Ice sailing in Mikolajki
20th- 21st March 2005
BOJERY = ICE SAILING,
Otherwise could be called ice sailing, namely a kind of sailing boat
equipped with three blades to slide over the frozen lakes pushed by the wind.
WHERE and WHEN
Mazuria is the main (or better the only one) region in Poland (Northeast,
at the border with Kaliningrad) where from middle December till late March is possible to
ice-sail and even to rent the equipment. Mazuria is one of the wildest regions of Poland.
It can be seen a kind of small Finland, given being spotted by hundreds of lakes skirted
just by fir trees. In particular the lake Sniardwy, the biggest polish lake, is where the
ice-sailors gather and even the polish champion ship takes place. I spent there two days
at the end of March (winter 2005 it has been longer than usual) and I can promise you,
apart of ice sailing, the wild snowed and frozen landscape around this 25 km long layer of
ice, was amazing.
Most of the sites (all) about ice sailing in Poland are unfortunately in
polish, and the person answering at the numbers indicated are at best German speakers.
Anyway this are some sites: www.icesailing.org/,
Since I was very time limited, I agreed a kind of two days all inclusive (www.caligula.pl).Two
nights in a very nice hotel in Mikolajki (hotel Caligula), breakfast, lunch (a sandwich on
the spot), dinner, gears (boat, helmet) + instructor (polish speaker) and the transport
to/from Mikolajki (20km)= 520 zlt (130 Euro).
Considering I was extremely timed limited for me it was OK, but managing
more by yourself you can have a better price. For instance if you are able to sailing you
don't really need an instructor (as it happened to me) and I saw that you can rent only
the boat for 100 zlt/day (25 Euro). Anyway I guess it's not so easy to reach the place
where this boat are kept if you don't have your own car.
Apart from very warm clothes don't forget to bring a pair of ski-glasses,
they turned out to be essential! The only pain I had was at the feet, since they use some
special boots for sure you don't have. At the end I wrapped my boots by two plastic bags
and it turned out to feel better but far from being warm.
Unfortunately is ice sailing is strictly dependent on the weather and ice condition. I had
to skipp a planned weekend twice since there was too much snow on the ice. Keep in mind
that this can happened quite often.
Watch out, capesizing is quite easy and for sure it would be quite harmful. Don't get too