Go to the website for amazing pics from the voyage and Beata's photo shoot from the tatoo shop in California. (Click to enlarge)
Wacek, the superdog, has hit dry land at last (click to enlarge).
Happy ending to a dream that began more than 20 years ago and never got abandoned.
The voyage started March 6th 2007, and ended April 1, 2008. Image of Luka by DuckBreathAir.
Tomek and Wacek 'wrong-way' voyage: The End
Posted: Apr 24, 2008 03:40 am EDT
"The tattoo is the official ending of this story.
Thank you to everyone for being with me,
truly I was not sailing alone, all of you were my virtual crew.
Thank you for being with me."
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. On April 1 this year the Captain and his dog sailed to shore at 11:57 am (PST) - 19:57 GMT.
An evil ghost, an explosive onboard distillery, flying chickens (seaguls), a vacation rental neighbor in Florida, reviews of Polish audio books... He was humble, soulful, funny and made it look easy.
But Tomasz Lewandowski became the first Polish citizen and only the sixth sailor in the world who has successfully passed Cape Horn single handed against the wind... and survived. Before him: Sir Chay Blyth (1971), Mike Golding (1994), Philippe Monnet (1989), Jean Luc Van Den Heede (2004) and Dee Caffari (2006) the only woman in the group.
DAY 392 - THE LAST DAY
Here goes the last dispatch from the sailor, whose voyage we will miss badly:
"We sailed to shore. We were greeted by mermaids and two pretty girls with a basket of flowers. Sailors on kei caught the mooring-rope and I jumped the railing and rushed to Beata..."
"Ah, how beautifully she smells.."
"A day earlier we met S/V Aurora with captain Zygi, his wife, Iwona and young captain Kamil, there was also my uncle, Jan from Gostolin with a Cuban cigar and a bottle of good whisky. From Aurora we got super kielbasa and roasted chicken ... Mniamiii."
"The roller bearing lasted until the end, the manual navigation pump, which was broken since the beginning of cruise was fixed for a little while, when I got through to it with a half-a-kg heavy hammer."
"We managed to get through the narrow streets of the marina without adventures and we pushed smoothly to our slip, not wiping along the way any buffed to the max motor soap-holders, each worth $1.5 mln."
"The owners of these toys observed the passing by of the overgrown traveler with fear, they waved to us, but in one hand each of them held a big beater...hehehhe."
"Third day at kei, Luka looks like we just entered the port, the boom of genoa is still on mast, today I will clean up the deck and cover our tired sails with cases."
"Actually the end of our cruise will be a tattoo on my forearm, under the seal from Kodiak. Like a proper sailor I will carry the souvenir of this cruise."
"Beata probably will take a picture of this painful drawing. Amen."
(Editors note: Go to the voyage website for amazing pics from the voyage and Beata's photo shoot from the tatoo shop in California.)
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.