I started my sailing education on the lakes in Northern Poland when I was about 5 year old . It was my dad's lifetime hobby and he always encouraged both myself, my brother and sister to it. When I was 14 my dad took me and my 10 year old brother for the first proper sailing adventure on Baltic Sea. Sailing night and day with severe sea sickness was so much harder than day time fun on the local lakes! I always loved a challenge though and making it through from Polish coast to Bornholm Island seemed a hell lot of a challenge at this time. It was only 60 or 70 nautical miles but feeling sick and cold, could not sleep or eat, we still had to keep the course and watch out for the big ships. At the crack of dawn day after we set off we saw the mistery Island on the horizon, was feeling a lot better and very a pleased we were about to drop the anchor soon.
10 years later i could say that throughout my sailing career I did over 30.000 nautical miles, most of it as a skipper on various races. Crossed Atlantic Ocean twice and was the youngest qualified yacht master in Poland at the age of 21.
This was one of my last sailing adventures before I started real life. I was offered a job on a brigantine that was a lot bigger than any other boat I ever dealt with - over 30 metre long and 120 tonnes with 26 people on board. This time my job was to take divers to various places around Malta, not much sailing but pretty challenging because of the size of a boat. When passengers first saw me they thought it was a joke that such a boy will now be in charge of their safety. They expected 50 year old with grey beard and I was still looking almost like a teenager even though I was 23!
Tall Ships 2000
In late 1999 I got once in a lifetime opportunity to be a skipper of one of 3 polish boats taking part in massive international race Tall Ships 2000. It took about 5 minutes to decide I need to take year off University and go for it. This happned to be one of the greatest adventures I could ever imagine. Was in charge of a beautiful boat with around 10 crew members on each leg of a journey. We started off in Cherbourg and sailed to Spain, Canary Islands, Bermuda Islands to reach United States east coast after couple of months. We then followed the coast to Canada, New Foundland and back to Europe on second translatlantic leg. All this took about 4.5 months and good few thousands miles spent on the Ocean. Sometimes I still can't believe it even happened but looking at those pictures inprints it in my memory.
Baltic Sea 1998
6 years after my first race I thought its time to prove myself without my dad watching or helping. I always thought I wanted and could do it myself and this is why I absolutely loved this 2 weeks. For the first time i was ultimate decision maker setting the course, controlling team work and making sure we were safely passing from one port to another around Baltic sea. I had nobody to ask what to do when I realized severe weather was about to hit us. All responsibility and accountability was mine and I loved every second of it.
First Time 1992
This was my first contact with sailing on the sea as described at the top of this page. Fantastic character building exercise that seperates boys from men although when you look at the picture you would not call me man yet.