Thanks to the GPS, we ended up in the middle of a beautiful nowhere this morning, while trying to find Szogun – a lakeside watersports facility – in Trzebawie. The desolate lane led us to a dead end, where dogs barked at us and the locals were reluctant to interact with anybody unfamiliar. When travelling, these are my favourite moments: the moments that allow a glimpse into authentic life, no matter how simplistic, through chance, blunder or mishap.
Altering our path, we arrived at Szogun for a morning on the lake. The sun sat high in the sky, warming us as we surveyed the beautiful lake, but no wind blew, which was unfavourable, so we first decided on a cup of coffee. Marcin and I were somewhat confused when our guide suggested we enjoy our coffee in the middle of the lake – surely this would unbalance the coffee/water ratio? His proposal was clarified, however, when the decking underfoot shuddered into motion. The large platform, on which sat two benches, slowly left its position by the lakeside and bobbed towards the centre of the expanse of water, powered by a small electric motor.
Although the guide described the lake as crowded, we were one of three boats in sight. The lake, which was surrounded on all sides by thick forest, sat perfectly still.
Draining the contents of our mugs, we developed a thirst to sail properly. We’d arrived at Szogun expecting a relaxed morning of sailing a catamaran. It turns out that catamarans are anything but relaxing – hanging over the edge of a speeding boat, which is powered by the furious whim of mother nature, cannot be described as relaxing.
With the wind picking up, Marcin and I took it in turns to experience the awesome potential of a unique style of vessel. Catamarans are capable of developing great speed, due to their design: there is a very small amount of drag, as less of the hull is in the water. With a dual hull, it is able to glide through the water easily, often on just one of the hulls, while maintaining stability. This is the point at which it is possible to lean over the edge. Each of us experienced this bizarre sensation. At times, your backside skims the water, but the rush of the wind is incredible and the intense speed leaves you craving more.
We sailed from one side of the lake to the other, adopting position 1, 2 or 3, as dictated by our instructor. Soon, though, the winds really picked up, and the catamaran reached rapid speeds.
Being an inexperienced sailor, I was relying on the calmness of the instructor to assure me through my anxieties. Standing on the side of a speeding boat, one hull raised into the air, the sail at 45 degrees to the water, the instructor drops the rather disconcerting bomb that he is afraid.
”oh,” I said, slowly re-positioning myself to lessen the possibility of hitting the water. ”Shall we head back in?”
Once safely ashore, we dined on tasty beetroot soup, prepared by our guides wife, before hitting the road for the seaside town of Mrzeżyno. Marcin and I shared the same excitable reaction to the catamaran experience – we’d had a fantastic time on the lake.
We arrived at our hotel – SUS Mrzeżyno – just before twilight: that wonderful time of day when everything is painted a rich shade of gold, by the setting sun.
After arriving at our accommodation for the night – the SUS Mrzeżyno – I used the little spare time we had to explore the area as it appeared under the astonishing shade of the sky. Following a path that wound its way through a small stretch of forest, I reached a white, sandy beach, that stretched into the distance to my left and to my right. It was the perfect way to reflect on a slow-paced, but fun-filled day.
From the lakes to the sea, we were thoroughly enjoying our week of exploring the waters of West Pomerania. Tomorrow, however, we try something completely out of the ordinary!
Marcin’s video from today: