mooring at port on my expedition route. We were also to carry out research regarding, but not limited to, using the automatic identification system of marine vessels (AIS).

My mates onboard were: Miroslaw Kukulka, a rescue specialist and Wojciech Ostrowski, a photographer and film operator with whom I have already accomplished several expeditions before.

The plan assumed covering the distance of 2 thousand km within 5 days. The ports we were to call at were: Karlskrona, Visby, Tallinn, Riga and Klaipeda. Our rib boat – Parker RIB 750 Baltic – fitted the three of us and some equipment and luggage which was packed into plastic and waterproof containers.

We set off on 8th August. According to the plan we passed by Bornholm next day and called at Karlskrona. Since that moment, as it used to be often at my previous expeditions, the race with time and struggling with unfavourable weather conditions have started. We had to stay at the port for the night – the waves were too high to sail. On the third day we managed to get to Gotland but 8-9 B wind, however, stopped us from reaching to Tallinn. The storm which was raging on the Baltic Sea was growing bigger and bigger, the waves reached seven meters height. We received information about a rescue action near Kaliningrad – a Polish yacht “Rzeszowiak” lost its mast and was drifting dangerously, one of the crewmembers fell out and was lost.

We took the decision to change the course and headed directly towards Riga, hoping that in this way we can omit the worst storm. We wanted to sail to the Lithuanian Klaipeda but the storm didn’t let go – what we managed to do was to call at a port situated 50 km away from the town where we handed the invitation to the Consul. On 13th August with a couple of hour delay we were back in Sopot again. The cruise around the Baltic Sea took us 6 days during which we used altogether 2 tons of fuel and we sailed over 2 thousand kilometres.

[1] rigid hulled inflatable boat – translator’s note