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Navigation marking on the Vistula Lagoon

Water sports enthusiast vademecum

How to safely sail on the Vistula Lagoon

How to safely sail on the Zulawska Loop

Water sport enthusiast Decalogue

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How to safely sail on the Vistula Lagoon

The Zulawska Loop trails can be divided into the river waters and the channel waters as well as the marine inland waters. Each of these create a threat to water sports enthusiasts and have specific characteristics. The Vistula Lagoon is the maritime inland waters reservoir, artificially divided into the Polish and Russian part by the border. The Polish part from the south is limited with Wysoczyzna Elblaska, from the north with Mierzeja Wislana. From the west extensive polders of the Zulawy Wislane. The eastern part is the water border with the Russian Federation - after several years it is now available for water traffic. Behind the border, waters of the Kaliningrad Lagoon and Pilawska Strait, allow entering to the Baltic Sea.

The Polish part of the reservoir includes illustratively area of more or less "two and a half" Sniardwy Lake, and "along" stretching makes that the bank still seems to be "near". Easing the rigours of maritime administration and the ability to sail on the inland yachts in conjunction with "crowded" lakes in Mazury has caused increase in interest in this reservoir. The surface of the Lagoon is 382 km2 (including the Kaliningrad Lagoon it amounts to 838 km2), length is 35.1 km (including the Kaliningrad Lagoon it is 90.7 km). Width of the Lagoon varies from 6.8 km to 13 km, with an average depth 2.7 m. The further to the east, the deeper is it.

This is a great area for inland sailors, who are already fed up with flowing on inland waters and think about going to wider waters. The Vistula Lagoon is a good kindergarten of maritime sailing. Long distances, long-tack sailing, necessity to read a map, pilotage, with haze or worse visibility as well as GPS, marine, ports and water trucks marking, buoys, lights, ponds... Finally, it is possible to flow with the first, how exciting "night" entrance to the port.

What surprises inland sailors on the Vistula Lagoon?

1.Weather changes very quickly. Sudden appearance of short and height wave, which can disturb even experienced sailors. In combination with high wind it forces reduction of sails and necessity to storm. Use of outboard engine is troublesome - bolt jumps out of the water. Bad weather can mean that we have to stay at the port even for 2-3 days.

2.Changing direction of wind while flowing, when wind "turns". Differences in reservoir waving and wind power, depending on its direction. This significantly impacts on planning of trip route.

3.Necessity to receive daily weather forecasts. If we do not have radio, we can call the Master of Harbour in Elblag (55 234 77 11, 24 h/d), bosun facility in Tolkmicko (55 231 66 14 from 7 am- to 3 pm) or Frombork (55 243 72 19, from 7am to 3pm).

4.A large number of fishing nets are often spaced just at the water track. Marked incorrectly or... at all. Although, according to regulars residents of the reservoir - now there are half less nets than 10 years ago.

5.Inability to sleep "in the wild" at the bank. We are separated with shallow strip and reed from the bank. Accommodation at anchor can prove to be dangerous, when suddenly strength of wind increases and its direction changes (the bank suddenly becomes windward). This rule has some exceptions: we can safely sleep "in the wild" in river mounts - the Szkarpawa River, the Nogat River, the Krolewiecka Vistula River, the Pasleka River as well as in Elblag Bay.

6.It is necessary to keep approaching trucks in time of approaching to the ports, because of shallow areas. This rule has exceptions as well, but they concern sword-ballast yachts.

7.Entry to and exit from the ports with engine on. We freely and safely sail on sails only to Krynica Morska and Katy Rybackie.

8.A number of navigation markings (daily and night) - ponds, buoys, lights and even lighthouse, by which our position is controlled.

9.Ability to control by the Border Guards, especially in area of Piaski and Nowa Pasleka.

10.No yachts! Empty, quiet, we can see average 2 or 3 yachts in the distance on water. This trend, however, is clearly changing and there are more and more sailors on the Lagoon every year.

11.Sailing at night - allowed.

12.You can sail at night; however, yacht must have appropriate documents and equipment - navigation lights, life-saving equipment fitted with suitable additives (e.g. lights at belts). During night sailing you can fall on unmarked fishing nets.

Yacht equipment, documents, crew qualification
As a result of entered in 2007 season regulation, which releases non-commercial marine yachts from obligation to have a security card and thus WWR and similar documents, you can sail on waters of the Vistula Lagoon on each inland sailing yacht without complying with any of the terms and conditions. In accordance with the new provisions a person with marina sailor patent is enough. Sail with putting on rescue vests for your own safety.

Recommended yacht equipment (basic)

Storm jib, maps, orange floating smoke, red flares, VHF, GPS, supporting braces, life-saving wheel with buoyant line. In addition, the following are needed as well: binoculars, fog horn, light with additional batteries, marine life belts or pneumatic jackets, chemical WC, the second anchor, bilge pump. The following are helpful: additional ropes, the second stay, topping lift.

Yacht slipping

On the Vistula Lagoon yachts slipping is possible in the ports: in Krynica Morska, Katy Rybackie, Elblag, Nowa Pasleka. In addition to the Lagoon, yacht launching is possible with fixed gate crane in Elblag HOW Bryza and Yacht Club.

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October 2018

Czy twoim zdaniem do pływania po Pętli Żuławskiej przydałaby się nowa aplikacja z nawigacją na telefon?

YES (63%)

NO (37%)

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