Today I spent a day with the crew of the Polish yacht Kapitan Borchardt so named after Karol Olgierd Borchardt a Polish heroic sea captain, author and lecturer in seamanship.
The crew told me that they had an eventful, nerve cracking crossing from Dublin the other night; torrential rain, high winds, rolls, driving needle-like penetrating rain, 2am call out…….Well, they certainly survived the journey with masterful skill and training put to the test along with tales to tell the kin.
“The Borchardt is the oldest Polish sailing ship today, combining tradition with modernity” said Witold Slawko my guide and mentor for the day.
Witold is Polish like all the crew young and old and absolutely all fascinated by Liverpool and the events taking place all around them.
Coming from the city of Wroclaw, very soon to have city of culture status, Witold was eager to learn about the massive events Liverpool has experienced over the years and I was very happy to share my knowledge with him and point out some landmarks in the city from the ships decks.
His tour gave me a potted history of the schooner which was built in the Netherlands in 1918 as an oceanic merchant ship. After having several names and a varied history at sea mainly around the Baltic, she was rebuilt in 1989 and still remains a beautiful yacht.
In 2011 she was passed to the Polish sailors yachting school Sklodowsey to be used as a tool of training for young sailors, cultivating good maritime traditions. She then cruised under the Polish flag.
Witold showed me around the three masted schooner with 2 cabins for two, 7 cabins for three and 4 cabins for four crew with every cabin equipped with air-conditioning and separate bathroom (shower and toilet)
This is a true training ship and I was impressed. It’s a learning tool at sea in which the trainees all 38 at max certainly get “hands on” navigation, with chart interpretation, steering experience, raising sails, line servicing, navigation of depths (traditional and electronic).
This sailing ship has the technology to train, all under the wings of a well-trained crew with the experience of Skipper Krzysztof Mazurkiewicz.
Skipper Mazurkiewicz tells me he can offer to Merseysiders both experienced and those who want their first taste of maritime adventure, a holiday under sail, team-building events for companies, yacht charter, conferences and training aboard, cruises along the Gdansk Bay as well as traditional seafaring.
Maybe the next Culture meeting can take place under ‘casual events’ aboard Kapitan Borchardt while staying in port.
Big thanks to the Skipper, Witold and all the crew for allowing me on board and being hospitable….Do zobaczenia!