It’s the Corpus Christi long weekend in Poland, so we’ve decided to charter a sailboat at the seaside and put our skills to the test. Turns out there’s a lot still to learn, and having no experienced sailors on board makes a huge difference…
May 31 2018
What a day! We collected Argonaut, our 10-metre Janmor at Błotniki marina on the River Vistula, 15 miles from the Bay of Gdańsk. First problem, this is an older boat than Jambo, and rigged differently – we’ve never seen this kind of mainsail sheet before. Nevertheless, we make it to the sea past Górki Zachodnie… and quickly turn back to make a plan about what we’re going to do with all this bouncing around on small but very short-interval waves. Breath and bravery collected, we head back out and set sail for Gdańsk proper. It’s dark by the time we enter the port, and, as there’s no other traffic around, veer off into the left of the channel to take a closer look at the illuminated Westerplatte monument. This is something that the harbour patrol takes a dim view of, and we’re given a stern talking to before being told to get on our way and into the marina in central Gdańsk without any further misdemeanours. Thankfully the bridge operator at the marina didn’t seem to be in direct communication with the harbour patrol, so couldn’t pass on the message when we misunderstood his instructions and passed below his bridge before he’d turned the signal on.
Super thankful to be safely tied up in Gdańsk marina, with only the tiniest dent in the bow where we’d forgotten about a) a fender and b) reverse gear. Day one, and that’s already eaten in to the deposit.
June 1 2018
A much more relaxed day, as we’re more used to Argonaut. We made the passage in daylight back across the bay to Górki Zachodnie, where we moored for the night in peace at the calm and quiet mouth of the river.
June 2 2018
We wake up to find we have been invaded by seven-year-olds learning to sail. It’s a terrifying experience manoeuvring Argonaut out of her berth and into the river channel without sinking one of their sailing dinghies. We’re more afraid of them than they are of us, but we get underway without incident. Then, it’s a calm day’s passage in extremely light winds, under headsail and engine back to the marina at Błotniki.
See Aleksandra’s films about this adventure here: