I've been sailing on an open RIB (Zodiac PRO 4700) in winter (Xmas 1999) from Gdansk throgh Wladyslawowo, Leba, Ustka to Kolobrzeg and back. When I put a boat on the water in Gdansk harbour, I had to break the ice! For firs few hundred metres I had to work with the ax to get to the clear water channel. The route of some 350 miles on Baltic sea, along Polish coast. I had an engine, 35 HP, Johnson as the main power, and 5 HP Evinrude as backup. I've been wearing on the first day a couple of layers of polar fleeces and goretex overall.On hands i had neopren diving glowes. Face I had covered with special mask made of neopren too. That was the same mask, what special forces are using at the sea operations. The mask is covering nose, cheeks and neck. It is very easy to wear - velcro on the back. In the mask had been small holes for the mouth, and bigger for nose. I didn't feel any cold with that equipment, and it was really cold! When I entered Ustka (after 8 hours of sailing) I had to chop out ice from the rubber tubes of the boat! The weather for last 3 hours of first day changed. Wind increased from force 5 to force 9, fortunately it was blowing from the shore, so the sea didn't build up. But whole next day (25th of dec.) I had to wait for better conditions. My friend left his family and came from Warsaw to Ustka (part of the route, from Gdynia by taxi!) becouse He learned from radio station about my adventure and decide to join me
On 26th we left Ustka and went to Kolobrzeg. In half way, Stefan (my friend) told me that he wants to go ashore, becouse sea is to bumpy!!!
There was some waves after B9 wind. When we entred Kolobrzeg, many people had been waiting for us! The route back was easier. All trip: 5 days long. Engine and boat-perfect! One more thing - Johnson was the kind used by military forces, with dewater system, without powertrim. Easier - the better!