On 7 August 2017, we met in Władysławowo, on the first group training on the high seas. It was the day after the Ironman 70.3 competition in Gdynia, where some people from our group (relay crossing of the Baltic Sea) took part.
In order to select the conditions that we will have to face in our challenge, we have organized training on the high seas. A few terms were involved. We decided together that the optimal date falls the day after the competition in Gdynia. We chose Władysławowo as a place of departure – in order to be able to swim in the open sea. Then we had to rent a watercraft whose crew would agree to have swimmers overboard…
Our group reached Władysławowo in various ways. After smaller or larger adventures at 11.00 we checked in on the ship. Thirteen players joined the training. There was also a trainer on board – Rafał Pierścieniak and project coordinator – Agata Maszewska. Impatient, we crashed from foot to foot to find ourselves in the water. We could not wait any longer and just after leaving the port the first group was in the water.
We wanted every swimmer to enter the water as many times as possible, which is why we divided into three groups that changed every 20 minutes. We divided the groups in terms of swimming pace. Our task was to swim as close as possible to each other, forming one group. At the same time, another group dealt with the belaying of the swimming group. There was also a smaller boat next to the swimmers.
We were swimming in different directions, with a wave and under the wave – differences in speed and distance covered during one shift were very large. Despite the sunny and warm day in the open sea, it was necessary to warm up constantly. We have to take this into account in the next trainings. We must also remember that the air temperature may be lower than during the first training. The main check was the body's reaction to waving. We spent about 6 hours at sea, and the vast majority of the group successfully passed this exam. The next challenge we face is eating at sea. The crew prepared pasta with tomato sauce. Everyone ate with an appetite.
We plan to organize a swimming training on the lake after dark in August – this is another test that will allow competitors to prepare for the passage of the Baltic Sea. During the final attempts to cross the Baltic, swimmers will swim during the day and at night.