Kazimierz Robak: Wow!

The parcel appeared in my mailbox yesterday. I had been waiting for it since the 19th February, which was the date on which Oleg had posted the package from his home town of Vladimir in Russia, and I knew perfectly well what was inside.

To make the wait more bearable, I had browsed through !OCEAN’s online version many times in order to familiarise myself with the magazine. Nevertheless, after removing the plastic covering from the real thing, I could only produce one sound: WOW!

Cover of the !OCEAN magazine (2019, #12-bis)
showing the lavish transom and sterncastle of the newly-built (2018) replica of the Poltava.


The paper version of !OCEAN impressed me with its quality: of printing, certainly, but most of all it was the quality of the text that kept me reading hour after hour. From the Southern Ocean to a voyage around Iceland; from the Poltava, the first liner launched at the Saint Petersburg shipyard in 1712 (yes, in the time of Peter the Great), to her resurrection in 2018 as a replica and to the photographic art of Anton Blinov with his unique pictures of modern day Russian Navy ships. And from Aivazovsky and Repin to underwater scenes from diving expeditions.

In these one hundred and forty pages of colors, knowledge and information, there is an article of the greatest importance – at least for Oleg and me: the first part of Oleg’s story „Krzysztof Baranowski: »Sea – the best of all teachers«” – “Кшиштоф Барановский: «Море – лучший учитель».”

In this, Oleg summarizes the life of one of the most famous and important Polish yachtsmen; someone who began by sailing single-handed round the world in 1972/73 – the ninth in the world to do so but the first Pole – and who went on to build two tall ships for his Class Afloat project in which teenagers learn to sail at the same time as studying their academic subjects.

Cpt. Baranowski set sail on his first Class Afloat in 1983, when he took Polish students from Poland to India and back on a voyage lasting 278 days. Soon the venture became international, with students coming from America, the Soviet Union, Russia, Romania, Estonia and Scotland.

I’m proud to have been able to help Oleg with information and photographs from my archive; it was not for nothing that I took part in Class Afloat from the very beginning, and not in vain that Oleg and I were mates during two Class Afloat voyages around Europe under the command of Captain Baranowski.

Thank you, Oleg – on my own behalf and, I presume, on behalf of all those who can call Captain Krzysztof “Our Captain.”  

Can’t wait for part #2.

Спасибо, Олег!

Kazimierz Robak
March 14, 2019

Main Page: !Ocean logo (#12-bis, 2019)



PS. Thank you, Valerie, for your polishing touch!

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