Another Tall Ship

ch_zbokuThe success of the International School Afloat voyage resulted in the establishment of the School Afloat Foundation. This organisation managed to raise enough money in order to build “Fryderyk Chopin”; a two-masted, 55,5 metre long sailing vessel, with a sail area of 1200 square meters. This tall ship, the same as “Pogoria”, was designed by a very good friend of mine; Zygmunt Choren.

I commanded “Fryderyk Chopin” during her maiden voyage across the Atlantic, surprisingly the crew was Scottish. This was during the Columbus Race 1992, which was dedicated to the 500- years anniversary of the discovery of America.  We finished the first part of the race in 3rd place. After the second part of the regatta, during which Captain Ziemowit Baranski was in charge of the ship, “Fryderyk Chopin” was 5th in general classification.

17For the next couples of years she earned her living sailing there and back with the Schools Afloat on the Atlantic. However, the creditors were quite impatient and they repossessed the ship, and as a result the School Afloat ceases to exist. Not long after “Chopin” was bought by the European School of Law and Administration, for which I happened to work at the time.

In 2009 the School Afloat Foundation was reactivated and a year later a consecutive Class Afloat commanded by Ziemowit Baranski took it to sea. On the rough sea on route towards the Atlantic, a bowsprit which had most likely been damaged by one of the previous captains broke. This resulted in the collapse of two masts and the “Chopin” was towed to a shipyard in the UK. Financial and technical difficulties forced the ship-owner to sell the “Chopin” to the 3Oceans company. The Foundation still managed to strike a deal with the new owner and the willing teenagers- had the chance to finish their voyage which had been interrupted by the accident. When building “Chopin” I managed to include many improvements based on my experiences on “Pogoria” such as a bigger classroom, air-conditioning, a full range of square rigged sails, in other words, a higher standard generally.

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