Tomek and Wacek 'wrong-way' voyage update: "I opened a bottle of Whisky and my perception sharpened"

Posted: Oct 24, 2007 03:22 am EDT
( Tomek and Wacek have hit about 230 days in their around the world single-handed (Wacek has four legs but no hands) and without stopover voyage from East to West. They almost got us worried. No updates for a week; but then this message explained: "Wind and direction the same, nothing worth describing happened."

On Day 222 (October 14), there were no fish, and no mermaids, we learned. Day 221 though, was a big day: "It started with some adversity in the kitchen," Tomek reported. "We have multitudes of canned sausages on board, but they are not very good, they lack any taste, as if someone cooked them for a week and changed water every two hours."

"So I thought that I would make thin crepes, put two sausages in each, add a few strips of bacon, and a little stinging paprika, and then all that I would fry and have pancakes with sausages..."

"This is a custom in the USA"

Wait, there's more: "Unfortunately in spite of adding a ton of eggs in powder the pancakes were falling apart, so they ended up overboard, and the tasteless sausages with bacon and paprika in the pot are pretending to be stew."

"Disappointed and sweaty from standing in the hot kitchen, I sat down in the steering room and opened a beer. I thought about the cigar which I got once in Port San Luis from a colleague who just had a daughter, this is a custom in the USA that a father after the birth of a child presents his friends with cigars."

"I felt great pleasure, after a second drag along with a sip of beer"

"It was a giant caricature of a cigar; it was in the cupboard, still in its cellophane. Something made me crave it, maybe this defeat with pancakes, I went to get it. I sat down in the steering room; I cut it in half and lit it. With great trouble I quit smoking a good 5 years ago, and now, when for the first time since that time, I inhaled, I felt great pleasure, after a second drag along with a sip of beer, I was pleasantly lightheaded..."

"I felt like I met up with an old lover, and even though I knew that this connection is bad for me, and that we have no future, this one time I let her once again passionately hold me. I lit the second half of the cigar and opened another beer; we had a splendid time listening to a book about the first white colonists of Africa."

"Then I opened a bottle of Whisky and perception sharpened even more, now the heroes of the tale, seemed fearless and ideal, and the aborigines fighting for their right to live altogether black .. .. I threw out the remainder of the cigar overboard, drank up the glass of whisky, it got dark..."

Well, here the dispatch goes kind of blurry. Go to the expedition website for more.

March 6th 2007 at 12:28 (GMT-08:00), Tomek kicked off his trip around the world single-handed and without stops from East to West. The voyage goes 'the wrong way' - that is against the prevailing winds.

Where you normally would adjust the sails a couple of times a day at the most, going against the winds makes for a far more stressful and demanding journey. But hardship is the Polish' middle name and so Tomek has sailed against nature around infamous spots such as the Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope. Why? For no reason at all - but to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Polish Tomasz Lewandowski grew up trailing about the Jeziorak lake in Poland. His desire to sail the world alone is as old as he is. At 20, he fixed up Luka an old 7,5 m long sinuate yacht built from straw. It took one year to transform her - in his eyes at least - to the 'Princess of the Jeziorak'.

In the mid 80's, Tomek bought materials for Rudy, a 12 m long yacht he planned to build. Marriage (as usually happens in such circumstances, notes the website) put the vision of a sea-worthy yacht on hold, and Tomek found himself a responsible father building a new house instead.

After some years a hurricane" struck Tomek's life. The marriage and the home vanished, leaving Tomek with nothing left but an old dream.

He left for America in 1990 and worked in New Bedford (MA) fishing for scallops, and later on the Kodiak Island (Alaska), and the Bering Sea. Soon, he was the owner of a small construction company in Seattle (WA) and Mammoth Lakes (CA).

That's when he met Beata: The very first time I met Tomek, he said, one day Im going to sail the world alone and then Ill tell you all about it, she said.

For the next years, Tomek would drag Beata around marinas looking at yachts. "Close your eyes and imagine, thats my Luka standing there, he told her. "She was not there yet, but she already had a name," Beata says.

Late June in 2003, Beata came home to find that Tomek had left her for another woman. He was in Santa Barbara, CA, and it was love at first sight.

"A week later Tomek called...either he missed me or maybe he wanted to show off his new fiancé ...who knows?" Beata reports. Of course I went to CA right away, to see my new rival ;-)

Go to the expedition website for the rest of the story - about the first night onboard Luka, the Mikado 56' that finally seduced Tomek - and the long road before her maiden voyage around the world with Tomek, Wacek - and Beata at the keyboard back home.