The duo's route and current location (click to enlarge).
The hypothetical route Tomek reportedly drew sitting on a couch with a broken arm, drinking cheap whiskey. All images courtesy of the voyage website (click to enlarge).
Spoiled Anglo-Saxon Jack-Russell record dog Wacek.
Tomek and Wacek 'wrong-way' voyage update: "neglected yachts just stand there, like abandoned dreams"
Posted: Mar 14, 2008 02:59 am EDT
(TheOceans.net) In spite of an evil ghost and an explosive onboard distillery; Tomek and Wacek are still alive - after 373 days without meeting a soul on their great solo around the world voyage against the wind. Only six people have accomplished this before, with Wacek possibly the first ever dog.
The voyage took off March 6th 2007 and now, one year later, it's just about to end. Currently the sailor is fixing with the boat to make it ready for port (the engine is bust), diving under to clean the hull and drifting backwards in a still wind.
The last celebrations
Meanwhile, the sea treats the sailor to some last parades in celebration of his ending, lifelong dream voyage. There are glowing sunsets, flying fish the size of herrings and jumping dolphins; all ruined by record dog Wacek.
"Wacek half hang overboard, or would run on deck furiously, he took turns barking and crying excitedly, I would check sometimes if he didnt get it in his head to swim with the dolphins," Tomek reported.
Ideas like a a stretched condom
Currently, Tomek reads Van Daniken, "I have mixed feelings, some of his personal proposals are like a stretched condom, but I decided that it will stay on the shelf... Stupid books are unloaded overboard."
About the marina he is about to re-enter, where a bunch of neglected yachts will greet the proud Luka, Tomek ponders:
"People buy themselves the right to dream, but they dont have enough courage in order to sail. They dont sell the yacht, though, because that would mean getting rid off their dream. Such abandoned yachts just stand there, like neglected, lonely women, and the uncovered sails become yellow and green from must and after some years in the sun and rain they disintegrate in your hands."
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 (the ship dog) - and Beata at the keyboard back home.