Świnoujście, Poland 19.7. – 22.7.
The trip from Kołobrzeg to Świnoujście is 50 nautical miles. Weather forecast predicted force 3 to 4 from south-west which means an offshore wind. Also the swell from the blow on previous day was getting smaller. The wind force was as predicted but its direction was from west. This meant no sailing, instead we were going to be pushing against wind and waves.
After the wind speed increased to 11 m/s and waves became steeper with the height of up to two meters and then the automatic flushing of Suwena's foredeck began. The bow dived from one wave to another and some of the water sprayed until the cockpit. The foredeck was full of water most of the time. We were again glad to have an inside helmstation to keep us dry and comfortable. We were also happy that all our cupboards are with doors and our stuff stayed inside cabinets instead of flying around the boat.
At the same time with Suwena also a German yacht left Kołobrzeg towards Świnoujście. We were most of the time at about one mile distance from each other. The German yacht was a little smaller than Suwena and it looked like they dived into each and every wave. For the final part of journey waves became even more steep and they had to tack even they were motoring. S/Y Alva also had an AIS transmitter and we followed their progress next to Suwena. At one time we got worried because their boat disappeared from the AIS and Andrus could not see them immediately with binoculars. After a moment the familiar triangle popped back to the display of a chartplotter.
After a day of bouncing it was good to tie her up in the guest harbour of Świnoujście. In the harbour we noticed that we did not escape the day's waves without damages to Suwena. The first was our own mistake of leaving the forecabin hatch ventilator slightly open and it leaked some water to the forecabin mattresses. I guess we also have to experience the wet mattresses but fortunately the amount of water was small.
The biggest problem was a loose rubber fender of Suwena's hull on a starboard side. The rubber fender was hanging at a length of about one metre and looked quite stretched. This damage needed fixing before we could continue forward.
There was also some water ingress at the mast foot where wires pass-through dorade box into the ceiling. For drying up Andrus opened the internal hatch on the ceiling that is used to access the wire connectors. We also noted to ourselves that we should add some additional sealing to this dorade box. In Świnoujście Andrus also noted that "Now we've become a real sailors because we start fixing the boat after arriving in the harbour".
The pontoons in Świnoujście marina were just renewed and there was space for hundreds of boats. The great thing was also that new mooring fingers were made in different lengths. For once we found a finger for Suwena where its length did not end at the mid boat. Also the Polish berth design was excellent because the fingers had integrated rubber fender around its full perimeter. The rubber was white and did not leave any marks on the yachts. Thanks to whoever designed these pontoons.
In Świnoujście we did not use so much time to explore the city. Instead we used a few beautiful days for boat maintenance and washing laundry. After the hard day's work we just enjoyed being on a boat.
On Saturday evening a local yacht club arranged a barbecue party for a regatta participants. Two different bands played live music and the stakes were hot in a grill. We enjoyed the first shashlik of this summer and recalled memories from our sailing to Baltic states during the previous year. Shashlik seems to be the big barbecue hit in all Eastern European countries we've visited.
We also spent a few nice evenings together with the fellow sailors from a very wet sea voyage on Thursday. We had a plenty to talk and exchanged many boating experiences both ways. Greetings to Manfred and Gigi.
Suwena was serviced again into sea readiness. The rubber fender was put in place and sea water was dried. Now she was ready for a new country as we left on Sunday towards Germany and the island of Rügen.