The project „Girls on board” - end of which took place on July 4th in Dziwnow, Poland – was the cruise of two young Polish girls, Katarzyna Sałaban and Dobrochna Nowak, from Poland to Iceland. They sailed onboard brand new Maxus 22 designed for a single handed round the world cruise of another young Polish sailor, Szymon Kuczyński. The boat is only 6,36m long but she is fully seaworthy and her equipment is sufficient for offshore and ocean sailing.
Girls started their adventure on May 17th in Dziwnow, which is a home port of „Atlantic Puffin”. For almost two months they have sailed over 3400 Nm, visited 6 countries and tested the yacht in almost every possible way.The first port of call was Goteborg, Sweden where the crew was hosted by Swedish dealer of Maxus. From there Kasia and Brożka sailed to Kristiansand, Norway. It was the last stop in continental Europe and the first port in which „Atlantic Puffin” met another yacht belonging to Dobrochna and Szymon, „Lilla My”. Short time in harbour passed quickly and both yachts set the sails again. After 4 days of travel across the North Sea, Maxus reached Lerwick, the biggest town of Shetland Islands. Unfortunately just before arrival the autopilot broke down and starting from then, girls had to steer by themselves 12h a day. Meanwhile „Lilla My” with Szymon stuck in windless weather east of Orkeney Islands. Here the route of two yachts split.
From Lerwick, „Atlantic Puffin” sailed to Torshavn, the capital of Faroe Islands. It was a dream of both girls to see the archipelago, which is known for its beauty and hospitality of its inhabitans. They werent disapointed. After a few days of rest and sightseeing, the girls sailed towards the most important destination of the cruise – Iceland. They expected this leg to be the toughest and again they werent suprised. They sailed against the wind of over 55 knots and in dense fog. Both the crew and the yacht handled it well although nobody can say it was a holiday sailing. All the storm clothes were wet, as the rest of clothing and the yacht herself. In coldness (temperature reached about 7 C) both girls were looking forward to step on shore. At their dream destination, Iceland, they arrived on June 12th. They stopped in Djupivogur, a small fishing town on south-eastern shore of island. Because both girls had to be back in Poland soon, they spent on Iceland only 4 days. Luckilly, with help of many Poles living in Djupivogur, they have seen some of the biggest touristic attractions of the country.
On the way back home girs stopped again on Faroe Islands, in Midvagur. Again they met Szymon, on „Lilla My”. The stopover was very short and soon the two yachts left the harbour. „Atlantic Puffin” sailed to Stavanger, where Kasia was changed by Brozkas friend, Zofia Bocheńska. From there the girls sailed back to Dziwnow with only stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they met Dannish dealer of Maxus.
During all the voyage the girls tested the boat and noted every remark about her equipment, rig and everything else useful for Szymon in his future voyage. The crew could also test themselves in this not easy voyage. It was the first Polish cruise on such a small boat to Iceland. It was also the first time when the women crew from Poland sailed from their country to the land of ice and back. You can be sure though it was not the last courageous project of this team.