Sailing Camp in Poland

Silas experience


Finally, after two camp free summers due to covid, I was able to participate again. This time I’ve chosen a sailing camp in Poland. I’ve never been sailing before and was looking forward to finally have the chance to learn something about it.

My whole adventure began when I chose to travel there by train. I’ve never travelled intercontinental by train before, and I was keen to try it for once. Little did I know what lied ahead when I started my journey. My first travel day was quite calm. Although I missed my train in Berlin, I arrived well at Gdansk in the late evening. Visiting some Dear friends, I spent the next few days exploring the beautiful city and we enjoyed our time together! But soon I had to move on to Giyzcko. Instead of travelling to Warszawa where we would be picked up by a bus, I decided to travel directly to Giyzcko. But only thirty minutes after my train left Gdansk, it completely broke down. We waited squeezed together for about fifty minutes until we could leave the train. Soon after, a local train brought us to the next station. There we needed to wait for another 90 minutes before they managed to get a replacement train. So, I finally arrived at Olsyzen with a delay of 150 minutes. Where I of course missed my connecting train. So, I had to wait another two hours for the next connection. I finally arrived at the hotel Europa at about 23:40 instead of 18:40. Despite most of the participants were already asleep, there were two guys waiting for me.

The next morning the camp officially started. We first had a tour through the City of Giyzcko. Later we divided in to 3 groups and prepared our boats. We loaded all our private bags as well as the food for the whole week onto the yachts and decided about the sleeping places. After a nice evening at the campfire where we get to know each other, we went to sleep the first night at the yachts.

In the next morning, shortly after breakfast we prepared to leave the port. Our crew was almost ready to go when suddenly a member of another crew came on board. He told us that his boat already left without him. So, we took him in at our boat for the day. After learning some basics, we were ready to set sail to Stynoz. Due to headwind we needed to cross up against the wind following a zig zag course. In the afternoon we anchored in a calm bay and cooked some lunch (rice with vegetables and sausage).

Also were we able to go for our first swim. Later on, we sailed to the harbour Stynoz. Beautiful hidden behind a little canal. Once there we went to visit a manor who was in mid of renovation work. After the tour we had a brief discussion round led by the German Polish cooperation. In the evening we cooked dinner on our yachts and went to a shanties concert in the port.

The next morning, we got up around 9am and had breakfast. After a shower in the port, we left heading towards the Mamry lake. To get there we needed to underpass a bridge at the short connecting canal. In order to fit underneath the bridge, we lowered the mast. That was quite an experience! After passaging the bridge, we sailed to Mamerki where we visited some the WWII headquarter bunkers. At the end of the bunker tour, we had the opportunity to climb an observation tower an enjoyed the view over the Mazurian forests and lakes. After tasting some delicious fish soup at a local imbis we made our way to the Węgorzewo port, where we would stay the night. We found the port again beautifully located at the end of a canal. Once the boats were tied, we followed our invitation for dinner. We had a very traditional polish meal (starting with a soup, dumplings (called pirogy), fish, meat, fries, vegetables and salads). Stuffed but happy we returned to our boats. The rest of the evening we had time off. Some of us went to party while others were going asleep early.


Soon it was morning again and despite the late breakfast most of us were still quite tired. Nevertheless, we went for a brief walk to a nearby outdoor museum. There we first had a little workshop where we could paint on textile bags. And afterwards a quick tour through the museum because we needed to buy groceries for the rest of the week before we left again. Once back on the lake we started our first and apparently last regatta. The wind was quite calm, and it was a rather slow race. We even joked it was the most boring regatta our sipper ever had. Anyway, one group diverted to the mid of the lake where they benefited from a slightly stronger wind. So, they won. After the race we wanted to make for our port that night. But apparently nobody reserved, as it was done the nights before, and the port was already fully occupied. So, we needed to divert to another port nearby. Once there we were thrilled to find out they had a spa with sauna. The price was quite fair and so most of us spent the early evening in there until it closed at 9pm. Well relaxed from our sauna trip, we joined the others at the campfire and let the evening fade away.

The next morning, we did a breakfast contest. Every team prepared different type of food/breakfast from their home country. I myself prepared some Swiss „Rösti“ with bacon. We also had crêpe, pancakes, bruschetta etc. Again, we set sail. Since we hadn’t that much distance to go, we enjoyed some time swimming. We tied the boats together. This also got us the opportunity to mix up the teams a little. In the afternoon we arrived at a little port next to Przystan. After taking a brief shower (there was only chilly water…), we were again invited for dinner. This time we had so delicious potato soup and afterwards fish and fries. Later in the evening we had a bonfire. Perfectly located at a little enhancement we had a beautiful view over the port and the lake. As the evening passed, we cooked some sausages and potatoes in/at the fire and enjoyed the time singing and chatting, especially as some „locals“ who were there on vacation joined us.

The next day, we went to visit a sluice out of the 3rd Reich era. But due to lack of material it was never finished. It was once the idea to connect the mazurian lakes with the Baltic Sea through a 100km long canal including 100m of height difference. After the tour of the sluice some of us decided to go for a walk along the overgrown canal back to Mamerky, where we visited the bunkers some days ago. There we were picked up by the others on our boats. Now we had to head back to Giyzcko. But not all the way at once, we still had one more stop to go. An incredibly special place, perfect for our last night out of Giyzcko. One group already visited it at the first day of the trip. And luckily, we could change our plans spontaneously. It was a swimming sauna. Yeah, really! A raft fitted with a huge sauna tied up some few meters from the shoreline in a beautiful calm bay. We parked our boats in the middle of the bay, all three tied together. The sauna staff kindly gave us a lift on their little motorboats. So, we spent most of our evening in uncountable turns of sauna cooling off in between by simply jumping into the lake. Just stopped briefly to eat some handmade wood stove pizza.

Soon the next morning began, and we set sail one last time to Giyzcko. In the afternoon we arrived back at the hotel Europa where we started our journey five days ago. After some cleaning up at the boats, it was time for the official farewell ceremony and dinner. And what would be a better location for this occasion than on a boat?! But this time on a motorboat. Big enough for all the participants, skippers and all the organizers from rotary and German-Polish Foundation. On the boat we received our participant certificates, got honored for our regatta results and of course had a delicious dinner. We did a tour around the lake, even drove by the swimming sauna one last time, and watched a beautiful sunset over the lakeside. After the official boat tour ended, back at the hotel port, we had of course our own last party. Enjoying our company one last time, some of us were still up when the others got up to eat an early breakfast before our bus left for Warszawa.

We separated step by step. The first few stayed at Giyzcko while most of us got on the transfer bus to Warszawa. There even less joined me on the train to Berlin where then I said goodbye to the last few. Sad because the time together was up way too quick, and we need to go home but filled with a lot of beautiful memories and some new friends we travelled home.