Dar Młodzieży – Sea Tales

Hundreds of young people from all over the world have swayed on sailors, they will sail around the most dangerous regions of the globe, survived many storms, glorified the most prestigious celebrations and called to the farthest ports. The “Dar Młodziezy”, the most beautiful Polish sailing ship, is a must-see attraction in Gdynia!

Dar Młodzierzy, photo: Piotr Lewandowski, Maritime University of Gdynia

Dar Młodzierzy, photo: Piotr Lewandowski, Maritime University of Gdynia

From the history cards

In the seventies of the last century, the old “Dar Pomorza” was getting the end of its naval service. The hull was still strong, but the auxiliary engine needed to be replaced.

“Dar” built in 1909 according to the regulations and safety requirements of those times, no longer met the current conditions of safety and environmental protection, which did not exist at the time of its construction. The shipowner, the Gdynia Maritime School, had a difficult decision to make: to rebuild an old veteran or to build a new sailing ship. Analyses have shown that the cost of reconstruction of “Dar Pomorza” is not much different from the construction of a new sailing ship. All we had to do was find a source of funding.

The design of the frigate

In 1977, during the inauguration of the academic year at the Maritime Academy, Rector Daniel Duda proposed that the successor of the “Dar Pomorza” should be named “Dar Mlodziezy” and be built just like its predecessor from collected donations, but this time by Polish youth. Maritime Academy students joined the action. They were joined by young officers and crews of the Polish Ocean Lines, Polish Shipping, and later the entire merchant and fishing fleet. Very quickly the youth of many Polish cities and society joined the action. The money flowed from home and abroad.

The design and documentation of the sailing ship worth PLN 4.5 million was carried out by the Lenin Shipyard Construction Office in Gdansk. The campaign was popularized by the press, radio and television.

On 30 June 1981, at the hull assembly department of the Gdansk shipyard, the traditional laying of the keel under the new sailing ship took place, and on 12 November of the same year the lateral launching of the “Dar Mlodziezy” took place.

Dar Młodzieży, launching

Dar Młodzieży, launching

Cruises

The solemn raising of the flag took place on 4 July 1982, and the godmother of the sailing ship was Helena Jurkiewicz, wife of the highly deserving commander of the “Dar Pomorza” Kazimierz Jurkiewicz.

On her first voyage on 22 July 1983 she sailed for a rally of training sailors to Japan. Under the command of Captain Tadeusz Olechnowicz. “Dar mlodziezy” took on board 119 students of the Maritime Academy in Gdynia, who spent a full semester at sea. Variable wind conditions made it very difficult for the ship to manoeuvre. On the last section, however, all sails were set and the frigate entered the port of Osaka majestically, greeted by crowds gathered on the quay. During the 12 days of stay, more than 200,000 guests crossed the deck. The voyage lasted 217 days, the ship travelled 28 065 nautical miles and visited 13 ports.

Another great cruise was the participation in Operation Sail ’84, together with students of the Szczecin Maritime Academy. The official launch took place on 18 April from Brest. On the second stage (along the coast of North America to the port of Halifax) “Dar Mlodziezy” won against such competitors as the American “Eagle” and the Bolivian “Simon Bolivar”.

Important dates

In July 1986, “Dar Mlodziezy” under the command of Captain Leszek Wiktorowicz left Gdynia for the next regatta: Operation Sail ’86 to Newcastle. During 4 days of stay in the harbor, many visitors crossed the deck of the “Dar Mlodziezy” and the ship was recognized as the most beautiful sailing ship of Operation Sail ’86.

In 1987. “Dar mlodziezy” made its longest voyage to Australia, sailing 32,352 nautical miles in 274 days and making the longest uninterrupted voyage under sail, amounting to 1,241 nautical miles, for which it received the so-called award. “Boston Tea Pot”.

In the first half of 1997, “Dar Mlodziezy” undertook another great expedition. The purpose of the trip was to participate in the Osaka Sail ’97 regatta and the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the port of Osaka. In the regattas he beat many famous sailing ships and took 1st place in class A.

In 2010, on the occasion of the celebration of the Chopin Year, the sailing ship turned into a floating concert hall – taking on board a group of 100

musicians from the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, she visited five European ports.

By the end of 2006, the ship had made 125 training voyages, visited 357 ports in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas and sailed more than 388,000 nautical miles. To this day, students of maritime universities from all over the world (over 12 thousand future sailors in total) travel the seas and oceans aboard the ship, acquiring the necessary skills, thanks to which the “Dar Mlodziezy” leaves a lasting mark on the pages of the history of world sailing.

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