The big boat 2010

Next year we wanted to try out a bigger boat. Just a little bigger. So I made a reservation for a Maxus 24 in Wegorzewo, in the north of the Masurian Lakes district. After arriving, we heard, “we are sorry, all Maxus 24 are out, you will get a 28 for the same price”. I got a slight panic attack: we had “experience” with smaller boats only. This one was 2 meters longer than anything we had been used to.

The boat appeared huge to us, and it was brand new. We packed our stuff onto it, including my newest navigation equipment: a laminated sailing chart of the Lakes. But on the first day, we didn’t make any plans, we just wanted to get to know the new boat and have some fun. Suddenly, the sky gets darker – a storm coming! Shall we return to the harbor? But the southern sky is clear, so we sail there. But the dark clouds follow us. Perhaps we can get out of their way by sailing to the east? The storm cloud is nearly upon us! At once, it gets quiet on the water – all yachts have gone somewhere, and the wind dies…

We strike the sails and put the engine on. We try to reach the harbor Piekny Brzeg, but I already know we won’t make it there. Suddenly, the wind hits us, and a shower follows. The world turns gray and gets reduced to the few meters around us. Close to us, on starboard, there is an island. Here we seek refuge in the reed! The crew prepares the anchor, we pull the centerboard, the steering fin and the engine up, and than we stand, protected from the wind and waves.

Half an hour later, the storm has appeased. We look for a harbor for the night – we got enough of the wild nature today. And we have quite many things that must get dry.

But the next evening we arrive at a wild beach for the night. Docking backside to the beach goes the following way:

  • drop the anchor from the bow

  • motor aback, get speed

  • pull centerboard up

  • pull steering fin up

  • turn the engine off and pull it up

There is little possibility to correct the maneuver once it is started. But done correctly, it provides the possibility to step directly ashore.

On that day, we sat again at the fire on the beach with guitar and song. This is the sailor’s life.

Next day, we arrived at Sztynort, as two years earlier, and listened to the concert of shanties. Then back again to Wegorzewo, to give back the boat, with a certain sorrow. See you next year, Masurian Lakes!

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The story continues un In the heart of Masuria, 2011