First mate on s/y Katharsis II

Tomasz Grala

Yachtmaster, motor cruiser skipper, sailing instructor, SRC radio operator

Exposed to sailing for the first time at the age of eleven, when he joined the Marine Scouts in Stargard Szczeciński. His first yacht harbour – in Morzyczyn on Lake Miedwie – was owned by a Youth Culture Centre. Completed his first yachtsman training course in 1984. One year later, he transferred to the Scouting Marine Centre in Szczecin, where at the age of sixteen he completed his inland skipper training and began sailing aboard Folkboat (s/y Bona), Nefryt and DeZet vessels on Lake Dąbskie and the Szczecin Lagoon.

Joined his first sea voyage on a Vega yacht (s/y Totem), then the crews of s/y Dar Szczecina, s/y Hajduk, and s/y Ogar; this is when he encountered the famous Polish s/y Zawisza Czarny (during a two-week cruise of the Baltic Sea). In 1988, he received his offshore skipper certificate. Drafted in 1992 by the Naval Specialist Training Centre in Ustka as part of his military service, then employed by the Naval Sailing Training Centre in Gdynia, where he worked for 15 years. Received his Baltic Yachtmaster certificate in 1994. Skipper of numerous training cruises on the Baltic Sea and North Sea during the period; sailed the Mediterranean in his leisure time. Skipper on s/y Zawisza Czarny in the years 2004–2009.

Part of s/y Katharsis II since the 2009 Southampton-Gdańsk crossing. Supervised all main renovation and maintenance works on board: in Antigua, Tahiti, Auckland, Brisbane, Thailand, and Cape Town. Attended all races Katharsis II took part in, including the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2009, Oyster British Virgin Island Regatta 2010, and Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2014. Part of the crew during every polar journey of s/y Katharsis II: Tahiti – Cape Horn – Antarctic Peninsula 2010/2011, North-West Passage 2012, and the Ross Sea 2015.

Logged 60,915 nautical miles aboard s/y Katharsis II.

After voyage...