Karlskorona to gdynia
Hi, it’s been a while since my last post here on ribnet but I’ve just had a wonderful trip across the Baltic sea on a Parker 1000 Baltic with twin 300 verados and thought I’d share some pics from the trip with all you rib enthusiasts.
The aim of the trip was to bring the two Partner cities of Gdynia and Karlskrona closer together and to prove that with careful planning even the “craziest “ of trips can be carried out safely.
When I say crazy trips ;-) I don’t mean crossing the Baltic on a RIB , we were just the Support crew!!!
The Baltic Sea was conquered by MAX WOJCIK 3 times world champion windsurfer in the race board category on his surf board.
We departed on The Stena line ferry on Monday at 19.00 hours and arrived in Karlskorona at 07:30 hours, we had a 5 day window to catch the right weather and where in constant contact with our meteorologist waiting for the green light. The Distance in a straight line between the two cities is 170 Nm but with the wrong winds we could find ourselves having to cover even triple that distance.
That is why we took 1400 litres of Petrol with US ;-)
Day one was a training day and time for the press in Karlskrona to get acquainted with us.
The rest of the week we spent practicing various situations on the water, M.O.B. , EQUIPMENT RECOVERY, REFUELING AT SEA, ETC…. constantly waiting for our weather window to appear, things were looking very grim because the first 3 days we had almost no wind and if any, it was blowing directly from Gdynia to Karlskorona ;-( our deadline for departure was Saturday!! MAX had to be in France on Monday as he is the trainer of the Australian Female surfing team (LUCKY GUY ;-) ).
Finally on Thursday evening we were alerted to be on standby because it seems that we may have a green light on Friday, however not until late afternoon. This meant a night crossing. The original Plan was to leave at 3am once it was already bright.
Finally we got a call from our meteorologist, we have a window!!!! But the news is not that good according to his forecast we should have good winds in the middle of the Baltic from 22;00 so we should leave at 17:00 to be far enough from the Swedish coast to catch them. The problem was that by the time we get within 25NM miles from Hel ( a Polish peninsula still 12 NM away from Gdynia)the wind was supposed to totally drop dead. From Saturday there was no possibilities for wind, this was our last chance.
We discussed with Max and decided to go for it…. Worst case scenario we would take him onboard our Parker 1000 Baltic and travel the last 30 NM BY RIB. (after having spent a week with MAX, we knew this was not an option!!) The guy is like the Terminator and Robocop combined, we’re still not sure if he is human?
The trip went exactly as predicted by the meteorologist… we departed Karlskrona at 17.00 and reported our departure to the local authorities and SAR, we also contacted the Polish SAR and informed them of our depature. Our initial speed was between 4-12 knots.
At 22:00 the wind kicked in and we had a pace of 15 to even 25knots, the strongest wind we had in total darkness …. However we could easily track Max with our SIMRAD 4G broadband Radar ;-)
Also from Friday to Saturday it was the shortest night in the year so it was only really totally dark for about 2-3 hours ;-)
We got to about 14 Nm of Hel and as if with the touch of a button the wind died! After 17 hours on his board it looked as if Max had to Pump his sail and cover the last 27Nm approx with no wind !!!
We were only traveling at a Pace of 1,5 knots ;-( 2 hours later 3 miles closer we thought we would check with MAX if all is OK. He had breakfast and was still in touch with reality.
Then suddenly we felt a breeze which quickly started picking up and within 30 mins developed into a force 3 wind??? Wow sometimes you need A BIT of luck…..
Using this luck … and his alien/ superpowers….. MAX SURFED towards Gdynia where Tv crews, other Ribs and boats and over 500 people were waiting for him on the Beach.
He got there after covering a total distance of 230 NM and 21 and a half hours on his Board.
We used 503 litres of Fuel on the crossing with an average speed of 11 knots, that gives us an average of 2,18 litres of fuel /NM not bad for TWIN 300 MERCURY verado’s pushing a 4,9 tonne RIB ( That’s with all equipment and fuel and people onboard.)
Below are some photos: